Tomb Raider Sure Sounds Dark Without Context

I’ve played Tomb Raider for review recently and loved it. Its cinematic feel truly sucks you in, as you hop, slide and fall from one hill to the next. I also enjoy sharing my games with my guests and will periodically have someone to entertain me with their sounds as they play games, while I work at my desk not that far from the action. Usually, it only makes me slightly reminisce as I tune into some good scenes or I hear familiar sounds of victory or despair.

Still, with Tomb Raider, I heard different things than I thought I would. Sure, I caught that one sequence in the back of my head where she gets trapped by bad guys and the game catches you off guard with a rotten quick time event. I also stopped later on, when I wanted to vicariously relive a fight scene with a wolf that blew me away a first time. No; what really surprised me was when I listened to the game in full, without the memorable scenes to color my vision.

Lara Croft execution

At one point, not in my vision, Lara stumbles upon 2 people having a chat. Now, I played psycho Lara and never gave these people a chance to even utter a word, before putting a shotgun to their neck. I know that when push comes to shove, these are horrible men. Yet, without that visual representation, the only thing I heard was 2 dudes casually talking about their hopes and dreams. These weren’t malicious ones either; just simple wishes, like a good meal. Without any real provocation afterwards, Lara executes these 2 folks. I was taken aback just how psychotic that turn of events went down, increasingly so if you allow them to finish their humble conversation. I, as a person, know they’re bad guys. Lara, however, has no real clue if these are monsters or just survivors out to live out their days and yet they get snuffed out without a second’s thought regardless.

After that became apparent to me, scenes like these kept reproducing: People seemingly making idle conversation are stalked by the huntress Lara and then brutally murdered without utter of another word. There are no calls to attack, there are no pleas for mercy; there is only the hunter and its victims. This really made me question if Lara Croft is the hero at all. From what I remember, the story only points out once how terrible murder is, before immediately proceeding to take an active stance on this atrocity. I know I’m doing the right thing, for survival; but, am I? Is it survival or is it pleasure? Am I a monster? It would explain why I later go on to murder dinosaurs.

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