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Yes, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Did Make Me Feel Uncomfortable


How one scene may end up unintentionally defining a game by trivializing sexual assault for the sake of easy shock value.

Preview by Kat Bailey, .


"Did you feel uncomfortable playing that scene?" Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 producer Dave Cox asks me.

I'm sitting in a roundtable interview with a handful of journalists after having just spent more than an hour playing Lords of Shadow 2, the scene in question being one in which a withered Dracula stumbled toward a family with his arms outstretched, the camera abruptly switching to a first-person perspective. He kills the father outright, then grabs the mother and sinks his fangs into her neck, draining her life energy to restore his.

Sexualized imagery is nothing new in vampire fiction, but this scene is kind of stunning for how blatant it is with its allusions to rape. It's a scene that forcibly reminds me of the boxart from RapeLay, down to the woman protecting her child and the disembodied arms (your arms) reaching out from the camera. Regardless of the intentions in constructing the scene, the imagery is ghastly.

Yes, I told Cox. That scene did in fact make me uncomfortable. His reply is so swift that I can barely even get the word "yes" out of my mouth: "That's what we wanted. That's exactly what we wanted."

Cox then goes on to explain that while players should feel "really powerful" and "cool" fighting paladins and titans, they should also reflect on the fact that Dracula is "this bad guy": "Playing through the game, you notice some tender moments with Trevor in the castle; you can see this is a character that has emotion, that has feelings, but at the same time, this is a guy who's not afraid to do horrible things, and we do show that in the game."

Then Cox goes a bit further: "That scene caused a lot of... discussions, I should say... between us and the marketing guys, because they felt we went a bit too far. But we thought, 'This is not going to be a Twilight Vampire or a True Blood Vampire. This is going to be a vampire who is gritty, who does evil; you know, coming back to what vampires used to be -- scary, evil. That's how we want to present it, and that scene does it very well. I think it achieved what we wanted it to achieve, and it comes at a moment in the game when it's quite surprising."

With that, the moment is over, and suddenly Cox is talking about how Lords of Shadow 2 is not a Metroidvania-style game, but that it will be non-linear and encourage exploration and backtracking. That's the trouble with roundtable interviews -- things can move so quickly that it's hard to get in a follow-up question. Still, the "Family Scene" as its repeatedly called comes up more than once, and what Cox has to say about it is illuminating.

In talking about how the team now feels more liberated to do some "risky stuff" after the success of the first game, Cox says: "That family scene is one of those scenes where I guess if were a little bit more timid about things, we probably wouldn't have included that. Now we feel bit more justified. The popularity of the first game reinforced our strength... the freedom to do what we want and break some rules and do things in a different way."

A little later, he talks about the team's goals for the character of Dracula: "[Players] want heroes who are more sophisticated; they wanted heroes that have a backstory; they want heroes that are believable. If we had portrayed Dracula as this sort of rage monster that was angry at the world, it wouldn't work anymore. Our Dracula has a lot more to him as a character. And if players are going to play a 20 hour game, they need to be able to identify with that character."

With that, I'd like to take a moment to disagree with Cox's assertions. It may be that Dracula ends up being a sophisticated character, but the imagery in the "Family Scene" is problematic for other reasons. First, the way this scene is constructed isn't accidental. When Cox talks about wanting to take risks and arguments with the marketing team, it's clear that the scene was constructed with the intention of evoking sexual assault. It's ostensibly there to show that Dracula is evil; but really, the imagery was chosen for its ability to provoke a strong emotional reaction. That it's being used almost exclusively for shock value serves to trivialize a very real horror that women must deal with every day.

Second, you're not meant to sympathize with the victim -- a young woman who doesn't even rate a name or a personality. You are meant to sympathize with Dracula. In the moment that the camera shifts from third-person to first-person, you are Dracula. You might feel horror at what he's done, but that doesn't change the fact that it's from the point of view of the attacker. It's more than a little reminiscent of high-profile sexual assault cases in which the accused is endlessly profiled and discussed, while the victim is reduced to little more than a prop.

Finally, there's the simple fact that Dracula is a protagonist in an action video game, and therefore is meant to be cool. A large chunk of the Lords of Shadow 2 presentation was centered around Dracula's weapons, the improvements to the combat engine, and his battle with a mutated version of the Toymaker. At the end of the day, action video games are meant to be a power trip of sorts, which makes any meditation on their flaws almost meaningless. Yeah, sure, Dracula preys on women, but he also looks really cool with his whip and his Chaos Claws, and he looks pretty sweet fighting that Paladin. In that context, any ambivalence about the hero is bound to feel superficial, and in the case of the Family Scene, gratuitous.

So while I applaud Cox and his team for their desire to take on challenging material, I really hope they cut the Family Scene before Lords of Shadow 2 launches next month. In the end, it's a scene that serves to trivialize sexual assault while failing to accomplish its attended goal -- making us feel like Dracula is awful and evil. We may feel that way in the moment, but ultimately, this scene and others like it are just a few drops in a sea of video game action set pieces. When it comes to characterization, one most certainly outweighs the other.

Normally, I prefer to give creators the benefit of the doubt. But in the current climate, in which allusions to rape and sexual assault in video game culture have sparked extremely contentious debate, Lords of Shadow 2 manages to come off as both insensitive and more than a little tone deaf. With that, I'm comfortable saying that it makes me uncomfortable. But despite Cox's pride in my saying so, I don't see that as a positive in the least.

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Comments 200

  • Avatar for Shinta #1 Shinta 3 years ago
    "Yes, Lords of Shadow 2 Made Me Feel Uncomfortable: The Case For Censorship"

    I think it's really sad to specifically hear Cox talking about how they feel more confident as a team, and how that confidence is letting them go for their creative vision for the game without compromise. And then right after that, someone asks them to cut it.

    "When Cox talks about wanting to take risks and arguments with the marketing team, it's clear that the scene was constructed with the intention of evoking sexual assault."

    Why is it clear? I'm at a disadvantage here, not having played through that scene yet. But it sounds like murder to me, not rape. And as you said, all vampire movies since Interview with the Vampire basically blur the lines between eroticism and violence, and that's a series from a female author. If you want to categorize every single vampire attack in Interview with the Vampire as rape, you probably could if you wanted to twist it into that. Hell, in that movie they turn a child into a vampire, and then eventually Louis has a romantic relationship with her.

    I don't remember any professional film critics writing to the director, pleading with them to delete content from the movie; and that movie came out 20 years ago, in 1994. I know that as an internet blogger, it's very easy to dismiss any critical commenters. But seriously, think about it. How sad would it be if professional film critics wrote articles appealing for censorship?

    "Second, you're not meant to sympathize with the victim -- a young woman who doesn't even rate a name or a personality. You are meant to sympathize with Dracula."

    It sounds like the same theme as the first game, where Gabriel murdered his wife and Claudia (I think that's her name) and then his guilt tormented him and twisted him. The game is about him, this isn't a secret. And that scene shows that he's gone down the same road as the first game, but is infinitely worse. I don't think we're meant to know who she is in Lords of Shadow 2, because he feeds on so many people over the years that you could never really detail all the victims. They are his food. Humans don't get into the backstory of all the animals they eat, and name them (yes, I'm a vegetarian).

    You have every right to be bothered by a scene, and to have your opinion about it. You have every right to tell others about it, because if people find they agree with you about most games, maybe they'll feel the same way. But I think its sad for a professional game blogger with a voice and early access to advocate for censorship before your audience even gets to see the game. I want to see Mercury Steam's vision for Dracula, not yours. No offense, but it is the truth.
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  • Avatar for Thusian #2 Thusian 3 years ago
    I've been thinking about stuff like this and while, there seems like there could be Hack (or what I would consider to be) writing at play, people can make what they make and simply need to be prepared for the response.

    That being said, not knowing this is going to be in the game/movie/book could be a problem and cause someone undue duress. I wonder if as ratings are being done, if trigger warning could be a warning on a game or movie etc.? That way, yes artists can create, but people can be more informed before their purchase. Its just a thought.
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  • Avatar for stevenbailey01 #3 stevenbailey01 3 years ago
    I found this to be an interesting article, right up until it begged for a creative team to edit their vision because of the conclusion the writer made about the scene. Really unfortunate that you'd want your opinion to impact what an audience is allowed to see.
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  • Avatar for karobit #4 karobit 3 years ago
    It's weird that Cox seemed so eager to hear about how uncomfortable he made you, like a cat that murders the bird outside your window and brings it to your feet.
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  • Avatar for Thusian #5 Thusian 3 years ago
    Hey everyone, a suggestion about the quality of a scene which does bear in mind its impact on the author and others is not a call for censorship, its a suggestion.
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  • Avatar for Kirinn #6 Kirinn 3 years ago
    @Shinta Saying that a creative decision doesn't seem to be working the way the authors intended it and suggesting the work would be better off without it is not "censorship". It's criticism. Which is kind of what we're all here for.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #7 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    @Shinta That's quite a frothy rant you posted, but you're caterwauling about something that was never actually said in the article. Kat never once called for them to change the game or censor themselves; she said the developers may have overshot the mark.
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #8 Funny_Colour_Blue 3 years ago
    Similar to the banned books and movies of previous eras, your audience should be intelligent enough to take this creative endeavour with some form of context, while at the same time, being fully aware why this content would make some people feel uncomfortable.

    But to say flat out, "we're going to allow this", to say "this is okay" is wrong.

    It will never be okay.Edited January 2014 by Funny_Colour_Blue
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  • Avatar for Shinta #9 Shinta 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish Well, I tried to be respectful while still explaining where I was coming from.

    "I really hope they cut the Family Scene before Lords of Shadow 2 launches next month."

    Considering that marketing was already pressuring Cox to cut the scene, and considering that the introduction to the article is him explaining that only now, after the first game is a success does he feel his team has the leeway to create the content without filtering it - I think it's fair to say the game is already vulnerable to pressure to dilute the game. Since we know that is the case, and we know how these exact kinds of issues tend to spread the controversy around like wildfire - writing an article specifically asking them to cut it doesn't really help things, if your goal is to see the team put out their vision for Dracula.

    I've never seen similar criticism in film, and I just thought that was worth pointing out. I don't think it's a constructive way to go for a preview piece.

    Sorry if that was too frothy.
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  • Avatar for Sturat #10 Sturat 3 years ago
    It's great that mainstream game criticism has evolved to the point of discussing whether certain imagery is in poor taste or ineffective, but I get the sneaking suspicion that mediocre developers like Mercury Steam intentionally invite controversy because it's an easier way to get attention than making games that are fun, novel, and polished. Konami needs to bring back internally-developed Castlevania!
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  • Avatar for Banandango #11 Banandango 3 years ago
    I don't understand, vampires have been sucking peoples' blood in film and other media for years. Why is it suddenly akin to a taboo rape game? I guess I need to see the scene in question to really get your argument. Would it be different if it was a standard cutscene and not acted out by the player?
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  • Avatar for ob1 #12 ob1 3 years ago
    Well, there have obviously been times in video games where a character would be perceived as "awful and evil" WITHOUT pseudo-sexual assault.
    Tombraider, Castlevania, what is Nintendo waiting for harming Peach for ?
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  • Avatar for Yesshua #13 Yesshua 3 years ago
    Well, there's been a link between vampires and sexual imagery since Bram Stoker's Dracula - that's the classic symbolism of it. Castlevania hasn't really explored that angle before, choosing instead to just use Vampires as window dressing in their weird faux-gothic castles.

    So Lords of Shadow taking Dracula and having him drink the blood of some beautiful young woman may not be franchise tradition, but it is certainly Vampire tradition. There are absolutely countless adaptations of the vampire lore that depict blood drinking as a sexual experience (at times VERY explicitly).

    I mean, look at this website! Look at the cover image NBC is advertising their current TV drama version with! http://www.nbc.com/dracula/

    Does the author find NBC's Dracula equally objectionable? Other Vampire works that work the vampirism = sex symbolism? Does the author abject to the original book, in which Dracula not only snuck into a woman's room to drain her fluids night after night, but kept himself a personal vampire harem too?

    If the author objects to all of the above then I question why she was previewing a game starring Dracula, but at least that's consistent. If the author objects to only this particular manifestation of the imagery, then there are some hard questions that follow. What makes this variation of the symbolism so different from all the others? That it's in a game? That it's depicted from a first person perspective? That it's interactive?

    No, I reject all of those. Games should and must be permitted to explore creative territory like any other medium, and here in particular the imagery in question is adapted from classic literature. This isn't even doing something new and offensive, this is doing something that can be seen on NBC every Friday night. Except in a game.

    Would the author also object to a video game adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dam? Because that's another work of classic literature in which the protagonist gets up to some objectionable sexual acts. Specifically, Quasimodo locks Esmerelda in his tower because he wants to keep the pretty girl. Is such an idea something that video games should just never depict or interface with? What else should go on the list of "classic literature that games shouldn't even play in the same creative ballpark as"? 20,000 leagues under the sea? Nah, that's just murder. We're cool with that. Beloved? Eh.. I can see some people getting upset about that. Lolita? RED FLAG RED ALERT STAY AWAY!!

    Okay, I think I've made my point that other mediums employ/explore this sort of imagery all the time, and that even many works of classic literature if adapted to video game form would be at LEAST as objectionable as Dracula drinking a woman's blood, if not far more so.

    Given this information, I really object to the author calling for the scene to get cut from this game. It is entirely possible that this is a shock value moment that exists only for shock value and will come off as cheap and ill advised in the final product. It is ALSO possible that the scene will be instrumental in characterizing the inherent desperation and wickedness of this character that the game will then spend the next 18 hours or so exploring. Do we know whether the rest of the work leverages the scene effectively? No. Should the game get a chance? A chance to leverage the same symbolism that vampire fiction in every other medium has been using for the last three centuries?

    Absolutely. The author should take this article down - in our current climate there's a real chance that a complaint like this WILL cause content changes in the game, and that's not fair to the medium, to the game, or to the thousands of players invested in this Lords of Shadow narrative looking forward to seeing it through to resolution.
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  • Avatar for Windwhale #14 Windwhale 3 years ago
    Thank you so much Kat!

    I needed to read something like this, especially, because the author of the other recent USGamer/Eurogamer article about this game "The God of War Comparisons Really Pissed Us Off" called this scene "bold" and "smart". All I could think was: No, it is really cheap and disgusting! I was not even aware of the rape implications, but video game violence against helpless victims, simply to shock and/or amuse people, is something that has "pissed me off" since the original GTA and Duke Nukem 3D. To go even further, Mercury Steam chose to add violence against children, because this (fortunately) is not that common in games and therefore has even more of shock-potential. The (almost)naked-woman-sacrifice in Rondo's intro and the way Richter's girlfriend was treated as a whole were bad enough, but this is a sad new low for a series I used to care about.
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  • Avatar for karobit #15 karobit 3 years ago
    @Yesshua You've extrapolated out an argument that wasn't made to create a breathtaking strawman that you accuse of prudish censorship, and then you call for the censoring of that strawman's opinions to stop potential censorship.

    It's very obvious from reading the actual article that what was caused the discomfort was not sexiness. Dave Cox did not ask the author about sexiness at all. It was the use of specific imagery reminiscent of sexual assault on behalf of the player character, a tonal shift that is at odds with what the rest of the game (player empowerment, "cool attacks") is ill-equipped to comment on or even contextualize. You can't drop a holocaust into a Die Hard.
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  • Avatar for sergioarisrosa23 #16 sergioarisrosa23 3 years ago
    As I understand there's not even a way to watch the scene you Youtube since this was a private thing with journalists so there's no way I can't comment on the scene itself.

    I can't see how the author jumps from Dracula sucking blood to rape. Maybe it's because he simply kills the man but takes the time to suck the woman's blood, but, having read Bran Stoker's Dracula when I was like 13 or so, I remember Dracula sucking Lucy's blood like a gazillion times, but I don't recall him killing that many men with the same care. Maybe Dracula was supposed to take her out for a tea instead.

    Again, it's impossible to comment on this article if I can't even watch the scene myself.
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  • Avatar for MaskedDevil #17 MaskedDevil 3 years ago
    Sigh. I guess we can never show vampires as monsters again, rather than sparkly sissies. That vampirism has elements of sexual imagery has always been part and parcel of this type of fiction. That we've become so ruled by the PC Police that we can't have vampires feasting on humans without crying out Rape is absurd. Sad to think Legacy of Kain would get the same treatment for not singing koombaya with the sarafan
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  • Avatar for Stealth20k #18 Stealth20k 3 years ago
    I agree with this article I felt totally uncomfortable.
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  • Avatar for Terpiscorei #19 Terpiscorei 3 years ago
    The claim that Kat Bailey is calling for censorship is ridiculous. She documents her reasons for disliking a part of this game and expresses the opinion that the game'd be better off without it. That's it. You might disagree with her opinion, but it's not censorship.
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  • Avatar for Thusian #20 Thusian 3 years ago
    @so many people "Dracula" always had sexual imagery derp. Yeah, but it was more seduction, not assault. Dracula delighted in luring and having them fall willingly under his thrall, not really like the scene described above. I think there were some victims not fleshed out(its been a long time), but I can't recall passages similar enough to the scene above to cause the same level of discomfort.Edited January 2014 by Thusian
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #21 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    As has been mentioned a few times, sexual imagery has been implicit in vampire lore since at least Bram Stoker's Dracula. But there, as in most media, it's usually depicted as seduction rather than assault, and even when it's presented as the latter it's pretty unusual for the point of view to change to place the viewer/player as the perpetrator of the act. Can people REALLY not understand why someone would find that to be excessive and in poor taste? Has the discourse about gender and sexuality in games really degenerated to the point that a woman simply expressing her discomfort with being thrust into that situation merits pages of angry blowback by people either resentful or terrified of any perspective alien to their own? How frustrating.
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  • Avatar for lolajoseph89 #22 lolajoseph89 3 years ago
    The author/journalist is openly calling for a game to be censored? Let it never be a mystery why so many people think games "journalism" is a joke.
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  • Avatar for lolajoseph89 #23 lolajoseph89 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish What the hell does it matter if other sources have romanticized the very same acts? THAT makes it better or more palatable to you? It's a violent act committed against men and women. Get off the soapbox. This is just embarrassing for your site.
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  • Avatar for Thusian #24 Thusian 3 years ago
    @lolajoseph89 You're a joke for taking such a binary approach to her sentiment.
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  • Avatar for Shingro #25 Shingro 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish Frustrating or not I do feel you did@Shinta a serious disservice in accusing him of a 'frothy rant.' He articulated his concerns well without any insults to be found. Your reply was... far more aggressive lets say. That sort of behavior by staff doesn't exactly promote discussion in the future. You'll get far more mileage in discussion by engaging the considerate ones whether you disagree or not. Just something to consider.Edited January 2014 by Shingro
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #26 Ohoni 3 years ago
    So, wait, I'm confused. Is there any actual sex taking place here, or does he just drain her blood for sustenance? Because the latter would just be normal assault, not sexual assault, whether he's a vampire or not. It'd be a Law and Order case, not an SVU case.

    I'm more bothered by everything else about this game than I am about a vampire (gasp!) drinking someone's blood without their written permission, signed in triplicate. I just want the Castlevania franchise to go back to proper Metroidvanias like the GBA/DS games.
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  • Avatar for Thusian #27 Thusian 3 years ago
    @Shingro The first line in the comment using the word Censorship, set the tone Jeremy refers to.
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  • Avatar for Tron2979 #28 Tron2979 3 years ago
    Curious as to how the scene would play if the roles were reversed: the mother killed outright and the father grabbed and drained. Would it make a difference?

    Though if the intention is to show that Dracula does 'evil things,' then that should be something threaded throughout the game, preferably in relation to the other major characters (Alucard, Simon, Patrick Stewart). This particular scene involving characters who (probably) have no bearing on the rest of the game seems like it could be cut without losing anything.Edited January 2014 by Tron2979
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  • Avatar for siegfriednoir06 #29 siegfriednoir06 3 years ago
    Has censorship become so ridiculous that this kind of criticism has to be brought up? Has someone seen "a clockwork orange?"

    As a psychologist, I have treated the cases of people who have been rape victims, and this ideology is cartoonish and flat. Rape usually comes from close figures, not by strangers, and even after rape, women deserve respect and an oportunity to go on. I think this "rape paranoia" affects dearly the self esteeem of true rape victims, dehumanizing them of their rights.
    Yes, rape is a terrible thing and it´s a pitty it happens nowadays, but it is not a boogeyman that destroys the life of it´s victims. I find it bothersome that people who have no experience on the matter throw a rape label onto anything, because actual rape has nothing to do with "a vampire atacking a family".
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  • Avatar for Thusian #30 Thusian 3 years ago
    @ob1 They're saving that for the re-boot which ends with Mario snapping Wario's neck and then crying out to the world. Shortly after that everyone makes jokes about going to a baseball game.
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  • Avatar for Shingro #31 Shingro 3 years ago
    @Thusian I feel the tone in that comment was far more contemplative and quizzical then anything else. I don't feel any single word undoes that, nor should someone who writes for a living be so easily blinded to tone in writing if, in fact, he was. It wasn't frothy, it certainly wasn't a rant. Both you and he may disagree, but I just felt a caution was in order as when dealing with emotional topics involving a friend's work (they've both been working together since 1up I believe) you can occasionally lose sight of the forest for the trees.

    If he disagrees with that, that's completely legitimate and I respect that.
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  • Avatar for Breadbitten #32 Breadbitten 3 years ago
    "When Cox talks about wanting to take risks and arguments with the marketing team, it's clear that the scene was constructed with the intention of evoking sexual assault."

    I wish you could clarify a bit more into exactly HOW that scene evoked sexual assault for you. Was the mother scantily clad? Was the baby/child nursing on her during that scene? Without further clarification you only serve to make it sound as if any form of violence towards women is sexually motivated.Edited January 2014 by Breadbitten
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  • Avatar for lolajoseph89 #33 lolajoseph89 3 years ago
    @Thusian And you're just a joke.
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  • Avatar for Delusibeta #34 Delusibeta 3 years ago
    Judging from other previews, it appears that you have the choice to suck the blood of both the father and the mother (and presumably kill off the mother and feed off the father). With that in mind, I really don't see the problem with this scene.
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  • Avatar for davidsiegel28 #35 davidsiegel28 3 years ago
    Okay first off, this has nothing to do with rape! Dracula was once a holy man, Gabriel, who sacrificed everything, even his humanity to save the world, in doing so he becomes what he swore to destroy, the prince of darkness. Dracula attempts to take down a demon but in his withered state he is easily subdued. Zobek, traps him in a room with the family. He hasn't fed in a thousand years, and him being trapped in that room is a ticking time bomb! the mere fact that this scene is alluded to rape really makes me want to pull my hair out. i bet you the writer of this article was sexually abused in her life and took cheap shots based on her own experiences. personally, drinking blood is about power, not sex, This scene is to show you how far Gabriel has fallen, and also ultimately, being a thousand years old, people live and die, killing three lives, in the grand scheme of the story , is nothing really, and its a video game for god sakes, if you dont like it, dont play it! seriously, i hope the writer of the arfticle gets defecated on by a pigeon, because that's what her article is, bird feces! Good day madam!Edited 2 times. Last edited January 2014 by Jaz_Rignall
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  • Avatar for Tron2979 #36 Tron2979 3 years ago
    @davidsiegel28 It's hilarious how after marginalizing sexual assault and calling the 'arfticle' feces, you feel the need to be polite and end with "Good Day madam."
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  • Avatar for Polyh3dron #37 Polyh3dron 3 years ago
    All I have to say is that it's a good thing the writer of this piece doesn't write about the film industry. She'd have called for countless classics to be butchered.

    I seriously don't understand this whole idea among a certain faction of people who write about video games that female characters and only female characters need to be handled with kid gloves and this is how you end up with equality. Can't anyone see the hypocrisy in that?
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  • Avatar for Mad-Mage #38 Mad-Mage 3 years ago
    Without being able to see the video in question, how am I supposed to identify with what this article is trying to say? It sounds to me like a vampire did a vampirely thing. Maybe I would feel different if I had more context, which I guess is currently unavailable.

    This article seems like a poor choice, or at least poor timing.
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  • Avatar for davidsiegel28 #39 davidsiegel28 3 years ago
    @Tron2979 i was going for "shock value" lol
    the writer is just an uptight cee you next Tuesday
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  • Avatar for Tron2979 #40 Tron2979 3 years ago
    @Polyh3dron Film critics often have opinions on whether scenes could be edited down or cut entirely because they don't work or detract from the film. I don't see why she can't have the same opinion about the scene in question.
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  • Avatar for DiscordInc #41 DiscordInc 3 years ago
    I don't know which is more disgusting: the fact there are still creatives out there that think sexual assault is a good way to make a scene 'edgy', or the fact so many commenter are calling for the author's head because she found such a scene uncomfortable.
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  • Avatar for davidsiegel28 #42 davidsiegel28 3 years ago
  • Avatar for Tron2979 #43 Tron2979 3 years ago
  • Avatar for Windwhale #44 Windwhale 3 years ago
    @siegfriednoir06 So you speak for all rape victims then? As a psychologist you surely are aware, that the ways people experience and deal with psychological traumata can be very different from another?
    And "rape paranoia" - what and whom do you mean by that?
    Sexualized violence against women (just watch the intro of Rondo Of Blood on Youtube if you need a Castlevania reference) and even rape (implied or actual) can be found in games. So why is it so hard to believe the author? Even if she had "misread" the scene, it is likely that others might too, which should be concerning enough. And if you could give her the benefit of doubt for a moment and this game ideed trivialises rape, why should she not criticise it? You are right about most victims knowing their rapist (though that is not true for all of them). But the intended and/or perceived implication of this scene can still be rape, even if the designers or players do not know anything about rape statistics.
    And how do A Clockwork Orange and Castlevania compare exactly?
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  • Avatar for davidsiegel28 #45 davidsiegel28 3 years ago
    @Windwhale i seriously believe you are missing the point. He drinks there blood because its in his nature, he has been starved for a thousand years and is locked in a room with them! his instincts take over and all you can do is helplessly watch( as does the charcter due to blood lust), its not like he took out his withered old vamp weenie and said suck on this or i will kill you all, he drank there blood, just like i eat steak. seriously, i don't condone his actions, but i understand them and sympathize for him because has a vampire who needs blood to live, not sex
    the author obviously has some personal issue that she over exaggerated about, i read about the whole scene in detail and he kills all of them, not just the mother, the little girl too, that part when he grabs her, fades to black which is tastefully done becuase god forbid there be violance towards children! its a video game smh!


    morons!Edited January 2014 by davidsiegel28
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #46 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    Seriously, though, folks, this article DOES NOT call for the game to be censored. Kat expressed her hope that the game's creators would reconsider the content of their work. She did not demand that they do so. She did not request that change would be imposed on them. Censorship involves having changes forced by an external party; what Kat expressed is hope for an internally motivated change, one made voluntarily and of the creators' own volition. That is not censorship, nor is it a call for one. It's just a call for greater consideration regarding content deliberately designed to be provocative, which she feels went too far. Whether you agree with her sentiments or not, I see some serious misunderstanding of the actual nature of censorship here.
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  • Avatar for rocksteady13 #47 rocksteady13 3 years ago
    I agree with Kat. Shock value rarely contributes to a story and is usually added for marketing reasons to get people to talk about the product. A good artist doesn't need to show something in order to portray a character! I for one don't want to be forced to play as a character who doubles as a rapist. Even GTA allows you too choose whether or not to engage in sexual behavior and even they don't promote or show rape.Edited January 2014 by rocksteady13
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #48 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    @Shingro Fair enough, I may have reacted a little too strongly to@Shinta's first post. I let myself get caught up in his mischaracterization of Kat's desire for the dev team to reconsider that scene (seriously, it is not a call for censorship!) and his longstanding history of posting genuinely frothy rants in USgamer comments. So, my apologies for that.
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  • Avatar for davidsiegel28 #49 davidsiegel28 3 years ago
    There is no rape in this game!!!!! are you people daft?!?!
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  • Avatar for danlever #50 danlever 3 years ago
    Fun fact, literally everything is rape.
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  • Avatar for trcomet #51 trcomet 3 years ago
    Vampiric lore has always been implicit about rape. It was implied in Serbian mythology long before it was ever fictionalized by Bram Stoker's novels. Several scenes within the book and a few of the movies, such as the Hammer Dracula films, have referenced "other bodily fluids" in several of the assault scenes. The fact that you, as a woman, were not aware of this before attempting to play the game is nothing less than a reinforcement of the patriarchy created by women who are ignorant of important parts of western culture that has been around longer than video games.
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  • Avatar for DogNozzle #52 DogNozzle 3 years ago
    This article was pretty much guaranteed to bring out the fedora-brigade.

    Can you guys add a feature to the site that forces users to read through this wikipedia entry before letting them post comments?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
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  • Avatar for brinkingyellows #53 brinkingyellows 3 years ago
    Here is a response to this article on the new FREEDOM site.

    http://freedomcgc.com/media-outlets-want-more-rape-than-video-games/

    It addresses Kat being uncomfortable and statements such as "sexual assault" and "rape" are used far too often to describe something by the media outlets.
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  • Avatar for trcomet #54 trcomet 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish The problem is that the author of this article comes off as incredibly unprofessional and has little knowledge and/or background with vampiric lore. Here's a list of things that this woman has never seen/read: Universal's original "Dracula" movie, all the Hammer Dracula films, definitely Bram Stoker's "Dracula" film, Varny the Vampyr, Bram Stoker's Dracula (any annotated version), or even Anne Rice's vampire novels. It's not offensive to portray vampires as they were originally interpreted, it's professional conduct. I know this may be a surprise to hipster reviewers who throw out dime a dozen reviews, but there is more to a video game, book, and film than just 'your feelings".
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  • Avatar for hey2k4 #55 hey2k4 3 years ago
    So killing the guy is Okay but GOD FORBID a Vampire do what all Vampires do and drain the woman dry. Gaming is only getting worse and worse with the amount of people who have their fucking feelings hurt. "trivializing sexual assault" grow up.
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  • Avatar for DiscordInc #56 DiscordInc 3 years ago
    @brinkingyellows So you want the freedom to enjoy games with potentially uncomfortable themes (which is fine, by the way), but you don't want people to have the freedom to express their discomfort at said themes? Seems a little more than a little hypocritical.
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  • Avatar for ryanleeperez99 #57 ryanleeperez99 3 years ago
    Deleted January 2014 by ryanleeperez99
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #58 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    @ryanleeperez99 You're wrong. By definition, censorship is supression of speech by an authority or government. If the developers were to listen to public outcry and make a decision to change it themselves, that is not censorship.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #59 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    The most offensive thing to me is that the Castlevania series was turned into a subpar God of War clone.
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #60 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish, this is definitely a call for censorship. Not outside censorship, perhaps, but when someone makes a public call on a soap box like this that something be changed because they find it offensive, then that is a call for them to censor their own product, and when you shoehorn sex into a situation where none is apparent, then that call gets picked up by zealots on both sides.

    If she wanted to express privately to the dev team that she did not enjoy that scene and wanted it changed, then fair enough, but I think the nature of this article was entirely inappropriate. Even in the gaming press you need to be aware of the power and privilege of your position.
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  • Avatar for AxiomVerge #61 AxiomVerge 3 years ago
    I haven't seen it, but, I'm wondering, would it be less offensive if were penned by Amy Hennig?
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  • Avatar for brinkingyellows #62 brinkingyellows 3 years ago
    @DiscordInc I'm not advocating for the silencing ofthose that find certain content they see disconcerting but if he/she is going to label something as rape or sexual assault then they need to elaborate as to the reasons why.

    In this instance, these labels were slapped on and the author called it a day. These are pretty serious accusations and if they are used like they are in this article without further explanation as to why then we will not have an understanding of where the author is coming from.

    No hypocrisy is coming from that standpoint. Only a request for full disclosure.Edited January 2014 by brinkingyellows
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  • Avatar for Thusian #63 Thusian 3 years ago
    I can't help but dive back in here. I see a lot of comments that if I can paraphrase are.

    I don't see how she read sexual assault into something I have not seen but am sure would not evoke sexual assault to me so she is wrong.

    That cover it? Well I'm sorry you can't feel sympathy beyond things you've experienced.
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  • Avatar for widdershins #64 widdershins 3 years ago
    Claims that Kat is calling for, or even advocating, censorship here is disingenuous at best. Articulating what does or doesn't work in a game is a critic's job, after all, and musing about what they would or wouldn't have liked to see is a part of that.

    It's the *why* that's ruffling peoples' feathers here, and even then, I think the intended message has been lost in the hyperbole. There's a knee-jerk reaction when someone makes reference to being offended or feeling uncomfortable that they're imposing their sensibilities on the rest of us, but I'd encourage folks that are pasting that one sentence to take note of the one that immediately follows:

    "In the end, it's a scene that serves to trivialize sexual assault while failing to accomplish its attended goal..."

    The argument isn't that "this offends me, and should be removed", it's "this serves no purpose other than to offend, and doesn't add the value its creators might think it does."

    There's certainly a case to be made (and to be fair, some have) that Kat doesn't articulate well enough how the scene clearly evokes sexual assault, or that its inclusion doesn't serve a larger purpose. Honestly, though, I don't think that's an interesting conversation.

    The interesting debate here, if there is one, is if the scene in quesion, or one like it, did in fact serve to strongly reinforce Dracula's evil, would Kat (and by extension, you or I, if we agree with her) still feel it *should* be removed, even if it remained no less uncomfortable an experience? Is shock value intrinsically distasteful, or only if it doesn't serve its intended purpose?
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  • Avatar for grumba #65 grumba 3 years ago
    A lot of people here seem REALLY offended that someone was offended by something.
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  • Avatar for Bauul #66 Bauul 3 years ago
    Here's how I see it: how women are depicted in games and treated by the gaming community IS a hot topic at the moment. People are sensitive about it, and the prevailing wind is that the current status-quo is holding games back from maturing as an art form.

    So, when a new AAA title comes along that appears to be quite deliberately reverting to old-fashioned cliches, it's rather disheartening.

    In isolation, a hungry vampire killing a woman isn't in itself shocking (at least, from what we know without seeing it), but in the context of everything that's going on at the moment it's certainly seems rather tasteless, and perhaps a little lazy too.
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #67 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @widdershins, the problem here is one of trust. We haven't seen this scene. If we had, maybe we would agree that it's too graphic, but we haven't. All we have to go on is that she objected to it, and that's fine for her to form her own opinion, and express it privately, but I think that sharing it in this format, particularly to make it the centerpiece of her article, is prejudicial.

    Remember the similar situation with Tomb Raider, where people got access to a tiny portion of the much large whole, formed wildly inappropriate opinions based on that presentation, and subsequently went on to slag the game in the press, which did who knows how much damage to the game's eventual sales.

    Making statements about sexual assault, in any context, is serious business, and should only be undertaken seriously.
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  • Avatar for YangusKhan #68 YangusKhan 3 years ago
    @Ohoni You also have to put trust in Mercury Steam's writers to make good on their promise that this scene will contribute something to the overall narrative and character arc of Gabriel. Considering how awful the writing was in Lords of Shadow 1 (and how pitiful its treatment of female characters was), I'm not at all inclined to think these writers are going to a good job.
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  • Avatar for danger.to.others #69 danger.to.others 3 years ago
    This is tricky to comment on, being as I admit to not seeing the scene yet.
    But I also know how overblown the whole Tomb Raider thing was.


    It's tricky. Because I haven't seen it, perhaps Kat is right and it exploits sexual assault.
    But what I'm betting it will turn out more to be, if past controversial scenes in games are any basis, is it's more what the viewer brings to the table than what's actually there.
    Such as, perhaps Kat has either been victim to, almost victim to, or had a family member who was sexually assaulted to any degree.
    That person is carrying (understandable) baggage and will be seeing things in the light of what disturbed her more than the average person.
    Because from what's been described, it doesn't sound like the developers are trying to sexually disturb you. They are trying to be disturbing by how cold blooded he kills innocent people. The viciousness.

    It does sound a bit like something personal is involved, as though Kat has a bit of a chip on her shoulder about women shown weak.
    The idea that a scene of Dracula feeding doesn't tell you the name and give a past history and humanize the character of the girl or family more before they're dinner seems a bit much.

    I don't mean to diminish Kat's view or am even saying a trauma did ever occur touching her life along these lines. Simply that people who tend to turn things into certain ways tend to have a history that skews it, so it wouldn't be surprising.
    And I'm not saying her view is wrong. Hell, it goes back to I haven't even seen the actual scene yet.
    It might be entirely accurate what she sees in it, no matter who you are. It's just, before others join in with the same view, be sure it's something that is truly placed there with that obvious exploitation and not a misinterpretation before you blame the artist or accuse them of such an act.
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  • Avatar for sakicfan84 #70 sakicfan84 3 years ago
    @lolajoseph89 Opinion pieces have always been a big part of journalism. More power to the author and this site for putting up in articles that go beyond the scope of what most game sites focus on. It definitely got people thinking.
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  • Avatar for F33bs #71 F33bs 3 years ago
    @brionfoulke91 No. Censorship is any suppression of information for fear of backlash. It is not limited to a government and never has been. Self-censorship, actually, is thought to be more prevalent in journalism than forcible censorship. Which means journalists themselves are often the worst censors. If the developers of this game chose to change the scene in order to avoid public backlash, that IS censorship and always will be.
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  • Avatar for F33bs #72 F33bs 3 years ago
    @Terpiscorei You don't think galvanizing public opinion in order to change the contents of a video game on the basis of a cutscene nobody else but her has witnessed is censorship? How can you be intellectually serious for one second and say what you've said.
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  • Avatar for F33bs #73 F33bs 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish Why does this never apply to murder? Murder happens in almost EVERY VIDEO GAME and is so uncritically received that it might as well be as innocent as hitting Ctrl to crouch. Your crocodile tears might be easier to fathom if you had any sort of intellectual consistency at all and you weren't just trying to preach to a choir.
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  • Avatar for F33bs #74 F33bs 3 years ago
    This is an awful article. As a journalist myself, it's insane that video game "journalism" ever reached the point where the audience of a games site is an afterthought to the political agendas of its writers. There's a reason outlets like Fox News are derided for their blatant editorial dishonesty, and it's a damn shame that otherwise intelligent sites are click-baiting for feminist bullshit when they could be actually out IN THE FIELD REPORTING about things gamers are actually interested in.
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  • Avatar for F33bs #75 F33bs 3 years ago
    @trcomet I don't think you get it. She doesn't give a shit about vampiric lore. Neither do all of the pitiful white knights who've immediately rushed to her defense. They only care about being the loudest people in the room and they've succeeded. Don't waste your time arguing with them, vote with your mouse and never visit this site again.
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  • Avatar for sakicfan84 #76 sakicfan84 3 years ago
    @F33bs Your definition of censorship if extremely...limited. Don't you also see that you are more or less calling for censorship in order to stop what you believe to be a calling for censorship? How can you be intellectually serious for one second?
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  • Avatar for sakicfan84 #77 sakicfan84 3 years ago
    Deleted January 2014 by sakicfan84
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #78 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    @F33bs I actually agree with you in the sense that I dislike this article. I disagree with her, and I think her point of view lacks perspective.

    But it's annoying to see so many people in these comments, you included, misuse the word "censorship." She is not forcing anyone to remove the scene. If they want to remove it, that's thier choice. "Censorship" would mean that an authority removed it without thier consent.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #79 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    @Shinta For the record, I have absolutely no interest in Mercury Steam's vision for Dracula. They are amatuerish writers, and whatever "vision" they have will be banal crap.

    But I agree with everything else you said. Kat Bailey really did herself a real disservice with this article.
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #80 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @9inchsamurai, Perhaps they won't, but it's quite literally too soon to judge. I think preview content is fair to judge on gameplay mechanics and that sort of thing, but story is too complex to take a snippet of it and make a fair public judgement of it. If the game comes out and it turns out it sucks, then fair enough, and mentioning this sort of thing in a final review of the game would not be out of line, nor would mentioning it "off the record" to the developers in hopes that they agree, but writing a public facing article about it, especially one with a title like this one, does not serve that positive purpose.

    Instead, it serve only two possible purposes, 1. to prejudice potential customers against the product, as happened to Tomb Raider, and 2. to potentially bully them into changing things based on a preponderance of support from people who have not witnessed the scene themselves, do not know for a fact that they would be personally offended by it, but feel compelled to hop on the bandwagon because "hey, somebody's offended, they must be right!"

    If all it took was pointing out that the scene was inappropriate, then Kat could have accomplished that herself, in private. What she's attempting to do, either deliberately or subconsciously, is to build popular support for her personal opinion, to make it count more than a single voice, and to make the outcome a popularity contest, rather than a reasoned argument as to why the change should be made. I just do not feel that this is an appropriate use of the power that has been granted her.
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  • So you guys think they should remove the scene just because one ugly girl was uncomfortable with it? Wow people just wow. If by rape, she means that dracula destroyed those family against their will then yeah you can say rape like that, Like you know you are playing a fighting game and you are destroying your opponent then by all means you can say "Yes I raped that dude". But; I didn't see any penis flying around, I didn't see any vagina, Nobody was sexually raped so why people why?

    Seriously don't pay attention to this article because the author is a nobody and trying to get popular by saying bad things about a popular game. This is how you get known now a days so please don't fall for her stupid antics; because if you give a nobody credibility then she will be credible.
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  • Avatar for MilkTurkey #82 MilkTurkey 3 years ago
    Rapelay was one of my favorite games. Having said that, LoS2 looks promising in that regard.

    "Hey everyone! Look at me! I'm grasping at straws!
    Author plz go.
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  • Avatar for widdershins #83 widdershins 3 years ago
    @Ohoni You draw a very interesting distinction. I think many would argue just the opposite -- that a game's mechanics are often not properly showcased in demos or preview events, and that it's unfair to pass judgement on that front before a game's fully baked. Granted, I don't know that I buy that either, but there you have it.

    Here's the thing: a critic's responsibility isn't to a developer or publisher's sales. It's to comment honestly on their experience. From that, a consumer, enthusiast or what have you can form their own opinion.

    It's interesting to hear accusations of censorship backed up by the same logic that actual would-be censors use. Namely, that the public isn't capable of forming an opinion without their help. If Tomb Raider's or Castlevania's sales are hurt by reports of potentially offensive material, I think it's relatively safe to assume that those lost sales are to folks that are likely to be offended by that kind of content. If you don't care, such a charge isn't going to affect where your dollar goes.

    Are there people who didn't buy that game, or won't buy this game, based on articles like this, but might have enjoyed them all the same? Sure. But at the end of the day, there's a ton of great media out there, and only so much money in our wallets and time in our days. I don't think there's anyone losing sleep over missing out on the game they *might* have liked, if only the mean ol' media didn't have a mean ol' agenda.

    Read an opinion. Make your own. If you agree, great. If you don't, feel free to debate. But don't tell someone with a platform that they shouldn't use it to speak their mind. S'what it's there for. And editing out a potentially unpopular opinion for fear of backlash would be self-censorship I might actually care about.
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  • Avatar for mackking65 #84 mackking65 3 years ago
    [If you have a difference of opinion, feel welcome to articulate it so we can debate the issues. But we do not tolerate personal attacks or threats of violence. - Jaz Rignall.]Edited January 2014 by Jaz_Rignall
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  • Avatar for YangusKhan #85 YangusKhan 3 years ago
    @Ohoni But what's so wrong with trying to prevent yet another game to get put into the "games that use sexual assault exclusively for shock value" pile? Like I said, Mercury Steam's track record is not very good when it comes to nuanced writing. Odds are, this scene will only be remembered in the future by its presence in an Anita Sarkeesian-esque critique of problematic tropes.

    But it doesn't have to be like that. If enough people feel uncomfortable and bothered by this scene and that sentiment reaches Mercury Steam, maybe it will get them to re-consider their execution. There are plenty of ways to show Gabriel's fall from grace into cruelty and murder without having to use extreme sexual assault imagery on a nameless female character. It can still even use sexual assault to illustrate that character trait, but if they do that then they need to be able to it artfully. Articles like these exist to point out that game writers/directors still have some work to do if they want to tackle these mature themes with the same kind of nuance we can already find in good TV and film.
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #86 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @widdershins, you're right that mechanics should also not be judged too harshly in an early state, but it's not that far from launch yet, so they should be mostly worked out and any bugs should be obvious. Still, playing a game for a few minutes should give you some basis for making an opinion on how it plays.

    A story though is an expansive thing, it has a beginning, middle, and end, and can often be very hard to judge from any one slice of it alone. I've watched, read, and played numerous stories where I had a very different opinion of it at the end than at the beginning, much less if I came into the middle of it. Give me a random five minute slice of Gone Home and I might report back "meh," but having played the whole thing I found it spectacular.

    And I agree that the reviewer is not responsible to the developers, I am certainly not in favor of excessively positive final reviews, but I think in the preview phase, they do owe the developers at least the benefit of the doubt, because they aren't commenting on a finished product and they haven't experienced the whole thing, so while they can be a bit skeptical or neutral on the product, I think "scathing" is a bit much. I think that gives not only poor treatment to the developers, but also poor treatment to us readers because it presents a very strong opinion with very little to base it on, and without us having access to any other information to form our own opinions yet.

    As for the "lost sales" thing, I disagree. If someone says "Product X is sexist," then that might turn off people who are opposed to sexism, and will take the previewer at their word on it, and not bother to look into it for themselves. It may, however, turn out that the customer would not find the content to be at all sexist, or would find redeeming qualities elsewhere in the product that they would enjoy.

    That was what was so insidious about the early Tomb Raider coverage, having played the entire game, I imagine that a great many people who would have been turned off by the game that previewers were imagining it to be, would enjoy the actual product very much.

    As for people "missing sleep" about missing out on a game they might have enjoyed, maybe they wouldn't, but the hundreds of people who worked on that game might when their game falls short of it's potential because of early prejudice against it.

    And sure, people with a platform can speak their mind, but maybe if they choose to use it like this, then maybe they don't deserve to have a platform. Not everyone gets a platform, you know, those who have it should earn it and use it responsibly.
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #87 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @9inchsamurai So far even Kat's piece does not indicate actual sexual assault. It indicates a classic physical assault, of a purely "above the belt" nature, that she felt had sexual undertones. And maybe it did, but for the time being we only have her interpretation of the sequence to work with, and different people perceive situations differently. It could be that it's a highly sexual scene, it could be that it's no different from the thousands of "vampire on nameless lady" sustenance scenes out there in all sorts of media that is enjoyed by people of both genders.

    Maybe they will screw it up, I have no doubt this is possible, I'm certainly no fan of the post Ecclesia franchise, but they deserve their chance at it either way, and if the final product ends up pissing people off, then so be it. If you're right about their quality level then this one scene will likely not be the worst the game has to offer.

    You say that "If enough people feel uncomfortable and bothered by this scene" then they might fix it. Were you bothered by this scene? How many people do you believe were? You have watched the scene in question yourself, correct? Because if all you did was read the article, then you aren't bothered by the scene at all, you're bothered by Kat's depiction of the scene, which may or may not accurately reflect what took place.

    Words have power, which is why they should be used with care. It's quite possible that even if Kat's description of the scene offended you, the actual scene itself would pass you without notice. Oh, I'm sure you will be offended by it now, just as a statement of conviction, but that may not have been the case without having read the instigating article first.
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  • Avatar for widdershins #88 widdershins 3 years ago
    @Ohoni I know we're not likely to agree on this 'un, so I'll not be anymore tedious than I'm already being, but food for thought:
    Note that you're arguing that based upon the author's report, you feel that you would have a different reaction to what's described. That's because you're presented with not just an opinion, but the basis on which it was reached, and were able to infer from that process what your take will likely be. Have some faith that you're not alone -- all the mitigating information you're basing your argument on is right there in the article for anyone who reads past the headline to see. People can be smart if you let 'em.
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  • Avatar for YangusKhan #89 YangusKhan 3 years ago
    @Ohoni I have no feelings about the scene in question because I haven't seen it. Kat's description of the scene didn't make me uncomfortable. It doesn't matter that I probably won't be offended by this scene because I don't get offended by a lot of things I see in media that a lot of other people do.

    The point is that an artist can construct a story with a message they want to tell, but if a large group of people react negatively to or feel uncomfortable about particular scenes, it's important as an artist to consider if that specific reaction is what you want out of your audience. If a large enough portion of your audience misinterprets the artistic intent behind your work, that doesn't necessarily mean it's all their fault and that you have no responsibility for garnering that reaction. A reaction like Kat's is trying to push Mercury Steam to really consider if their execution is in-sync with their stated intent.
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  • Funny to see all those entitled social justice warriors are even more demanding of censorships than the most zealous born again bigots.

    Thank you for ruining my hobby, and for ruining art, and for ruining any kind of politically incorrect form of expression.

    A vampire sucking blood from a woman's throat is now a rape apology.

    Logic 101.
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  • Avatar for Bremenacht #91 Bremenacht 3 years ago
    "Did you feel uncomfortable playing that scene?" Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 producer Dave Cox asks me...

    Yes, I told Cox. That scene did in fact make me uncomfortable. His reply is so swift that I can barely even get the word "yes" out of my mouth: "That's what we wanted. That's exactly what we wanted."


    I don't think it's so much the reaction he wanted, as much as the handy quote which allowed him to whip the army of women-hating gamers into a frenzy of cheap publicity.

    Well done sir! More sales for you, and a healthy Internet-battering for the poor woman who said what she thought.
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #92 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @widdershins I don't know that I would have a different reaction, but I think that I might, because I've seen other scenes that have been taken one way by some people and in completely opposite directions by others, and the concept of the unreliable narrator certainly fits this scenario.

    I don't want to substitute the reaction of someone else for my own, knowing how easy it is for different people to perceive the same event differently. It's possible that this scene was "super rapey," and if so, shame on them, but it's also possible that it was just a standard vampire trope, and if so, there's no reason to write an entire article about it. And sure, there's some mitigating information, but there's also THE HEADLINE, and plenty of other information in the article that gives the bias that it should be viewed as an offensive scene. Sure, someone reading the article analytically can find points of contention, I'm not worried about those people, I'm worried about people that skim articles, or maybe even just read headlines, and go "Castelvania, offensive? Includes sexual assault, apparently? Ok, check, not going to look into that one anymore." Some people are smart, but plenty aren't.

    @9inchsamurai, Sure, if a "large group of people" react negatively to something, that might be a problem. So far that "large group" consists of exactly ONE (unless I've missed similar articles by other writers). One person doesn't like it, and at least a few people in the comments section don't like how she described it, but we have no idea whether more than one person actually doesn't like this scene, and won't until more people actually see it.

    Again, I'm not criticizing Kat for her personal opinion, I'm not criticizing anyone else who actually views the scene in question and has a similar reaction, I'm just saying that nobody should base their impression of the scene on -her- reaction alone, and it was irresponsible to write an article on a gaming news site that used such incendiary language about a game with so little to base that impression upon.

    @Bremenacht, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a developer wanting to make you feel uncomfortable. That's a perfectly reasonable emotional response to evoke. Gone Home makes people feel uncomfortable, and those same people give it Game of the Year status. It seems fairly clear that the developer wanted you to be uncomfortable about the _violence_ of the scene though, not the "rapey vibe" that Kat is picking up on, which I doubt they had even considered. They wanted you to feel discomfort about a character being this viscerally violent and outside of your control, I doubt they wanted to make you feel like a rapist, and if that was their intent, then shame on them.Edited January 2014 by Ohoni
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  • Avatar for DamnLies #93 DamnLies 3 years ago
    [If you have a difference of opinion, feel welcome to articulate it so we can debate the issues. But we do not tolerate personal attacks or threats of violence. - Jaz Rignall.]Edited 2 times. Last edited January 2014 by Jaz_Rignall
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  • Avatar for hidolfadler79 #94 hidolfadler79 3 years ago
    Join us next week for our top-story: TETRIS=RAPETRIS? A game where the player gets rewarded for violently forcing phallus symbols into passive slots without mutual consent.
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  • Avatar for d0x #95 d0x 3 years ago
    What am i missing here? Based on your description of the scene I don't understand how its being viewed as sexual assault...he puts his arms out, grabs her and bites her kneck? Does that not happen in every vampire story? Why is this depiction so offensive? This article makes no sense.
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  • Avatar for myronbyron58 #96 myronbyron58 3 years ago
    Thank you very much for writing this article and sharing your perspective, Kat.
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  • Avatar for DiscordInc #97 DiscordInc 3 years ago
    @brinkingyellows Why? Why does the author need to make a full disclosure? She viewed a scene in a game that was specifically meant to trigger feelings of sexual assault. It seems self-evident why this would make any person, male or female, potentially uncomfortable.

    More to the point: this is a combination preview/opinion piece. Not a critical essay on the nature of vampires in fiction and their use as an allegory for sexual assault.

    It's fine to disagree with an author's opinion, but there's no reason to attack their credibility just because they found something about a game uncomfortable. Frankly, I would love it if game journalists addressed the more problematic themes in games before they get released. There's only so much good you can do by talking about them after they've come out after all.
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  • Avatar for Rory-Taylor #98 Rory-Taylor 3 years ago
    Kat is free to feel how she feels about it, and I'm not attacking her credibility in any way, but if you're going to say a scene is evocative of sexual assault you really need to explain yourself in greater detail. It's a serious accusation and thus demands a thorough explanation of why you're dropping the rape card, because from simply reading the article it's not clear. So is any time a woman is murdered against her will as opposed to being seduced and giving herself to Dracula willingly going to be considered rape now? I can't agree with that.
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  • Avatar for sonicmeerkat #99 sonicmeerkat 3 years ago
    It's disgusting that the author is allowed to print articles like this, she should be ashamed of herself for trivializing rape and trying to compare a vampire feeding to it. If this was designed just to get page views I guess it worked but I'm disgusted with the lack of integrity of this site.
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  • Avatar for brinkingyellows #100 brinkingyellows 3 years ago
    @DiscordInc Why not? Why doesn't the author make at least an attempt to explain her reaction?

    If an author is going to use the words "rape" and "trivialization of sexual assault" in an article and want their words to be taken seriously, then yes, they need to explain their position beyond just stating "it felt uncomfortable". Last I checked, rape and sexual assault isn't uncomfortable, it is terrifying and humiliating.

    No where in this article did I see Dave Cox mention he meant for the scene to trigger feelings of "sexual assault" and saying it is self-evident is a major assumption on your behalf, one you are simply attempting to use in order to validate your point that we should give writers a free pass because they felt something and leave it at that.

    Regardless of whether this is a preview, opinion or essay piece, it will still be held up to criticism and further investigation when the phrases "rape" and "sexual assault" are used to describe a scene or element in a game.

    Say what you will about my approach regarding this issue but attacking the credibility of a writer is exactly what I will do when these labels are slapped haphazardly on an observation without any substance to back it up. It's nothing personal to Kat at all. If she wants me to take her claims seriously then she needs to elaborate as to why so I can genuinely understand. If not, then this article falls into the same category that many of these hot topic articles do. Sensationalism.

    You may feel that authors need to do address these "issues" more without being challenged, and that's your prerogative, but not me. What an author would feel is a problematic theme we should ask why. What they see as self-evident we should ask why.

    I would want to know why a game is good or bad when a writer calls that out. Why is this any different?

    You sound like an intelligent person, I'm surprised you don't feel the need to do the same.
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  • Avatar for Lethargichorsebeef #101 Lethargichorsebeef 3 years ago
    She has no credibility. This article is trash and I think this video explains all of it.
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  • Avatar for Thusian #102 Thusian 3 years ago
    @Lethargichorsebeef that video is a mash of misinterpretations, over simplifications and false equivalencies. For example the author never insists that having this scene in the game will encourage people to Rape. She said it made her uncomfortable, was created for shock value and does not treat the imagery it evokes with the right attitude. And agree or not, there's no credibility issue on opinion, she has her opinion its her own, but you and this video moron can't handle it because its not the same as your own. And dredging up examples where the same writer didn't get upset is a shitty argument given you don't have any idea what she was doing at the time.

    You and this guy are a hypocrite to paraphrase sometimes criticism does not go along with your view and is there to make you uncomfortable.
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  • Avatar for secret187 #103 secret187 3 years ago
    @Lethargichorsebeef Absolutely perfect. Says it all really. Video games as a genre is being destroyed by people who are offended by things that are not real.

    There is nothing more tragic in art, than fascists who advocate the burning of art and knowledge because it does not fit in with their ideology.

    I see more and more resemblances between feminists like the author of this article and the National Socialist German Workers' Party every time I read one more of these articles moaning about how they were triggered by something that is fictional and doesn't exist. Or how they were offended by some tangible relation between a fear they have and a scene completely unrelated to it.

    This will be not only the death of video games but art as a whole and the author should be disgusted with herself for writing such tripe.
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  • Avatar for ryanleeperez99 #104 ryanleeperez99 3 years ago
    Deleted January 2014 by ryanleeperez99
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  • Avatar for terrytorres64 #105 terrytorres64 3 years ago
    It sucks that this article is titled the way it is, because it made everybody focus on the wrong part of the problem with the game's storytelling.

    It's the fact that developers think they can throw in one risque scene to suggest a character has depth without altering any of the rest of the game to support that depth.

    It's like any of the handful of video games that have come out in the last five years about dudes who used to be super soldier hitmen or whatever and are just soo tired of all the killing oh god can't the killing just stop, and meanwhile you get bonus points for headshots.

    It's about thematic coherence. Do you want to affect my perspective of the world, or do you wanna "shock" me? Shit or get off the pot.
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  • Avatar for ryanleeperez99 #106 ryanleeperez99 3 years ago
    What many people are failing to understand is that, yes, Kat has every right to feel ill toward a particular element of something, anything, along with the right to publicly/professionally state so...but people also have the right to disagree. I mean, duh, right?

    It seems that most people (as expected) have come at this from entirely one side or the other. Either she's 100% correct and her feelings, entirely, are a legitimate concern (and how dare anyone say otherwise!), or she's being oversensitive, politically correct, and so on. Same subject, same tunes, as always, from both ends of the concert hall.

    In all actuality, her statement doesn't mean much of anything. She felt uncomfortable, but it seems that her discomfort is so obscure that not even she can articulate it entirely -- she hardly even describes the details of WHAT made her uncomfortable.

    In the end, so what if she was uncomfortable? She's hardly an example of how every woman would react to this game, nor does she speak on their behalf. She's one person -- a writer who, like countless others, has managed to place herself at the forefront of her analysis.

    And if what irks her is changed/stricken, so be it. If the artists behind this game retain but the slightest semblance of talent, it wouldn't be too difficult for them to convey the evil of Count Dracula in other ways.

    Everyone chill the hell out. Stop making everything so damn black and white, all of you.
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  • Avatar for terrytorres64 #107 terrytorres64 3 years ago
    @secret187 You mean the Nazis. You were talking about the Nazis, right? You were comparing the viewpoint of someone whom with you disagree with the Nazis, right?

    Nazis?
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  • Avatar for hey2k4 #108 hey2k4 3 years ago
    @terrytorres64 What is context? The Author is clearly trying to shame the developers into some sort of self censorship. Honestly, how does somebody like the Author even wake up and get out of bed without being offended at something? Have we really degenerated to the point where a vampire draining a woman of blood is somehow parallel to rape? Have we really become this pussified?
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  • Avatar for DamnLies #109 DamnLies 3 years ago
    @lonecow Or Dracula is killing the man beacuse he's more like to try to defend his family and probably more able to do so. So Dracula kill the one who could annoy him and feed on the more(probably) weaker ones, the woman and child.
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  • Avatar for alexvelasquez08 #110 alexvelasquez08 3 years ago
    Maybe you should go fuck yourself since the story of Dracula has been doing this for decades. stop being a whiny bitch
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  • Avatar for hey2k4 #111 hey2k4 3 years ago
    I'm seriously shocked that we have come to the point where gaming "journalists" are shaming developers for not making their games hugboxes. He kills the father, drains the mother, then goes to drain the daughter. He's a fucking godless monster, BUT OH NO him draining the mother is problematic, toxic, and every other Social Justice buzzword imaginable. I mean we are really at the point where Vampires are "offensive" because he dared to drain a woman like he drains everybody else.
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  • Avatar for Widge #112 Widge 3 years ago
    @alexvelasquez08 you could have a valid argument to make somewhere, but well done on hitting dick factor 20.
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  • Avatar for Widge #113 Widge 3 years ago
    I'd like to congratulate on everyone judging this piece without seeing the game and scene, in particular assuming "it is fine in vampire lore so it is fine in game".

    At no point are you able to discern direction, intention, setup and delivery of this scene. Frankly, it could be brutal, disturbing, animalistic and, as stated, uncomfortable. It could also be a Buffy/Vampire Diaries-esque slurp, drain and dump.

    Saddening is that, rather than discuss the issue, the cheap way out of critical arguing has been taken: discredit the author. If you discredit the piece as being "woman gets all feministy about a game", then you don't have to talk about the actual purpose of the piece. Which none of you can do, you have not seen the game.

    As it stands, we KNOW that game developers are hamfisted storytellers, working from standpoints of edgy and cool, set pieces over coherency. If this scene is indeed as harrowing as depicted, it could have been a momentous point in gameplay storytelling. It appears it has become another 30 seconds of "fun" in the rollercoaster of a gamers avatar.

    Still. We'll see. Although I've sat through enough cringeworthy gaming in my years to expect a mainstream title to challenge effectively.
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  • Avatar for rocksteady13 #114 rocksteady13 3 years ago
    Okay so can someone please post a link of this scene in the game? That way we can all make an informed decision!
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  • Avatar for jimbo1234 #115 jimbo1234 3 years ago
    Deleted January 2014 by jimbo1234
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  • Avatar for carloscastillo92 #116 carloscastillo92 3 years ago
    @Widge

    This goes both ways. It is like the God of War 'scandal' all over again where the the press went on a tangent how the bros before hoes trophy was the worst thing ever only for the video to come out and show it was nothing but overreaction.

    I'm willing to bet that this 'sexual assault' scene is going to be as tepid and bland as Mass Effect's scenes of 'hardcore rape simulation' as one brilliant Fox News analyst put it.
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  • Avatar for jordannoton91 #117 jordannoton91 3 years ago
    This just in: vampire bites are 'rape'.

    :|
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  • Avatar for docexe #118 docexe 3 years ago
    I would argue that scenes that invoke rape imagery can fit in the horror and thriller genres, where the point is precisely to scare the audience and make it feel uncomfortable. Alien and the original Halloween, two classics of the horror genre, evoke such kind of imagery in an effective manner. They use that type of images and subtext to portray their respective monsters in an unnerving light and to create unsettling situations. But it should be pointed that neither film was particularly gratuitous about said images, unlike many other subsequent horror films.

    Admittedly, while Castlevania has horror underpinnings, it has always been primarily an action series rather than a pure horror one, so you have to wonder to what degree certain kind of scenes and imagery are appropriate for this type of game.

    Honestly, without seeing it first, I don’t know how disturbing the scene in question is, neither if it is presented gratuitously or not. As Kat describes it, it doesn’t sound particularly worse than anything else present in any other form of Vampire fiction. But in any case, I’m honestly more uncomfortable by the rationale of David Cox behind the scene, which does give some credence to her opinion about it being gratuitous and exploitative. “We are adding shock value just because we can” is honestly the laziest and most immature way for any writer or artist to convey a point, and done clumsily it can detract from the work in question as a whole.

    And the way Mercury Steam is expressing it in the interview as contrasted to the way the game is being described, there seems to be some disconnection between the idea of showing Dracula as an evil monster that commits heinous acts and portraying him as a hero that is relatable to the audience. Trying to do both is frankly ridiculous!

    Characters like Kratos from God of War and Alucard from Hellsing (to give two obvious examples) are escapist characters. You are supposed to be amazed at their prowess as combatants, be thrilled by their exploits and maybe even sympathize to a degree with their motivations and personal tragedies. But they are also antiheroes of the most vicious kind: Cruel, merciless and all around assholes that are not villains themselves only because they are opposing someone that is even worse than them. Even if you are rooting for them to triumph, you are not supposed to identify with them, and you should still feel unnerved and appalled by their most vicious actions.

    It seems that Mercury Steam is trying to go with a similar portrayal for this interpretation of Dracula, yet they also seem reticent to employ it fully. The entire thing seems to have a rather schizophrenic tone, and the interview doesn’t give me much confidence that they will nail it in the end.

    Finally, I have to say that I’m really appalled by some of the comments present in this article. Even if you disagree with Kat’s point (and honestly, I think she is overstepping when she calls for the removal of the offending scene, rather than modifying it or presenting the situation in a different way), having a degree of empathy and respect will not kill you.Edited 2 times. Last edited January 2014 by docexe
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #119 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @DiscordInc There is no indication from the article that the scene was meant to deliberately evoke a sense of sexual assault. The indication is that the scene was meant to evoke an assault, of a non-sexual nature, that involved a woman. That does not automatically make it a sexual assault. You're meant to feel uncomfortable that an assault took place, not that it was a sexual assault.
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  • Avatar for sean697 #120 sean697 3 years ago
    Eh. I guess its a valid complaint. But I'm curious to the authors feelings on this this compared to say the more realist ice violence of GTA 5. To me that is far more disturbing, especially in regards to placing the player in the role of the person doing the violence. As far as a horror themed game with Vampires? Personally I don't have a problem with it. But I could see how some people would. The. The question becomes do you really want to alienate part of your player base with something like this? I mean this stuff is done in movies all the time. And criticized for it as well. Should Apocalypse Now have existed scenes of of rape and killing of villagers? I don't know. But it is something to be informed about. And the consumer should be able to make the informed decision whether this is right for them or not. For me personally it is a non issue, for others I could see them steering clear. But ultimately it the the game creators who will decide who they want to appeal to. And they will be responsible for alienating some of their fans in the process. For me, in a horror game, I enjoy shocking and disturbing. But in a game like GTA5 I find the violence reprehensible. Everyone's else's opinions may vary. (And are not nessecarily wrong.)
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  • Avatar for Vaoris #121 Vaoris 3 years ago
    This article is less about Dracula killing a family and more about the fact that there was a woman in that family. I have a feeling that had the victim's solely been male this article would never exist.
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  • Avatar for juicyhopfrog #122 juicyhopfrog 3 years ago
    Of course, the author has the right to write anything she wants and to use her platform to voice an opinion. That said, I don't see how the scene she described is linkable to sexual assault, and doing so just trivializes such a horrific act. It's an internet phenomenon that is becoming more common.
    Either way, I hope the devs don't change the game because someone has particular sensitivities to something. That destroys creativity and no one piece of creative media can please everyone. It's not suppose to. And nothing good comes from a creative medium being pushed to change or censor by those who disagree with content. If something in a game, movie, or book disturbs someone to such an extent, then it's just not for them and the solution is elegant and simple, don't partake in that particular piece.
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  • Avatar for Flownen #123 Flownen 3 years ago
    If they change the game up to be "less" than what the developer intended the game to be because someone cried wolf, I'm not buying it. So far the game sounds awesome. Besides, go look up vampiric lore and all that fun stuff, there is plenty worse than "rape" in it.
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  • Avatar for Terpiscorei #124 Terpiscorei 3 years ago
    @F33bs How is one person expressing an opinion censorship? Expression of an opinion, even uninformed or poorly-reasoned, does not constitute censorship.

    And to what extent has she "galvanized" public opinion? She wrote that she hopes the dev removes the scene. It is about as milquetoast a recommendation as they come. At no time does the article demand action on behalf of anyone other than the developer.

    This is no different from any critical comment that gets made about any piece of media anywhere else ever. It's just that this time a bunch of people have co-opted the word censorship to try to and browbeat someone for expressing an irrelevant opinion they don't like about a game they probably won't play from a developer just trying to look edgy.
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  • Avatar for elizabethhayes64 #125 elizabethhayes64 3 years ago
    Why have women everywhere decided to see rape in absolutely bloody everything? Do you realise you make us look like pathetic infants? Why should women uniquely constantly fear what happens equally to men and women every single day? What exactly are you trying to achieve? Victims of real abuse are not as afraid as you are, particularly over a game that has nothing to do with rape. No wonder people are starting to think women really are weak. We never used to be so pathetic.
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  • Avatar for wellypwn #126 wellypwn 3 years ago
  • Avatar for jimbo1234 #127 jimbo1234 3 years ago
    Highlights from the bottom feeding below:

    "Have we really become this pussified?"

    "Go fuck yourself... Stop being a whiny bitch"

    "Why have women everywhere decided to see rape in absolutely bloddy everything?"

    "I see more and more resemblances between feminists like the author of this article and the National Socialist German Workers' Party every time I read one more of these articles moaning about how they were triggered by something that is fictional and doesn't exist...This will be not only the death of video games but art as a whole"

    "It's disgusting that the author is allowed to print articles like this"

    "Join us next week for our top-story: TETRIS=RAPETRIS?"

    "Funny to see all those entitled social justice warriors are even more demanding of censorships than the most zealous born again bigots...Thank you for ruining my hobby, and for ruining art, and for ruining any kind of politically incorrect form of expression."

    Threat of violence, deleted by moderator.

    An entire hate-filled video rant against the author.


    Kat, thank you for writing this article. You clearly annoyed all the right people!
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #128 MetManMas 3 years ago
    I know the Lords of Shadow "thing" has its audience, but personally I don't play Castlevania to feel uncomfortable. I also don't play it to see someone's glorified dark and edgy fan comic presented by way of a tepid action game.

    David Cox and his crew can do presentation well (Seriously I wish IGA had a budget like Mercury Steam), but I'm not so confident that they can make a game that's actually fun to play.
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  • Avatar for QuantumWalker #129 QuantumWalker 3 years ago
    I think the author has failed to properly outline what about this vampiric attack is evocative of rape. When I envision a vampire attacking a human out of blood lust I envision something akin to Daybreakers. By proxy most popular culture depictions of vampires attacking people due to abstaining from blood for prolonged periods of time depict them as more monster than man. All rationality is gone and all that is left is the beast within. Those kinds of attacks are more like animal attacks or feeding frenzies.

    Now if Dracula in this game scene were to seduce or hypnotize (Vampiric persuasion) the female and pull her closer before sinking his fangs into her, reminiscent of Bella Lugosi or Jim Carrey's depictions of the more charismatic count, than at the very least I can understand reading in a sexual context to this scene.

    Like others, I do not find being offended to something reasonable justification for asking for content to be removed. And I find it dishonest for Kat to juxtapose her impressions of a scene she has not properly described, and comparing it to Rapelay, with the developers statements. She may have felt that this scene was similar to rape and that is her opinion. But the impression I get is that Dave Cox is trying to bring vampires back to their roots by making them monsters first and humans second. Her article makes it seem like they made a rape scene and are gladly showing it off to the world in spite of her apparent feelings on the matter. That's just bad journalism.

    I know that in the interest of spoilers Kat has not disclosed everything about this scene but context matters, just saying that a women gets drained of blood and that it was like rape doesn't help anyone and without access to the scene in question the readers are only left with her word on the matter.

    Lastly, I noticed that their are two types of pictures showing Gabriel/Dracula. The first shows his haggard and decrepit form from the end of the first game, and then we see a younger looking Gabriel in a futuristic looking lab. Is it possible that the scene where you must feed happens early in the game when Gabriel is still punishing himself and rejecting his darker nature even though it is now something he cannot escape from? If in the beginning he is struggling with himself before coming to terms with being a monster and accepting blood (and the benefits it brings him) before getting into the action game proper; having the family scene during that hypothetical period of the story makes it thematically appropriate. Making him some monster seeking redemption but keeping his darker aspects at the forefront of the story isn't bad.

    If Kat or anyone at us|Gamer wants to actually contextualize this scene a little more it would be greatly appreciated. Because I am left feeling that this is a knee-jerk reaction to someone's personal interpretation of a scene and not an actual reflection of the actual scene or the creators intentions.Edited 2 times. Last edited January 2014 by QuantumWalker
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  • Avatar for Mad-Mage #130 Mad-Mage 3 years ago
    @QuantumWalker Well said. You really got to the heart of why this article didn't work. I think USG and Kat Baily are great but I hope this valid criticism is noted, and is not drowned out by all the extremist comments (form both sides).
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  • Avatar for brinkingyellows #131 brinkingyellows 3 years ago
    @QuantumWalker Eloquently put. Your observations are aligned with my own. This site is fortunate to have users like yourself posting here. You deliver your message with efficient clarity.
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #132 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @Monsieur_Weiner_Wink There's no need to retweet the shortbus crowd, they were dumb enough the first time around. Just remember that just because an article attracts trolls, that does not make it any more valid. Trolls gonna troll.
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  • Avatar for timhuang99 #133 timhuang99 3 years ago
    If it's any comfort, this is going to be MercurySteam's last Castlevania game.

    I really hope they give the series back to IGA and we can get back to the real timeline.
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  • Avatar for johnsmith79 #134 johnsmith79 3 years ago
    You are a fucking idiot.
    Let a professional help you:
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  • Avatar for Critical_Hit #135 Critical_Hit 3 years ago
    I'm sorry, but it sounds like there's a lot of stuff being projected here.

    Now, I haven't seen it, so I'm just blowing smoke. But you're PLAYING AS DRACULA and of course the first time you suck blood should have some impact. Where is the indication of rape here? He's clearly draining the blood from these people, and it's something he needs to do - if you're onboard Castlevania, you're prepared for that.

    I think this is silly. You could see allusions to rape in a lot of violent video games if you're looking for it. I'm just happy they tried to put some impact onto this, so you don't just murder everyone without thinking about it. Kind of like what Team Ninja attempted to do with Ninja Gaiden 3's cinematic kill QTE thingies. Not the best execution, but the intention was noble. Gamers should get some sort of impact from being asked to murder things so much. At least occasionally be reminded, "Hey! You're a murderer. Not a hero."

    At any rate, Lords of Shadow 2 is still shaping up to be as amazing as the first, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm so glad that Igarashi is done with the series. All he did was drive the Symphony design into the ground, and it's not like he ever treated the horror movie-influence of classic Castlevania games with any respect. Just the girly romanticism and androngynous... everythings. Ugh. Glad to see Mercurysteam maintain the gorgeous Gothic architecture from his games, but bring back the badass Universal Monsters-vibe for everything else. LoS2 is going to be great.

    I'm sorry you feel uncomfortable with it, Kat. I'm also HUGELY sorry that - like with all other females writing about anything on internet - you have attracted tons of idiots who want to call you a cunt or something else stupid. Shut the fuck up, you morons - read the article, try to form an actual opinion, then let your brains explode because you're too stupid to do so - durr. But getting back on point; they ARE trying to make you uncomfortable. You're not playing a good guy. You're playing the lesser of two evils; you're just less bad than Satan. They did it in the first game too; I hated it when Gabriel killed that mute chick in her sleep. He's a really good protagonist, because he's one of the only ones in all of video games who constantly reminds you that he's a homicidal monster. So is Kratos, Master Chief, Nathan Drake (I almost said Nolan North, lol)... heck, even Mario stomps to death oh-so-many benign creatures who just want to dance or whatever. MercurySteam deserves some credit for sure for reminding you that your actions are anything but heroic. Even if they're a little blunt or overt about it.

    Look at the number of idiots posting misogynistic things on this article -- clearly, there are LOADS of gamers stupid enough that they won't understand things unless developers are blunt and overt about it :)Edited 2 times. Last edited January 2014 by Critical_Hit
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  • Avatar for johntims93 #136 johntims93 3 years ago
    Kat, I get the feeling that you never played lords of shadow, or you'd get the reason we're supposed to relate to this particular incarnation of dracula.
    regardless, even if you never played lords of shadow 1, you're looking WAY too far into things as it is.
    dracula bit a chick on the neck, what did you expect him to do? tear off her arms first? dracula did what draculas typically do. the killing the man first may seem a bit dodgy, but when you think about the situation he's in, weakened and near death, it makes sense to outright kill a potential combatant and turn on the ones more likely to be paralyzed with terror than anything else.
    Dracula in the case of lords of shadow 2 is a fallen hero, we don't play him because "he's dracula and it's cool" we want to play him because we saw him as the ultimate good guy, the guy who strangled satan to death, literally! and shortly afterward became this ultimate evil as opposed to the previous ultimate good, the transition from truest hero to worst monster is so jarring and shocking that we can't help but to want to see this story to its conclusion, if for varying reasons.
    So yes, the feeding scene was there to make us uncomfortable, that's the point, it's meant to show us just how horrid and monstrous dracula became since last we played as him, it's meant to show us just how bad and truly wicked he's become as a character.
    This has nothing to do with sexual assault, now please stop posting until you can learn how to spell.
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  • Avatar for Critical_Hit #137 Critical_Hit 3 years ago
    @brionfoulke91: You're a goon. Lords of Shadow is an excellent, gorgeous action game with fantastic settings, tons of enemy variety, unique encounters and a great combat system. Unlike IGA's attempt at making a God of War-type game; the repetitive, bland, and sometimes just plain horrible Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness.

    What is it with some fanboys that they just absolutely hate change for everything? Why can't some gamers see the difference between when the core of a reboot is the same as the original game, and when they just toss out everything? Complain about Tomb Raider 2013, that's justified because they did indeed toss out every core element from previous Tomb Raiders. But Lords of Shadow is in the same camp as the also excellent DmC: the elements that the reboot is built on are the exact same elements from the classics. Lords of Shadow shares the same focus & core of titles like Super Castlevania IV, Dracula X, or Bloodlines. They just WORK IN 3D now. OH NO! TIME TO DISMISS IT BECAUSE IT'S NOT SYMPHONY OF THE NIGHT! *fart noise* durr.

    Gamers like you make me sad.
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  • Avatar for MarcossDYRL #138 MarcossDYRL 3 years ago
    Kat, with all do respect, and as someone who's familiar with your prior work on 1up and Gamepro, this is quite possibly the most poorly thought-out, misguided article you've written. Not just for pleading that the game should be censored. Not just for the disingenuous tactic of misrepresenting the words from Cox and his development team. But rather, it was primarily for this statement:

    "the imagery was chosen for its ability to provoke a strong emotional reaction."

    Kat, and for anyone who happens, for whatever reason, to identify with this article, let me spell it out for you in plain English: Provoking an emotional reaction is one of the primary things ART DOES. I REPEAT: PROVOKING AN EMOTIONAL REACTION IS WHAT ART DOES.

    And yet you people want this medium to be taken seriously on the level of books, or films? Sorry, that will never, ever happen with this mindset. That is, censoring something because it evokes a reaction (be it happiness, sadness, and yes, even disgust) will not legitimatize this medium. And you know, you can always do to this game like you would a bad movie or a bad TV show: not buy it, ignore it, and simply not give it the time of day. At least that way the developers can create uninterrupted but you can still make your point of not supporting the product because it doesn't jive with your certain proclivities.Edited 2 times. Last edited January 2014 by MarcossDYRL
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  • Avatar for MarcossDYRL #139 MarcossDYRL 3 years ago
    @Critical_Hit "But Lords of Shadow is in the same camp as the also excellent DmC"

    I don't recall Lords of Shadow, or the previous Devil May Crys for that matter, having some pompous, try-hard, college freshman level excuse for social commentary that basically amounted to F*** THA BANKZ AN THA CORPORASHUNZZ MAAAAN!!!!111!!1. And let's not get started on the lack of fluidity (framerates, animations, and so forth) when compared to its predecessors.

    "OH NO! TIME TO DISMISS IT BECAUSE IT'S NOT SYMPHONY OF THE NIGHT! *fart noise* durr."

    Holy generalizations there Straw-man.
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #140 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @Critical_Hit Tomb Raider 2013 was great, but I was not a fan of the gameplay changes to LoS. I would love to see a return to more core Metroidvania gameplay.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #141 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    @Critical_Hit Well first of all, DmC is garbage. Second, LoS is a mediocre game. The combat system is repetitive and button mashy. The enemy design is mediocre. The soundtrack is god awful. It's hardly any better than Iga's earlier 3D Castlevanias, as flawed as they were.

    But at least we agree that the new Tomb Raider sucks.
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  • Avatar for Widge #142 Widge 3 years ago
    @carloscastillo92 I can't make any assumption. I can say that those God Of War scenes are cringeworthy, something that I would feel I have to apologise for if someone walked in on me playing that, thereby rightfully put under scrutiny.

    Fox News having a go at Mass Effect is another thing entirely. Don't think their land of make believe is worth debating.

    However, the main crux of the issue goes back to the direction and context of this scene.

    How does it play out? This first person section? Is it brutal, drawn out, the distressing and animalistic pinning down and ravaging of a woman? Or is it a simple Buffy-esque drain and drop?

    We simply don't know. Until the game arrives we will continue to not know. The main concern is that others are seeming unable to picture how the initial scenario would be a deeply distressing playthrough, a misstep of storytelling akin to No Russian.

    Sadly, it seems to stretch as far as "Vampires bite people historically so scene must be ok" in the minds of most people, with dismissal of "them feminists", hugboxes and accusations of white knighting apparently sufficient enough to not deserve any considered thought on the topic in question.
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  • Avatar for hey2k4 #143 hey2k4 3 years ago
    It's so sad that in this day and age anybody who doesn't conform to someones belief is shamed in an article online and even has a scene compared to sexual assault.
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  • Avatar for AzureCloud #144 AzureCloud 3 years ago
    Notice how the author of this article only mentions that the mother and the daughter are the only victims of violence? that no other family member fell victim to anything?
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  • Avatar for Lolki #145 Lolki 3 years ago
    "I really hope they cut the Family Scene before Lords of Shadow 2 launches next month"

    You know who else was for the censorship of video games? Jack Thompson.
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  • Avatar for Iliya-Moroumetz #146 Iliya-Moroumetz 3 years ago
    For those of you defending this and claiming that it's art; let me spell something out for you.

    This is not art. It's shlock. Shock value. Remember the Nuke in Modern Warfare? No Russian? The family killed on camera in MW3?

    It's the same thing. This isn't an attempt to evoke an 'emotional response', this is shock value and nothing more. It has no artistic merit since it's being done by the mediocre developers because they can't actually make a better game.

    It's intellectually insulting that they would have to resort to something so base and even more disgusting to see all the Fedora's and MRA's defend it because it doesn't happen to them.Edited January 2014 by Iliya-Moroumetz
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  • Avatar for MarcossDYRL #147 MarcossDYRL 3 years ago
    Iliya, look, the cold hard truth is that being shocked IS an emotional reaction, which is something art is meant to trigger. Yes, it's a cheap, tawdry method of evoking a reaction, but it's still a reaction, and just because it offends you, or Kat, or anybody else, doesn't mean the developers should be subject to censorship.

    Again, as I've mentioned a few days ago, if you're so offended, just--and repeat after me--DO NOT BUY THE PRODUCT. DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO IT. IGNORE IT. You will make your point clear that it's not for you or people who share your certain social inclinations, while at the same time the developers can create whatever shlock they want without being badgered by what should be considered as "offensive" to the public at large by right-wing moral crusa--oops, my mistake, left-leaning social justice warriors.

    Oh, and how deviously witty of you strawman the people who oppose this article as neckbearded MRAs from Reddit.Edited 2 times. Last edited January 2014 by MarcossDYRL
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  • Avatar for juicyhopfrog #148 juicyhopfrog 3 years ago
    Iliya, I'm so glad you have so definitively said that this scene, without personally viewing it, is not art. We can cancel all those art theory courses now.... yay. But seriously. We are talking about the essential element in any creative medium. How is the idea of creative freedom different in video games than books or movies?

    But let's play devil's advocate and say that you are such a creative and intellectual genius that your proclamation that this scene (which to most accounts isn't about sexual assault) is indeed pure shock and shlock. Again, how is this different than any other medium? Books have sweeping epics, trashy pulp, and everything in between. Same with movies. And it's that type of environment that allows for true creativity and variety, art being subjective and all that.

    And maybe your insults about neck beards and MRAs are best left for tumblr because I doubt such a lazy remark fits reality.Edited January 2014 by juicyhopfrog
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  • Avatar for Iliya-Moroumetz #149 Iliya-Moroumetz 3 years ago
    Very well, while my statement regarding redditors was out of line, my statement about this being a cheap, and easy controversy to exploit along the lines of the Modern Warfare's 'shock' scenes still stands.

    Was it really necessary? In a game where we know where the narrative is going to go, was such a scene meant to make people uncomfortable really neccesary? Are they trying to do the same things in God of War that made people hate the game as well? I am going to say 'no' to the first two and 'yes' to the second.

    It's cheap and lazy, and it's disgraceful to a once loved franchise.

    Because, really, if you have to rely on 'shock', that's a pretty big red light that you got that and little else.Edited 2 times. Last edited January 2014 by Iliya-Moroumetz
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #150 Ohoni 3 years ago
    Iliya,
    While you may have a point when the game comes out, I think you're being awfully judgmental about a scene that you haven't actually watched. How do you know for sure that it is not well done and integral to a well constructed presentation? I'm not saying that it will be, just that we have no basis for judging it yet.
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  • Avatar for Iliya-Moroumetz #151 Iliya-Moroumetz 3 years ago
    @Ohoni True, I have not seen it. However, I have found Kat's writing to be on the money more often than not and if she says that if this scene was meant to make the player uncomfortable, I have to question the purpose behind the scene in the first place.

    Aren't games supposed to be an avenue of escape from reality where horrible things happen daily? Sure, I can appreciate the 'twists' and atmosphere in certain games like Braid, the original KOTOR, the Witcher, and the like.

    However, what is the point of shocking the player at this point? We already know he's evil and going to do evil things, no?

    it's a question of intent. If you're trying to make a point with something shocking, it better be relevant, instead of something you just use once and toss away, like in the aforementioned Call of Duty games.

    If they're trying to drive home the point that what you're doing is horrible, then wouldn't the real life experiences of survivors be enough to know that this inclusion seems rather tasteless in light of that?

    It just seems crass and cheap.Edited 6 times. Last edited January 2014 by Iliya-Moroumetz
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  • Avatar for timhuang99 #152 timhuang99 3 years ago
    Deleted January 2014 by timhuang99
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  • Avatar for sam-stephens #153 sam-stephens 3 years ago
    Wow! This comment section has become really ugly. It seems that everyone is just talking past each other here. Though the article is poorly written and sensationalist (heavily opionated, dishonest juxtaposition, a lack of familiarity with the subject, etc...) the time spent conflating what is a small moment in the contextual story of a video game says much about gaming culture and its obsession with trivial details and personal feelings. If this is the best of our communication skills, we have much work to doEdited 2 times. Last edited January 2014 by sam-stephens
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #154 Ohoni 3 years ago
    Iliya, game can be escapism, but they don't have to be, and they aren't objectively worse for trying to convey some other message. I'm not saying that you would personally enjoy what they're going for, I doubt it's my cup of tea either really, but just because it isn't what we're looking for doesn't move it into "objectionable" territory. I don't like Madden games either.

    As for the "real life experiences of survivors," I don't think I've heard of any real life vampire attack survivors, unless you're talking about those people attacked by people on bath salts (they aren't actually zombies, they're just on drugs).
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  • Avatar for maxxstiles88 #155 maxxstiles88 3 years ago
    YOU DO KNOW THESE ARE VAMPIRES NOT TWILIGHT. Don't make this watered down. Fictionally speaking: Vampires are Sexual predators to attract the opposite sex; they then attack them and drink the victims blood. If this offends you may I suggest the Twilight series and some katamari damacy. Stop NERFING THE PLANET.
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  • Avatar for MarcossDYRL #156 MarcossDYRL 3 years ago
    Iliya, do you know any victims of vampire rape? If there are any, maybe let them chime in on how horrible it is. And if it is that traumatic (especially considering that it's a common, defining attribute amongst vampiric fiction for about a good century or so, in varying degrees), how about--and I'm saying this for the last time--NOT BUYING OR PAYING ATTENTION TO THE PRODUCT.

    Oh, and if rape is such a horrific daily incident that you can't even let it be tackled in a game, then why is it ok to murder millions of incident victims in things like Grand Theft Auto? Or slaughter tons of enemy sentries in whatever FPS is the current flavor of the month? Or to have the national and ethnic stereotypes in Street Fighter to pummel each other into the ground so as to feed their base, primal instincts of wanting to engage in conflict?

    Many horrific things that occur on a daily basis are played out in games all the time. So why should we pick and choose what crass actions are acceptable to depict? Would it be better do away with it all and have games only go so far as to depict the trauma of looking at a blank wall?

    And as for the needlessly crass and shocking argument goes, let me copy/paste what I posted hours ago:

    The cold hard truth is that being shocked IS an emotional reaction, which is something art is meant to trigger. Yes, it's a cheap, tawdry method of evoking a reaction, but it's still a reaction, and just because it offends you, or Kat, or anybody else, doesn't mean the developers should be subject to censorship.Edited January 2014 by MarcossDYRL
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  • Avatar for Iliya-Moroumetz #157 Iliya-Moroumetz 3 years ago
    @Ohoni If Kat uses words and imagery that bring to mind sexual assault, what's to say that she's not speaking from first hand experience or from someone she knows?

    While there's a real possibility I might be wrong, I highly doubt she'd use those words so casually. If she says it's akin to sexual assault, then until we see the scene, should it make it to release, then the only thing we can rely on is Kat's word.

    And judging by some of the vitriol being slung around these comments, she could be a survivor of the aforementioned and they still wouldn't believe her.
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #158 Ohoni 3 years ago
    Iliya, you're right that KAT raises those imageries. That is a reason to avoid her articles, not the game. I highly doubt that the GAME actually invokes those imageries. If he does more than simply grabbing her and draining her blood, as hundreds of fictional vampires have done over the years, then they may have a problem, but there's nothing even in the article to indicate that the scene is more sexual than a standard vampire attack, or that the developers intended it to be.

    Producers of media should be careful to avoid sexual assault unless they are capable of treating it respectfully and in a way that is important, but not all physically assaults that happen to be against a female character are automatically sexual in nature, even if they involve violent necking.
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  • Avatar for ranma006 #159 ranma006 3 years ago
    Let me get this straight, she is fine with a vampire killing the men but draws the line about her blood being drank? So how is this sexual assault Or can we just make up whatever rules we want and call it that?

    Here is another example of the same problem only when a woman is involved.

    Metal gear solid V trailer shows a woman is being torture by being electrocuted. Let me remind you this was done to Snake and Raiden and Big boss in all of the MGS games. So clearly there are complaints when woman are put in those positions.
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  • Avatar for evecharm22 #160 evecharm22 3 years ago
    "When Cox talks about wanting to take risks and arguments with the marketing team, it's clear that the scene was constructed with the intention of evoking sexual assault. It's ostensibly there to show that Dracula is evil; but really, the imagery was chosen for its ability to provoke a strong emotional reaction. That it's being used almost exclusively for shock value serves to trivialize a very real horror that women must deal with every day. "

    I'm sorry Me and all women must deal with the horror of sexual assaults everyday? does anyone edit the idiotic things thees people write?
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  • Should we censor this movie too? Horror is horrific, is that even news?
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  • Avatar for timhuang99 #162 timhuang99 3 years ago
    Just wanna point out, in the cover of Rapelay, it's the older sister holding on to her younger sibling, not a mother and child.

    Also, Cox has expressed interest in rebooting the Contra franchise. I'll be looking forward to an article on how the Spread Gun is an allusion to rape.Edited January 2014 by timhuang99
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  • Avatar for Uriain #163 Uriain 3 years ago
    Because apparently Feminist Frequency deletes any comments which are not 110% supporting their laser focused message. . . . . .

    While I can understand WHY people can have a problem with the scene and other scene's/imagery like it - When do we take the context of the game into account and apply that context to the scene/imagery.

    I ask because "violence against women" in the scale that you see it against men in games would raise a MONSTER shitstorm in the media/public eye. While using female characters as lynchpin/set pieces for male heroes is usulaly lack luster (imo) in promoting anything other than a target to hit, I would like to know an answer to my question above.... When does the context of the game get applied to the scene/imagery (or trope if you wish to use that word)
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  • Avatar for Iliya-Moroumetz #164 Iliya-Moroumetz 3 years ago
    @Ohoni By the logic, we shouldn't have a news press media at all and instead just listen to what the developers/publishers/etc tell us what we want to hear and the end result is another Alien Colonial Marines.

    You're highly doubtful because it probably won't bother you. That's not the point. This bothered Kat and if there are people who were looking forward to this game, but would have the same response she did, are they suddenly the ones at fault for having that reaction in the first place?

    And consider the gaming industry's ability, especially the larger studios and publisers. to tackle sensitive subjects and I think you'll agree that they have all the tact of a sledge hammer, because these games, are not designed to tackle those issues tactfully. They're an afterthought and before you know it, they're offering 'apologies' (non-apologies that politicians are known for) to people that were offended by their attempts at trying to make money.

    You know a game that did it right, initially? Bioshock: Infinite. Granted, it went off the rails will the alternate dimensional story, but the fact remains that certain individuals were clearly offended at something that happened in real life that wasn't sugarcoated or tossed aside to appeal to the lowest possible demographic. I mean, gotta pay back the shareholders who probably only see games as numbers and dollar signs.

    Disagree with Kat all you like, but saying that she's wrong with something she has seen and you haven't paints you with a rather hypocritical brush.

    And with that, I'm done, as neither side seems to want to budge in this argument.Edited January 2014 by Iliya-Moroumetz
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #165 Ohoni 3 years ago
    Iliya, people are entitled to their own reactions, and if they have the same reaction then fair enough, I just can't believe that this will be a common reaction to a game scene produced by anyone with a hint of sense.

    I'm not saying that Kat's wrong in her personal interpretation of the scene, I'm just saying that her personal interpretation might not be one that would resonate with anyone else who saw the scene, and that making such a strong, subjective point, not just as a portion of a larger preview, but as the headlining centerpiece of the preview, the driving focus of it. It wasn't a preview about a game with an opinion about a cutscene, it was an article about a sexual assault scene that maybe had something to do with a vampire game or something. I just don't think this is the appropriate venue.
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  • Avatar for MarcossDYRL #166 MarcossDYRL 3 years ago
    And once again Iliya, you completely miss the goddamn point. It does not matter if you are offended. If it does matter that much to you, then...

    Do. Not. Buy. The. Game.

    You want developers to be swayed by your social inclinations? Vote with your wallet and your attention, not your feelings. They have a right to express themselves in completely cheap and tasteless ways just as you have the right to express your moral outrage for the fact that "art" (if that's what you believe games really are) triggers a reaction.

    You know, that thing art typically does.
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  • Avatar for Smilomaniac #167 Smilomaniac 3 years ago
    This article trivializes rape by considering a fantasy a threat to society.
    Kat Bailey, if I were your editor, I would've asked you to rewrite your article.
    It's either an attempt to get views or a poorly thought out article that raises serious questions about your ability to cope with fiction.

    I am not critisizing your reaction to the scene, nor am I saying you're less of a person for not liking it. I am however, questioning your ability to take appropriate distance from media and social prejudice like a proper journalist.

    By all rights, you should be taken to court for slander, but luckily for you, anyone with a measure of intelligence can recognize this piece for what it is: Poor judgement.
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  • Avatar for gregorybey22 #168 gregorybey22 3 years ago
    Ok im gonna disagree with this one. This issn't glorifying sexual assault or rape or making them sexy like Rapelay does. Its showing a character who has given everything to his order and to the Church. His whole being was his wife and God. He feels like God took everything away from him and now he has gone totally evil. Star Wars shows that being evil isn't lack of emotion t's feeling too much about one thing. Its obsession. Here is someone who has had his whole purpose and the only person he loves taken away and he just has turned off emotionally for the most part. While u are supposed to think your main character is cool and "badass" these moments are supposed to shock you back into realizing who or what he is. He is Dracula. He is evil and humans and everyone for that matter is only a tool to him. Why is it video games aren't allowed to make people feel uncomfortable? Movies, music, and other forms of art can so why can't games? If this scene happened in a movie would it be as much of an outrage. Have you seen Interview with a Vampire?Edited January 2014 by gregorybey22
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  • ok, seriously, doesn't anybody have any memory or have anyone read the original drakula BOOK, the count seduced young virgin ladies to drink their blood, besides vampirism has always beed a way to express those dark desires of humanity.
    incredibly this is the best they have done to him in castlevania, it's so shocking and gruesome on purpose, it's supposed to make you feel the character.
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  • Avatar for cmoyano #170 cmoyano 3 years ago
    just saw the scene...rape? really? are we really this dumb these days? do you even know what rape is? lets try and stop with this attack on video games, an industry half the journalists dont even understand.

    you want a rape scene? go watch last house on the left, or i spit on your grave. worse rape scenes of modern cinema history and they get rated R, and nobody gets offended by that. Instead, lets call a vampire sucking blood (like all vampires do) a RAPE SCENE.

    Ignorant journalism at its best.
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  • Avatar for bobbybroeckel59 #171 bobbybroeckel59 3 years ago
    If this evokes rape to you then every vampire related piece of entertainment since Bram Stoker's Dracula has involved such things. I've watched this so called "rape" scene. It's horrific, you look through Dracula's eyes as you murder a family and that's the point, it was meant to horrify you. It's not alluding to rape. It shows you just what kind of creature Dracula is. Yet for those that have played the previous game we know what his back story is, we know who he is so we are faced with a dilemma, how can we sympathize with such a creature? And yet that has been a part of story telling for years. The protagonist is deeply flawed but in a tragic way, the viewer/reader/gamer has conflicted emotions about him/her. Castlevania is a violent series set within a violent world and violent things happen there, this is the order of things, vampires do terrible things.

    You know what though, this article is just another example of grandstanding for the sake of controversy within the medium (videogames). Assuming you actually believe what you've written, maybe you someone who writes about entertainment, should learn a thing or two about character development. Oh and a dictionary that way you can figure out what rape is.
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  • Avatar for morsodenutink88 #172 morsodenutink88 3 years ago
    Everything Third Wave Feminism touches is slowly turned into a toxic pile of shit by their chronic victimhood. Gaming, Atheism, Higher Learning, Liberalism, etc etc.

    It's sad what feminists have allowed the movement to be taken over by people like Kate Bailey.
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  • Avatar for sandrayin09 #173 sandrayin09 3 years ago
    Well I finally saw the scene, and I can now safety say you blew this way out of proportion and absolutely failed at being an objective journalist in terms of giving it a fair critique, failed to live up to your own responsibility in terms of owning or thinking about the consequences of what you wrote on the gaming company you're supposed to review, and failed at knowing how to be a professional when keeping your own personal bias out of the equation and trying to do your job. I am not criticizing you for having an opinion, but as a person with a public forum you also have to hold yourself accountable in terms of doing the very best your job demands of you, and you quite frankly did not, and your editors should be called to task as well for not apparently enforcing any kind of standards, so this will be the last time I visit or speak on this site because clearly none of you apparently care about the quality of your work.Edited February 2014 by sandrayin09
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  • Avatar for miguelvilhena66 #174 miguelvilhena66 3 years ago
    You have every right to be upset, but it would be wise to discuss your opinion with someone else, before posting an article.

    Because it is bad taste taking something you probably have seen in a number of movies and books about vampires, and call it rape.

    Do you know what is in fact a rape?

    USGamer, well you might reel me in another sensationalist article like this one, but I will actively avoid this site.

    And I hope games in general don't give echo to this point of view, because like movies, music and books the audience wants feel emotion, not some sugar coated bland thing.

    Bye USGamer
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  • Avatar for IttyBittyBattie #175 IttyBittyBattie 3 years ago
    I'm going to be honest here, if this is how she honestly felt than no one can fault her for it. These are her feelings, her emotions and her outcome from seeing the scene. And there's not really wrong with that. The problem really comes with her assumptions of the team which are honestly very rude and hateful.

    She basically accuses them of romanticizing rape and I'm sure that's not at all what the team was going for with the scene. Violence yes, with a side of gore sure. But rape? All violent acts against women can not be classified as rape. That's just not what rape is and if you think it is, in a fantasy setting then you spit in the face of victims of that horrible crime. Saying "Hey! You being raped must have been like being bitten by Dracula" sounds insensitive and rude.

    But honestly a I said the worst thing about this is her accusations against Cox and his team. She paints them as monsters, as these sick men who get off on making rape scenes and forcing them on others. I've seen the bit and I didn't think at all of rape, nor did anyone sitting in the room with me, or anyone I showed it to after.

    Also as many brought up, she didn't seem to mind the man getting killed only seconds before in the scene. It seems violence in video games is alright when it happens to a man but doing it to a woman is going to far.

    Slander is slander, accusing someone of something this bad could land her in a lot of trouble...and if I was her editor I would be pretty upset at something like this being written on my site. Again, she has a right to her feelings and thoughts but if she starts accusing people of glorifying rape that's taking too far.
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  • Avatar for Atalex #176 Atalex 3 years ago
    I feel I should leave a comment, although I never comment on anything... ever. I'm 35, female, and a victim of domestic violence, yet, playing this scene didn't unsettle me in the least. In fact, I want to speak to how amazing a jog these guys did on promoting emotional involvement in this game. I truly felt sorrow, regret, exhilaration, fear, and joy as I played through and watched the story of this game. the dialogue, the expressions of the characters, were so real and engaging. I'm moved. I could never live inside a Disney bubble.
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  • Avatar for sylveriashini #177 sylveriashini 2 years ago
    What a special pussy snowflake this lady is. A vampire feeding on a woman = Rapelay? I know Twilight has turned vampires in to fags, but bitch, please, you're doing a disservice to your gender, to MY gender, by being such a fucking alarmist bitchfitting snowflake,
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  • Avatar for mikecarreira28 #178 mikecarreira28 2 years ago
    what the fuck game did you play?! how the hell was that insinuated as rape and why the hell did YOU find that scene sexual?! :S He was feeding to regain his strength, there was absolutely nothing sexual about it lmfao I think they meant it to be uncomfortable because they wanted to show how far someone especially Dracula would go for life. The scene was meant to be disturbing in the since that he was killing a family, not raping them :S You people are delusional, if you found any part of that scene sexual I think YOU have issues.
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  • Avatar for mikecarreira28 #179 mikecarreira28 2 years ago
    @davidsiegel28 I agree with you a MILLION % I have NO IDEA what scene or what game these people were playing :S and how you have -11 for your comment is beyond me! These people are insane for even thinking that any part of this scene is sexual..:S

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  • Avatar for pétermolnár91 #180 pétermolnár91 2 years ago
    @Thusian " She said it made her uncomfortable, was created for shock value and does not treat the imagery it evokes with the right attitude."

    If you read just a third of what she is arguing, then you have no such illusions.
    In the broad sense, she is requesting censorship because she feels that these things make her feel bad and are in general "problematic" and unacceptable.

    We've been here a million times with this "your rights end where my feelings begin" bullshit.
    Its not a feasible argument.
    If you cant take a horror movie, then you do not go to watch it, and thats the only viable solution for you, because guess what: Your opinion handles about yourself and is based on YOU and YOU alone.
    The moment you start to extrapolate some bs from your opinion and start to imply shit like how you hope this and that gets removed from it before release, because obv. its wrong.

    Also in regards of "the author never insists that having this scene in the game will encourage people to Rape"
    Literally in the first few sentences: "this scene is kind of stunning for how blatant it is with its allusions to rape. It's a scene that forcibly reminds me of the boxart from RapeLay"
    Yes. I guess a Game designed for the sheer objective of creating an interactive rape simulator is easy to confuse with literally any form of violence against women.
    Got mauled by a bear? Rape
    Got bitten by a vampire? Rape
    Got hit by a car? Rape
    Got shot? Rape

    Im sorry, but this "opinion" as you call it is bugous, irrational and yet puts the long shadow of censorship over any form of media because "muh feelings".
    It would take literally hours to go through all the stuff that is wrong with her perspective, and one more time just to underline it: Having an opinion is perfectly fine. Having a retarded opinion is also perfectly fine. Having a retarded (or any other type of) opinion which you wish to enforce on other people: Not right.

    If vampires upset you, do not watch it. And thats the only sensible option you get, because the rest of humanity does not have to follow your values, opinions, etc.
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  • Avatar for Thusian #181 Thusian 2 years ago
    @pétermolnár91 Seriously I get in and there's a notification on this, you still on this? Move on, I still disagree with your statement that she is calling for censorship even if she says she wishes it would be removed. Conversation over, have a nice day.
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  • Avatar for grendelm.marsh74 #182 grendelm.marsh74 2 years ago
    I played the game, and that scene, rape and sex never crossed my mind once as much as the fact dracula just murdered a family
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  • Avatar for bigal1960 #189 bigal1960 2 years ago
    I see no sexual assault and there is no sexual assault in this game! And I did play the game a few dozen times. If you see sexual assault in this,you need help. All he was doing is sucking the life force out of human in which a vampire would do,to live he must kill people.You made its read where David was agreeing with you where he isn't but he didn't said anything about sexual assault.Remember you wasn't the only one that was there.In vampire movie he goes after women and women vampire goes after men. Game marker need praise to go their viewpoint having a sexual assault add to this game is uncalled for and unfair!Yes there is violent in this game but no more than you see in almost every movies that is out there. Anyway if the game make you uncomfy than don't play it.Remember its just a game not real life!
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  • Avatar for lukejohansson64 #190 lukejohansson64 A year ago
    http://i.imgur.com/CtfidQK.gif

    Ick... Just ick..

    Absolutely disingenuous. Putting that gender studies degree to work.
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  • Avatar for lukejohansson64 #191 lukejohansson64 A year ago
    Deleted May 2015 by lukejohansson64
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  • Evil characters do evil things. This is no secret. I disagree with your opinion that a game should be censored because of this.

    I mean, for God's sake, you're against Dracula draining the blood of his victims.
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  • Avatar for shintenzu #196 shintenzu A year ago
    I watched the scene and the only allusion to rape, was the one the author projected unto it. The scene was little more than an animal selecting his prey and feeding on it. So the author hoping that the game devs would engage in self censorship to appease the author's fragile sensibilities seems rather pathetic.

    If you can't handle such dark themes, you have every right to blog about it, but don't give us an unsupported moral claim that such a scene "trivializes sexual assault" simply because you could not handle it. Maybe you should stick to reviewing e-rated games.
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  • Avatar for O-Rly #197 O-Rly A year ago
    Damn,I just realized I've been raping pig for eating bacon all these years.
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  • Avatar for Brandene #198 Brandene A year ago
    Some words that needed to be said about Kat's autism
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  • Avatar for brandonwoolley22 #199 brandonwoolley22 A year ago
    I'd just like to say i love both games to pieces and this scene was the fast real dark scene in the series being at the start of the 2nd game and probably stands as one of the darkest scenes in-game and yes it made me very uncomfortable and i loved it, it was a superb effect but it wasn't because it look or felt like rape (in fact im still wondering did you see a different scene than what was put in the finalized version) no it was because i watched Gabriel murder a father ripped a mother out of the daughters arms slowly and dramatically killed her then to turn and horrifically finish the daughter off.
    i personalty think this was a fantastic scene it really gave you a hint of how much Gabriel has changed and what style of game there going with, not to mention the effect it had on me and certainly other players!
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  • Avatar for Deviancy #204 Deviancy A year ago
    With all due respect, the pasted text below is why you have no business reviewing anything within the horror genre.

    "Sexualized imagery is nothing new in vampire fiction, but this scene is kind of stunning for how blatant it is with its allusions to rape. It's a scene that forcibly reminds me of the boxart from RapeLay"

    The scene you're referring to has Dracula feeding off of a woman in a way countless vampires have fed off of women for eons in films, games, comics, novels, etc, and so on. In short, if you're comparing that scene in the game to rape, you're saying that the vast majority of vampire fiction out there deals with "rape fantasy", which is what Rapelay is, its a "rape fantasy" game. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not slamming "rape fantasy", it is protected by the first amendment and the creators of rape fantasy have every right to create games, films, etc, and those who enjoy it are well within their rights. However, a male vampire grabbing a woman to feed off of her being compared to rape is like saying a wolf eating a lamb is sexually assaulting that lamb.

    However, even if Dracula did sexually assault the woman, which he didn't, there's nothing wrong with sexual exploitation horror stories like I Spit On Your Grave, Last Houst On The Left, and Zombie's Halloween II (director's cut).

    In short, if graphic scenes like the one in LOS 2 disturbed you that much, maybe you'd be better of sticking with games that people have no issue playing, or allowing children to play like Call of Duty where one goes around slaughtering tons of people while getting to play as a government puppet.
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  • Avatar for babbu535 #205 babbu535 A year ago
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