Platform: Playstation Four Release Date: 2017 Age Group: 16
Aloy is the main character of an action role playing game called Horizon Zero Dawn. Horizon Zero Dawn was developed by Guerrilla Games and published by Sony on the Playstation Four in 2017. The game is set a thousand years in the future in a post-apocalyptic world that has become over run with robots. Mankind is no longer the dominant species and has been reduced to a smattering of primitive tribes.
The plot revolves around Aloy, a young girl who gets cast out of her tribe at birth, who grows up living as an outcast with a man called Rost. Aloy is at the top of this list because she might be the best female character who has appeared in any video game ever. Where do I begin? Firstly, just like Ripley from Aliens, she was written with no gender in mind. I liked that.
Aloy was not over sexualised and her body was not presented as eye candy to the viewer. The shape of her body was not flaunted and her clothing was practical and doesn't outline her curves. Her breasts aren't huge and don't bounce and her clothing actually covers them. You have no idea how much this alone made me love this game. It is rare for a female character to not be over sexualised in a video game.
Guerrilla Games went to a huge effort to respect Aloy and to treat her as a hero who just also happens to be a woman. No one ever comments on Aloy's gender or questions her skills or abilities because she is a woman. Her femaleness was not a problem and she was written not as a Strong Female Character but as a very human character with an interesting personality. It was wonderfully refreshing. If you have a teenage daughter who loves science fiction and open world games I highly recommend Horizon Zero Dawn.
2. The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series
Fight off the dead as Clementine from the Walking Dead Telltale Games
Platform: Playstation, Xbox, PC, Android, iOs, OS X, Linux, Ouya, Kindle Fire Release Date: (2012 - ) Age Group: 15
Clementine is one of the main characters in the episodic interactive video game The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series. Telltale is an American video game production company and publisher that produces narrative driven episodic video games that allow the player to make choices which will affect how future events in the game will play out.
The Walking Dead: A Telltale Game Season One is set in the comic book universe of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead comic book series. The main character of season one is an African-American man called Lee.
Lee encounters Clementine by accident. In season one Clementine is an eight year old girl living with her parents in Atlanta. The dead rise when her parents are out of town. After her babysitter is eaten, Clementine hides in her tree house and stays there until Lee stumbles into her backyard.
Lee becomes a surrogate father to Clem and the two end up forming a very deep bond. What makes Clementine such a good character is how she grows and develops. When she is introduced she is a scared eight-year-old girl who has to depend on Lee for protection. But as the game progresses Clem becomes older, stronger, and matures into a young woman due in large part to the positive influence that Lee has on her.
The Walking Dead: A Telltale Game is returning for its fourth and final season in 2018. As a fan of the game, and as a fan of Clem, I can't wait to see how her story comes to an end. Judging from this kick-ass promotional photo of her welding an axe I think she is going to kick a lot of walker butt.
3. Tomb Raider Reboot (2013 - )
Scale impossible cliffs as Lara Croft from Tomb Raider
Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Linux and Shield TV Release Date: 5 March 2013 Age Group: 15 years and older
Tomb Raider is one of the most iconic characters in gaming. In 2013 the series was rebooted and Lara Croft and her origins was recreated. Croft has been considered a sex symbol in the past. In older games her body shape was flaunted, she wore tight fitting and revealing clothes, and she had large breasts. In the reboot Croft has a more realistic body shape, her breasts are not as large, and she wears practical clothing suitable for her environment.
The Tomb Raider reboot ticked so many boxes for me. Lara was strong, independent, an intellectual, and she had a fully fleshed out personality. She is still a sex symbol in the game. What I liked about the game is how they were able to make her sexy without putting her in a revealing outfit. Her practical outfits were so refreshing and nice to see. The game's developer Square Enix paid a lot of respect to Lara and spent a lot of time on her characterization and development. The end result was a fiercely modern woman who is as intelligent as she is attractive.
The Tomb Raider reboot was followed by a sequel called Rise of the Tomb Raider which came out in 2015. A third game called Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be released in September 2018. If you love adventure games I definitely recommend this series.
Platform: Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, OS X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One Release Date: 11 October 2013 Age Group: 15 years and older
The Wolf Among Us is another fantastic episodic game done by the talented people at Telltale Games. The game came out in 2013. It is a mixture of fantasy and mystery and is based off Bill Willingham's Fables comic book series. It is so true to the comic book the plot of the game is considered cannon and is viewed as a prequel to the comic book series.
The Wolf Among Us centres around Bigby Wolf (formally known as the Big Bad Wolf), who is the sheriff of Fable Town. When a Fable is murdered in Fable Town, Bigby vows to bring the culprit to justice. He is aided by Snow White, assistant to deputy mayor Ichabod Crane.
What makes this game so great is how well written it is. The game features a huge cast of characters ripped straight from the pages of the Fables comic book. Bigby is brought to life wonderfully and Snow White is sharp, intelligent and a force to be reckoned with.
If you enjoy interactive games with a strong narrative and compelling characters, you should give this one a go. Telltale has announced a sequel that is due to come out in 2018. It will once again star both Bigby and Snow White. If you have never read Fables after playing this game you will want to pick up the book and start reading.
5. Hyrule Warriors (2014 – 2018)
Play as the legendary Zelda
Platform: Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch Release Date: 14 August 2018 Age Group: 13 years and older
I've been a fan of the Legend of Zelda series ever since I played A Link to the Past on our family's Super Nintendo. I've played every console version of Zelda since then and I adore Link but part of me has always wanted to play as the legendary Zelda herself. In Hyrule Warriors you get to do just that.
Hyrule Warriors is a 2014 video game that was released on the Wii U. It was developed by Omega Force and Team Ninja and published in collaboration between Koei Tecmo and Nintendo.
It is a "hack and slash" game styled after Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series and Koei Tecmo's Dynasty Warriors series. The games features settings and characters from the Legend of Zelda but the gameplay is from the Dynasty Warrior series. The player selects a character from the Legend of Zelda and will then lead an army into combat against a large number of enemies. The player can use weapons and items and attacks from the Legend of Zelda series and will work their way through chapters in the story.
What made Hyrule Warriors such a unique game was that its character rosters includes a large number of female characters from the Legend of Zelda franchise. Players can choose to play as the legendary Zelda herself or as Impa, Sheik, Ruta, Midna, Agitha, Fi, Twili Midna, Tetra, Linkle (female link), Toon Zelda, Marin, Ravio, Lana, Cia or even the Great Fairy herself!
It is always nice when Nintendo breaks from tradition and does something different and that's exactly what Hyrule Warriors is. I hope they experiment with the Zelda franchise more in the future and maybe give Zelda more of an active role in future games.
Why? Did you know that almost half of gamers are women? As the number of female gamers increase female representation in gaming is improving with more female characters appearing in games that break away from the cliché of being over-sexualized
Where:EB Games, Big W, Target and your local gaming store