By Chloe Barrett
Women’s history month is an incredibly important one worldwide. And as we celebrate it here at the Express, I wanted to introduce you to some cool, badass, and overall amazing women main characters in video games. Unfortunately, there is a shortage in comparison to their male counterparts within the gaming world. Thankfully we have moved away from the damsel in distress stereotype, but a lot better could still be done by gaming companies.
The Walking Dead has certainly established itself as an iconic tv show, being a long-running series that is coming to an end soon. However, in its run time, the series has branched out into other areas, such as video games. While there are quite a few, such as mobile games and even a VR experience, the most popular has to be Telltale’s series. Divided into interactive episodes within multiple series, the game focuses on Clementine, a young girl who is protected by Lee Everett in the scary, zombie-ridden world. However, she must learn to fend for herself while taking care of others, which is a big ask for any girl. Throughout the seasons, you see Clementine evolve into an admirable protagonist, and see her prove that she can survive in the face of an apocalypse. She has been an inspiration for many girls worldwide, and as a woman of colour, her influence extends to many fans.
Metroid is critically acclaimed both as one of Nintendo’s best series and known for its amazing twist, which was revolutionary in 1986. Samus Aran, the bounty hunter and main character of the Metroid games, was assumed by many gamers to be a male when they first picked up the game. Wearing armour and committing acts that men would never assume a woman could ever, many were in denial over her revealed sex. Even afterwards when it became common knowledge, some continued to refer to the character of Samus as a man, which is a strange choice to make. Samus donning her Zero Suit is an iconic look, and featured in the games, either in endings or even gameplay. In Super Smash Bros, you can even play as Zero Suit Samus, a fast, customizable character who is sure to leave a shocked expression on the face of your enemies once you show them what she’s capable of.
If something a little scarier is what you have in mind, both Resident Evil 2 and 3 have two amazing female characters. Even though they share the spotlight with the male controllable characters in their respective games, a large portion of the games is spent through the women’s eyes. Claire Redfield accompanies you during Resident Evil 2 as you try to escape the terrifying place of Raccoon City after most of its residents turn into zombies. Originally a 1998 release, it was remade in 2019 for a smoother experience, which gives you no excuse not to delve in deep into either of these copies! Jill Valentine takes the helm in Resident Evil 3, but she is no stranger to fans of the series. Being a protagonist in the first instalment, she is often deemed as a fan favourite and all-around amazing character to play as. Your objective is to search for a vaccine to cure, you guessed it, a zombie outbreak. Isn’t it awesome to play as a woman in these scenarios, which are usually dominated by male characters? There are many other Resident Evil adventures with female characters, so take a look if you’re in the mood for a spook!
Something a bit less scary and easier to play, perhaps? Night In The Woods might strike your fancy. You play as Mae Borowski, who has recently dropped out of college and returned to the place where she grew up. But, there is something amiss. You must venture with her friends to figure out exactly what is happening in Possum Springs.
Everyone knows who Lara Croft is. She is the tomb raider. Many see her as one of the most important characters in gaming to date, even having two movies based on her, one where she is played by Angelina Jolie. That’s awesome, right!? Lara’s goal is to find and protect specific ancient artefacts that others are searching for, usually with evil motives behind them. As a character, she has been around for over twenty years and still is the best at what she does.
There are so many other amazing games out there that feature women at their core, so please show your support, both this month and always. From creators, designers, writers, animators and women-led studios, the gaming industry would not be what it is today without strong women behind it.