Ron Rosenberg, executive producer of the highly anticipated Tomb Raider prequel, spoke to Kotaku at E3 recently and had some interesting, if troubling, things to say about the approach to the new game.
Rosenberg mentioned that gamers would “want to protect” the more vulnerable Lara in this new game, saying that in the past “they don’t really project themselves into the character.” Rosenberg went on to say; “She’s definitely the hero but – you’re kind of like her helper. When you see her have to face these challenges, you start to root for her in a way that you might not root for a male character.”
Trailers for the upcoming game have certainly shown a grittier, darker aspect to gameplay as opposed to the Indiana Jones-esque romps of the past. As we’ve seen more footage the extent of the threat facing Lara has been revealed, and it’s brutal, violent and very human.
Rosenberg elaborated on this to quite a shocking extent: “The ability to see her as a human is even more enticing to me than the more sexualized version of yesteryear. She literally goes from zero to hero… we’re sort of building her up and just when she gets confident, we break her down again.”
According to Kotaku’s conversation Lara will see her best friend kidnapped, she’ll be taken prisoner by scavengers and they will try to rape her. Rosenberg explaining, “She is literally turned into a cornered animal. It’s a huge step in her evolution: she’s forced to either fight back or die.”
It’s undoubtedly a provocative statement, perhaps designed to court controversy as much as a recent trailer for Hitman: Absolution did with its sexualized and sadistic depiction of machine gun toting, latex-clad nuns being picked off in slick slow motion. Rosenberg claims, “We’re not trying to be over the top, shock people for shock’s sake, we’re trying to tell a great origin story.”
Do you think this is a step in the right direction for the Tomb Raider franchise or a misguided attempt at being gritty?
Tomb Raider is released on 5th March 2013.