BlizzCon 2015 is in full swing now, which means lots of incoming announcements about Blizzard games — such as this one about an upcoming StarCraft DLC story expansion pack called “Nova Covert Ops.” James Waugh, the story director for this content, told Polygon:
“We see [Nova] as a very distinct character and incredibly different. With Nova, we always find ourselves in stories about what it means to be a good soldier. … She’s an assassin for the military, and sometimes that gets messy.
This game is really about choice, which really speaks to the theme of who Nova is, and I think by the time we get through this game, we’re going to put Nova in a more empowered position than where we’ve seen her in the past.
Waugh is also the lead writer for StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, which will follow the Protoss (my personal favorite). I do realize that most people don’t care about the story in games like StarCraft — but I do, especially when the game’s few women characters get a chance to shine.
Unfortunately, I didn’t like the way Kerrigan’s arc ended in StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty — and it’s possible that writer Chris Metzen would agree, given that he told Polygon that at times he felt “super embarrassed by” some of the writing choices he made for that game (although he didn’t clarify which ones).
I’ve always felt like the women in StarCraft are given very little to do within the scope of the narrative. If they do attain power, they don’t seem to keep it for long, and they’re often punished for pursuing power in the first place. I think perhaps those patterns are unconscious ones; there are few women in these games, so the handful that are present get more scrutiny. But it’s a pattern nonetheless, so that’s why it’s hard for me to know whether to feel hopeful about another Nova-centric game.
Nova is often presented in contrast to Kerrigan — such as in her notable fourth-wall-breaking “No, I am not Kerrigan, and if I had my own game, you’d know that” quip in Heroes of the Storm. But Kerrigan doesn’t really have “her own game,” either — both women often get sidelined in favor of the adventures of Jim Raynor, who is even the first protagonist in the goofy world of Heroes of the Storm.
Nova and Kerrigan have had some interesting spin-off stories, though — and this one sounds like another exciting example. It is just too bad that Nova doesn’t really have “her own game” yet.
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