Xbox One-Exclusive Sunset Overdrive Lets You Play as Female Character

"Self-expression is super important to us," Insomniac Games says.

by

During the latest episode of Sunset TV today (above), Insomniac Games announced that upcoming Xbox One exclusive Sunset Overdrive will let you play as a female character if you want to.

"Of course. Self-expression is super important to us," Insomniac Games community manager Brandon Winfrey said. "So you can be female, you can be male, you can be different skin tones, you can be different body types."

Winfrey also confirmed that all of the clothing in Sunset Overdrive is gender-neutral. "So if you want to be a dude in a skirt, you can be a dude in a skirt. Just be who you want to be," he said.

Interestingly, the segment of the video that touches on the topic of gender features a Sunset Overdrive character dressed like an assassin from Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series. This comes just a week after Ubisoft controversially announced that this October's Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC game Assassin's Creed Unity would not feature a playable female character in its co-op mode.

The topic of female characters in video games has frequented the headlines since E3 last week. Rust and Garry's Mod developer Gary Newman contends Ubisoft was unfairly singled out, while a recent Associated Press story featured comments on the topic from big-name publishers like Electronic Arts, Activision, and Ubisoft. The French publisher originally said that including female protagonists in Assassin's Creed Unity would be too technically taxing. It was also recently revealed that Ubisoft Montreal was "inches away" from including playable female heroes in Far Cry 4.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

187 comments
g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Was that an easter egg of Assassin's Creed with the outfit the female was wearing?

DemoKnight10656
DemoKnight10656

im happy they just said different body types and skin tones I love a game where you can be who you want to be I wasn't going to buy this because the character they shown no offense to anyone but was a skater looking punk and I don't like that  *cough* infamous *cough* but im sold on this

bourne714
bourne714

"If you wanna be a dude in a skirt, be a dude in a skirt - lol

Fatalv
Fatalv

Wow… days later and the rambling is still going on here in the comments section…


This is why the frequency of these ridiculous articles keep increasing.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

IF the game has customisable character, then I think it's reasonable to expect a gender option. I don't think it's a "news" story though. In my mind it's rare for a game to have character creation and not have gender as an option.


I think we should recognize the difference between playing as specific characters ie Far Cry 4 and playing as created/customised characters ie Sunset Overdrive. 

Vylsith
Vylsith

Am I the only one who could care less?  It's not that I have a problem with female leads in video games.  Quite the contrary.  I'll play any game with a decent story and great gameplay.  Sunset Overdrive may end up being a great game as well.  It won't be for this reason.  I seriously doubt most girl gamers (and I'm married to one) care as much about female lead characters as the media pretends.  While I think there are too many male protaganists, a game that allows both male and female generally lacks character development for the main character.  I'd rather have a more in depth lead character, than a generic customizable lead.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

This is good.

<Sorry, It's not possible to develop this comment due to workload>

jackzor123
jackzor123

Looks like a cross between Infamous style mechanics and Dead Rising craziness.

xxmavr1kxx
xxmavr1kxx

Maybe ubisoft is against people up skirting female characters

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

This doesn't strike me as news. We've had female characters playable in all manner of games for decades now. Is this inclusion good? I guess so, but it's nothing new nor really important. With some games character customisation will work, with others it won't. Developers shouldn't be scolded for not allowing character creation.

Ovirew
Ovirew

Anyone who has seen the promotional art and various gameplay trailers for Sunset Overdrive probably already had an idea that there is a lot of character customization options in the game.  I had a pretty good feeling there would be female characters, and this confirms it.  I think it's great news, anyone who thinks it's 'bad' news probably just has a giant stick up their ass.  ...Or else wants a giant stick up their ass, if they don't like women, I guess.

Martyr77
Martyr77

Will it let me play a better game than Sunset Overdrive?

emerin76
emerin76

Funny what makes 'news' these days. hehe.  This should please my wife.  She's dissapointed that she can't play a woman in Watch Dogs and the limited options for customization therein.

RELeon
RELeon

Wow, way to try and squeeze in a selling point for your game through current controversies. 3 months ago, nobody would have given two craps about your game allowing female characters, because its been done OVER AND OVER BEFORE!!

rob19ny
rob19ny

Of course this makes news.

hitomo
hitomo

nice plot to draw female players to buy more sh.it ... I hope your media campain plays out as well as you have planed

cynicritic
cynicritic

All modern games should just adopt the RPG character creation concept. Then players can play as anyone they want and it's no one else's business but theirs... 

Deadlysyns87
Deadlysyns87

Gauntlet let you play as a female Character in 1985.  Atari was always ahead of the game

eternal_napalm
eternal_napalm

Wasn't this game available to play at E3? And not just that, but wasn't there, like, a big event for it's playability?

I didn't see it on GameSpot's Best of E3. I wonder why? Even Everybody's Gone to the Rapture was on that list, and that's not even a big PS4 title :/

console_war_vet
console_war_vet

Finally I can be a dude in a skirt and not be publicly ridiculed! Self expression for the win.

mordeaniis
mordeaniis

@Vylsith The media loves to inflate what the more vitriolic and idiotic members of the internet tend to drag up.

Tons of people who have no idea what it takes to create an entire character that has to look as good, move as well, and generally be as functional as another. Especially with such a high quality bar as AC. You can't just add breasts to the male model and call it good. I'm sure the models created for the player character (or possibly model, singular) were extremely high detail and art has always been the thing of late that requires the most manpower. That has increased greatly with this new generation yet again and I'm sure it's a challenge to find enough talented artists to fill a big game like AC with tons of very high quality assets. You have to have priorities. And I assume you're playing as an actual character in that game generally, so unless that character was a female or they are changing it to be less focused on the protagonist's character, it'd be a bit weird to have a female coop model.
People seeing females not be included as sexist every god damn time is pretty ridiculous. Sure, encourage more female protagonists and more options by all means. But it gets old seeing people through such spectacular fits over something as silly as the gender of the player character.

Vylsith
Vylsith

@Ovirew It's not that I think it's overly bad news, but i don't think it's good news either.  I love choice, but games that offer character customization also tend to lack in character development for the lead character.  That works in some games, but in others it does not.  Personally, I prefer character development over customization.  That doesn't mean I hate playing a female character.  I've played serveral games with a female lead and it hasn't bothered me in the slightest.  I just prefer that the lead character has a personality over customization for the sake of political correctness.  The industry could use more female protagonists, but sacrificing story for political correctness just seems stupid.  If the game is more story oriented, you should probably go for a very specific character lead over a generic one.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@Ovirew  Here' another open-minded genius, who thinks if people are sick of the anti-women labeling companies are getting from Gamespot then that means those people are women haters.  People can disagree with arguments for logical reasons.  You are a bigot.

Khasym
Khasym

@Ovirew I don't think it's bad news. I think it's the wrong kind of news. The thing that raised the furor over at Ubisoft, was that they put so much work into Unity and Farcry 4, but couldn't be bothered to do women as playable characters. It was exclusion basically to exclude something that might appeal to gamers beyond the targeted demographic. 

This is kind of the opposite. It's touting inclusivity, just to be inclusive. It shouldn't be a chore or some special mark to include female characters. It should simply be. Not some monumental selling point or some excuse to fling around when a developer wants to dodge work.

Ovirew
Ovirew

@Martyr77  well some people have different tastes.  So yes, if you have bad tastes then you will find plenty of "better" games than Sunset Overdrive, a fantastic game that hasn't even come out yet.

Vylsith
Vylsith

@hitomo Not gonna lie, most female gamers I know don't mind playing male characters.  I don't mind playing female characters.  The sex of the character really doesn't matter much to me at all.  I'd rather have one or the other and decent lead character development, than a generic lead character that has no personality.  Every game doesn't need to center around the lead character, but I think those that do generally have a far better story.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@hitomo  female players won't suddenly become interested in games where they shoot, bludgeon and beat up people, just because Carolyn wants them to.  Women like what they like, and most women do not like violent action games, no matter what BS Gamespot churns out and how much time they waste of these game developers.

Vylsith
Vylsith

@cynicritic When you're clearly referring to modern western RPGs, you probably shouldn't use the blanket term RPGs.  Western RPGs generally have much less character development than JRPGs.  Some people prefer this.  Others don't.  Some (like me) enjoy both types of games so long as they're decent.  The RPG character creation concept that you're referring to doesn't actually exist though.  Most RPGs have a set lead character.  I'm fine playing male or female, but I prefer character development over customization for the sake of customization.  I like my lead character to have a personality.

Vylsith
Vylsith

@Deadlysyns87 The idea of a valkyrie is clearly sexist.  We should abolish it from all forms of media since it refuses to cater to current social norms.  We should also show female roman soldiers and Mr. Moms in all movies in order to push the idea that either gender can fill both roles.

Not to mention I have some general distaste for Atari right now.  They own the rights to D&D for video games and haven't done anything decent with it since NWN2.  Just sell it already.  The greatest RPG system of all time is collecting dust because a publisher won't admit they're broke.

The first paragraph was sarcasm.  The second was not.  Just in case anyone is wondering.  ;)

oflow
oflow

@eternal_napalm thats becuz most of the staff at GS are indie/platformer fans.  

Crap games like everybody's gone to the rapture or sound shapes get rave reviews on this site.

Goto IGN or some sites with writers that like action games and you will see the difference.


Vylsith
Vylsith

@Ovirew "What?!  A game about the roman empire with no female playable soldiers?"  Notice how stupid that sounds?  Yeah, complaining about Farcry 4 having no female playable characters sounds just as stupid.  Farcry 4 takes place in present day.  Guess what the ratio of male to female soldiers is worldwide?  I'll give you a hint.  You'd probably think it's sexist.  Reality doesn't have to cater to your ideals.

Vylsith
Vylsith

@Khasym @Ovirew A developer shouldn't have to include playable women characters.  In reality, there aren't many 'playable women characters" in war.  That might change in the future, but forcing games and other visual media to portray society differently than what exists is just stupid.  I honestly prefer a detailed main character (be it female or male) over a generic customizable Jane or Joe.  A game about guerilla warfare doesn't have female playable characters?  How sexist!  Because females fight in guerilla warfare so often in the real world.  Might as well criticize a movie for not having a black female president.  There's nothing wrong with the idea, but every movie and game doesn't have to fight for social equality.  Such a stupid thing to complain about.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@Khasym @Ovirew  And on top of that it was very unprofessional to chide another company like they did.  It actually puts a bad taste in my mouth regarding Sunset Overdrive, if that's the kind of people that made it.

Vylsith
Vylsith

@Ovirew @Martyr77 So different people have different tastes, but anybody who disagrees with you clearly has bad tastes?  Sunset Overdrive may be decent, but there's almost nothing about it that screams must buy to me.  I'm glad you like the game, but what I've seen so far screams generic with limited gameplay.  I wasn't a big fan of Ratchet and Clank or Resistance either if it makes you feel better.  I just don't really like Insomniac.  Hope you enjoy the game, but your inability to understand that Sunset Overdrive won't be for everyone (in fact I'll be amazed if it sells better than Resistance or Ratchet and Clank) is really petty.  No offense, but Insomniac is no Bungie or Naughty Dog.  They might randomly get lucky with this game, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Martyr77
Martyr77

@Ovirew @Martyr77  Do you not see your own hypocrisy? How can a game be fantastic if it hasn't come out yet?

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

@spacecadet25 @hitomo I think Carolyn actually wants more walking simulators like Gone Home as well. Action/shooting games are fine if you play as a woman though. 


At least Carolyn likes some games unlike Anita Sarkesian who really despises gaming for being to masculine. In her mind gaming can only be good if it conforms to her idea of the way the world should work.



oflow
oflow

@spacecadet25 Every girl I know loves playing button masher fighting games more than anything else.

cynicritic
cynicritic

@Deadlysyns87 @cynicritic I don't see how. Skyrim, Saints Row and a myriad of other titles have fine stories yet still allow complete customization of the character... It comes down to how lazy a developer is and nothing more. 

anarky23
anarky23

They could just have a set personality and story for the custom character.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

@oflow @eternal_napalm I don't understand the hype behind alot of indie games. Some indie games are genuinely good, but I don't think they should be getting kudos just for being indie.

anarky23
anarky23

It seemed more like a light hearted jab than assholish mocking. Plus it fits the style of humor Insomniac has in Sunset Overdrive.

oflow
oflow

@spacecadet25 Meh Sony did the same thing at their press conference when they put up the picture of the fake Sony Kinect before they announced PS TV.