June has thus far been a very intersectional month for diversity in pop culture. Wonder Woman, which many pundits believed would be a failure for Warner Bros., has been a smash at the box office, and the trailer to Black Panther got 89 million views in 24 hours. June is also Pride month as many awareness programs continue across the globe. As E3 continues, it was also great to see that many games slated for release later this year and into next are taking a step forward to bring more diverse characters to the forefront. A lot of this year’s entries featured more women and people of color than perhaps five years ago. That’s not to say that the problem is solved, as there still needs to be more diversity in actual hiring practices for developers as well, but that that is a discussion for another day.
However, let’s take a look at some games coming soon that features some playable and non-playable diverse characters.
Not to be outdone by FIFA 17 and Alex Hunter (whose family was very diverse), this year’s Madden has a story mode in which you play “Devin” as you make your way to the NFL. What even cooler about this role is that Oscar award winner, Mahershala Ali, plays your dad in the game.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
In its own way, The Assassin’s Creed series hasn’t had too much of a problem with diversity in its characters. How they have been handled may be a different story. But throughout the series, gamers have played as a Christian/Muslim, a Native American, an Asian and even a Black woman. Many of us wished for an Egyptian setting and we will be getting our wish this fall as Bayek’s story shows gamers how the order was established.
Detroit: Become Human
If you have ever played any Quantic Dream games, then you already know that you will be playing a game that will have you talking about it long after the experience is over. Quantic Dream is also a company that has never shied away from having diverse characters in a game that drives the story. Detroit: Become Human, which has been in development since 2013, focuses on several playable android characters who have become sentient. What’s really cool is that Jesse Williams and Valorie Curry are two of the protagonists in this game.
Star Wars: Battlefront II
We already knew that Battlefront II was going to have a story and possibly a female protagonist. What many of us probably didn’t know was how big of a part she would play in the story mode. At EA’s press conference, Janina Gavankar told us how much as Iden Versio’s story is set to bridge a major gap between Episode VI and VII.
Crackdown is back after a long hiatus. The story picks up ten years after the last story. The game is slated to be a launch title for the Xbox One X and stars Commander Jaxon as voiced by Terry Crews.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Life is Strange is a unique episodic graphic adventure game that has won a BAFTA for the subject matter that it’s tackled. Before the Storm is slated as a prequel, set to release this August. Fans will notice, however, that one of the main characters will not reprise her voice due to the SAG-AFTRA strike.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
We would be remiss to round out the upcoming releases without mentioning this game. Who would have thought that Naughty Dog would make an Uncharted game without Nathan Drake? Furthermore, the 2 protagonists would feature one woman that tried to kill him and one that has almost gotten him killed on different occasions? Some of us are still a bit salty regarding Nadine’s voice actress, but there is only so much one can do. Beyond that, here is to hoping that this game is as solid as Uncharted 4.
This game gets an honorable mention as it was recently released back in May 2017. But still, name a recent game that has come out where the protagonist is Asian and German fighting off aliens? Asian protagonists are rare in many Western games and Polygon gave it a favorable review. It may just be worth a play through.
After taking a look, it was noted that there are not too many games slated for release that cover the LGBT community, however it is worth noting that there is a wiki link that denotes all of the games with LGBT characters and themes.
If we missed any games, please post in the comments below.