Crossposted from my LJ.
Apparently, Tomb Raider Underworld, a mediocre game released during a saturated new-gaming season, didn't do so well. This to me is not a surprise.
I've never been interested in playing Tomb Raider games. When I was younger, this was not really because I found Lara Croft all that offensive (though it may have been my stated reason), but it was more because I found all the media coverage of Lara Croft to be somewhat offensive. First of all, no, she was not the first woman to star in a video game. That honor goes to Ms. Pacman, thank you mainstream media.
Now, I'm over the whole Lara Croft thing, but I'm still not interested in playing Tomb Raider games, and that is mostly because of the game. I remember what I did play of the earlier installments - annoyingly exact jumping, frequently getting my too-wide pixel ass stuck in tight rock caverns with no way to move backwards - and the new installments don't seem to offer anything new from that so I'll just give them a pass and play more Fallout.
Eidos seems to believe that what they need to do to attract women to Lara is to make her more "female friendly." Cue an article full of women saying that is stupid. I basically agree.
What they need to do is make the game more fun, but that is going to take a while to percolate, so, allow me to posit the real problem with Tomb Raider... is this. Also, this.
See that? It's called "there's nothing interesting to fight in this game."
So. Here is how you save Tomb Raider, AND attract more women to your game.
1) Don't change Lara's body. Lara looks fine the way she is. She should wear fabulous outfits and look great in them. That is part of her job.
2) Add a bad guy. Not just, like, any bad guy, but a totally hot bad guy. A rival relic thief who breaks all the rules. A man with confidence and an evil smarm. A man with a hot, Eurotrash accent. Who takes off his shirt during a cut-scene.
3) Have him maybe summon some ancient creatures with a curse accidentally so when I do have to whip out my pistols there's something other than an endangered species to fire them at. Something I feel like killing.
4) Vary the set pieces so they travel all over the world, say, chasing this guy, instead of being locked down in one particular temple. Include with this a variety of interesting local costumes for Lara. My husband's suggestion is to start the game on a cruise ship so Lara has to fight the entire first level in an evening gown. Brilliant.
5) Make Lara in to a good guy who occasionally saves people so we like her a little more, instead of someone who just steals and shoots cats. It might not even hurt to make her a little flirtaous and sexy again. I've heard she's a lot more of an ice queen lately? I haven't played any of the new games.
6) Add a hot bad guy. Did I say that already? HOT BAD GUY - WOMEN LIKE THAT A LOT
Oh. And it's OK by me if you go ahead and switch to an M rating so she can show her tits at some point. Or maybe don't show them, per se, but some Fox-News-Offending righteous sideboob during a love scene would be acceptable. Perhaps a love scene with... I dunno, the hot bad guy.
I will buy this game if you make it, Eidos. Or you could hire me, this is OK.