2014: Year of the Female Lead

2014 will be the year of the female lead.

Side games in a franchise that highlight female characters are not new. Final Fantasy X-2, Death by Degrees, Super Princess Peach and most recently Assassin’s Creed: Liberation have all expanded on their original universes – with varying degrees of success. Many fans complain that these titles don’t get as much support from their creators, often released on handhelds and lacking the widespread promotion their originators do.

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With Aveline moving from handheld to console and very prominent efforts by Naughty Dog to make sure that Joel and Ellie from The Last of Us are equally recognised, it seems that representation is getting looked at more seriously by developers.

Fans all over the internet are speaking more in support of male and female characters getting the same level of promotion, especially as duos like Elizabeth & Booker from Bioshock Infinite and Joel and Ellie get more popular. As the sentiment is begins to gain momentum, one by one, strongly backed sequels are being introduced into franchises that are all female led.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII from SquareEnix is the standout among these titles, the third installment in the universe mentioned in the subtitle.  Coming to North America in February 2014, it will serve as an ending to her story in the trilogy. 

Further into the year, Transistor from Supergiant Games will be released. It is largely considered the spiritual successor to the indie hit Bastion and follows the story of  a sword-weilding songstress named Red, featuring a sci-fi aesthetic strong enough to rival anything seen in its predecessor.

The announcement of Mirror’s Edge 2 during E3 brought a new wave of enthusiasm for DICE’s franchise and teased hopeful fans with images of Faith’s early days as a runner. 

DLC Season Passes are becoming standard occurrences and with devoted fanbases being rewarded more readily by developers, female leads and co-stars are poised to get a lot of limelight in the future. 

Is this just a temporary trend or signs of bigger changes in the industry? Which female character would you have star in a sequel?

Tell us all about it in the comments!


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