My column this week is a rant about Samantha, the damsel in distress of the new Tomb Raider game.
It was really temping to contrast Samantha with Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite, but I was afraid of doing cross-game comparisons that would likely get sidetracked into a frustrating “game X is superior to game Y” debate and confuse rather than illuminate the issue.
My other major issue with the new Tomb Raider is it fondness for cutscene incompetence. Just about every cutscene involves Lara doing something really stupid or reckless. The writers also LOVE the use of off-screen space to poof in bad guys. There’s more than one situation where Lara seems be be alone, then a cutscene happens and someone punches her unconscious from just offscreen.
Having all of your cutscenes deliver setbacks by having the player character perpetrate awful blunders is a great way to make the player hate either the writer or their avatar. I realize these problems are nothing new to videogames, but they are problems that really grate on me because they seem to be the offspring of laziness and bad habits.
The plot of this game isn't just dumb, it's actively hostile to the player. This game hates you and thinks you are stupid.
The story of me. If you're looking for a picture of what it was like growing up in the seventies, then this is for you.
Silent Hill 2 Plot Analysis
A long-form analysis on one of the greatest horror games ever made.
Crash Dot Com
Back in 1999, I rode the dot-com bubble. Got rich. Worked hard. Went crazy. Turned poor. It was fun.
Best. Plot Twist. Ever.
Few people remember BioWare's Jade Empire, but it had a unique setting and a really well-executed plot twist.