With Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, Lara has now completed another trilogy, probably falling off her roof and shooting in the face. This would be the second set of three games of Crystal Dynamics (with the help of other parts of Eidos), followed by the six titles created by Core (if you do not count the Game Boy). It has twelve main games old, twenty years if you count mobiles and off-brand ones, and 22 years if you count in linear time. I'm here to discuss that it's time for Lara to go.
Of course, the most recent trilogy of games, starting with the revolutionary name of "Tomb Raider" in 2013, should have seen Lara change. At the time we were told that this would be a reinvention, Lara as a much more human person, rather than the stoic and severe character of the Olden Days. This obviously ignored the fantastically well thought-out and congenial character that had become in the previous version of Crystal Dynamic (CD) 2006-2008, not so much a reinvention as the evolution of the drier Lara all-business that had previously so firmly said all of us "No" for all the years & # 90;
What we got was a reluctant sociopath Lara, who resigned herself to becoming a mass murderer because otherwise how could she get McGuffin Of Time from the Temple of Indigeneity? His father wanted him, and this makes CHRIST. And so, with varying degrees of success, the games, um, have done the same as before, but with more footage and QTE, and the innovation of Jurists. Lara says "fuck" now! Gritty stuff! Totally different from before.
So there's always something wrong with Tomb Raider, and we all know it. Lara, in all her incarnations, has always been a bit of a prize. A super-rich and super-elegant British woman who makes her way anywhere in the world and steals all their most precious things. Sure, he usually has an excuse, something about stopping an evil group of gunmen for doing it before, and you know, while she's there, she could even stuff her boots with anything else not nailed to temple floors. We all know it, and I think that for the longest time, quite a lot of us are rather liked. Lara had never been a good person, and is quite interesting.
The Core has faced this problem by making it terrifyingly indifferent. His polygonal face has never cracked a smile as he whirled to grab Nazi gold or anything else and shoot at all endangered species that might be unlucky enough to cross his path. It's a cliche even to make that point! Did you know that while you sat in front of your PlayStation, what you were doing was simply not going well, and well, it was fun to do it. Lara was an independent mercenary, amoral at the center. (Geddit?) And I think that, by reflecting, this makes more sense.
When the CD got their hands on the franchise, they humanized Lara superbly. Giving his friendships with characters outside the screen, Alistair and Zip, a human antagonist in the form of Amanda Evert, and a purpose in his desire to understand the disappearance of his mother after having touched some magical doodah. And then he did his deed virtually the same way, stealing or shooting everything he encountered. There was little exploration of this contradiction, and the result was a very breezy collection of superb platform puzzle games.
And then comes 2013. After its longest time away from our PCs (unless you include the absolutely gorgeous Guardian Of Light), a very different Crystal Dynamics (following severe layoffs a few years earlier) has triggered the reboot franchised, Tomb Raider. This was a pretty cool start, eliminating the bonkers fee that had come before and starting over with a much younger Lara, with a completely new background. Lara must have been vulnerable, reluctant, scared. For, I do not know, ten minutes. And then, incredibly, they ended up doing exactly the same thing!
Of course, the games play somehow differently, with notoriously "open" islands, fast travel, a decorative XP and a skill tree system, and oh my God, so many dripping movies. But they were still games of Tomb Raider, so he rightly had the emphasis on running, jumping, climbing, swinging and shooting. What became more and more unique when the absolutely rubbish stories took place was that nothing had really changed.
Previously Lara's father died in mysterious circumstances and his mother disappeared. This time his father died in mysterious circumstances and his mother disappeared. Only, um, at different times? He certainly complained a lot more this time, in his brief breaks between falling through the roofs in the movies. Once again he killed only hundreds and hundreds of angry men. He was always killing local wildlife, this time to skin them for attractive brooches or something. And she continued to collect ancient artifacts and forgotten treasures in her unreasonable search for the magical tat. In other words, they "reinvented" it, not by changing a single thing.
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider has created a lot of discussion, right? Look at the comments (well, no, no) under every decent review and you will see people absolutely furious bruising beyond measure that the questions that the game itself raises are in turn raised in the criticism. This is because, after twelve games, the creators wanted to finally confront (or maybe they did not want to, but they felt they could not avoid it anymore?) The problems. This time things start with Lara's impetuous sticky fingers causing a magical calamity, picking up an old knife that seems to trigger a series of pre-apocalyptic (dis) natural disasters in vast areas of the developing world.
Overwhelmed by the guilt of her silly actions, Lara feels compelled to continue to grasp absolutely anything shiny from the hidden cities of Latin America, while she rushes to do the same things as always, apparently to prevent the end of the world. Except this time the truth of all the previous games is pushed into the foreground. Lara is a wealthy white girl from Britain who emulates colonialism while still treating developing nations as playgrounds. Shadow is an attempt to criticize this and all that came first, and it's probably fair to say that while they were filling handfuls of their cake in their mouths, it did not work.
They consciously invoke the truce trope of the "white savior" while Lara marches into the lost Inca city of Paititi to save them from the disaster she has created, and therefore for reasons we might discover one day, just embrace every possible remnant of why she is a trucky trope and you let it go wild to be that same savior. Where they could be really criticized, if the native inhabitants said, "Um, thank you, but we are perfectly able to look after ourselves!", Perhaps Lara has continued to try carelessly to save them against their will and indeed she needs, instead they he went right ahead and embraced sadness. Lara arrives and the whole city begs her to fix everything, from the impending disaster to the world, to the petty disputes and mysteries of murder. The head of the city immediately hands the keys to Lara, without asking questions. They are ridiculously helpless, unable to solve their domestic problems without Lara's interaction, and certainly not able to intervene and fight against the invading Trinity forces without her.
It is in this, this strange and hypocritical attempt to be both critical, and at the same time completely embracing and confident, the same problem, that the story of the game is incredibly unglued. The result of this before release had been a lot of raised eyebrows and critical comments from critics of the games, and in turn a lot of Internet Police went wild in every comment thread to scream about how the game they had not played yet they do not present the arguments that they make and that any criticism of such arguments is an evil that must be eliminated. You know, the internet. "Why can not you review the games without introducing the policy in which the game is at stake?!? !!!?"
But I can not help thinking that there might be a better way. So, finally, here's what I would do next with Tomb Raider.
I'd get rid of Lara.
Yes I know.
I think he had his turn.
I love Lara. He's one of my favorite characters of all time. Not in the recent trilogy, of course – I'm not a maniac. But I loved that incredibly irritable triangle Lara, with her huge triangular tits. And I particularly appreciated Lara 2006-2008, with her smiles, her jokes, her friends. I appreciated the fact that she was entirely in business, that she was never, never before 2013, a weak affectionate, but also that it was not just a female skin on a male game character. Hell, he also avoided the boring cliché of Strong Female Character. She was Lara Croft.
But other people can raid graves, you know. It's their turn.
In my next game of Tomb Raider, I would have two characters. Neither is English.
The idea that kept coming to me for as long as I was playing Shadow Of The Tomb Raider was how much more interesting the whole game would be if the person I was playing had been originally from the city where It has been set. A paititian character, choosing to rebel against anything, or ignore any ancient wisdom, and go raiding the graves of his native land. He could unleash terrible consequences on his life, and then feel compelled to do everything possible to solve it, with the support of those he had known throughout his life. It may have been a very similar story, but that did not prove to be serious.
So yes. But in my game we are set in a new place. Philippines! Ancient tombs were discovered in the Philippines six years ago, along with the entire lost village that surrounded them, and it is the perfect setting for Tomb Raider action. So my first character is an 18-year-old woman born in Mulanay, in the province of Quezon, who has established that there is much more to be found in connection with the Tagalog people in the jungles of Mount Maclayao. He knows the stories, he knows the voices and he knows that the archaeologists have made discoveries that, for unknown reasons, have not been published.
She is my first character. My second is the Tuvaluan explorer, from Funafuti, born after the islands became independent from Britain. In the late 1920s, he can no longer live on an island with a supermarket, a bank and another 6,000 people. You need to explore. Which brings her across the Pacific to the Philippines, having heard that the area is still full of hidden secrets.
And we are out! And you know what? Both have excellent relationships with their living parents! What a concept But, by golly, they find themselves entangled in a confusion, which has quite a lot of waterfalls, time imprisoned in Taiwan, and in contrast to some very powerful visitors of Brunei.
Ooh, I want to play now. Give me a call, Square Enix, we'll work on something.
I sincerely believe that there is still life in Tomb Raider. I think that Lara's role in it could be rather more tangential. (It would be so fun to write it up as a secondary character.) And I think there are a lot, much more interesting ways to explore the problems of the very act of the grave that is undermining. Core has already interpreted the corner very well "Because he is a terrible person". The CD gave a bit of confusion and then filled it completely. I think the next most interesting approach could be just to say thank you and goodbye to Lara herself. It's my spin-off franchise from Fridge Raiders.