Tomb Raider Writer Discusses Violence & Storytelling
Tomb Raider has thus far been one of the best games of the year and part of that is down to Lara’s development as a character and watching her become the Tomb Raider we know. A lot of this can be attributed to Susan O’Connor who co-wrote the script in addition to having penned BioShock 2. O’Connor recently gave an interesting interview in which she discussed the writing process as well as addressing the issue of making violence relevant and meaningful in a game rather than senseless.
Speaking with Gameological, O’ Connor described what sort of projects she’d like to be doing, “I’m way more interested in telling stories about different kinds of characters. I don’t want to tell stories that involve shooting or being shot at. I’m all for violence at some points, but I think game stories can be black and white, because of the way the stories are told. You don’t have a lot of time to get a lot of stuff across. It’s a lot easier to be like, ‘Here’s a guy. Go shoot him.’
- You’ll Be Able To Play (Expensive) PS2 Games On Your PS4 Now | 2 months ago
- Jessica Jones Disempowers Its Male Characters And The Effect Is Refreshing | 2 months ago
- Hell Is 30 000 Deathclaws Tearing Through Boston And It’s Glorious | 2 months ago
- Sony Santa Monica Is Teasing Something Truly Strange | 2 months ago
“What really gets me excited as a consumer of stories is something [like Breaking Bad]. That’s some phenomenal shit, and that show’s got more than its fair share of violence. But that doesn’t bother me because it’s very rounded in these characters, and you really understand their dilemma.
“In the second episode of the first season, he’s got that one guy chained up to the basement, and he’s like, ‘Oh my God, what am I going to do? I can’t let him go because he’s going to kill my family, but I can’t kill him because killing is wrong.’
“That’s a genuine fucking dilemma. I want to see how that’s going to resolve, and I guess that’s what frustrates me about games. I want to tell more thoughtful and complex stories that games really allow us to do.”
She went on to call out other developers as often not being brave enough to include difficult moral decisions such as this. Opting instead for easy to handle senseless slaughter.
“The reason that people shy away from being ballsy about storytelling is that it’s a black box mystery to them,” she added. “Other elements of game production make more sense to them.
“And it’s a safer bet, and if you can point to it and say, ‘It’s going to be just like Call Of Duty, but with apes,’ that’s one way to make a game. Again, someone’s going to do it. BioShock’s a perfect example. If you had talked to someone the year before BioShock came out, they would go, ‘Myah myah, that wouldn’t work,’ and then it came out and everyone said, ‘Oh, this totally works!’ I want to see more paradigm-busting stuff.”
Perhaps the best example of violence being put to brilliant effect in a video game is Spec Ops: The Line where death and what you were doing as a player really weighed down and had meaning to it.