Friday, April 17, 2015

Interactive Friction: Tomb Raider (2013): Episode 15: (long, sharp, death scream)

With this, Interactive Friction has now complete two different games. As a result, it is now the most successful Let's Play project I have ever worked on. I hope Sam and I can continue this for years to come, especially with what we have planned for future seasons.

In this episode, Sam makes a very interesting suggestion: This game may have been better off if we cut out a lot of Lara's supporting cast and make it a more personal tale by only having a small cast of primary characters. If we cut down the cast to Lara, Roth, Sam, and Mathias, we may have been able to better focus the tale around her personal growth.

These four characters are really the only ones that are core to the plot. Without any one of them, the game would be lesser. Unfortunately, the rest of the survivors from The Endurance do not add much to this game's story at the very least. (Time will tell if they become more important in later games, but that's irrelevant to our conversation.)

The other interesting thing about Roth, Sam, and Mathias is that there is a lot of interesting interplay that could come from focusing on this smaller cast. They all represent some aspect of Lara's character. Sam is the innocent girl that Lara starts out as in the story. Mathias demonstrates the kind will and cunning required in order to survive the island and its trials. As the mentor, Roth shows how these two can be balanced to stay alive without losing one's basic humanity. In the vein of classic Freudian psychology, they could represent the ego, id, and superego respectively.

As for the ending of the game, it lacks any sort of subtlety whatsoever. I honestly felt a little pandered to, because it felt like the didn't trust me to understand what they were obviously going for. Still, the game did so well up to that point that it works well enough to finish out the campaign.

Then they bring up that Lara's dad died while exploring paranormal phenomena of some kind. I'm not against that kind of sequel bait, because the story in this game does get a satisfying conclusion. However, it would have made more sense and felt less like bait if it brought up at the start and expanded throughout the game.

Thank you, listeners, for staying with us for this second season of Interactive Friction. We will be taking a brief hiatus for now, but stay tuned for Season 3. This show is far from done.


newdarkcloud said...

You're welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed the read!

Daniel Durbin said...

The main problem is that you have to really hook the player in the first five to ten minutes. While meeting people in the Conclave would've been fascinating for DA fans, it would likely be boring for a casual player who picked up the game. I've met any number of people who never got much past the origin story in DA:O, myself included, at least until I sat down and pushed past Ostagar in one sitting. While DA:I's opening did confuse me since I hadn't thought to read the novels, it did succeed in hooking me.

slap said...

what the hell is a PSA???

newdarkcloud said...

"Public Service Announcement"

newdarkcloud said...