So awhile back I wrote about my most memorable men in gaming, and being one for equality an all I thought ‘hmm I should do an article on my favourite females’. And why not? There are some awesome female characters in the world of videogames right? Right…?
Well, maybe not as many as there are dudes, but I’ve managed to find four that I really like. Do I love them? Well, in FemShep’s case HELLS YES I DO.
These women all possess a quality I like, be it independence, adventurousness, bravery or a sassy attitude. Granted they are all from more modern titles like Mass Effect and Uncharted but that isn’t a fact that should surprise many of you as it’s only recently that I think females have started to get better roles and personalities in video games. They’ve always had the boobs, now they’re getting the brawn.
So, in no particular order, I’ll get on with it…
Elena Fisher – Uncharted series
Without doubt Elena is one of my favourite females in video games. She is a punch throwing, won’t-quit journo who steals the heart of the hottest treasure hunter since Indiana Jones. She is a really well written, rounded character and Emily Rose does an amazing job of bringing her to life. The emotion and physicality she puts into her voice is just wonderful.
As a non-pc alongside one of the most memorable men in gaming, that being Nathan Drake of course, there was always the possibility of her disappearing into the shadows and only ever getting mentioned as his Mrs. But she doesn’t. And that is awesome.
Nate is a strong, smart, adventurous character and could have gone through the series without her. Or could he? In my (humble) opinion no, he couldn’t have. He’d have given up and gone home in the first game, not wanting to get himself killed for an uncertain treasure.
All the times he feels like quitting the field or when he begins to doubt his abilities, Elena is there to push him onwards; to remind him that he is capable of ‘saving the world’.
Even when she’s possibly dying (in Drake’s Deception) she has a profound effect on Nate; spurring him on to chase down the ones responsible and yet again save the world from evil. She brings out the chivalrous side of him, she gives him a reason to care; a drive to go on.
In my eyes Elena is as much Nate’s equal as anyone in the series (maybe more so than anyone else). The way she fit’s into the dynamic of Nate and Sully is a testament to her strong personality. She is as intelligent, quick, sassy and (almost) as physically capable as he is. Instead of relying on him to crack the riddles she will work with him to solve them. Instead of leaning on him like a damsel in distress she allows him to lean on her. And he needs that, he needs an emotional crutch sometimes and she is the only one he will break in front of. The scene in Drake’s deception when he returns to her battered and bruised after escaping the pirates is just beautiful; so sweet and tender. She is the only one he fully opens up to and feels safe doing so. He trusts her not only with his life but with his insecurities.
And when she’s not supporting him she’s busting his chops or wise cracking with him, “we can argue about it later, it’ll be great!” (Drake’s Fortune). In Among Thieves when Elena is introduced to Chloe, does she go green with envy or pout? No. She cracks one of the best lines of the series out…
And man, I love her for that. I’d like to think that’s how I would respond being introduced to my ex’s new squeeze; cool, calm and hilarious. Not weak, jealous and pathetic.
And as the audience, we know that it’s Elena that Nate loves…thank-you Chloe for pointing out that it was Elena who broke Nate’s heart not the other way around. We don’t find out how or why but it is definitely implied that Elena left Nate after the events of Drake’s Fortune. Another tick in the box for Elena (I kinda love a heartbreaking female!)
Elena and Nate understand each other and each others motivations. The thing that originally brought them together; Sir Francis Drake’s ring, is also the thing that causes the most trouble between them. Nate is desperate, if not a little obsessed, with finding the gold at the end of Drake’s rainbow. Elena really does understand this about him but becomes increasingly frustrated by it. By the time of the third game, it has seemingly come between them in a massive way and caused them to separate.
But taking in all of this and the trouble it has caused, Elena still identifies with Nates need to understand the story behind it. When he loses it at the end of Drake’s Deception she is truly sorry as she understands that it was his Achilles heel; a weakness that he’s always carried with him. A scratch that he’s always needed to itch. And then he shows her his wedding band. And we know then that she is his Achilles heel.
She may be Nate’s ‘love interest’, yet through the games she is more than her relationship with him. She is always the strong independent journalist, unwilling to let the camera stop rolling. She rarely takes any of Nate’s crap and will always call him up on any bad ideas he may have. If she doesn’t think his plan is going to work, she will tell him. But at the same time she will continue with him, if she is able, she will remain at his side. Whether it’s to get the story or to support Nate it doesn’t matter, I love her for it.
Now, as with most characters she develops as the games move forward. She’s not adventure ready from the outset and hasn’t even fired a gun before the first game. We get to see her stretch her wings and develop from naive (but capable) reporter into a somewhat hardened, practical survivor. Yes, she still chases her story but she is less willing to be so cock sure and run in all guns blazing. She steps back and considers a plan of attack and the consequences to the people around her.
As for Elena’s appearance, well, it’s simple. She’s been kept natural and athletic. Which is incredibly refreshing in the world of ‘Bayonettas’ and the ‘Dead or Alive’ build of women. With a girl next door look, she has the practical style of a woman working in the field and it’s all completely believable. A female Foreign Affairs correspondent wouldn’t traipse around battle torn streets in heels and dresses would she?! No. Cargo trousers and a side holster are far more realistic.
And that realism is a big part of why I love her so much.
She is an ‘everywoman’ next to Nate’s ‘everyman’. She is sassy and clever and compassionate. She is beautiful, but it’s not her main feature. She’s professional, focused and independent. Nate falls for her, I fall for her and I really hope we get to see more 0f her in Uncharted 4…because we all know its coming…
Apparently I love Elena more than I thought and I kinda got carried away with myself…so I’ve split it into numerous pieces.
Glorious bite-sized bits of gal appreciation!