(click to enlarge)
This is probably one of my favorite finds in a while, not just because it’s a well done picture by Renegade64, but rather it’s sort of a commentary on the state of the industry, and the new types of heroes we’ve come to expect from our games.
I’m not going to declare the era of the macho man over. They still are the protagonists of the vast majority of games, usually with a shaved head and a scowl. But the recent rejection of Duke Nukem, the overtly misogynistic lead we all used to love, and the rise of strong female characters like the (albeit optional) Commander Shepard sitting on his back, implies that times are in fact changing. Duke’s antics just weren’t funny anymore. Maybe we grew up, or maybe he just didn’t, but we’d much rather have well rounded leads these days than one dimensional archetypes.
Shepard, male or female, is a prime example of that, and I would argue has more depth than any other game protagonist. And because of that, we feel a kind of kinship with him or her that we could never feel with a hulking idiot like Duke, even if we wanted to. Granted, it’s like comparing The Godfather to Dumb and Dumber in terms of tone, but Mass Effect itself could be a very funny game at times while Duke’s latest effort never really was, despite trying too desperately hard to be with every single line.