Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Top Ten: Videogaming Femme Fatales (part one)

It’s a little saddening that the majority of video game characters are men (even the aliens are usually men), so when a strong female character comes into play, it can make gamers sit up and pay attention. So, here’s our pick of gaming’s femme fatales. You don’t wanna mess with these ladies...

Also, keep your head down – spoilers incoming...

10) Mara Amarov (Syphon Filter)
Ex-KGB agent Mara Amarov turns out to be one of Syphon Filter series hero Gabe Logan’s most deadly foes – but you wouldn’t know it. As skilled an infiltrator and actress as she is a marksman, Amarov leads both Logan and her ‘employers’ on a merry chase for no less that three games – but always from the shadows, manipulating her way to success. As cold a woman as they come, Amarov eventually met her end at the hands of Logan’s agents. Probably.

9) Elaine Marley (Monkey Island series)
While it would be easy to chalk Elaine Marley up as a damsel-in-distress, she’s far from useless – as anyone who has faced her biting tongue and piratical ways can attest. As the love interest for both Guybrush Threepwood and his sinister nemesis, the zombie pirate LeChuck, poor Elaine keeps getting dragged into the Monkey Island adventures – even getting turned to stone at one point – when all she wants is to keep her Caribbean island safe. As the woman who wears the trousers in Guybrush’s life, she deserves a spot in this list – if she doesn’t take it at cutlass-point first...

8) Chloe Frazer (Uncharted)
There was always something ‘off’ about Chloe Fraser. From the first time wisecracking hero Nathan Drake caught up with her in a hotel bedroom, I just knew she couldn’t be trusted. Besides, the first game she appeared in was called ‘among thieves’ - that hardly bodes well, does it... As pretty as she is manipulative, Frazer drags Drake into a heap of trouble, turning traitor, then double-agent – and all with the dulcet tones of a properly voiced English accent. She turns out to be a good guy, sort of.

7) Viola (Zone of the Enders)
Veteran ‘runner’ Viola is one of the main antagonists of the first Zone of the Enders game – Hideo Kojima’s side-project about massive mechs called ‘orbital frames’ – and boy is she a cold-hearted bitch. Despite her incredible skill as a pilot, Viola’s defining personality trait is a cold, hard fury at the world around her – a world which took everything from her, and leaves her nothing but battle. It takes a young boy and a powerful battlesuit to bring her that peace, and she even goes so far as to refuse help after she is defeated. Makes you shiver...

6) Bayonetta (Bayonetta)
Sassy, scary and thoroughly funny, Bayonetta’s dark powers are more than a match for anything she comes across – and it helps that her most powerful attacks are powered by her hair, which also constitutes her form-fitting bodysuit – when it’s not turning into a giant boot, or a dragon. ‘Course, while the fact that her hair forming massive monsters leaves her basically naked is a point to raise, I’m more interested in her four pistols – two in her hands, two on her high-heels – all of which she uses with ease. Limber.