I saw this on Steam’s store page today and immediately thought of you. I’ve never heard of this game, but judging by the reviews on the store page it is a steaming pile of doo-doo. The only reason it seems to have positive ratings is because you can get a promotional item for another game.
Goes to show that you can’t make a crappy game better by just sexing it up.
Apparently this game is not available in Australia… and unsurprisingly there has been no outrage over that which I’m aware of. The basic plot behind the game’s fluff? Russia is taking over Europe – yes both unimaginative and exceptionally problematic in this day and age.
Looking through the fluff on their official page, I could not find any explanation why the ladies are letting their bits hang out (all the interface info shows heavily clad angry looking men), or why the brown man in the centre is wearing a keffiyeh. Seriously the closest the maps shows the conflict getting to the Middle East is Bulgaria:
Furthermore, while there’s not an official pattern, black and white chequered keffiyehs are a symbol Palestine. It’s kind of like if you had a game set in central Asia and then one of the lead promo characters is white and wearing a Scottish tartan-like flatcap. In their attempt to be more like modern warfare they managed to get even more casually racist and problematic with their representation.
But back to representation of women, are their female soldiers who are promoted as Bad Girls really in these ridiculous outfits right next to fully clad male soldiers? Or is that just promo art? Well let’s see:
I think this game neatly encapsulated so much of what is wrong about representation in video games – particularly why real women in the military are not too exactly thrilled about it and neither are people who’s cultures and homes are depicted in them (even comedians).