Tomb Raider and Crystal Dynamics "Sex Scandal"

So by now you’ve probably seen the Tomb Raider trailer, Crossroads. If not you should check it out, since it’s one of the coolest, most dramatic trailers I’ve ever seen for a video game. However, we aren’t here to talk about how great it is, although it was great! Instead we’re here to bring attention to the senseless “controversy” surrounding the developers, based on some statements made about the Crossroads trailer.

You see at about the 2:15 mark of the trailer, our hero, Lara is trying to escape from some creepy captors as they frantically search for her. With her arms bound behind her back, Lara makes her way past some guards and through an opening in a wall where she stops to assess the situation in front of her. One of her hunters happens to see Lara, so he reaches in and grabs her. No big deal, but it’s about to get real.

Next we see Lara, still with arms bound behind her back, being held captive by a man. The man clearly has some bad intentions as he proceeds to run his hands along her side. Lara knees him in the balls, bites his ear, struggles for control of a gun, and kills her pursuer. So this is fairly heavy stuff. The implied intent to violate the character of Lara Croft caused a bit of a rumble online. It was nothing like the Mass Effect 3 ending bullshit, but it was enough for Ron Rosenberg, of Crystal Dynamics, to be asked how this helps build Lara Croft as a character. He Responds “What happens is her best friend gets kidnapped, she gets taken prisoner by scavengers on the island. They try to rape her. She’s literally turned into a cornered animal. And that’s a huge step in her evolution.”

Basically he’s saying she has to do whatever it takes to survive, and this is one of those pivotal moments where she learns that. Does she walk this off and go “Ok, time to fuck up some other bad guys?” No. The next scenes show Lara falling to her knees crying. Crystal Dynamics’ intention is to bring out the emotion behind the character, and show how these emotions build Lara Croft into the character we’ve known for years. But who pays attention to anything once they see something that bothers them? Clearly nobody does, so Crystal Dynamics felt the need to explain themselves again.

This time Darrell Gallagher posts his statement on the Tomb Raider official website. He states, “In this particular section, while there is a threatening undertone in the sequence and surrounding drama, it never goes any further than the scenes that we have already shown publicly. Sexual assault of any kind is categorically not a theme that we cover in this game.” So he tells everyone that we don’t have to worry about the constant threat of Lara being raped every time we turn a corner. He says that sexual assault is not a primary focus that is covered in depth within Tomb Raider. Good right?

Of course not, nerds are never happy! So now we’re hearing complaints about Crystal Dynamics not standing up for themselves and instead backed down and flip flopped on their original statements. This is absurd! They never flip flopped! They didn’t change their views on the topic! They just clarified where sexual assault stands within the game. They stated that it’s not a primary theme within Tomb Raider because Tomb Raider isn’t about dealing with emotional burdens of sexual assault, it’s about raiding fucking tombs!

This is another one of those non-issues blown far out of proportion just so someone can get a few extra hits on their website. Congratulations on turning nothing into something.

is not a boss.

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