The Shitfuck Is…? Tomb Raider 2013 – First Impression Review-Analysis/Opinion
March 6, 2013 1 Comment
My look at the reboot of the classic action adventure franchise.
Tomb Raider is the reboot of one of the most classic action adventure franchises on the market today and it’s the very first installment of the franchise on the PC platform to boot!
In Tomb Raider we follow the, reimagined, protagonists fight for survival and learn about the new teenage backstory of one of the most revered characters in gaming history.
I have to say that at first I was very surprised with the direction Crystal Dynamics/Eidos/SquareEnix took with the franchise and protagonist, the changes can, and will, put some people off, especially in the visual department. However I am quite pleased with Tomb Raider as the first game that does not appeal to the cis male demographic. It was a bold move to change a protagonist this strongly, it takes a certain amount of estrogen and ovaries from the devs. Good job!
While the sex change might be a bit much, we finally have a realistic action adventure protagonist that everyone can identify with. Vulnerable, abused and weak, yet strong and independent! As the player it is your job to lead this independent strong and vulnerable girl to be rescued while avoiding things that might get her more hurt.
Many might be disgruntled about the visual and lore changes performed by Crystal Dynamics but its all for the better here, as it tells a far more engaging story than the originals ever did. Gone are the quips and one-liners, the over-the-top action scenes and set-pieces or convoluted conspiracy plots. Tomb Raider presents us with a different Nathan Drake, a down to earth girl with real feelings and desires (mostly the desire to not be crushed by falling debris and to go home).
She is tough, but vulnerable and strong.
The gameplay reinforces these thematical changes and the focus on realism. Nathan can no longer properly jump or vault distances without losing his grip, she is hurting, inside and on the outside, it’s her “first time” so the player has to be gentle. She shows a great degree of competence as well though, like running up walls while breathing heavily as well as wrestling wolves with her bare hands.
Tasks like fighting, climbing and jumping are relegated to superior mechanics like Quick Time Events in comparison to the previous installments. This reinforces the theme of vulnerability and independence as you are vulnerable to a failure condition but are independent of your skill to do things. Should you fail to wrestle a wolf two times for example, it will rip your throat out and restart you at the last checkpoint. This scene will repeat over and over as long as you fail to press the on-screen prompt, reinforcing the gritty reality of survival. Thats the realism we have been waiting for, finally! No more gratuitous gun-violence and murder of animals.
You have to press [F] here
Nathan Croft has to be guided through the game protecting him from fatal harm while solving puzzles involving finding out which item to craft to open a door or what crate to set on fire. It was a good choice by the developers to give her an ability called “Survival Instinct” that directs you to the next objective and highlights interactable elements in the environment. Nathan can easily get lost in the large, beautiful and graphically sTunNIng corridors so the inclusion of this “detective vision” is welcome.
Lara Drake does not have agency in Tomb Raider, and with good reason, she is a strong and independent woman, but the circumstances happen to her without her having any say in the matter. In a sense, The Island is oppressing her, just like The Patriarchy. You, as the player, have to help her break through the glass ceiling with a hatchet and learn to depend on others to become a person of her own!
In 1996 Lara Croft was an over-sexualized, rich, british, cis, white woman with large breasts, running around in ruins and shooting tigers while backflipping over dinosaurs. She had freedom of movement and control over her actions when solving puzzles involving precision jumps, quick reactions and free-form traversal of the environment. She stopped evil corporations and uncovered dark secrets of the government as well as fought aliens and gods alike (pffffffrt what a load of tripe, jesus).
Quite frankly this misogynistic and sexist portrayal had to go. The oppression in the first PlayStation 1 exclusive Tomb Raider was almost palatable, a woman sent to her death by The Patriarchy, manipulated and abused by her superiors (who do you think sat on the board of directors above Natalia? Hm?! Old white cis hetero MEN!). I mean who in their right mind would send a woman into those dangerous places? Obviously they tried to get her killed or pass her up for promotion, maybe even pay her less.
In contrast, ToMb RaideR 2013 does everything right. Nothing that happens to Larhan Droft is her own fault, its woman vs. nature, rock vs. face! You have to do -exactly- what the game tells you to do to free Lara and bring her home safe. This is a way of telling us that Lara is strong enough to fend for herself, she is independent but vulnerable. With your strong manly hand you can protect her, and guide her to safety.
Nathar Croke is not a damsel in distress, she is a (rape) survivor! She learned everything she knows from pathetic men that can’t even fend for theMselves and die without her help.
Nathan being rescued by Feminists.
Tombcharted 2013 is a great reboot of the series and continues to revolutionize the action adventure genre by providing us with a progressive, realistic protagonist for the 21st century. Nobody can now say that women aren’t properly portrayed in video games anymore and this is definitely the right step in the right direction. I’m convinced UnchartRaider 2013 will successfully bring more girl gamers into the gaming community with its visceral quick-time-event combat and repeatedly brutal depictions of abuse and injury.
The visuals are, as always in this generation of games, absolutely, completely and totally STUNNING, especially the hair on Larhan now behaves realistically. It’s a direct step up and a complete necessity in comparison to the sexist and misogynist boob-jiggle in the other games. That makes me wonder what kind of eye-shadow she uses, it looks absolutely fabulous on her and seems to match her hair. I really would like to smell her hair.
I think it’s safe to say that Raid Charter: Tombcroft is the best game of 2013 and will not be topped by anything this year. It’s absolutely STunNIng and Patriarchy-simulators like Watch_Dogs will just tank in comparison to it.
[The Shiftuck Is... is a first impression review-analysis-opinion-series. It is not in any way a review, analysis, or critique so I can not be held accountable for anything I've written in this review, ever. If you don't like hearing my opinions, or don't like what I have to say, this is not the place for you and you should go watch the exquisite and totally accountable and always correct review-series "WTF is..." by John "TotalBiscuit/The Cynical Brit/totalhalibut" Bain on youtube. I have to cater to my audience and accuracy is for FoxNews and homosexuals.]