Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Celebrating Konami?! FemSnake For The Win

Back when Assassin's Creed: Unity was coming out I wrote a backhanded defense of the developers for not putting playable female characters in the multiplayer mode. My point was that, because of the way the game was designed, it would be a hell of a lot harder to implement a playable female character than it was in the old AC games that did have them.

Well, time has passed and Hideo Kojima sure showed me. Brianna Wu has a great write-up, but the TL;DR is that you can play as FemSnake in Metal Gear Solid 5.

FemSnake Blonde.
From the aforementioned write-up:

"She’s a prisoner you rescue on a mission, but you do get to play almost every mission as her. She can be your protagonist, and is included in many of the cutscenes. She runs Mother Base. She commands the game’s soldiers. She is fully voiced, and her acting is even more menacing than Kiefer Sutherland’s."

This is basically what I said Ubisoft would have to do to put a playable female character in Unity, and I stand by my assertion that it's a hell of a lot of work. (Kojima even has an advantage in that Big Boss/Kiefer Sutherland is practically mute throughout the whole game. Less voice acting!) But I also said it was totally doable, and Metal Gear Solid V has gone and proved it. They've also allowed you to play as different races by the same method, male and female. Hats off to Kojima and, yes, Konami for doing the right thing.

I should note that there are a few hoops you have to jump through to do this, namely actually finding a female character and extracting her to add to your Mother Base combat unit. At around the halfway point in the game I've found six female characters out of almost 600 soldiers, so yeah, this is difficult. (Extracting a female prisoner is actually worth a Playstation trophy, but I'm 99% sure I've run across at least one female soldier as well.) Also my FemSnake, a.k.a. Laughing Wallaby, sounds like a total psychopath when she pets D. Dog, but that's not that much different from Boss I guess.

You can also customize D. Dog. I've made him as Corgi as possible.
(Tangent: why the hell can't I put Quiet in something modest? You released female DLC costumes that are only usable by 1/100 of your soldiers and don't go on Quiet. Come on Konami.)

As for Ubisoft... well, Unity was a glitchy disaster at launch so, yes, their resource and time problems were real. Poor bastard developers. Happily Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, just out, is by all accounts a superior game and features a choice of male or female protagonist, so they've put one in the "win" column. Here's hoping they keep it up.

"Damn it D. Dog."

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