Friday, March 20, 2015

Interactive Friction: Tomb Raider (2013): Episode 3: Dressed For The Occasion

In this episode, we talk about playing pretty dress-up with video game protagonists.

It is a nice touch that Roth is the one who duel-wields pistols instead of Lara. Roth is the one who taught Lara everything she knows about fighting. He's the grizzled veteran who's gone through tough situations before, not Lara. It's a sign of how tough he is as a fighter. Once Lara eventually gains experience after enduring all of these trials, she's earned her ability to do the same in the game's finale.

The other big thing we talk about in the beginning is that unlike Far Cry 3, the game does an excellent job of telling you why our protagonist does not or cannot just stop and leave. In Far Cry 3, there are several points in the game where Jason could resolve all of his problems and leave the island, but instead deliberately chooses not to for completely contrived reasons. In Tomb Raider (2013), Lara is always put in circumstances that not only explain why she has to keep going, but why she can't hand the reins over to people who might otherwise be more experienced.

Furthermore, because Roth is a Lara's mentor, and she is born into a family of adventurers, she has enough people in her life that it makes sense for her to naturally pick up skills like basic first aid and combat. Jason Brody might be able to get by with Grant, but the game never explicitly states why he is just so good when he's never shot a weapon of any kind before.

The rest of our commentary this episode stands on its own. This was a pretty good episode and we made a lot of good commentary on it.

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