Tomb Raider 2013: 3 defining moments from the gritty reboot
- Posted March 13th, 2013 at 11:13 EDT by Mike Harradence
- 4 Comments
Crystal Dynamics successfully reinvented the venerable Tomb Raider series in the eponymous reboot released earlier this month, showcasing Lara Croft’s transition from eager archaeologist to hardened survivalist. It’s a defining piece of characterization, and one that in my humble opinion depicts one of the strongest female leads in a videogame to date. Unlike the pixelated, busty manifestation of Lara we’ve become accustomed to in the previous games, this Miss Croft is someone you can really appreciate on more than a superficial scale. As a female protagonist, she eschews the sexualized trappings of her contemporaries – and indeed, her previous incarnations – resulting in a heroine that is defined not by her physical attributes, but rather her strength and emotional qualities. This is a new Lara, for a new generation.
Here’s 3 of Lara’s most defining moments from Tomb Raider. Beware, this article contains spoilers for those who haven’t finished the game.
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Lara goes it alone
Shipwrecked and separated from her crewmates, Lara awakens hanging upside down in a dimly-lit cave, disoriented and terrified. After cunningly using a nearby flame to free herself, an injured Miss Croft wades through a network of tunnels filled with corpses and strange ritualistic alters, before surviving a cave-in and finally escaping the catacombs. Cold, hungry and physically exhausted, Lara manages to get a primitive fire going and rustle up some grub thanks to a bow and arrow she happens across. Battered and bruised from her horrific introduction to the Island, our heroine realizes from here on out that she’s alone and must fight for survival; a far cry from the cosy, bookish life she once enjoyed back in civilization.
The first kill
Controversy aside, the moment when Lara takes a human’s life for the first time is a defining chapter in her fight for survival. After surreptitiously avoiding a small army of heavily-armed goons and taking shelter in a small alcove, Croft is spotted by one of the gun men and dragged out of her temporary sanctuary. Here, after displaying some rather amorous intentions towards the 21-year-old adventurer, Lara boots him in the crown jewels and a struggle ensues. After her assailant brandishes a firearm, Croft fights tooth-and-nail for her life and the weapon goes off, blowing the goon’s brains out. But this isn’t just another nonchalant game shooting; Lara is visible shaken by what she has done, and spends the next minute or so nearly vomiting her guts out. Unlike most game heroes, who seem to show no compunction in taking a human life, Lara exhibits a sense of realism that is rarely depicted in this medium. It shapes her from here on out, as she now fully realizes the gravity of the situation, and more importantly, just what she has to do to make it through. An innocence is lost from here on out; it’s just a shame the combat sequences all but throw these ideals out the window, but it can be overlooked.
The climax of Tomb Raider brings Lara’s development as a character to a full 180 from where she started out. With the life of her mate Sam in the balance, and big baddie Mathias still at large, Croft battles through hordes of armed mercenaries and faces off with her enemy at the top of a snow-swept mountain temple. I won’t go into fine detail in case I spoil the scene too much (although if you haven’t seen it, why are you reading this?), but suffice to say, it ends with Lara whipping out those iconic double pistols, before dispatching her adversary in a flurry of bullets sending him toppling into the abyss below. In this very instance, a survivor is born; this is the Lara Croft that will take our heroine on all manner of adventures in the years to come, and more importantly, shape her into one of the defining female characters in videogame history.
How do you feel about Lara Croft’s rebirth? What do you feel are her defining moments from Tomb Raider? Sound off in the comments section below.
- 12:05pm EDT - March 13th, 2013
The gameplay is good and the graphics impressive but man, does the game have to be so violent or so graphic? I got lost with all the blood and chopped up bodies of humans and animals. Too much for me. I feel like too many developers are going for shock value these days. I didn't need to actually see the guys brains get blown out to understand the gravity of the situation. I'm dissappointed that the reboot wasn't more about the fun and adventure but so much more about shock value. There are plenty of scenes that are just discusting and I didn't see a need for it. I wonder how many kids will be playing this game and their parents clueless about it. I guess I wasn't expecting this reboot to be such a graphic/horror game. :(
BlindMango | BlindMango
- 2:55pm EDT - March 13th, 2013
This game is effing brilliant, so much fun
And when SHE PULLED OUT those dual pistols, I was like HOLY CRAP, YESSS! I was somewhat expecting and hoping that would happen =D Gosh I cannot wait to play the next game!
1solidsnake | solid1snake67
- 5:16pm EDT - March 13th, 2013
i beat all 100% normal mode for my first time and loved the game im hoping a 2nd game is in the works and we'll get to see and updated version of laras mansion. multiplayer isnt fun for me but single player is all i need!!
- 2:48pm EDT - April 16th, 2013
Hey pepsivscoke, you're entitled to your own opinion but let me make mine clear as well. In no way were the chopped up bodies of human and animals to be added for OUR shock value. If you've played any Gears of War game I'm sure you used to this. It was to add to Laura's shock value and us as a player appreciate her humanity. Here she is in a pit of human gore and she has to wade through it, how do you think SHE feels? That's the point that the developers were trying to make, I assume. Now as for kids playing this game? Please. If the parents buy it for them then it's their own fault and they willingly paid the money to allow their kids to view this. If the kids are of age, then they should understand what's going on. It's not a horror game in any sense, what did it feel like Resident Evil 1 to you? I sure hope it didn't. It was a beautiful game portraying a rebooted Lara who, as this article shows, went from fragile, to survivor. So please, enjoy the game for what it is.
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