Tomb Raider is an installment of the action-adventure series of the same name. Tomb Raider is one of the most famous game-based franchises in the world.
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Story & Themes
Along the way she explores lots of tombs—the games have heavy platformer elements, with Lara needing to climb and run and jump to reach her goals.
The 2013 reboot sees Lara as a college student on an archaeological expedition off the coast of Japan. She and her colleagues get shipwrecked and discover that the island they are on is not uninhabited—in fact, it is under the control of a group called the Solarii, who worship and are trying to resurrect a Japanese queen named Himiko. Her friend Samantha Nishimura gets kidnapped by the Solarii, who believe that she is their reincarnated queen.
Lara goes through hell trying to survive on the island, find help, and rescue her friends from the Solarii. The player sees her grow from a vulnerable character into a hardened survivor. Lara goes through the usual puzzles, tombs, and obstacles—while also brutalizing a lot of Solarii who want to hurt her. It’s definitely a violent experience, but it’s a meaningful one in a world where women are often painted as victims. Lara is in a position where she could become a victim, but she claws her way to a position where she is the one that the Solarii are frightened of.
Unlike many other series, Tomb Raider has a strong focus on female relationships—whether it’s the enmity between Lara and Jacqueline Natla, or the friendship between Lara and Sam. There have been many critiques of Lara as a character, with some people arguing that she’s just eye candy and others arguing that she is a feminist icon. It is inarguable, however, that she is an important figure in the game world, historically as well as currently, and Lara has been a source of strength for many people.
The latest Tomb Raider reinforces themes of strength, growth, and loyalty. It is extremely violent, but it has a story to tell and a stellar female protagonist.
In one scene, an enemy touches Lara's waist suggestively, but there is no further sexual action.
Lara Croft goes through a lot of struggles and failures in the 2013 Tomb Raider. Does her struggle make you empathize more with her? Do you feel like she gains strength from failure?
Lara has a strong friendship with her female friend Sam Nishimura. Do you often see friendships like this represented in media? Does Sam and Lara's friendship improve the story?
The 2013 Tomb Raider is incredibly violent. What does that do for the story? Do you feel that that level of gore helps or hinders the game?
If you've played any other Tomb Raider games, does Lara's makeover (smaller chest, less revealing clothing, younger age) change what you feel about the character?
Tomb Raider is a lot more realistic-looking than its predecessors. It's also a lot bloodier. Do you think that level of blood is realistic? Should games with lots of killing have lots of blood just to be realistic?
Action/Adventure, Puzzle, Role-Playing (RPG), Stealth
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