Hyderabad: ‘Returnal’, ‘True Colors’, ‘Kena’, and ‘Forbidden West’ — four of the best games I have played in the last year, have something in common – a fearless, outstanding female protagonist. Be it the horrors of ‘Returnal’, the prisitine magic of ‘Kena’ or navigating Alex’s superhero origin story in ‘True Colors’, I can sincerely say […]
Hyderabad: ‘Returnal’, ‘True Colors’, ‘Kena’, and ‘Forbidden West’ — four of the best games I have played in the last year, have something in common – a fearless, outstanding female protagonist. Be it the horrors of ‘Returnal’, the prisitine magic of ‘Kena’ or navigating Alex’s superhero origin story in ‘True Colors’, I can sincerely say that we gamers were spoilt with a line-up of some of the best developed female characters in recent memory.
Add to this Aloy’s tireless crusade of saving the world in ‘Forbidden West’ and you suddenly realise that games with women protagonists can push the envelope of video game narratives in several ways.
It was pleasantly surprising to note the development of secondary women characters in some of these games, and the significant roles they play in the plot’s progression. Steph in ‘True Colors’, for example, is not just a confidant but is also significant in the protagonist’s decision-making and the journey the player wishes to take.
In ‘Forbidden West’, characters like Zoe, Petra, and Gaia help Aloy in her unending journey, even the antagonists like Regalla elevate the plot considerably, as the fight between Aloy and her signifies so much in the game’s world.However, not everything with ‘Forbidden west’ is perfect as a few players from the player community did manage to find flaws in a nearly perfect game by lamenting about the presence of Aloy’s facial hair. If Abby’s body was a concern in ‘The Last of US II’, this is taking the matter to a newer set of lows. Some arguments are simply too ridiculous at times – there, I said it!
On the non-gaming aspect of things, the fracas at Activision Blizzard seems to have an end in sight with Microsoft’s acquisition, but we still have no clarity on similar issues at Riot games. I would like to root for Microsoft here as there is simply no space for toxic masculinity at places of work and if Microsoft can weed out the frat culture in one of gaming’s biggest studios, they deserve all the credit.
But it’s easier said than done and that is worrying to a great deal, if Microsoft’s plan to curtail the issues at hand fail, then it would mean the signalling of something much graver and more sinister. If the actions by most gaming companies during the ongoing war in Ukraine are any indication, it does seem we are increasingly more involved in the world’s well-being.
So, there we go, another year, where we have enjoyed some games with better gender portrayals and representations. The march is steady and ongoing, but let’s really hope there’s inclusivity and a willingness to embrace people from all walks of life in gaming at the end of this long tunnel.
I also feel that the time is also ripe for e-sports to support successful women as it would only mean a more diverse list of role models for the gamers and players of tomorrow.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.