So, if you haven’t been hiding under a rock in the gaming world, you have likely played and at least heard of Overwatch. I myself have the game, and love it! Here is a question that I want to pose to you. Is the game female friendly? My name is Gamer Fangirl, and I am a new writer for here on Exp4all. I hope to make this a weekly column. So, I will give you my criteria on what I am using to rate this piece.

  1. How is the female character/characters treated?
  2. The character development of the female character/characters?
  3. Is the outfit practical?

Then at the end of the article I give the game a 1 out of 5 rating. 1 being a total misogynistic’s dream come true, to 5 being the picture perfect feminist character. Now the game is still fairly new, and if you want a great review on the game I suggest to read Will Reaper’s review here.  For this article I am focusing solely on the aspect of the female characters. So, let’s get started shall we?

 

  1. How are the female character’s treated?

First I looked at to see how many female characters there are in the game in general. There are 21 characters, 8 of which are female. Leaving us with 13 male characters. It would have been nice to have a little at least one or two more female characters, but I was impressed with the fact that there was not that much of a difference between the amount of female to male characters. I also liked the variety of the characters as well. Each female character with their own unique personality as well as abilities that bring an interesting dynamic to the playing field.

Next I looked at to see who was in each category. In the game there are 4 different roles that you can choose to play in the game. There is offense, defense, Tank, and support. Since there is 8 female characters there is 2 female characters to choose from in each role.  This was great to see that there were females in every category. Instead of just sticking them in the typical support or defense roles. I love when things are equaled out.

Then I looked at whether or not their abilities actually made them a great playable character. All too often a lot of women characters will get abilities that aren’t exactly really something that you would choose immediately unless you have practiced with them a lot. However, each character not only had awesome abilities. It was a times for me hard to choose which one to pick! All the characters female or male were equal in having abilities that would complement each other with team work.

  1. The character development of the female characters.

So, to apply this category to the game is a bit tricky since Overwatch doesn’t really have much in the way of in game cinematics on the characters. They do however have these great animation shorts which I encourage you to watch. They will hopefully make more soon. But I will just rate from what I have seen in game and the animated shorts.

First off, I don’t see the male characters putting down the female characters just because they are female. In the first animated short called Recall. Winston interacts with a female AI computer program called Athena. Even though he can be annoyed by her, you can tell that he respects her, and her opinion. Which I think speaks to his character a lot, because he seems have put a lot of trust into her.

In the second animated short alive. You see the interact of two female characters Widowmaker and Tracer. This has to be my favorite animated short out of all of them. Not only do you get to see a great action sequence. You really get to see the interaction of two opposite personalities. The coldness of Widowmaker and the perky yet determined Tracer. This made for a great dynamic for the two of them as they fought. I also noticed as they fought that there wasn’t any fanservice. No poses that would accentuate some part of their physical characteristics, just an all-out fight. That was refreshing to see. It didn’t demean their fight in anyway, in fact it made their fight seem one of the most important plot point of the 4 video series.

There are two more videos in the series, Dragons, and Hero. There wasn’t any of the female heroes in them, but those videos were great to watch as well. I do suggest to watch all of the animated shorts, Blizzard did a great job on them.

 

  1. Are the outfits practical?

For this I will be looking at the classic skin, not the ones you can get through a loot box.

Pharah:

350px-Pharah_Skin_Classic

Very practical, covered head to toe with armor, along with an awesome helmet which gives her total protection. Her outfit kind of reminds me of Samus armor from the Metroid series.

 

Tracer:

350px-Tracer_Skin_Classic

Again pretty practical, covered very well. Her outfit makes sense, form fitting but it will help her since she relies on speed during her fighting.

Mei

350px-Mei_Skin_Classic

For practicality on this one I am going to have to say no. She carries a lot of different equipment plus has a huge jacket, along with big boots. I would be afraid of her dying of dehydration during a fight. However, it doesn’t take away from how just adorable she is.

Widowmaker:

350px-Widowmaker_Skin_Classic

Again I am going to have to say no on this one as well. You would think that with her being a sniper she would wear darker colors to blend in with her surroundings. Plus, with that huge v-cut, it leaves a pretty big weakness while sniping.

D.Va:

350px-D.Va_Skin_Classic

This one is practical, covered evenly all over the body so when she leaves her mech she can be adequately protected. It also looked like it is easy to move in as well, so that way she can fight easily with or without her mech.

Zarya:

350px-Zarya_Skin_Classic

Practical, but you would think there would be more plating on her arms to give her more protection? Other than that, she looks like she could kick anyone’s ass.

Mercy:

600px-Mercy_Skin_Classic

I would almost consider this a practical outfit, but the skirt strips are just an added weakness. It would make better sense to have skin tight pants with her boots. Otherwise, I could see it getting caught on a lot of edges while fighting. Also heels are a bitch to run in, they make your feel hurt like crazy if you are running.

Symmetra:

350px-Symmetra_Skin_Classic

Again the skirt is very long and not very practical when fighting. It is a major weak spot exposing her legs. I would suggest just some skin tight pants that way she would be able to be somewhat protected when she ran around the map. And again, I know heels are a great way for making legs look good but they are not very practical in a fight.

 

So is it female friendly?

Well, besides some of the costumes not being practical, I would consider the game female friendly. With overall general respect the characters have for each other, as well as none of the female characters are weakened because of the fact they are female. I am really impressed with Blizzard, even though some of the outfits could be better. I can’t wait to see what else the game has in store for players.

 

I give this a score of 4 out of 5 loot boxes

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