There’s already a fair amount of controversy brewing around Rachel, the new character revealed in this trailer for Resident Evil Revelations. Her character design seems to be the target of some built up resentment among some gamers; resentment over the blatant oversexualization of female game characters that’s been endemic of the medium since Samus first took off all her clothes for no reason at the end of Metroid.
I understand why some gamers have finally had enough, but in this case, I don’t really see it. From a design perspective, I think Rachel is pretty evocative. Sure, she’s sexually charged to the point of kitsch, but that doesn’t necessarily make her a sex object, or an ineffective design. For me, the hair covering her face implies a sense of mystery, unpredictability, vulnerability, and a touch of ridiculousness, but in no way did it cause me to see the character as an object. As for her exposed cleavage (which is mostly obscured by the camera), it goes right along with the sticky white substance excreted by the disgusting monsters that are constantly stalking her. It’s the old universal fear of sex = fear of death thing that’s been common theme in the the sci-fi/horror genre since the crew of the Nostromo first got impregnated by Giger’s Alien.
All in all, Rachel was extremely easy for me to relate to. I found myself unconsiously crossing my legs during the bit where the creature grabs her by the ankles, wanting to keep that slimy, spiky, maggot mouthed beast as far away from my orifices as possible. Esentially, I felt like I was Rachel, despite (or perhaps because) of her voluptuous figure and partially obscured face.
Just because a character has big boobs doesn’t mean she (or he) can’t be an effective vessel for your psyche.