Tuesday, October 16, 2018

It's better when she's bad

Shadow of the Tomb Raider has made attempts at humanizing Lara after her absolute asshole introduction. A few almost work, her hesitation at telling a young prince that his mother was just killed was almost poignant, but for the most part they come off as contrived and fake. Lara isn't really a character, she a caricature of herself, a figure so well worn that when she says something really stupid the player usually shrugs his or her shoulders with an exasperated 'oh Lara, you cad.'

What works this time is what worked in the last two games: every once in a while Lara becomes a monster. A stone cold killer with no feelings or hesitation. Think Terminator 2 but Linda Hamilton was the terminator.

(side note: how awesome would that have been)


Lara and Jonah are returning to their base of operations after coming up empty in the lost city. They are attacked by a Trinity helicopter and separated. Lara ends up at an oil refinery that is in the process of fucking exploding when one of the main enemies pipes up on her radio.

"Jonah is dead. Come fine me if you want his body."

Oh shit.

There is a chase scene between Lara and said helicopter that ends with her plummeting off of a burning storage tank into water that is also on fire. The camera focuses on her closed eyes as she sinks. Important words from important characters are remembered. Her eyes open and it is on.

The view changes to a nearby shore and a wounded Trinity soldier. He looks at the water and figure in silhouette. It's monster Lara. It's her but it's not her. He freaks out. Lara wades to shore, slowing walks up to the soldier as he tries to pull himself to a nearby gun, steps on his hand and them cuts his throat.

Other soldiers see this, panic, and run the fuck away.

This works because she never talks. No bad writing can get in the way. She just kills several dozen people before collapsing into in heap.

(and Jonah isn't actually dead. yet.)

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