Looking at a few games in my collection, I’ve been thinking that quite a few of them get quite a bit of undeserved negative press. Often this comes from some of the ‘stereotypes’ shown within the games, & often this can be disproved with just a little open-mindedness.
Take Gears of War. The series has received some serious negative feedback in the past for being the way it is, with people complaining that it’s all over-the-top testosterone, and violence; with huge overly macho soldiers chainsawing their way through horrible ugly monsters. Characters like Augustus Cole get bad rep for being too stereotypical and one-dimensional as well. Yet the truth is that this all falls apart if you actually look into the world and its (& the characters) back story.
The story actually focuses heavily on the ties of brotherhood and family forged under duress; with people who have completely different personalities, backgrounds and motivations being forced to join and work with people they may not even be able to stand normally, and still managing to forge bonds of such strength that they would die for each other. Gears 3 for instance (Spoiler Alert for those who haven’t played it) showed the players a horrible gut wrenching moment where Dom dies saving Marcus and the rest of the squad, showing the players an extremely vulnerable and tragic side of the characters. Something which would not be looked at if the game was as ‘overly macho’ as critics would say.
The character of Cole also, as fans of the series will know, not only came about from extensive character research and development, but was largely inspired by his voice actor Lester Speight. The character is actually revealed to be an extremely kind-hearted & gentle character who still writes letters to his long-dead mother. Not exactly what people would expect based on what some have said in the past.
Another game which receives a lot of negative criticism as a series are the Dead or Alive games. mainly criticized for the largely female cast; many of whom admittedly are all presented to be extremely attractive no doubt to attract players. But again, fans and those who give the games a chance will realize that the same characters are strong individuals who are just as valid and powerful as the often-overlooked, but no-less impressive male cast.
in fact, what many people should note is that in a fighting game where people play to win; the fact that most players choose to play as the female characters over the male ones could even go to show that they believe the female characters to be superior fighters, which again, hardly conforms to the negative stereotype the game is regularaly labelled with.
Overall just some food for thought that when someone complains about stereotypical characters, settings, backstory or whatever; that it’s often worth having a closer look into the issue. As often the only one who ends up with anything justifiably bad to say about them is the critic who complains about something they haven’t even bothered to try and understand …