Over the last 4+ years I’ve noticed that the divide on Sam in the vast majority of cases mirrors the divide on Reboot!Lara; those who love this new incarnation of Miss Croft generally like Sam as well, while those who mourn for a return of Classic!Lara generally loathe Sam.
What gets me is that the 2013 Reboot was universally hailed as a triumph in gameplay, storytelling and female agency. For once, CD took a real risk, and it paid off beautifully in the most successful game of the franchise to that point.
It’s because of that success that their subsequent aversion to continue along that path confounds me. They had two strong, central female characters, much like the later Uncharted: The Lost Legacy game, and they received accolades for what was, to that point, an all-too-rare depiction of female agency.
And now, 4 years later, it’s like they’re terrified of dipping into that rarefied well again.
A statement they once made tells the story for me: they mentioned they didn’t want to address the issue of the Sam/Lara relationship, as that way “everyone could relate to Lara”, or words to that effect — which is total BS.
People can relate to her for any of a thousand qualities. Putting her in a gay relationship would lose some of the more vitriolic and homophobic “fans”, but would bring in so many more to the franchise, and make TR a truly significant social force in the gaming world.