You cannot deny that women – either adolescents or adults – in video game stocks have been either ignored at best or poorly addressed at worst, but things have been changing. Developers and publishers have realized that women play games for a little while now, and women are worth writing gaming stories about. In fact, video games with female protagonists do sell, and they sell well.
Female leads are now part of a developing trend in video games and gaming in general, as releases are tending to move away from the brawny macho army dude from the previous generation. The indie scene has always done a fabulous job providing us with composite yet flawed characters – both male and female.
With all that being said, let’s take a glimpse at five exceptional games with equally prominent female protagonists.
Half-Life – Alyx
Half-Life: Alyx is a virtual reality video game from the popular Half-Life storyline that follows the journey of Alyx Vance. Gamers can control Alyx, who is the remaining choice that humanity has at survival, as she tries to support the resistance and take out the Combine forever.
The game scenario is set in between the first and second Half-Life. Alyx will team up with her father and other allies to battle the Combine.
Mirror’s Edge – Faith Connors
Faith Connors is the heroine of the Mirror’s Edge gaming series. She previously appeared in both the original and its reboot. Her role in the series is that of a “Runner,” who is someone who carries necessary items to other gatherings who are trying to hide from the autocratic government system.
Frequently mentioned in lists comprising the best female video game characters, and this is mainly due to her character design being under-sexualized (a somewhat rarity in the gaming world) and her unbelievable expertise and complicated storylines in the Mirror’s Edge games.
The Last Of Us – Ellie
Ellie is not the only protagonist of The Last of Us, as this game is more about Joel’s story. But in the Left Behind DLC however, you can play entirely as Ellie, which gaming enthusiasts appear to have enjoyed.
Part of this game requires Ellie to rescue Joel, and gamers love these challenging and anxious sections of the game. This year, the sequel, which is due for release sometime later this year, is rumoured to focus solely on Ellie as she takes the mantle of the lead protagonist from Joel.
Tomb Raider – Lara
While we all loved Lara Croft in the original Tomb Raider game, the most current incarnation of Lara is a well-proportioned, more suitably attired young woman whose character progresses beyond that of portraying a ‘strong female protagonist’.
This Lara propels into the domain of a fully immersed character who appears flawed, causes blunders, takes unnecessary risks, and delivers uneasy judgment calls. She also grows as she learns, develops and matures (somewhat), becoming a more authentic version of herself. Her actions and nuances appear incredibly human-like.
The game absolutely struggles with too much narrative, resulting in white noise occurring. There are quite a few – WTF scenarios – as Lara appears to get teary after killing a deer in one cutscene, only to chop down several human enemies with an automatic rifle a short time later.
But with that aside, Lara is still great (and hot).
Alien: Isolation – Ripley
Ellen Ripley – one of THE most popular, beloved, and respected ‘badass’ women protagonists and one of the most excellent sci-fi and horror movie heroines for some time now. Paying homage to the first Alien movie, Alien: Isolation , gamers can play as Ripley’s daughter, whom Ripley never managed to get back to in the original movie narrative – Amanda.
Succeeding in her mother’s footsteps, Amanda finds herself trapped in a comparable situation as her mother did, as she emerges from hypersleep to find a rogue Alien has inhabited the apparently deserted space station called Sevastopol.
Gamer’s playing as Amanda, are required to use her wits and ingenuity to outsmart her several attackers – one of whom is the lethal hunter-killer xenomorph Alien, as she evades, crafts weapons, and studies her environment in order to survive.
After playing as Amanda in this game, you can definitely say she is a ‘chip off the ol’ block’.