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7 Female-led Games to Look Out For in 2017

2017 promises to be a very interesting year in gaming, with releases varying from highly anticipated games such as Mass Effect: Andromeda and Yooka-Laylee to a whole new console with the Nintendo Switch. But what about games that will focus squarely on female characters? Here are 7 worth looking forward to:

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Uncharted

Kicking off the list with not one but two badass women of colour, The Lost Legacy is the recently announced standalone DLC for Uncharted 4. This adventure will see Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross working together in the mountains of India for–what else?–lost treasure. And even the trailer passes the Bechdel test, where most full games don’t!

Lady Layton: The Millionaire Ariadone’s Conspiracy

As with Uncharted, the Layton series has thus far had a male lead, but that is set to change in 2017 with the introduction of Katrielle as its new protagonist. Kat appears to be Professor Layton’s equal in every way, and she will surely unravel the mystery that has gripped London with her puzzle solving skills (and the help of her adorable talking dog sidekick), providing a new role model for kids and adults alike.

Syberia 3

Syberia 3

Syberia 3 is another established series, but this one has always starred a woman: Kate Walker. With the original game released in 2002 and this third instalment having been in development since 2009, Kate’s return has been long anticipated by many and will see her aiding the sacred mission of the Youkul tribe who took her in at the end of Syberia 2.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Hellblade

Hellblade is not only unusual in that it presents a female character as central in a game that focuses on “brutal” combat and is inspired by history (specifically Celtic mythology) but its protagonist, Senua, is also neuroatypical, experiencing psychosis. According to the developers, this is specifically intended to address the taboo of hearing voices and the game has received input from a number of specialists including those with direct experience of similar psychosis to that featured in the game.

Little Nightmares

Little Nightmares

The experience of Hellblade looks to be somewhat unsettling, but it has nothing on Little Nightmares. If you can look past the terrifying chef creatures, though, you’ll find that the hero of this creepy puzzle platformer is a little girl called Six. I love her bright yellow raincoat, but I don’t think I’ll be playing this game myself!

Celeste

Celeste

Let’s move onto something less creepy–Celeste is about platforming your way up a mountain, collecting strawberries along the way. Not only does it star a woman, it stars a woman who is appropriately dressed for both the activity and the climate, which is a great bonus!

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn

Last but not least, Horizon: Zero Dawn will introduce us to Aloy’s world; a juxtaposition of natural beauty and huge metallic mechanised dinosaurs. Aloy must set out to discover the answer to one simple mystery: how did things turn out this way?

So there you have it: 7 female-led games to look out for in 2017, across a variety of genres and platforms. These are not the only games with female protagonists, and there may be some surprise releases too, so here’s hoping for a year with a wide variety of protagonists and supporting casts (including more women of colour and other forms of diversity please!) as well as varied stories and gameplay.

Jay Castello
Jay is a freelance writer who specialises in cultural examinations of video games. You can find her on Twitter @jayplaysthings.
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Jay Castello
Jay is a freelance writer who specialises in cultural examinations of video games. You can find her on Twitter @jayplaysthings.

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