"OH! We have tits in the lobby, guys!”
“Oh you’ve played before… right… then prove it”
“You’re just playing for attention…you’re probably just like every other ditzy girl.”
Ladies and gentlemen, these are the few phrases us females hear (more frequently in the past, thank the Gaming Lords) whilst gaming. While representation of females has increased not only in gaming culture but in the workforce, government, and other positions where we weren’t before, we still have a long way to go before sexism and discrimination are 100% eradicated. This isn’t a post on bashing or a rant; it’s quite the opposite.
Bad ass chicks exist in the real world, but what about games??? Duh. Yes. The answer is yes. Here is my list of just a few females who exemplify powerful bas-assery in which I revel daily:
When I was a wee lass I would sit in front of the T.V. for hours melting my brain away (as parents used to frightfully tell us) while playing Metroid. We will start with an oldie but goodie that has been in my heart, as well as the hearts of others, for so so long. Metroid, when it first came out, gained popularity relatively quickly. I don’t blame it though; *cue movie narrator voice*
It’s the year 20X5 and the Space Pirates, notorious for crimes, raids and running from the Galactic Federation Police, found a capsule containing a life-form that essentially multiplies infinitely. In fear of the Space Pirates utilizing this new found life-form for evil, the Galactic Federation hires the best (and most feared throughout the galaxy) bounty hunter for the job- Samus Aran; a robotically engineered hunter who is so advanced that she contains powers and can absorb the powers from her enemies. Samus needs to infiltrate Zebes, stop Metroids from multiplying, and destroy the Mother Brain, the leader of the Space Pirate operation on Zebes. Samus’ appearance is revealed differently on how many hours it takes to complete the game, but nonetheless it is always revealed that Samus…is….a…CHICK?! What?? Loved for being arguably the first female protagonist in a video game the Metroid franchise will forever remain in my heart.
2. Tomb Raider
Since I guess we’re making our way up from past to current we will introduce this next lady as someone who can endure pretty much any environment in her tank top and cargo pants…yes… Lara Croft.
In the Tomb Raider franchise you play as well-known Lara Croft, a basically perfect human being who is also an archaeologist but most importantly a survivalist. Nature and desperation is thrust upon her when, in her latest game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, she attempts to uncover a myth of immortality. This game is filled with feels and bad-assery. You can honestly not go wrong with any TR game.Tomb Raider 1996
3. Mirror's Edge
It’s H.G. Well’s nightmare come true. In the next game we are exposed to a seemingly utopian society. Very low crime, stable economy, and a relatively clean state of living. The eerie state of perfection this community is in would make anyone of intellect wonder, why?
This city is compromising its citizens freedoms for a ‘better life’. Being spied and recorded, being lied to through mainstream media outlets, monitoring all aspects of communication, and removing the rights to smoke and drink alcohol to set precedents for future prohibitions. This abominable area dictates under the illusion of a democratic society. (Sound familiar?)
Now let’s get even juicier… You play as a young lady in her early twenties as a sort of task girl. Sorry, that’s actually undermining her job a bit. Through extreme parkour, brutal combat, and incredible prowess you complete tasks given to you by a social activist group. As you learn throughout the game your parents were apart of a revolutionary group that fought for justice against the totalitarian rulings.
After her mother was killed in a ‘peaceful’ protest Faith Connors ran away at an early age and had to make ends meet by petty jobs and theft. Her attuned skills and her deep insight into the truth made her a perfect candidate to be a Runner. This game is deeply rooted in the way our society functions, and you will not be able to put the controller down as a result of a beautifully written and developed game.
AND NOW THERE WILL BE A SECOND ONE. While watching E3 2015 I thought I heard them announce the making of a new Mirror’s Edge, and I was correct. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst will be released in May of 2016 and will be focusing mostly on the origins of Faith Connors. The first person aspect will remain as well as the locomotion via parkour. DICE clearly listened to their fan base because:
- instead of a linear story line Catalyst will be an open-world free-roaming environment
- the usage of guns is gone completely and the increased focus of her parkour/combat/melee skills are in place
- besides the campaign, side activities will also be available
- no more load screens when entering a new area…yay
- when performing a final attack the camera switches to third-person
- multiplayer features are included!!!
**P.S. I would also like to add that both the writer and Senior Producer are female!!
4. Remember Me
An almost identical plot as Mirror’s Edge, you are thrown into a world, Paris circa 2080’s (deemed Neo-Paris), in which almost everyone has received a brain implant that allows the storing and sharing of memories in a type of ‘cloud’. While one can share and store they can also remove any negative memory they have. This obviously puts the person controlling all of this in a state of excessive power over almost all of its people… I am talking about Remember Me.
Nilin, the protagonist, had most of her memory removed as a prisoner and is now getting the remainder taken away from her. Right before the remaining memories she has left are taken from her, a mystery character named Edge aids in her escape. Once rescued and explained to Nilin helps an underground rebel group take down the corporation that is mind-controlling everyone.
While this game was harshly criticized (maybe for its overly linear development), I thought it was great. The combat, while difficult to master, is actually a lot of fun, the environment is amazing, and the story is to die for. I am a huge sucker for anarchist games that warn us of our very own governments…especially when the protagonist is FEMALE.
5. Velocity 2X
Moving on to a not-so-known game, in Velocity 2X you play as Lt. Kai Tana, who is the pilot of Quarp Jet (a jet that teleports). She has recently become imprisoned by Vokh… An alien leader that is enslaving other races (including your own).
In this shoot em up style game your mission is to 1) escape, 2) rescue your fellow comrades and other prisoners, and 3) defeat Vokh the Enslaver…
You yourself are able to move through this vividly colored side-scroller and alternate by utilizing the Quarp Jets many abilities such as projectile weaponry, speed and defined movement, and teleportation to complete the objectives.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST…
6. Mass Effect: Anromeda
If you guys watched E3 2015 then you know it was a hugely crucial time for females in video games- from the characters to the people making them. One of my favorite sci-fi games of all time are the Mass Effect series. From heart-wrenching stories to suspense to the characters to the science fiction of it all these are hands down some of the greatest games, so when I learned that you had the option of being a female protagonist in the campaign of Mass Effect 4: Andromeda I flipped my shit. Check out the short trailer above.
There are no finalized details as of now other than the release time- 'holiday of 2016’.
WHAT WE KNOW:
- Apparently the time frame is set so far into the future from previous games that it will seem like a new game and entirely new story.
- Characters from previous games will rarely be mentioned though there is word of a few cameos from the past…
- The M35 Mako will make an appearance as well in a “new and improved” format.
- Rather than being built using the Unreal Engine as all other games were, Andromeda will be utilizing the Frostbite Engine. Frostbite’s well know and most recent game is Dragon Age: Inquisition. *hhnnngg*
2016 will be another great year for games and VR, but even more importantly it will be another step forward for female game developers, writers, artists, producers, and contributors in general. Female protagonists are finally getting the attention they deserve, and I am looking forward to being apart of that generation.
As always don’t forget to like and share, and check out my other work ^.^