Unnecessary deaths and implausible plotlines

I love games, I especially love games which long complicated plot-lines or inter-twisting stories. They don’t have to be complex, they just need to make sense and not conflict with reality.  I’m not really a multi-player gamer, I just love my single / coop experience so much.  In short, I love stories, whether they are in print, on the large/small screen or are in games.

Recently I was playing the new Tomb Raider game (well I say new, it was released in 2013).   I found it to be a fantastic game, it had:

  • Long running story broken up in to manageable segments
  • A good combat system
  • A fantastic learning system, challenging you by just the right amount as you progressed through the game (add-ons added and puzzles using those add-ons in a sensible order)
  • Lot’s of puzzles and hidden items to search for (granted as many have pointed out, there aren’t that many actual Tombs to raid, lol)
  • Character engagement and out of combat scenes (granted they weren’t interactive like Mass Effect but were still ok, they added to the story)
  • A really expansive world where the collectables enhanced the back story

I just finished it but had some real issues with some of the storyline, it just wasn’t believable in a real world context (just talking about people and actions, not that a mysterious mystical force could control the weather)

Spoiler alert, the following contains spoilers on the plot.

My big issues lay in a few key areas:

Put down that weapon

Throughout the game, the “bad guys” are constantly trying to hunt, kill, tear asunder, shoot and generally want to inflict harm on our young protagonist.  You are constantly reminded that they have no interest in taking you hostage or keeping you alive.

SO WHY? would you put down your weapon when asked, just because they are holding one of your colleagues to the knife.  As with all situations, the likely outcome is that they will then just shoot you and kill your friend the moment you do.

Lara is confronted with such a situation, has already proven her accuracy with a bow. The colleague in question is a seasoned veteran and had already positioned himself down to give Lara a clear shot at the guys noggin, what does she do though? She goes, OK, I’m putting my weapon down……  Just silly

When your friend is in trouble, don’t help them out?

This is actually in the same scene above.

When Lara’s seasoned veteran realises she is dumb enough to believe these guys are NOT going to hurt them by putting her weapon down, he reacts (rather well).

He manages to use the guy holding him as a human shield while head-butting him in the chin (with his hands tied!), turns and kicks the second guy off the ledge even though he’s holding a bow pointed at him.

Then finally he runs at the last guy, who is shooting his machine gun at him (granted in a panicked fashion, so he’s missing), manages to knock him off the ledge but gets tangled with the guy and falls off the platform to his death with him.

Now, bear in mind, Lara still has her bow draw at this point, pointed at the bad guys and what does she do? Absolutely nothing, WHY!!  The whole cinematic plays out just so the character can die, for no good reason, supposedly to provoke an emotional response.  My actual response was just WTF and not the expected sadness that I guess the storyteller was aiming for.

I know I’ll let him die for me as he’s a good chap?

Jumping in front of bullets

Now most everyone knows that running in front of a bullet or sharp object thrown at you just isn’t going to end well.  Even if you are protecting someone and need to get out of the way, the way just isn’t going to be towards or in the path of the thing that is going to kill you.

One such scene (which is again just so someone can die for no darn good reason) is towards the end of the game, where Lara’s COMBAT mentor (another seasoned veteran and skilled soldier) is holding and dragging Lara away as the goons show up shooting. He easily dispatches the first wave with just one hand while holding Lara (who’s unconscious), no problem, completely believable considering the kind of guy he is.  Next wave turns up but one of these guys throws an Axe!! What do you do? His first pistol is spent (out of bullets), his other gun is on his hip (under Lara in is other arm), so surely you must get out of the way to protect yourself and Lara?  Hell no, he turns around, takes the Awe in the BACK, then places Lara down and dispatches the second wave with his new pistol.

WHY OH WHY would he do that, surely he could have simply dropped down, dropped Lara gently when his first pistol had run dry, ANYTHING except put himself between Lara and the Axe (which wasn’t even aimed at her at the time).

Another unnecessary death just to kill off another cast member and provoke an emotional response, which it completely fails at because it’s ludicrous.

[/Rant]

Phew, glad I got that out of my system.  I did really enjoy the story of the game, it was very worthy of Lara’s background and a good reboot piece to explain her background and where she got her awesome skills (as well as picking up the dual pistol capability at the end).

It just left a sour taste in my mouth for how these hard ass / kick ass / well trained men died under unbelievable circumstances.   Other deaths (hell, almost no one made it off the island) were justified and welcome.

On with the show show

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