2017: The year in review

Video games of 2017: the rise of the female protagonist

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Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: tech

Women have been at the forefront all year long, even with video games. Here’s a look at the coolest characters we’ve encountered from 2017’s titles

Wonder Woman proved to the world that women can make exceptional protagonists, breaking both box offices and movie stereotypes. Not only that, Game of Thrones this year had its female heroes take centrestage, not to mention Star Wars’ Rey, the lead in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. The past year has been a year of woman empowerment, not only on screen, but in real life too, with the #metoo campaign and the high-profile takedowns of Hollywood sleaze. Similarly, video games too had a great year, with the best titles made great by strong female protagonists.

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Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: tech


Horizon Zero Dawn

No one captured our hearts more than Aloy, the protagonist of the surprise hit Horizon Zero Dawn. A fantastic game set in a mysterious future where technology and tribal life co-exist in a world dominated by mysterious robotic dinosaurs. Aloy is an unconventional hero, an outcast, but a fierce warrior out to prove herself no matter what. It’s a game you cannot afford to miss out on.

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Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: tech


Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Journey deep into the Western Ghats of India with the charismatic Chloe Frazer and strong Nadine Ross as they find the fabled Tusk of Ganesh. The last in the Uncharted series, for now, this new adventure switches the focus from Nathan Drake to the perspective of a fan favourite, Chloe, as we get to explore her backstory as well as bid a fond goodbye to the character.


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Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

A work of art, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is as disturbing as it is beautiful. Chronicling the sad and brutal tale of Senua, a Celtic warrior who journeys deep into Helheim, to battle for the soul of her dead lover. As she goes deeper into the Viking labyrinth, she delves deeper into madness. The game features an exceptional motion capture by Melina Juergens who plays Senua. Plus, the game realistically represents the state of psychosis, giving people the means to experience it and identify if they suffer from the same. A powerful game in many ways.

Nier Automata

Reaching the end of Nier Automata does not mean the game is over. It has multiple playthroughs, the main ones switching perspectives or pushing the excellent story along. Nier Automata is one of the most surprising hits of the year with its unconventional setting and superb storyline that tells very heart-moving existential stories about a centuries-old conflict between androids and robots. The best part of the game though is 2B, who is a silent but deadly android, who along with her chatty partner 9S, have to confront a bunch of machines who have started to become sentient. The game is an action RPG with a fantastic story, art style and unique stage changing mechanics that has the game going from third person brawler to side scrolling and top down shooter, without breaking its pace.

Persona 5

A game that will make you want to go back to school or college, Persona 5 has you playing the unnamed protagonist who has to balance a hectic personal life, studies and a dangerous gig as one of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, who venture into people’s minds and change their hearts. While the main character is male, it's the female character that makes this game fantastic. From the misunderstood Ann Takamaki to the strong Makoto Niijima to the non-teammates you make friends with along the way, especially the punk rock physician Tae Takemi.

Star Wars Battlefront II

Mired in its own pocket universe of controversy over loot boxes and hero mechanisms, Battlefront II is still an exciting game. Its single-player campaign features Iden Versio, leader of the deadly Imperial special forces Inferno Squad. She finds herself questioning her choices as the empire falls apart. Plus, as more of a tribute to the late Carrie Fisher, you get to play as the legendary Princess Leia in battle.

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Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: tech


Assassin’s Creed Origins

While the main protagonist is the male medjay Bayek, the game has some very strong female characters. Most notably Aya, wife of Bayek. Together, they play the parents driven by grief to the extreme form of revenge. Not to mention the femme fatale depiction of Queen Cleopatra. Origins features a beautiful open-world of Ancient Egypt during the Ptolemaic Kingdom, of which you can explore every nook and cranny. Thanks to the in-game camera function, you'll spend more time taking beautiful pictures than actually playing. If you do, Origins does tell one of the most important stories in the series thus far, the origins of the Assassins Creed order.

Julian Almeida is a tech and gaming enthusiast who hopes to one day finish his sci-fi novel

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2020 8:21:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/heres-our-list-of-2017s-breakout-female-video-game-protagonists/article22275911.ece

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