On International Women’s Day, it’s worth recognising some of the most influential female video game characters in the gaming industry…
Some have been digging for treasure in tombs, involved in political espionage, others fighting off an entire alien race hell-bent on destroying humanity and some even just fighting to survive.
There has been some great female over the years and here are some of the best:
- Cortana (Halo)
Halo fans know that Cortana is as important to the series success as Master Chief.
Cortana was the voice in your head, she was the driving force behind why the player fought thousands of Covenant, Brutes and, Forerunner forces.
Halo’s story was never about the war but Cortana. She was the key to everything. She strategized beyond belief for Chief and when the time came in Halo 4 she sacrificed everything she had for him and the entire universe.
Cortana may not have been playable, but our AI companion is the voice of the first four games and the core of the series emotional weight.
- The Boss (Metal Gear Solid)
Snake Eater is very much The Boss’ tale as well as Naked Snake’s.
The player goes the entire game under the impression that The Boss’ is working against them and is the main antagonist of the game.
However, in a very emotional conclusion, where you find out that she was doing everything she could to prevent nuclear war and due to this she sacrificed her life and was labelled a traitor by the USA and a war criminal in the USSR all to achieve world peace.
It’s safe to say that without her the Metal Gear series would have no Big Boss and definitely no Solid Snake.
- Ellie (The Last of Us)
This 14-year-old’s journey over the course of the game is nothing short of spectacular. Ellie is the heart of Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic story and world.
The mixture of vulnerability and stubbornness/angst she often shows to Joel and other characters is what makes her as a heroine and a young woman within a zombie apocalypse amazing to play alongside (and as for a part of the game).
Her dynamic with her friend and father figure: Joel, is something that grounds the game away from all the bandit shooting and infected cleansing mayhem that ensues throughout the course of the game.
Ellie also stands out as being AAA gaming’s first openly LGBT protagonist.
It’s safe to say that everyone can’t wait to see more of her in The Last of Us 2.
- Samus Aran (Metroid)
No-one personifies what it means to be a badass Bounty Hunter like Samus does.
She is cited as the very first female video game protagonist and one of the most iconic video game characters of all time.
She is a bounty hunter who can disintegrate anything with her arm cannon and she holds the tenacity to get the job done.
Her series is so influential that a sub-genre of action-adventure games known as Metroidvania was created for games inspired by both the Metroid and Castlevania series’.
With Metroid Prime 4 releasing sometime within the next few years, fans of the series cannot wait for her next outing on the Nintendo Switch.
- Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
Courageous, independent and, resourceful, are three adjectives we’d use to describe Lara in both the original games and her reboots.
She’s not just the most popular female video game character, but easily one of the biggest stars in all of gaming.
Fans have seen her go from the dual handgun wielding and short shorts wearing acrobat adventurer that she was in the original games, all the way to the survivalist with a bow that takes down trinity henchmen from the shadows in the reboot trilogy.
With a history that speaks for itself since her debut in 1996, Lara is and will continue to be an enduring icon in the industry who will go on to be cherished by gamers for generations upon generations.
By Joe Smalley