In todays games, female characters have all the personality of a brick. They have one purpose: To satisfy perverted young men. And that would be wholly appropriate if you were writing characters for Leisure Suit Larry. Unfortunately, we are not, and this line of thinking is present in most video games. Look at the Witcher 2, where all the main characters are well characterised, deep and flawed. Except for Triss, who is a big titted badass who ultimately needs a big, white haired mutant to come and save her. What is this, the fucking 1920's?
I'm not going to lie: I like boobs as much as the next guy. I don't in anyway deny their appeal. However, women are far more. Before they had rights, they were a powerful motivator, as ignorant males like myself built shit, thought stuff, and did stuff to impress them. Because of women, we got shit done. Now women have rights, and they are starting to do shit themselves. Which is great, because the more they do, the less I have to. If I sit on my ass and play video games and watch buffy while my girlfriend fixes my car and mows the lawn, I'm helping feminism along.
But the thing that most developers don't realise is that women are people. They aren't some mysterious creature that breathes fire and hormones. They are humans, with drives, desires and motives, like anyone else. Developers seem to understand that women today get shit done, but they don't undertand the depth of those characters.
Female Characters generally fall into these categories: Badasses, Damsels in distress, objects, or completely dependent on men to do everything. Now, these women most certainly exist in real life, but they aren't all there is. There many many different variations, and it's up to developers to realise this.
I've been beating this particular horse to death lately, but half life 2 is a game that actually has a real female charater in the form of Alyx Vance. She is a complex emotional character who is flawed, and scared witless a lot of the time, but still presses on out of sheer desperation. She is neither dependant on males, nor is she a complete badass. She seems optimistic a lot of the time, but still gets down. She is a real person, and probably the most relatable character in the series.
Other than that, I can think of very few. Heavy Rain characterised it's female characters decently, but then went back on it by showing us their tits at every possible turn. Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines has some amazingly strong characterisation, both male and female, and is a great game that everyone should play. However, strongly characterised females are still largely absent from the gaming world, and I thnk thats a bit of a shame, because I find their personalities infinitely more interesting than their ignorant male companions.
As a side note: For those of you who want pictures: Fuck off. I'm used to the 1up way of doing things, where you click insert image and the image appears, with some customisation options. I haven't learnt BB Code yet, so everytime I insert an image here, and preview the blog, it just gives me the code I inputted. I use BB over at Metalstorm, so maybe it's just a different layout i need to get used to. Not knocking the site, the community here seems much better than 1up, and the articles are more varied and interesting. There, rant over.