About Us | Game Reviews | Feature Articles | Podcast | Best Work | Forums | Shop | Review Game

Brink: No Girls Allowed

Brad Gallaway's picture

Brink Screenshot

So, a while ago I blogged about Crackdown 2 and how players don't have the ability to have a female avatar. In today's scene, the developers' claims of technical limitations preventing them from including a non-male choice didn't ring true with me, and I was quite disappointed to hear that no efforts were being made to include female models. Still, even though the line about tech limits was their story and they were sticking to it, after getting hit by some of the feedback, they hinted that female characters might be available as DLC later on down the road.

Since most games that feature player customization give people the basic choice between male/female characters as a matter of course, I figured that Crackdown's mono-gendered approach was going to be the oddball exception; a one-off thing, or a blip on the radar that would quickly fade away. Unbelievably, that's not so.

Enter Brink.

A team-based shooter developed by Splash Damage and published by Bethesda, it was recently revealed that Brink has no options for female avatars despite one of its main features being incredibly deep avatar customization. Everything from race to body type to clothing, from the videos I've seen and the interviews I've read, it seems as though there are an absurd number of options for players... except being a female.

Interestingly, Splash Damage CEO Paul Wedgewood has given speeches where he's publicly stated that one of the most important things is to be "AAA" in whatever you do. That's certainly a philosophy I can get behind, although I must admit that I'm having a little bit of trouble reconciling the concept that female characters aren't a part of AAA-level presentation.

So what's behind all this? Did Splash Damage think that no female players were going to be interested in their game, so why bother including them? Was it unthinkable to the devs that male players might want to choose a female avatar? Are they somehow biased against females, or perhaps even incapable of properly rendering female 3D models?

Doing a quick search of the Splash Damage message boards, a few of the threads feature "official" responses which basically state that the developers (allegedly) had a choice between having in-depth customization options for male characters, or having less options for both male and female. In the circumstance described, female avatars got the ax.

Now I can certainly understand the realities of operating under a budget and the drive to turn out the best product possible, but I have to admit that there's something very disturbing to me about having a choice between fifty different pieces of upper torso clothing or including an entire gender, and then deciding to go with the clothing. What does such a decision say about the attitude of Brink's developers, and the studio itself? What message will be taken away by female players who check out the game only to discover that they haven't been given any representation? Not including female avatar options might have seemed like nothing more than a practical choice to Splash Damage, but taking a look at the bigger societal picture and the changing face of today's gaming constituency, it's pretty clear to me that more that should've been taken into account.

Inclusion and respect, or outfits and haircuts? I'll take the former, thanks.

Category Tags
Platform(s): Xbox 360   PS3   PC  
Developer(s): Splash Damage  
Series: Brink  
Genre(s): Shooting  
Articles: Editorials  
Topic(s): Game Design & Dev  

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Are their female player

Are their female player models in Team Fortress2, Quake Wars, Battlefield, Gears of War, Halo, any MW-CoD or Killzone2?

Goldeneye/Perfect Dark had female models, UT has got a switch for gender, but everything else not?

Certainly it would have been fair and proper nowadays, but is it really a new thing that females are excluded, is it really a special failure of Brink, of Splash Damage?

I found the 'technical

I found the 'technical limitation' excuse already pretty bad in Crackdown 2, but this is just ridiculous. After seeing some promotional trailer I was pretty impressed by the customization options. But for what do I need 500 different hairstyles, if I can only play a dude? In the year 2010 there's no excuse for not having the option to play as woman, if you include character customization options in your game. Even the testosterone heavy macho-slaughterfest Gears of War 3 will apparently include a woman in the delta squad. Unreal tournament has tons of skins and character models, including men, women, robots and funny aliens.

On the flip side: if there are _only_ men in the gameworld, it is safe to assume that many of them are gay :D

@crackajack

crackajack wrote:

Are their female player models in Team Fortress2, Quake Wars, Battlefield, Gears of War, Halo, any MW-CoD or Killzone2?

The main difference of those games to Brink is, that Brink is very proud of it's character customization options. It's one of the selling points of the game. In the games you mentioned you either...

* just pick a class with pre-defined model (TF2, Killzone2),
* there are no customization options to speak of or
* its a (historical) semi-realistic military shooter (CoD)

And to my knowledge the only army that has many women in their ranks is the Israeli army, which is hard to find in shooters.

Most games that let you alter the appearance of your character also let you choose the gender.

Li-Ion wrote: The main

Li-Ion wrote:

The main difference of those games to Brink is, that Brink is very proud of it's character customization options.

Most games that let you alter the appearance of your character also let you choose the gender.

true, still i think it's a more general problem of females in entertainment industry.

I wrote MW-Cod for a reason. A female character in one of them is not impossible and i think some players would appreciate that.
A female spy, pyro, medic... in TF2? Would love to see that instead of the class upgrades and unlockables. They could have done some of the classes female, but also only gay people...^^

At least bad-ass Gears gets now its Smurfette.
It's possible but Brink is more the standard.

Thank you

Quote:

Inclusion and respect, or outfits and haircuts? I'll take the former, thanks.

It's refreshing and heartening to see this subject brought up with care and understanding. I've been following Brink for a little while now and I was initially quite excited about the game. The co-op and character customization drew me in.
Then I found out that I could choose many male character types, go to town customizing them but I couldn't choose a female character. Then I heard all the tired, old excuses as to why that was the case. Excuses that are designed to stir up fear and actually pitch gamers against each other rather than putting pressure on the developers.

By protesting the decision to exclude female avatars, I am being put in the position of wanting to 'deprive' other gamers of important customization and gameplay features.

Also, to add to the guilt trip, one of the designers said,
"But if Brink is a big success, and a sequel gets greenlit from Bethesda, we'll have the opportunity to get all kinds of new features into the game, including ones we wanted for Brink 1 but had to drop. And you can bet that female characters would be high on the list of want-to-have new features."

So if I'm a good female gamer, get back in my box, be quiet, purchase Brink mindlessly and presumably help the game be successful I might get a carrot.
I'll pass. :)

I really appreciate this

I really appreciate this question being asked by people other than women -- it's frustrating in the extreme to be constantly belittled by designers and developers, told "Girls don't play games" on one side, and "If you're really hardcore you pick the male option anyhow" on the other.

I'm IN the gaming industry and whenever I question our designers on the lack of female (or non-white!) NPCs, PCs and so on get told I'm just "being too sensitive about it". Playable females are incredibly underrepresented in gaming, and for a game like Brink that is touting its customization capabilities to say that a shirt is more important than recognizing 50% of their playerbase is absolutely an issue of respect, and the lack thereof.

The excuses are exactly that. I've been told time and again that the reason designers don't like to do anything other than white heterosexual males is because they might screw something up and get nailed as being racist, sexist or otherwise bigoted (please note not everyone in the office is a straight, hetero male by a long shot!) so it's better to just not try. I disagree completely -- it's better to try and maybe not do it perfectly than flat-out say that if you're not a white guy, you're not allowed to play someone who looks like you.

I agree...

Trust me...me being a female myself, I'm offended with the fact that Brink's developers chose that they would rather have strictly male characters, with plentiful clothing options than to have a man with limited clothing options along with the female. I don't mind playing a man, but I wouldn't mind dominating the forces of evil with a vagina for once. But in gaming society today there are only 2 choices for female characters. One, they aren't in the game at all, or two they're in the game looking like hussies and bimbos with scrawny clothing on. If you play Lost Planet 2, there are definitely female pirates, but I swear, I couldn't find a solid pair of pants for my character. In then end she was sporting an under cleavage shirt with a bikini bottom on. I don't think it's fair...but it does make a point. even though woman's rights have changed, the stereotypical sexism hasn't. It's really a shame...

The Pyro in TF2 is rumoured

The Pyro in TF2 is rumoured to be female. As the Demoman's Domination kill says "Lass" which is lingo for girl. So there you go

British army has women,

British army has women, American army has women, most European armies have women.

The Brit army is finally testing women in field combat roles. But they already fill many front line support roles as with our American cousins.

You people should look into this more.

SD said one of their concerns with adding female characters was that the hit-boxes would be differently sized. They'd have too have an equal amount of character customization for females as well, and somehow manage to balance the hitboxes along with that.

Remeber, SD is only a team of around 50 people, so there is only so much they can do when compared to bigger devs, with 150+ person teams.

I've talked to dozens of

I've talked to dozens of people about this issue, and it always boils down to the same thing. Regardless of whatever technical reason is being given for why having females “couldn’t” be done, the bottom line is that it could have been done if the Brink team had thought it was important enough.

There was a stage in Brink’s development (like there is with any game) at which the developers must make concrete choices about what's going to be in, and what's going to be out. From that point forward, they are going to be on that track and will have to keep to the plan in order to stay within budget, maximize their resources, hit the release target, etc. etc. etc.

In the case of Brink, when the developers were at that crucial point, they obviously decided to not include females as part of their plan. They've said so themselves. That's fine, and they are completely within their rights to do so, but people trying to shift responsibility for the issue by blaming it solely on technical limitations are just perpetuating a load of bull. If they really felt like having females included was important, then it would have been part of the plan from the start, and the rest of the game development would've taken that into account.

Would it have meant less variation in the male models? Possibly. Would it have meant less customization options for both sexes? Possibly. Would it have required extra modeling time and animation programming? Certainly. However, plenty of games decide to include both sexes, so it's not like doing so is outlandish or unusual. In fact, it's pretty commonplace these days, and going back to an all-male cast feels like a big step back to me.

Brink’s devs made their choice, and it's clear to see what their priorities were. As a critic and a game player, those priorities are personally disappointing, and I would have preferred that they give at least a tip of the hat to the other 50% of the people who live on the planet.

Apples and Oranges.

Comparing FPS, and super-linear games to so-called "super-customizable" games is nonsense. Quake, Gears of War etc,. are not touting themselves as "highly customizable". The first option in most "highly-customizable" games is almost always a choice of gender. As a female who has been gaming basically since birth, it is always a major plus in a game when I have the option to play as female. Many male gamers do not understand why we make such a big deal about playing female models, but it is essentially because we have not been represented in the gaming industry as often or as much. (For an example see any of the examples you pointed out, Borderlands, featuring ONE female model and 3 male models, Left for dead 1&2 etc. )

It is especially surprising seeing as Bethesda has a hand in this considering how gender neutral they have typically been with their games(with the exception of WET which was not a particularly customizable game and one of their most linear and in my opinion, least interesting). I don't want to take this discussion into the realm of post-human avatar theory or anything, but as a female gamer, I want at the very least my gender represented while playing online.

The fact that they made a decision between, more customization or female character models sent a huge message to the female gaming community. I for one, will not be playing this game. For me, what the decision-makers said in cutting the female character models in favor of more styles of mohawks, was "F**ck you" to all of us lady gamers.

BeeEE wrote: Comparing FPS,

BeeEE wrote:

Comparing FPS, and super-linear games to so-called "super-customizable" games is nonsense. Quake, Gears of War etc,. are not touting themselves as "highly customizable".

Completely disagree.
As a male i consider leaving out females on a story basis more debasing.
Male or female in online shooters make essentially no difference at all. It is just the body, the looks of the player model. I wouldn't care if this game, and any other online shooter game, would only have female models, because it doesn't matter. (ok, i don't care for customization much. I usually choose the most ridiculous combination of choices to play... )
But when females are excluded in the story it says females are not as interesting as male protagonists for the experience.

Mar(r)y Payne instead of Max Payne, impossible? and or unnecessary for you? (would love to see that as a spin off).
In Gears of War it would not have made any difference if at least half of the figures would have been females. The story was bullshit and it didn't "need" to be a gay orgy. So why is it ok to exclude girls here?
This new PoP might have been better if i could have been able to play the Princess of Persia: Elika. The more interesting character, that was degraded to be a simple, life saver companion to the "real" hero.
Any sports game ever featured the female leagues?

Girls are underrepresented. Cate Archer, Samus Aran, Lara Croft, Jade (BG&E), Bayonetta, Nariko (Heavenly Sword), Violette (Velvet Assassin)... any more come to your mind? Compared to dozens of male heroes i could easier name. And then women should be satisfied by some female options in customizable games?
I want women as THE heroes of games more often. That's more important than girls only as an option?

crackajack wrote: Are their

crackajack wrote:

Are their female player models in Team Fortress2, Quake Wars, Battlefield, Gears of War, Halo, any MW-CoD or Killzone2?

Goldeneye/Perfect Dark had female models, UT has got a switch for gender, but everything else not?

Certainly it would have been fair and proper nowadays, but is it really a new thing that females are excluded, is it really a special failure of Brink, of Splash Damage?

Gears 3 is including female avatars because of popular demand and the fact that many female players do want to play females (as well as males playing females) & Halo is an exception because the game focused on story and they wanted to focus on MC, so when customization came into play the idea was that female Spartans would have to wear the same armor anyway (online play has an option to have a female voice, due to female gamers). I wouldn't say its so unheard of to have shooters not include females, if the community speaks up the developers might react.

JellyIce wrote: Gears 3 is

JellyIce wrote:

Gears 3 is including female avatars because of popular demand

Took them 4 years in this series to get back to their own standard set in Unreal Tournament _99_. There female models were already included. (maybe even in Unreal before too?)
Great improvement...
I'm not at all an expert for Halo, but the MC never takes off his helmet? So maybe "he" is a she, like Samus Aran and Nintendos surprise in the 80s? At least they let the imagination of everyone free?
Mafia or Red Dead Redemption have to have male heroes, it's more authentic, but what hinders modern age GTA to have a (at least optional) female hero? Rewriting/adapting many dialogs would increase the replayability a lot, for males and females.
When Rockstar says they want to focus on Nicos story it's the same like SD says they focus on different male models in Brink. They just refuse to do the work for the female track.

An uproar because of exclusion in customizable games is somewhat narrow minded when i look at all other games. Women are no option, they are reality and hence they should be in every game were reality (modern, but fantasy and sci-fi too) is the draft.
At least i would expect a balance.

Its weired Bethesda owned

Its weired Bethesda owned company didn't include females in their game since other games they have done like fallout 3 and oblivion do include girls characters. The girl character ability made both games hugely popular with a lot of girl gamers. I seems like the could have expanded their target market greatly by including girl avatars. Who knows maybe girl avatars will come later in down loadable content if the get smart.

heres hoping the get smart sooner rather then later.

I thought about having

I thought about having female characters in TF2 or Brink, and told myself 'wouldn't that be awesome?'.

But then I thought, perhaps the world isn't ready for women getting shot in the face and blown to bits.. You know?

It's one of those things where if you abuse a man physically (and not in the sexual kind of way) it's comedy, if you do that to a woman, there's gonna be some eyebrows lifted one way or another.

I'm pretty sure the developers wanted to play it safe in the PR department..

Can't please everyone :(

sadface

I am really disappointed by the fact that female characters were not included. I also believe the excuses have been flimsy. Why do females have to be so difficult to incorporate? Why do their wardrobe choices and hair choices have to be so very different from the male counterparts? If the inclusion of female avatars was not treated as if female customization choices had to be so incredibly different from the male ones perhaps it would not be so difficult to include them. I have often thought it was silly that hair cuts and t-shirts were so polarized by sex. I have often wanted to put a male item on my female character. Is it so difficult to simply make these items for a smaller skeleton? I also appealed to brink directly through the forums, and in a feedback e-mail to which I had no reply. My forum post was immediately shut down. It wouldn't be such a big deal to me if females had first not been included, then brink moderators and reps had not been so dismissive.

Meh

Female here. 33. Been a gamer since birth more or less. Play everything.. RTS, RPG and FPS. Used to be a dab hand at Quake 2 and TFC back in the day.. and by dab hand I mean top of the leaderboards. So I'm a bit of an oddity in the female gaming world ;)

I understand the developers point of view. The female model adds a lot of complexity to texture mapping as it isn't as flat as the male torso. Often textures look down and out "wrong" when stretched over breasts - this is of particular annoyance in WoW.

However, I think that using customization as a SELLING POINT and then excluding females, is pure hypocrisy. I'll still give the game a try, but I'm dissapointed from the start.

It's not just that females want representation, viva la sexism! Nothing like that. It's customization. Heck, a lot of the guys I know prefer to play as girls. many guys also like playing against other female models. It's more interesting and less testosterone-filled. Also I suspect the female models in brink *could* have had a raw, dirty sexiness (i.e. not scantilly-clad bimbos, but dangerous, hard-ass dominatrixes) which would have only ever swung in the games favour.

Females in action//shooting violent games

Frankly, I don't feel so bad about them not adding female characters into the game, not because I'm some sexist, not because I don't enjoy having females in video games. But because of the media. Look at the developers, not only would it have cut down on the customization of male characters, but they would've had to change hitboxes or make the females as big as the guys, and there's the Female violence issue, What if they just didn't feel like dealing with that issue. Rather just leave them out than having to make them huge,having to make more options for them, and having less customization for male players,AND by leaving them out. They avoided the whole violence thing, any time some girl gets shot in her head and it comes off, There's gonna be that issue just like Mortal kombat, with it's "female "violence issue. Because of fatalities against her, where as the same fatalities were being done to males, but no one had anything to say about that? Face it, the developers couldn't win adding them, or letting them go. So they went with the easiest, letting them go.

but

The Israeli army has women in the same renks and squads with male soldiers. there is absulutly no diffrence if you are a man or a female. and not to talk about that all male and women HAVE to go to the army by law. there is no feminist law that the goverment set so all the women that want to serve will be allowed to like in the USA for example. Women faught for the right to serve. In Israel it wasnt the case, since the ADF was founded, women and men served as equels. THAT'S the diffrence. It was natural and equale for both men and women to serve their country with no exclution for race, sex and ethnicity [and also sexuality, gay men and women always served with no probelm whats or ever].

now as for the point, I was following BRINK since it was announced, and I was quite excited to think that finally there will be a great FPS with female models. and now... I'm really disapointed as many others to find out that this is not the case. I guess i wont be playing the game and just continue playing my RPG games that gave me the right to play my own gender and feel complet about it. and hell, whats the point in palying a dude with tones of different haircuts, boots, belts and so on if i cant play as a girl, for god sakes, If i was a dude, my haircut would be the last thing on earth i care about in a shooter XD

The consequences, the consequences...

The real problem is that bringing in female avatars brings in the whole gender issue. Oki, so now you have female warriors in your game. How does it affect their specs, should they be weaker and faster, for example (a common approach in fighting games)? If there is dialogue, how are they to be addressed? And what about romance and sex? If you have any kind of flirting in cut scenes for example, you have redo them or your female avatars end up lesbian. Do they fight on equal terms and conditions, or is there some kind of unequal treatment of women and men in the game world? Having female soldiers can easily clash with how the story is gendered for the rest, especially in a war or fantasy setting.

So, having no female avatars is not just a sign of poorly spent characterization options, it is a sign of a gendered game story world. Whether that is an oversight or a deliberate choice, I find it equally disturbing.

Calm Down, Everybody

I think everyone here needs to just calm down. I think you people are reading to much into this.

The fact of the matter is that adding in female characters is more than just a palette swap: the inclusion of a female character means that numerous changes will have to be made to aspects of the game that don't even involve character creation.

In essence, it means having to remake half the game, just to accommodate what boils down to an essentially cosmetic feature. If they did decide to do that, the game probably would be released until 2012. As it stands, I'd say we're lucky to be getting it as early as we are.

The developers of Splash Damage may be guilt of laziness, but I doubt they're guilty of discrimination.

WHERE'S THE GIRLS?

I feel the same way! why should you hope to have your day? customization is nice but I know a lot of female gamers are really disappointed about this! At lest they could do is make it a free add on that drops the same day as the game! even if it was to push back the fast approaching drop date, a few hundred thousand female gamers and I would not mind! Just by adding the female gender to the game would have a huge impact on sales! Really it comes down to one thing, the company is making a HUGE unofficial statement of "females don't play as many games as men so why represent them!" I will tell you one thing, my girlfriend is not happy about this!

who should calm down?

look, with today's technology they could have added the female into the game without changing that much....with the case of the clothing option....why can't both male and female have the same clothing options? giving the back-story of the game it would be completely understandable that there is not much to chose from! they could have even added more options as by mix and matching pieces of the standard customization set so as to accommodate everyone.
The females boobs don't have to be huge, this way the texture mapping would be easier and the close would fit and look good. the type of girls that i would see in this game type would be almost built like the men anyways...so i'm sure that at least they could have done is just add a female face and the user could take it from their!
all in all i for one am sad to not see a chick in the game!

The excuses for not adding

The excuses for not adding in female options are ridiculous.

Hitbox issues? There are going to be different classes, some heavier/bigger meant for more supporting and heavy weapons roles. Some lighter/smaller meant for more stealthy and speedy roles. Surely the hitboxes and everything else work differently for them, why not include a female as the smaller more stealthy class?

Ok it would be more work to add female variants of the clothing/armour options, but I'd happily wait longer for the game if it was to include female options.

I won't be bothering with this game now.

Oh good, this again

Oh good, this bulls**t again with the highest profile yet. It's not about the T-shirts and ten minutes' reading or five minutes' video would have taught you better. It's about voices, models and animation - voice especially. It takes lots of memory. Consoles don't have a lot of memory. Check out some of the difficulties they had getting just five different voices into the game. Tack on double the modeling, double the animation, and possibly a fourth bodytype (that could presumably only use pistols? Grrl powar?) and they didn't think, two years ago when the decision had to be made, that they could get it done inside budget.

It sucks that there are no women in Brink. It's entirely valid to boycott the game because of the message that design choice sends. It's entirely valid to talk about how it pisses you off or hurts you. Some people, including this article, go one step further and characterize SD as making a choice between T-shirts on one hand and women on the other. That's false. It's slander, an unjust smear on people who made a difficult decision. If you're going to make that claim, that it was the trivially right choice for them to make *a* woman who looks inhuman, speaks with one voice and accent, and dresses and runs like a man, then I'm sure they could easily accommodate you.

To violence against women,

To violence against women, activists say no. Unfortunately the myriad of activists against violence to women may have been the cause for SD dropping women avatars from the game. The same women who have lobbied for equality in the world have also cause issues for female inclusion in games due to their violent nature. Putting women in the game would have caused a storm of PR damage and SD may have decided that that litigation would have been to costly for them.

Beyond this there may have been issues with legal problems and changes to their EULA and rating (e.g. M or MA or R) which may have been too costly for such a small company to absorb prior to their release.

Another point is balancing issues. Balancing is especially important to an FPS. To be a competitive shooter they have to be able to balance their product nearly to perfection. When you consider competitive games like CoD and counter strike which have almost perfect balance trying to balance female avatars may have been too much for for a small team of programmers to be able to acheive within the timeframe they were given to work.

No controversy

Might be a different story in the US (were activist groups tend to be a tad more hysterical than in the real world), but I think most people will find it easy to distinguish between real violence against innocent women and the make-believe violence against tough female fighters that would go on in a virtual conflict zone. Jeez

I agree with you. I was just

I agree with you. I was just about to say what you did. Being female as well, I find it painful when this happens. Just because I have to sigh and think "Well, thats how it is" every time I see a scandally clad women or a overly "look she is a strong sexy women thats realistic" type. Its pitiful really, haven't they seen "What women want"? Isn't it obvious by now men never get women right unless they are amazing aurthors? -Sigh- But thats just how it is.

Hope my girlfriend still enjoys the game

i got this game just for my girlfriend cause she saw how cool this FPS shooter looked and she is really good online with other game and she really was excited about the whole Customization thing! i think (or hope) she will still like the game though, but they really want girl avatars, and i hope they start working on it.

I'm a girl and I game, why

I'm a girl and I game, why can't I have my own girl avatar like the guys do? Well I am going to buy the game, play the game and customize my guy character all the way! But given the chance to play as a girl, I'd take that in a heart beat, in a heart beat...

Will there be any emo, anime

Will there be any emo, anime hair?

Epic Games and women

That's not fair at all. Look at Epic games. Everyone discredits them for making intense "testosterone-laced" games like Gears of War and Bulletstorm, but they respect the idea of a strong, badass female character more than most mainstream shooter developers. In Bulletstorm, Trishka is incredibly headstrong, isn't afraid to toss hilarious insults back and forth with the main character, and gave me a lot of respect in general for that type of character. In Gears, Anya has been given a very respectable suit of armor. It looks exactly like the guys, with slight differences for body type.

Finally, I would like to point out Portal. Portal (made by Valve) is one of my very favorite single player games and Portal 2 was incredible. The main character, Chell, is most certainly female. Although she's also a dangerous, mute lunatic, she has become one of my favorite silent protagonists. Right up there with Gordan Freeman and Master Chief. (Although the chief does speak occasionally.)

Cosmetic Feature? The game

Cosmetic Feature? The game would NEVER be released if women were the only playable gender. The male and female option is not just a cosmetic feature, it is a huge selling point and appeals to male and female gamers.

People don't seem to see it from the female point of view at all, like i said, do you think boys would buy Gears of war, COD or any other serious shooter games if the only playable characters were women?

women - the only playable characters?

@Nate
boys? definitely...
COD is a rather bad example as long as you mean serious shooter in the meaning of realistic. Women are a minority in the army. So a entirely female squad COD in WW or near future scenario would be sort of absurd. Wolfenstein on the other hand could do that.
Gears with badass women only? Don't see the problem for such a product. But beside Bayonetta, Joanna Dark, Chell from Portal and Barbie breasted Lara there were not many female main characters. So this experiment has to be done more often to be certain that it would really work.

no females in games

I think the thing most people arent thinking of kind of amazes me, yes its messed up there are no females in the game but of most of the female gamers I know get mad at how women are always shown in games and so yes I can see why a developer would remove the chance for having and you have to admit the rather large portion of morons that would wind up making a ridiculous uber stripper looking avatar just to be funny so I think what alot of people need to ask is what is worse to be held off until some good female models are made and they dont wind up becoming frat boy gamer hilarious avatars, or to just toss it to the wolves and then get every female gamer on the planet ticked off because there sexist?

Somehow I see this 'no

Somehow I see this 'no women' thing as a subtle hint that this game is overhyped. I mean how good can a game be if it fails to represent half of it's potential customer base.

Personally, I'm buying the game, but I'm going to lodge an in-game protest by choosing pink as the colour of my outfit. I know, pink as a woman thing is sexist in itself, but at least the sexists will get the message.

So wear pink if you want women to be represented. If no pink is available as a colour choice, maybe purple? We need to find some way of showing, in-game, that we want women included.

Female hit boxes

Anonymous wrote:

SD said one of their concerns with adding female characters was that the hit-boxes would be differently sized.

Hit boxes are not tied to the actual shape of the body - it's not difficult to make the female hit boxes exactly the same as the male version while having the visible models be slightly different in shape. Anyway, women aren't that much different, especially when they're wearing armor.

Heck, if body shape is an issue, body size must be even more of an issue. Hopefully we aren't all going to have to be exactly 6ft tall.

I mean seriously, if they can't think of ways around this, what else can't they think around? For a game to be 'revolutionary' as Brink's developers keep suggesting, they need to be thinking outside the box. The fact that they can't include women because of hitbox size (?) indicates that they've set up camp well inside the box and don't even know the box has an outside.

To be honest

To be honest I prefer to have 50 different customization options than being a female.

Do you really want female characters?

The game designers can’t win at all can they?

They have limited time, resources, and are constantly getting hammered with new features they have to put in at the last minute.

The developers made a sound decision:

“Have the few things we need really polished and ready to go because we’re going into a market that already has other studios that are making similar titles that have much more resources.”

If they released both female and male they would have less to offer point blank, and then bloggers, reviewers and everyone else would can them for the limited character selection choices.

You can’t have it both ways. People would whine if there was a lack of customization from having both sexes and they’ll whine if there’s only one sex at the outset. I’m sure they’ll add female models AFTER they get the game up and running.

Are there more female gamers than male gamers interested in this genre at moment? NO, there is not. I don’t need a poll or marketing to figure that out. So why would they spend equal time on both ends at the outset of development. Even if there are males that want to play female avatars or vice versa. It’s better for them to go with the safe option.

Because equal rights means nothing when you have to worry about keeping your studio alive long for you to see project come to fruition.

While we'd love Female TF2

While we'd love Female TF2 characters. Don't forget that a large part of tf2 was also the Personalities behind their classes. They were given lives of their own in their own way. Tf2 wasn't as much about character customization. as customizing characters that have full personalities and mannerisms. If this game was made for serious customization and a make your own character style then usually gender is one of the options you see in its peers.

I'm a female gamer, and I

I'm a female gamer, and I speak with my bank account. I was interested in it initially, but after finding out I can't be my own gender, I won't even consider it. I'm tired of this blatant disregard for women.

Hi I am a female hardcore

Hi I am a female hardcore gamer known as Arcangelic, Arkani and Darkangelic.
Girls, you don't have to blame them for excluding the female avatars, do as I did, DON'T BUY THIS GAME, wait for the competitor game. If you buy, you will be supporting their decision of excluding female avatars.

I don't care if you boys don't care about "-female" in game.
But developers, my money, you will never take :)

Just a little disappointed

I was actually really surprised that I couldn't be a female character. In most games that you can customize your character, you can choose to be female. I'm not really offended, I know a lot of girls who don't really like shooters, but still. In a game that gushes about it's character customization, I would expect to see a female option. On the other hand, if the main character is male and it is crucial to the story (i.e. Ezio Auditore from Assassin's Creed II and Brotherhood), it's perfectly fine, and it's sometimes better. I don't know, I was just a little put off by Brink's mild case of sexism. It's still a pretty good game, nonetheless.

la dee da

"...it fails to represent half of it's potential customer base."

Stop making up numbers. Yes this is an issue, but lets not make up numbers to bolster our claims. Women aren't represented because of simple numbers. It's unfortunate but with resources and standard publisher deadlines you can't truly expect a "revolutionary" product every time a company comes along and says it.

I would love to see female models in the game, my wife and sis inlaw would love to play a girly girl pink/white team punkish toon, but simple fact is with current restraints placed on all games in development if you want certain features others are always canXd. People can claim it's blatant disregard, but facts are facts are facts. Most fps players are male, and most want to play male toons. If this were a pc game with a longer deadline it would probably have ended differently. Since this is multi platform they have to squeeze it through the right cookie cutter sometimes.

Very True,

In most entertainment fields, females get represented, but only to please a male's degrading view of a woman. Who in their right mind would go around with a grenade launcher wearing only a strap of cloth?

There are some games, however, who represented both males and females equally like Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic. I liked those games, not only because I felt it had a good story line and what not, but because I felt I could truly create a character that represented me.

I was super excited about Brink, when they spoke about all the customization and what not. Only to find out that the creators felt it was best to have more t-shirts and beard selections then to represent all of their consumers? Dude, that is completely jacked up. If they claim they didn't have the time to, then they need to make a solid FREE DLC that includes the female and complete customization options with it. I say free seeing as it should have been included in the first place.

With the clothing styles that they went with on the males, it can be well adapted to fit the female in a flattering and sensible way so she can go around carrying all sorts of weapons and wear the cloths any soldier would be proud of. I don't see how that could have been hard in the first place.

Annoyance

This is one reason why I dislike many FPS games, besides the fact that I'm terrible at them. I like making male characters, sure, but I also really like having the option to make a female, considering I am a chick. :/ Seriously, Game Companies of the world, give us some damn respect! I hate to compare them, but at least Fallout has gender options...

Actually, I do.

I would love to see a poll. In your opinion males are more dominant in this genre of games, but from what i understand there are plenty of female gamers who love these types of games. So even though the game makers had a tough decision and would have been looked down upon with either choice, I believe they made the wrong one. Of course we all have our opinions, but I hope you're right. I would truly like to see a female option soon.

Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach

Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball.

That is all.

Looks like at least one

Looks like at least one person on this site has a brain.

Not buying it

This game definitely looks fun, game play wise and such, and with its unique qualities that make it stand out amongst other games.
Due to the lacking gender flaw though, it's not only losing my money, but my boyfriend's as well. We play everything together, and we play just about, everything. FPS, MMO, Action, RTS...but we rarely play anything apart, and seeing as how this game dropped the ball on allowing girls to be girls, or guys to be girls since i know many who prefer that, it's off the list. Plenty of other fun co-op games out there or soon to be released we'd rather drop our 100$ into.

Canada and Spain are the two

Canada and Spain are the two armies in the world with the most female soldiers at least per percentage ratio.

That said, it is easier to give differenced features following the same biotipe of the model (male) than give two sets for everytime (male and female)

Transforming a male model into female one is not only giving it boobs and widen their hips. You need to remake almost every feature and texture and even change the way the character moves, walking etc.

Is not as easy as many people here seem to believe.

Really?

Is it that big a deal in brink , yes in crackdowwn when you spend most of your time looking at the back of your character, but in brink you hardley ever see your character bar 3 things, when your customising him, at the screen where you select what u want to do and in cutscenes and since you don't see your character that often I really don't care if it's a boy or a girl.

P.S you can make ur guy look a bit like a girl by customising him in a certain way

And this specific issue is

And this specific issue is why I refuse to purchase and play Brink, which is sad because it looks fun, but as a female gamer being specifically excluded just so the men can look prettier is costing that company my $50 now.

Come on Splash Damage where

Come on Splash Damage where are the women characters? I want to play as a Female Engineer with a Heavy body size. Think about that!!

Female gamer

As a female game i saw this game and thought "wow great new fps game" ive seen trailers and my husband has told me about this game. i went out and got the game not know that it didnt have female characters..i was quite disapointed but not deterred ill still play the game.. if a bloke can play a female character why cant a female play a male character.. i think an option would have been nice but its only a game its not real life :)

oh well?

Well I mean sure, it's strange that a game carried by customization would rule out 50% of the human pop. but really is it such a drawback? I for one am glad I can join a game and not be forced to shoot one scantly clad broad after another like other customization heavy games, *cough* lost planet 2.... plus on a shallower note, imagine a heavy-body type female model.. ewwwie...

Anonymous wrote: I would

Anonymous wrote:

I would love to see female models in the game, my wife and sis inlaw would love to play a girly girl pink/white team punkish toon, but simple fact is with current restraints placed on all games in development if you want certain features others are always canXd. People can claim it's blatant disregard, but facts are facts are facts. Most fps players are male, and most want to play male toons. If this were a pc game with a longer deadline it would probably have ended differently. Since this is multi platform they have to squeeze it through the right cookie cutter sometimes.

Most fps players are NOT male. I'm not saying that the ratio is exactly equal, or that women are the majority, but it's not like you have this tiny little group of angry, hardcore women. There are a lot more female gamers than most people (apparently) realize. That includes fpsers. If parts of the gaming and developing community continue to ignore that fact, it definitely comes across as sexist, even if that isn't the intention.

It's frustrating to me that I can have anything from a limber, suave, bespectacled guy to a giant burly one with scars everywhere, and yet I still can't make a character who shares my gender. The only female ANYTHING I have run across in this game is voice-overs, which almost feels worse than not including women at all. Grr.

Arguing that people are

Arguing that people are "reading too much into this" might hold some weight if there were similar games where your only option is to be female.

You mean like Mirrors Edge

You mean like Mirrors Edge and Beyond Good and Evil? Games where the protagonist is female only do exist, but they're usually not quite normal games.

Yes, Brink is big for customisation, but would you rather massive amounts of customisation and females added in later (which given their launch difficulties.. Well, makes sense that they didn't have time. I mean if they can't even get console networking right.. :P), or would you rather one person for each with a token female like L4D. Token black guy too while you're at it. The game isn't endlessly customisable, but it's pretty good for guys so far. And adding female models later on isn't impossible given that every platform nowadays has hdd's. So relax, enjoy a fun shooter without turning everything into a guys v gals fight, and hammer them for the included females in THIS version rather than shelling out for another one. Also for reasonable pricing, double the price just for being in Aus is stupid.

Don't buy

Or just don't buy the game. Losing money is the ONLY thing the developers will pay attention to.

Hints of females

There are hints of females, if you pay attention. Apart from Ishmael, in the first of the Security What-Ifs, you can find a bunch of... I think, 'Art Deco' style pictures of women.

But yeah, that's about it.

Uh... Gears 3: Female

Uh... Gears 3: Female characters, Halo Reach, female models. Shazam

My wall of text on this issue.

1. REALITY. Males are often overrepresented in war and conflict games due to the simple fact that men (on average) are stronger than women, and due to this fact, throughout history men have usually been the warriors etc (its down to hormones, puberty and a whole list of basic stuff, obviously) sure some women can hold their own against the men, and that’s great! but not what usually happens when it is a test of strength, and guns are heavy...
(And a whole load of other points about the differences of men and women that I cant be arsed to delve into, but know too much about... I must not have enough determination boosting testosterone in me...)

2. VIDEO GAMES. In a video game, anything can happen, which is fun, though often games like to be realistic and reflect current reality, hence why you don’t see many ladies in COD, Battlefield and the like. Though in more fantasy shooters, females are well in supply for instance, since halo 3 you could have a female multiplayer character, in Saints row 2 (omg I cant believe nobody has mentioned that yet, pretty much the game with last word in character customisation) you can play as a female throughout the game, with voices, clothes and everything, nothing is limited to one gender, you can wear any clothes if you like, similarly with fable 2 and 3, you can do all this. In dragon age, mass effect, fallout, rainbow six Vegas and a whole list of other games in all sorts of genres, you can play the whole game as a female or male, and there are many games where you can only play as a female! so there is hardly any shortage of games out there for any of us who prefer to play as female characters, though personally, if a game is good enough, I really don't care what the character model is, if its female, that’s just a bonus for me.

3. THE VIDEO GAMES INDUSTRY. Different games call for different characters; some make games revolving around male protagonists, some around female protagonists, whilst others can accommodate both and perhaps even some more weird and wonderful characters, its all down to the game and their respective stories.
Next, when making a game, there is only a certain amount of space on a disc, and developers usually end up filling most of that up, and character models take a lot of space. They are certainly also more complex and bigger in size than a simple static hairstyle or t-shirt, which is why SD may have opted to only include them than perhaps have to try and find a whole lot of space that they didn't have... along with the time it would have taken to do all that, so there are other reasons for this than 'omg they are all sexist!' And of course, yes there is the fact that there are many more males play the type of game that brink is than females, so unless SD was of the mind that they definitely wanted female characters, they would most likely default to the character model that would most appeal to their target audience.

4.CONCLUSIONS. Personally I have very strong views on buying games where I can play as a female, often it makes the sale for me if I am able to play as a female, though as I said, if the game has shown itself to be really good, fun or enjoyable to me already, just down to gameplay etc, I don't really care, I will buy it based on that instead.

Soooo... in conclusion, if you aren't willing to buy this game due to the character model, and have tried it already (maybe a demo) you probably don’t really want it all that much, so don't buy it. Though if you enjoy it regardless of the models, buy it and have fun... that’s all.

Oh and sorry for the really long ramble, I just have too many opinions (many of which not here) on such issues, so yeah, sorry for sharing some of my opinions... Tbh I could have just said that last ‘Soooo’ paragraph and nothing else lol, whatever :p

I don't find it to be

I don't find it to be sexist, or "saying something about the attitude of the developers", as said, they could have easily put women characters into the game, but, and hear me out on this one, it wasn't the "feel" they were going for. The game is very much down and dirty, and takes place between two military factions fighting. Now, I'm not saying women aren't tough and ruggid, or can't fight, but the factions are fighting to protect the women and children of their side, it would kind of destroy the point of the war to put the women in danger (Who would they need to fight for, to bring medicine, food, water, or safety back to?). I'm all for having women in video games, but I have to agree with the developers on this one. Women can play the game, no disrespect is shown to women ("They're too low down to risk their lives for us!", does that make sense?).

Agreed. I, as a female, will

Agreed. I, as a female, will not buy a game that does not allow me to play as a female (with the exception of some nintendo games: Mario, Yoshi, etc). I'm switching to Saints Row (preordered SR3) from GTA (unless GTA 5 allows character customization -- which is doubtful judging by the trailer). Mass Effect 2 is one of my all time favs (preordering ME3). There are some fantastic games out there with highly customizable female character options and those will be the games receiving my dollar. Fine, don't add a female option, lose my business. Watch the compatish pass you by.

TF2 doesn't have much in the

TF2 doesn't have much in the way of customization, because all the characters are the same (aside from certain items dropped during play). Everyone seems to look the same in Halo, so there very well could be females under all that armor.

The point of this article was that for the developers to make the game look the way it does, and have all of the customization that it does, there should be an option for female players. They're saying they would rather have more clothing options for males than include a female archetype at all.

gears of war 3 has female

gears of war 3 has female charcters as well as halo reach. when halo 3 and gears of war first came out there was a very small population of female gamers. sequels of older games that used to lack female avatars now feature them like fable and saints row. CoD never featured any real avatar customization. so for a game to feature character customization and completely blow off female characters is a real disapointment, hell there are no female characters to be found anyhere in the game. in gears of war they at least offer an explenation as to why.

the master chief is male. it

the master chief is male. it has been mentioned that his name is John in halo 3 and in any novel in which he has come out in. also in halo reach they show that female spartans look diferent from male spartans though if its because they use a differen type of armour is uknown

I hate playing male characters!

I absolutely love Bioware and Bethesda games. The reason? The games allow me to play as a female and since I am female that works for me.

I don't know why other game developers ignore their female players. It's as if they somehow think women enjoy role playing as burly men. Hello guys, it's the 21st century out here so let us be here's, villains, adventures...and let us customize our characters.

If I don't have the option of gender choice, that's a real deal breaker for me. I am trying to draw your attention to this HUGE oversight. If I feel so strongly about this, you can bet your revenue that there are many more out here that feel the same way. They may not post but they won't buy your games.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Code of Conduct

Comments are subject to approval/deletion based on the following criteria:
1) Treat all users with respect.
2) Post with an open-mind.
3) Do not insult and/or harass users.
4) Do not incite flame wars.
5) Do not troll and/or feed the trolls.
6) No excessive whining and/or complaining.

Please report any offensive posts here.

For more video game discussion with the our online community, become a member of our forum.

Our Game Review Philosophy and Ratings Explanations.

About Us | Privacy Policy | Review Game | Contact Us | Twitter | Facebook |  RSS
Copyright 1999–2010 GameCritics.com. All rights reserved.