Tomb Raider has been on sale on Steam for under twenty bucks for the past two days, and I’ve been considering whether or not I want to do anything about it. On the one hand, it’s a triple A title, it’s probably pretty entertaining to actually play, and it does feature Lara Croft, a character who I think I like. It’s hard to say, though, because what I remember of Lara Croft that I like is that she’s a hypercompetent British aristocrat who walks like a living grenade. I really liked that Lara Croft was a female version of what Duke Nukem was for men.
Of course, that had to end, and I think these days that Lara Croft has ‘vulnerability’ injected in her in the way that say, Bruce Willis’ cast of characters never have. Therefore, I’m not sure if the person I like is who Lara Croft is. With that unpleasantness in mind, I regarded the Tomb Raider rerelease, and think I’m going to try and make my decision not based on the game, but on its marketing.
See, the marketing for this game has been dreadful. It’s been thoroughly paternalistic, with an attitude that Lara needs rescue and protection. It’s tried to use rape as drama, but then, not really, so it doesn’t have to deal with the very real ramifications that an actual sexual assault would have. It’s told us about how Lara is a Survivor.
Essentially, the marketing has done whatever it can to tell me that what I liked, and what interests me, isn’t there.