So… Fortnite is supposed to be a game for kids, hence there’s no blood and lots of tactics to make kids scream at their parents that they totally need a skin or a dance.
So it’s kind of weird that when I did a search for best female skins, this weird rip off of Blizzard’s style pops up with her inexplicably bared armpits (do children really care if women shave their armpits?) and overly complicated boobplate.
Oh well, at least this was only the second item on the list… the first is well… I wouldn’t say its great armor but at least I can see how it is for children…
I’m starting to think that maybe, a large part of their market is maladjusted adult men who throw tanrums at the slight hint of diversity in anything.
No More Heroes is a series which is generally hailed as being sharp satire on many aspects of the action genre… the one area where it seems to simply lean in hard to reproduction without commentary is female character design. This is from the trailer to promote the upcoming third game.
Which is baffling, because the series very much recognizes the general disconnect between wanting to be a super extra, and also wanting to be able to make no effort (see Travis, the guy in the middle). I feel the need to warn you that reading this paragraph may cause you psychic damage, I know it did to me…
Meanwhile when it comes to imagery and costumes for female characters… the series is full of, well, this….
Because I mean… this is an area of popular media is ripe for satire. Really ripe. So ripe. Over ripe. Riper than balls.
So, Rogue Company is the game with the most forgettable name… and the most forgettable aesthetic. At the time of this post their main video juxtaposes Ronin (above) with a male hero, Dima.
You may already have noticed some issues aside from the cringe inducing leaning into “Japanese girl with a katana” (who is also a street racing champion) archetype… in a game mostly about shooting people.
In fact, for a game about shooting people… a lot of these female characters seem determined to be shot in their sweet… sweet abs:
So it does tend to give the impression that there is a particular design philosophy common to boys club studios…
So, incredibly, Blizzard has managed to come up for yet another outfit for Widowmaker that makes less sense than her original outfit – and it works as a pretty iconic example of a costume as the sort of complete nonsense when you get cis men trying to design sexy lady fashion without taking the time to study actual fashion and clothing design.
Bayonetta is beloved by many women, because while her outfits are ridiculous they also scream “fashion” and thus convey a sort of narrative that she looks like that because she wants to has the power to. It’s not unlike how Duke Nukem runs around in an ultra manly sleeveless top… except that well, it only got signed off on because it appealed to horny cishet men.
This outfit conveys that the artist likes naked (skinny, conventionally attractive) women and has tried to obfuscate it by adding random accessories and design quirks until it looks “unique” (in the same way a randomly generated hash code is unique). How it fits into fashion or even just clothing is secondary to how many extra polygons it has.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Kim, you just want her to wear a suit.” and that is not incorrect, but more importantly I want Blizzard to look at how real fashion designers make real woman look powerful. More like, say, how Giorgio Armani dressed Gia Carangi:
Or Gina Torres was dressed in suits:
And how Gina Torres was dressed in Firefly:
And learn how to mix it up into functional, aesthetically pleasing designs that convey power and story and character.
And we could avoid… so many problems.
Bloodborne board game – official art by
Can we all appreciate how entirely gender-neutral all of those costume designs are?
It really shows what you can accomplish.
Hello Diablo my old friend.
They recently announced the latest class, the rogue, with a bizarre trailer and an even more bizarre costume as the iconic look which seems to try to hedge in a few ideas in bizarre contradiction.
- An Assassin’s Creed style hood without any cape attached
- Two part thigh highs that are cloth from the top of the calf up
But of course, they have most of the classics as well.
- A Xena style combat corset with pauldrons and bracers, but no pants or helmet
- Extremely high profile, attention grabbing outfit for someone who supposedly pick pockets and moves unseen
- Combat style is sexy dancing with knives
Also, while she does look ambiguously brown in the final videos and character model… it seems pretty clearly this was a last minute decision based off the concept art.
They really need to stop getting celebrated for talking the talk while they do the opposite of walking the walk.
Pathfinder: Kingmaker may not have the most inspiring splash art…
But it did produce some fantastic positive examples of female warriors and spellcasters, art by Valeriy Vegera! It’s just a shame that the Pathfinder property seems to have such a tendency to bounce up and down when it comes to this kind of thing.
So the (forty year long) King’s Bounty video game series has had it’s up and downs, the biggest down being the cover art for the ironically named Armored Princess.
Second place goes to Dark Side:
Third place goes to Crossworlds expansion to Armoured Princess where they decided to go with an even worse design like it was going to be the core brand:
So when I saw they had a new game in the works, I was kind of surprised that it appeared relatively low fantasy with costumes inspired by history and… no beyond peasants and nobles… then I saw the Celestial Warrior, which seems to be the only female unit.
Now, this does of course count as improvement… but that’s hardly worth celebrating since the bar for that was so low and… there’s just something about the developer videos and promotions that makes me… concerned about what content they may not yet be showing off…