While we’re sort of on the subject of unlockable outfits, I wanted to bring up Sherry from Resident Evil 6. Sherry was originally from Resident Evil 2, where she was a young child.
Pretty standard stuff. For Resident Evil 6, Capcom surprised fans by bringing her back as a (really awesome) playable character, where she became an agent for homeland security after being inspired by Claire Redfield’s actions in the second game.
Her design looks great, and it makes practical sense. This still holds true for later in the game, where all the characters have an outfit changes due to the game skipping six months ahead in the story.
And then…we get to these outfits.
The one on the left is an unlockable outfit that players can use in the Mercenaries mode, essentially a survive to the end with an increasing amount of zombies type of minigame. The developers thought it would be cool to give Sherry her original outfit…and I guess they meant the actual outfit, because wow that is really small.
The context of the one on the right is even worse, and pretty disgusting (RE6 story spoilers to follow:) at one point, Sherry and her partner, Jake, are captured by the villain organization and are experimented on for six months. Apparently they had absolutely nothing for Sherry to wear while in the facility, so they took a few rags and tied them together. Meanwhile, her partner was just shirtless with some sweatpants on.
This is also the point of the story where the clothing swap happens, and even though the outfit is fine, the changing cutscene is shot in a veeerrrryyy particular way.
Resident Evil has some particularly great women, but recently they’ve been going a little downhill with how they’ve been treating them (and the franchise in general.)
Some say we shouldn’t criticize bonus video game character outfits (unlockables/DLCs/pre-orders), because they’re optional and therefore even more in the vaccum of “just fiction”/”just fanservice” than the default character looks.
We gotta keep in mind that optional costumes, unlike, say, fan mods, are still intended by the developers to be the part of the experience, sometimes even the selling point for some specific edition of the game. It’s just as valid to be critical of them as of the game’s marketing, even if (or rather, especially if) they’re not faithfully representing the game as a product.
As @femfreq puts it in their newest video, the double standard of defaulting unlockable female outfits to “sexy” is especially harmful when the character is otherwise appropriately dressed for her job. And Sherry is just one heroine on the long list of Resident Evil’s capable-women-turned-eyecandy.
Maybe, just maybe, the idea would be more valid if male unlockable costumes were also all about sexyness and showing skin. And if the rare cases where this actually happens weren’t getting revoked as soon as possible.
edit: Something’s very wrong with tumblr lately and it has been repeatedly deleting the first two paragraphs the-midnight-doe wrote. Apparently they didn’t make it into a single reblog of this post, of which I’m sorry both to the submitter and the rebloggers.