One of the highest anticipated games of the year was released at the beginning of March and has convinced gamers from all over the world that it was well worth the wait.
Horizon Zero Dawn
There are a number of ways in which this game is so precious:
- The graphics are visually beautiful. The world you explore has been well planned out making for a realistic experience.
- The concept is genius. Having a variety of human tribes living in a world no one would have ever considered being a possibility in the future.
- The robots are badass! It’s scary how terrifying they can actually be!
But there’s one aspect about the game that truly completes it and that’s Aloy: our main protagonist.
Why is Aloy so awesome?!
Aloy is at the centre of Horizon Zero Dawn; all eyes are on her. That’s what can make this game so enjoyable.
For starters, she is a walking death machine with bow and arrow in hand.
Not only that, she has a number of lethal weapons, which she upgrades herself along the way including an upgrade she uses to take control of the rogue robots.
Players have the opportunity to upgrade her abilities to make her the ultimate rebel. Slow down as she aims while falling from heights, obtain incredible invasive techniques and more.
Why else is she awesome?
As it turns out, barely any of the characters in Horizon Zero Dawn like her at the start for reasons unknown to her. You see many scenes of cruel bullies throughout her childhood.
But this does not bring her down.
This only makes her want to become stronger in order to gain recognition from her tribe. No matter what was thrown at her, it couldn’t bring her down.
Another reason we love her is because she uses technology to her advantage.
This game is set in the era where you don’t see everyone looking down at their phone. In fact, technology is almost frowned upon with Aloy’s tribe.
Yet she uses it to find weaknesses in beasts, track down missing tribesmen and learn secrets about the past.
Having all these amazing abilities (which you can probably find in other games aswell), what makes Horizon Zero Dawn so great?
What’s so special about a female protagonist?
Before we start, I think we need a little bit of back story about me first.
I’ve never been society’s idea of a normal girl. Never have I felt the need to wear makeup nor worry about whether my outfit is out of date. Okay, this might be a bit stereotypical but you get my point.
I’ve always enjoyed playing games. Always.
And when looking for inspiration as to who I wanted to be when I grew up, my role models were mostly males: I wanted every assassin’s agility, I wanted kindness and bravery like Ratchet and quick-thinking and intelligence like Clank.
Finally, one day, a game was released with the most awesome, smart and respected female protagonist who I could really look up to. Aloy is my version of a “Disney Princess”!
Aloy shows women that there is absolutely no reason to be holding yourself back and achieving greatness. She isn’t bothered about growing muscles too big that would look “too masculine”.
Her actions have been animated similar to that of other, powerful protagonists and I honestly love it! No one has toned down her weapons or made her outfit more skimpy – she fits in with all the other warriors.
She doesn’t wear clothes to impress people, Aloy chooses her outfits to compete and fight in.
Despite the powerful vibe she uses to intimidate everything around, her bow and arrow, which requires so much skill allows her to maintain elegance and technique in her fighting scenes.
Also, Aloy has the ability to forest for useful items in the wild which is a skill any good adventurer should have but certainly not a skill typically associated to men.
She proves that she can compete along other men and women in order to prove herself. Not only that, but no one questions it either. Other characters in the game aren’t concerned about her gender, rather that she’s an outcast (but you’ve got to play the game to find out more about that!).
I know, I myself, am not the only female to go against her stereotype and it would be awesome to see younger girls, who are like me when I was younger be more inspired by Guerilla Games’ creation.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not one of those people who believes that “Women are better! Men are inferior”. That’s not the case.
It’s just nice to see that women are slowly making their way into bigger roles in popular video games.
Aloy isn’t the only butt-kicking, female protagonist.
I’d be naive to say that Aloy is the first of her kind. There was certainly one female role-model during my childhood:
Unsurprisingly, Tomb Raider was introduced to me by my male peers and their weird obsession with her triangle chest. Okay, yes, I thought they were funny too but that didn’t stop me from loving her.
Publishers have been releasing Tomb Raider games since 1996 and continue to do so as the franchise grows and grows.
Movies have also been released and have seen a great reception globally.
Laura Croft was who I wanted to be when I grew up: a ninja with awesome weapons who had a huge mansion equipped with a training course and still looked absolutely beautiful while in major boss-battling mode!
I still have an outfit that I refer to as my ‘Tomb Raiding’ outfit.
Here’s another game that shows a female character, not necessarily the protagonist but certainly a very important part in the game.
The Last of Us
The only world Ellie ever knew was one that was infected as she grew up in an oppressive military Quarantine Zone. Being only 13 in the first game, she is subjected to harsh realities no child should ever witness.
However, she takes these difficulties in her stride and continues to support other characters in the game. She still finds time to insert her humour into life while also being able to take matters seriously.
Being so young and vulnerable, every player feels sympathy for her situation and longs for her safety.
So it’s great to see a new female role-model join the line of other popular female characters.
Guerilla Games have done a superb job of creating a character so passionate and strong, I hope she inspires other young girls to become strong-willed like her.
Have any favourite female protagonist? Leave your comments below!