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[Girlfriend Review] Tomb Raider

Lara Croft, Tomb Raider.

I’ve seen both of the movies, but I still don’t really know much about her. She’s from a wealthy British family; she knows a hell of a lot about anthropology and archaeology (like me!), and she kicks some serious ass.

Oh, and she looks really good in shorts. Really good.

And after watching my boyfriend, Clint, beat the recently released Lara Croft game, that’s still pretty much all I know about her.

But thanks to the movies, and from what I’ve learned from osmosis through the years, I know that Lara is a little bit like Indiana Jones, with the whole “that belongs in a museum” mentality. I haven’t played any of the games, and I didn’t have any previous knowledge about what the games are like, so I expected that the new game would be a treasure-hunt. Just my best guess based on what I knew.

I had no idea it would be a fight-for-survival. I love fight-for-survival stories. One of my all time favorite TV shows is Lost (expect for the series finale). My favorite movie? Star Wars. That’s all about survival, though each character has a different definition of “survival”. I’ve just always had a fascination for the fight or flight response and how differently people respond to conflict.

Lara is certainly programmed to fight (and I don’t mean her technological programming, because that’s a big duh, I mean metaphorically programmed). I have to disclose that I didn’t pay close attention to the game while Clint was playing it. It was in the background while I read or wrote, but I did catch enough to understand the basic storyline.

Lara’s journey around the island began simply as a way to get back to her crew and to get off the island. Like in Lost. But soon, again like in Lost, they discovered that they weren’t the only people on the island. (Anyone else hear John Locke’s voice saying that as they read it? Just me? Okay.) Now, these guys were way worse than Ben Linus’s Others. They kidnapped Lara’s friend, Sam, and started shooting at everybody.

So Lara’s mission went from “get off the island” to “save Sam” and to “not get killed”. This is the totally kick-ass side of her personality. She grabs guns, bows and arrows, climbs rock faces, raids tombs (surprise, surprise) and unravels the mystery of the ancient Sun Queen and why the group of fanatics kidnapped her friend. There are also a lot of ancient artifacts she discovers along the way.

After he beat the game, Clint and I watched a video on YouTube where IGN’s Greg Miller was talking about the violence in this game, and how some people have been disturbed by it, saying it’s “too much”. I didn’t see any of the gruesome deaths Miller talked about. It didn’t really seem that bad to me, from the limited amount I paid attention to. There was one scene that disturbed me, though, and that was the river of blood Lara jumped into to escape the murderous fanatics. It’s gross, yeah, but it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen. I mean, they’ve done worse stuff on Lost and in Star Wars. Darth Vader did some pretty bad shit. So Lara shot arrows of fire at people. So what? At least she didn’t blow up an entire planet.


Girlfriend Review is not an official review. It is intended as an entertaining look into the perception of a game by an outsider.