All western protagonists look the same?



  • I was listening to the previous episodes of the EZA and Frame Trap podcasts and Huber said that he read an article that stated that most main playable characters in western games look the same. I don't personally agree, but what I do think is, and this may be slightly unpopular, is that many eastern characters look very much alike. The only eastern game that I think does fantastic character design is the Yakuza franchise.

    Youtube Video – [55:02..]



  • Although I don't totally agree, I can see what people are referring to:

    alt text

    Most of these characters have a gruff, hardened personality, that us as players are expected to be excited about living vicariously through.

    This isn't the case for every male protagonist obviously. I like the characterisation of Joel, Nathan Drake and Snake. All 3 of these subvert your expectations as to what you expect their personalities to be.



  • Even if a lot of protagonists in western games look similar (To say "the same" seems extremely exagurated to me), we mustn't forget that it's the goal of the developers (usually, at least) to make as generic playable character as posible, so that as much people as possible, can relate to them. While they are risking to make a bland character, they must appeal to the highest amount of players, to sell their game.
    I don't like it, but I understand why it seems so. I more in favor of character creation in games.



  • I think it's got more to do with what developers think is "cool". Basically a lot of action game protagonists' looks come from a line of thinking that goes "who's in a lot of action movies? Oh I know, Jason Statham" so you end up with basically a whole bunch of Jason Stathams with different wigs and create-a-character sliders for age/weight/stubble. Sometimes the developers aren't into Jason Statham movies, so they go with Bruce Willis instead with the same principle.

    I'm not exactly joking here either; the guy who fits the part for most cases is going to be the guy the look is based on. Generic action badasses tend to look the same in movies, and they'll be used as the base character model in games as a result. I don't think it has much to do with being able to "relate" to the guy at this point, rather it's got to a state where that short brown hair, light stubble on a dirty manly face look is basically a blank slate.


  • Banned

    They're just trying their hardest to appeal to the mass majority of gamers.

    Damn WHITE people.

    Wait a minute.....

    I'm WHITE!

    Privilege checked.



  • @Alex840 said in All western protagonists look the same?:

    Although I don't totally agree, I can see what people are referring to:

    alt text

    Most of these characters have a gruff, hardened personality, that us as players are expected to be excited about living vicariously through.

    This isn't the case for every male protagonist obviously. I like the characterisation of Joel, Nathan Drake and Snake. All 3 of these subvert your expectations as to what you expect their personalities to be.

    And the thread ends after the first post, kudos



  • Well that's simply not true, similar sure, that's just natural, but the ones I know I recognize on 1st sight.



  • Many protags are designed to be more of an everyday white guy for numerous reasons. Partially to make them more relatable (for most gamers) and because you can do literally anything with them and not offend anyone.

    Also that image is a pretty bad example since it contains characters that don't even look similar, are from japanese developed games, have multiple protags, contain non-white characters, etc.



  • And most of them sound like they've been gargling hot gravel.


  • Global Moderator

    And it feels like 60% are named John in one way or another