Unknown Worlds has announced that Natural Selection 2 players will soon be able to fight the alien menace as female marines. Three different versions will be taking to the battlefield by late August/early September: a green-textured model for those who bought the standard game, a ‘Black Armour’ option (above) for anybody who bought the Special Edition of the game pre-beta (much like the male Black Armour model,) and a ‘Deluxe Armour’ version for people who have the Deluxe Edition from Steam.
The developers have accompanied their announcement with the following excellent statement:
The game industry has a history of depicting female characters inappropriately. Often, they are stylised to such a degree that they become sexual objects: While their male comrades are clothed, armed and armoured to fight, the female character is notable for the lack of any clothing at all. When female characters are granted equal protection, that protection often ignores basic laws of physics in favour of offering titillating form.
This is not good enough, and it’s not a trope Unknown Worlds will entertain. Games are legitimate cultural influences, and game developers are responsible for the message they choose to convey to players. The Natural Selection 2 female marine is first and foremost, like her male colleague, a soldier. Her armour puts function before form, while adopting the science fiction, melee combat aligned design ques that have made the male marine so uniquely recognisable.
All of the new marines will receive their own first-person view-models. The women will be part of a free update, so by the time August/September rolls around every Natural Selection 2 player will be able to play as the gender of their choice. Hurrah.