Tomb Raider’s Attempted Rape Scene Is Not A Shock Tactic
Yes that’s right, there’s an attempted rape scene in Tomb Raider. You read the title correctly.
Developer Crystal Dynamics says that players will want to “protect” the new Lara Croft as she faces harrowing challenges in the new, more mature take on the series, which will reportedly be featuring some dark material… really dark.
As we already know, the reboot attempts to show a more human side of Lara as she’s beaten and kidnapped, apart from what we’ve already seen of her getting impaled by spikes in a dungeon of course, but now executive producer Ron Rosenberg has come out and revealed another really brutal scene; one in which scavengers try to rape her.
“She is literally turned into a cornered animal,” Rosenberg explained. “It’s a huge step in her evolution: she’s forced to either fight back or die.”
While it is quite dark and potentially offensive to more sensitive audiences, Rosenberg says he’s not too worried about it, because the game’s “more mature” feel can be taken as akin to a Spider-Man or Batman comic.
“We’re not trying to be over the top, shock people for shock’s sake,” he said. “We’re trying to tell a great origin story.”
The producer doesn’t think that players wish to “project themselves” onto the character of Lara, but more act as a guide in her adventure, and “protect” her.
“When people play Lara, they don’t really project themselves into the character. They’re more like ‘I want to protect her.’ There’s this sort of dynamic of ‘I’m going to this adventure with her and trying to protect her’,” he continued. “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.”
He added: “The ability to see her as a human is even more enticing to me than the more sexualised 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.”
On the subject of the attempted rape scene, I mentioned just earlier this week that I would not appreciate the portrayal of a rape in a game, but an attempted rape honestly has me wondering whether they could actually pull it off. It would require basically perfect execution and absolutely no smutty sexualising, but here’s hoping it works well to portray Lara as a human being rather than simply a female with troubles; furthering the stereotype I mentioned in my column about sexism.
What are your thoughts on the more human approach?