To the surprise of no one, women are still majorly underrepresented in video games — especially in terms of protagonists. Thankfully, game studios seem to be recognizing this as a problem and taking steps in the right direction. Three of the biggest games from last year —
BioShock Infinite, Tomb Raider, and The Last of Us — featured strong women as protagonists, and the indie sector continued to prove they were all about inclusivity.
2014 is already shaping up to be another good year in terms of women in games, and I wanted to highlight some upcoming lady-led titles that I think are worth getting excited about.
There's no cross domain hackery or tracking voodoo, it's just some sweet jQuery animations.
Please, think of the animations.
In the meantime, enjoy the html version below. I guess. If that's your thing.
May 20th, 2014 - PC, PlayStation 4
Transistor, Supergiant’s second game and follow-up to indie darling Bastion, is a sci-fi-themed action RPG set in the Blade Runner-esque city of Cloudbank. Players assume the role of Red, a singer whose voice -- and nearly her life -- has been taken from her by "The Process." Red manages to get her hands on their ultimate weapon – a powerful, sentient sword called the Transistor, which serves as both her guide and weapon as she sets out for revenge.
From what I saw during my time with
Transistor at this year’s PAX East, Red may be silent, but she’s anything but passive. Her actions speak volumes and just because the Transistor tells her to do something doesn’t necessarily mean she’s going to listen.
October 7th, 2014 - Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
Set fifteen years after the events of the original
Alien film, Alien: Isolation puts players in the space boots of Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda. Desperate for answers about her mother’s disappearance, Amanda embarks on a dangerous journey to recover the Nostromo’s black box recorder. To her dismay and our excitement, Amanda finds herself face-to-face with a bloodthirsty Xenomorph and must try to survive.
After the whole
Aliens: Colonial Marines catastrophe, Alien fans have good reason to feel wary about Sega's next entry in the franchise. This time however, they’re working with a new studio, the Creative Assembly, who have abandoned the typical shooter we’ve seen in past Alien games in favor of some good ol’ fashion survival horror. Alien: Isolation also has not one, not two, but three main female characters, so consider me officially stoked.
A Hat in Time
Summer 2014 - PC, Mac
In what looks like a crazy mash-up of
Wind Waker and Super Mario, A Hat in Time is a “collect-a-thon” platformer aimed to make you nostalgic for your N64 days. The game stars Hat Kid, a young girl capable of interstellar travel thanks her giant, magical hat, as she saves Time from falling apart and into the hands of the evil Mustache Girl.
Thanks to an ultra-successful Kickstarter campaign by developer Gears for Breakfast,
A Hat in Time will feature seven full levels, co-op mode, and a soundtrack by Banjo-Kazooie composer Grant Kirkhope.
The Order: 1886
Late 2014 – PlayStation 4
If you’re a fan of King Arthur’s Round Table, Victorian England, and hunting monsters, then
The Order: 1886 might just be your Game of the Year.
Set in 19th century London, the game follows a group of knights called The Order, whose purpose is to keep the world safe from a plague of half-breed monsters. Players take control of Galahad, a man with an impressive mustache and coincidentally one of the most respected knights in The Order. While he’s the only playable character, he’s not the game’s only protagonist. There are three other knights in the game, including Lady Igraine, who creative director
Ru Weerasuriya claims is “every bit the knight that Galahad is.” From what has been released about Lady Igraine, it sounds like she and Galahad have a bit of a history, but her loyalty to The Order remains her priority. Respect.
Broken Age: Act 2
Late 2014 – PC, Mac, Linux
Due to some funding issues,
Tim Shafer's point-and-click adventure, Broken Age, was split into two parts -- the first of which was released earlier this year. Broken Age’s dual narrative tells the coming-of-age stories of protagonists Shay and Vella. Shay lives aboard a PlaySkool-esque spaceship with an overly protective computer named Mom, while Vella is destined to be her town’s next sacrifice to a hungry sea monster.
For a while, it was unclear how Shay and Vella’s stories were connected, but after Act 1’s total ‘WTF’ ending, it seems we’ll finally get an answer in Act 2. You can get buy Act 1
here – Act 2 will come as a free update later this year.
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Lauren Puga is a writer/designer hybrid. She writes for her own blog, GameSkinny, and now the Mary Sue. You can find her on Twitter @kittentarantino.
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