Does Dragon's Prophet Have an Issue with Women?
Yes, I know that a lot of video games objectify women or use women as props. God knows they all use hot female avatars as selling points (See artwork above).
But for the most part, one of the reasons I like MMORPGs is that the female characters are active participants, not damsels. You can customize your avatar to be as realistic or overly vampish as you want. A good game should give the player a wide variety of options on that part. This Amazon tends to dress down, but practical.
So, I was fairly troubled by what I saw trying to create myself in Sony Online Entertainment's new game - Dragon's Prophet. There are already criticisms being leveled at the game on several fronts, but this issue leaped right out at me from the jump.
Is My Chest Size Really THAT Critical?
When creating a female avatar in some games, just like a male character, you have the options to customize body parts. Usually this entails height, weight, muscle tone, arm and leg length and thickness, and the thickness and length of the torso.
But, Dragon's Prophet goes beyond 'measure' in one department - the female chest.
A male character has 3 torso size options. A female has 7. And what is up with that costume option? They definitely make sure you can mold things EXACTLY how you want them. Maybe too exact.
Don't misunderstand me, I understand need for detail but this is over the top. I mean you can't tweak the angle of a dude's pecs. You can't. I checked.
My Feet Are Killing Me
Something else that struck me during just creation process. All of the female footwear were high-heels. Nothing a female adventurer likes more when walking around on unsteady and possibly slippery or soft ground is 4" inch pumps.
As a pirate, I'd often gone barefoot. So I removed the thigh-highs only to find this!
Since the developers have already pre-formed the female foot into a high heel angle, removing my boots in the game put these transparent pumps on me!
Really? Transparent shoes? You know who else wears transparent pumps?
Here's a hint, they work for singles.
This Amazon doesn't work for singles.
My Kingdom for Some Armor
Women's armor in most games goes from the impractical to the laughable. Dragon's Prophet leans more to the humorous side in its usefulness.
After battling some initial enemies, I had earned enough coin to upgrade a few bits of my wardrobe and saw that I could pick up some better leg armor. Perfect, I thought. This new armor has nearly double to damage resistance and a higher health than the leggings I started with.
Then, I put them on.
They're booty shorts. And by booty shorts, I mean that if you were standing behind my avatar, her cheeks are peeking out. And honestly, this is pretty conservative considering what my options are.
I kept the booty shorts on. Yes, I look like a Hooter's waitress but they somehow help protect me from the bad guys.
Life is Just a Fantasy...
Sword and sorcery games are supposed to have those colorful, whimsical and unrealistic elements as well as dark creatures and nightmarish enemies, yes. And I understand this is a game about catching and riding dragons while battling monsters. But, does it have to insult women? Does it have to sexualize even the character creation process? Do I have to feel embarrassed walking around a village with my avatar's behind partially showing?
Some would prefer to be adventurers, heroes and bad-asses first. Object of desire is not always a priority. Now, if you'll excuse me I'm getting back into my loose-fitting pirate blouse, trousers and taking off these God-forsaken heels.