Sunday, 26 August 2012

FemShep rules!

Guys imagine this. You are an avid gamer. You love to complete the campaign and then fully embrace the multi-player, often spending more time on that than you do the campaign. It feels good right? Then imagine having to do that and in around 80% of the games you are absolutely, inexplicably forced to play as the opposite sex. Not as good? Well that’s how it is for us ‘Girl Gamers’ and it sucks.

Many new open-world RPG games have embraced female avatars brilliantly, with just as much availability to morph your character into whatever you want as the male counterparts get. I spent 100+ hours on games like Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion with my female adventurer, and I absolutely loved being able to be me (albeit a MUCH improved version of me, if I ever saw a Deathclaw in real life I can guarantee I wouldn’t run up to it with a Powerfist!).  For me being able to play as a female is very important, and if I’m honest I don’t think it’s just because I want to play as a female, sometimes I still choose males. But it’s nice to have the choice.

Mass Effect has always been another that has great customisation for both sexes. Some NPC's did still address me as a male, but I didn't care!! I was saving the galaxy as my kick-ass FemShep! And with the release of Mass Effect 3 the publishers addressed all us hard done by FemShep users by giving us an interchangeable cover! Now that's showing us some love, and it was greatly appreciated.

The main place this choice is lacking is FPS’s. Females can serve in the Army, they can do whatever males can why can’t we play as one in FPS’s? I don’t mean for the campaign’s, it’d just be really nice if developers would acknowledge the female gamers by offering this choice in multiplayer. It would require minimal effort (as far as I’m aware) but would go a long way in the gaming community.  

The game that really wound me up for not giving players this choice is actually ‘Brink’. i bought it on release, and still love the game but why are there no females? Are you telling me there are no female rebels in The Ark? I highly doubt that. Brink is as limited as a lot of the FPS’s out there, you can change the size of the muscles and their load out but not much else. I have to admit I found it incredibly disappointing.

I don’t think there is a logical explanation for why female avatars aren’t included in more games. And it’s time we stood up and spoke about it. Major RPG’s have done it, and it has meant new voice actors, different romance options and different dialogue. I’m only asking for the option of a female to be in the online version of FPS’s (something I think we’ll all agree on, we don’t necessarily need to have female’s in the campaign) so come on developers, get it done!!! 

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