And according to Schreier, the way the producers plan to make gamers harness these protective instincts is to make Croft suffer through her friend getting kidnapped, being taken prisoner by "island scavengers" ... and an attempted rape. (The studio has since issued a statement saying that the scene in question has been "incorrectly referred to" as attempted sexual assault, but I agree with Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams that "there's an unmistakable sense of sexual menace in the scene." Click here to view the clip.) Some human suffering is par for the course when it comes to heroes' "how they became how they are" narratives (one classic example is Spider-Man losing his Uncle Ben). However, do kickass female characters really need to endure attempted sexual violence to be sympathetic?
As it turns out, it's not awful. It's from 2:15 to 2:30, if you want to skip ahead. For those who don't want to see the whole trailer, a man turns around and caresses her arm, then her hip. Lara promptly knees him in the balls savagely. He kisses her, and terrified she ends up with the gun. Gray isn't wrong so much as overselling the scene and its drama / impact. It was a completely unsuccessful attack and something unbelievably dramatic had to provoke her to kill. This was a girl who apologized to a deer she had to kill for food. This reeks of a slow news week trying to turn a molehill into a mountain. The official Tomb Raider site says they have shown all there is to see, there is no lurking rape scene to stumble across. Based on what I saw, it wasn't pleasant but it wasn't graphic, either.
It looks like a hell of an origin story. For those old farts out there (like me) you probably remember the last time Lara appeared as a little girl. She was cocky, obnoxious and hadn't earned her dues. It was really cool to find "the" backpack, but even dedicated fans were a bit turned off by the snoot she was. This gritty beginning is more realistic for a woman who travels the world and fights mummies for sport. A person like that is forged, not born. Her story has to be gritty, and it has to be harsh. She's a survivor, a lifetime of knitting and charity work would not have made sense.
Any woman who travels the world knows the real dangers that are out there. Most from personal experience. The rest read headlines where women are sold as property and given virginity checks by crowds of men. This touch of reality is horror all right, but kept to a very basic minimum. There is far more graphic violence out there, this pales in comparison to even a second of shoot 'em ups or military adventures. Or even when compared to real headlines.
I hadn't heard about this yet, so my joy at the upcoming chapter is not ruined by what I saw. Diminished a little, maybe, but as a storyteller I see the need they faced, and think they justified her behavior well. It's a drop in a bucket of the overall story, told in fifteen seconds of real time.
I just think the article on HuffPo tries to make it into something it's not.