Don't worry. That title is a joke. Anya Stroud (at least, that's who we think that blonde woman is) in COG armor does not ruin this game. I think Gears 3 going to be pretty damn awesome. It probably would've been awesome without Anya -- but hey, she's there, and she's changed out of her pencil skirt, put on some armor, and picked up a lancer of her own. And that ... is damn cool.
Am I sad that the only reason Anya is allowed to be in Gears of War's army is because she can't make babies? Yeah, I think that's a pretty lame plot device. And Gears' off-screen rape camps -- all in the name of expediting the baby-making, of course! -- are ... also a stupid plot device (thanks to commenter Mediocrates for that link).
Is Gears realistic? Would rape camps happen if Locusts suddenly popped out of our planet? I don't know. All I can say is, I hope not. Does that make me a crazy man-hating bitch? Yeah, apparently. Actually, I would discourage you all from reading that forum ... or the comment threads on my last Gears 3 post ... or the comments at Kotaku (they linked me).
Instead, I'd like to direct your attention to the far more hilarious comments over at Destructoid. Some of my favorites include:
"Wouldn't a female character having a more central role detract from the burgeoning romance being cunningly built up between Marcus and Dom?" -- ChainThrow
"Probably one of the Carmine brothers is really a Carmine sister. Who is really the Locust Queen. Who is really Cole Train." -- AfroWalrus
"I'm gonna call it now: One of the Carmine's has an androgynous name and it turns out to be a chick. GEARS 3, CODE IT AND SHIP IT!" -- ZeroTolo
"People will bitch if she is built like an ox and people will bitch if she's the stereotypical female video game character. The world will still turn." -- RiotMonster
"... I think it's a mistake to show them as women in the first place. It's like they're noticably making a big deal out of it. Keep her in a helmet, Make her the same as all the guys (Don't make her damsel in distress or the super fighter girl) and then pull a Samus. Suddendly show that she is a woman but don't stop the game just keep going like nothing's happened. That's probably the best way to bring in a female character I can think of." -- GoldenGamerXero(Hell, yeah!)
Truth is, I probably would've played the crap out of Gears 3 even if Alex Brand was in it saying "Princess" every five seconds ... OK, just kidding, that would've pissed anyone off. But even so, as a woman who enjoys shooters, I'm willing to accept some very small victories. Give me a playable female character who's insanely over-sexualized and completely brainless, and I'll run with it. I'm used to playing as dudes, so any time there's the opportunity to play as a woman -- even a lame one -- it's a pleasant privilege. It's even more of a victory if she does have a good line of dialogue or two -- and, by the way, unlike some bloggers, I don't care so much about whether the female character is sexy as hell or not. I believe in equal sexiness for all video-game characters. Gender equality, people. It can be a very, very pretty thing.
Anyway, this exciting new development is almost enough to make me want to make some COG armor (like this Anya cosplayer) instead of the Varia Suit I was planning to spend some of my savings on. Guess I'll just have to make both!
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