Home Gaming Gamers are mad that Aloy has realistic cheeks in Horizon Forbidden West

Gamers are mad that Aloy has realistic cheeks in Horizon Forbidden West

1 min read
30
Horizon

A jaunt into a post-apocalyptic setting where mankind’s throne at the top of the food chain has been usurped by robot dinosaurs sounds like a fun time, but I regret to inform you that Horizon Forbidden West is already dead in the water. All thanks to developer Guerilla Studios deciding to give the protagonist, Aloy, slightly more realistic cheeks.

The absolute cheek of it all.

It’s Monday morning and I crap thee not, people are upset that Aloy’s character model now has a more natural and rounder face instead of sharp cheekbones that can be used to headbutt-slash anyone who gets in her way. Last week’s State of Play that provided a deeper dive into Horizon Forbidden West may be one of the most-watched episodes after a single day, but there’s already a vocal minority that has taken an otherwise interesting discussion about how game developers are taking a more realistic approach to create their female protagonists and turning it into a fat-shaming exercise.

Crikey it’s too early for this level of stupid from a corner of the internet that was so angry about Mortal Kombat 11’s female characters being dressed up in glorious layers of fabric, that it resulted in a fatality being performed on their efforts to masturbate. Anyway, will Cheekgate have an effect on how the game plays? Probably not.

For every naysayer who reckons that having female protagonists who don’t look like Victoria’s Secret runway models will result in the death knell for a video game before it arrives, you just have to laugh and point them towards the lifetime sales of The Last of Us Part II and Mortal Kombat 11. Is Sony is prepping smaller cheek DLC, the marketing geniuses that will appeal to real gamers? That’s a definite maybe.

Horizon Forbidden West and its cheeky content will launch on PS4 and PS5 later this year.

Last Updated: May 31, 2021

30 Comments

  1. I made this example to someone on one of David Jaffe’s threads about the same subject: Why do Nintendo characters look they way they do? The answer is obvious it’s because of the target demographic, you sell cute things to kids same with Disney etc. I just find it so weird that selling conventionally attractive characters to an adult demographic that’s into things like cosplay, Twitch and endless Tumblr fanfics which all have very heavy underlying adult conetations btw is all of a sudden a ‘bad’ or politically incorrect thing. I’ve seen this exact same trend in western comics to the detriment of the industry, while their Japanese counterparts continue to thrive. Sony seems to be going full steam ahead with this approach, ironically the same company that made a game named Fat Princess is now fully committed to making Hollywood style ‘socially conscious’ AAA games. Say what you will about CDPR and their recent mishaps but they have no qualms about making ‘sexy’ games despite their level of depth nor do the majority of Japanese studios, like Capcom, Konami and Namco Bandai it’s still business as usual. For Sony’s sake I hope it works for them and that they are able sustain that target demographic.

    Reply

    • cloudzn

      May 31, 2021 at 03:34

      On a side note i remember reading one of the reasons ME:A had so few new aliens was to make it easier for cosplayers as some of them had unique designs.

      Reply

      • The D

        May 31, 2021 at 04:22

        If you’re not surgically breaking your legs to accurately create the walking gait of a Taurian, you’re not a real cosplayer.

        Reply

        • DapperWoef

          May 31, 2021 at 04:32

          It’s Turian, you ingrate! 😛

          Reply

          • The D

            May 31, 2021 at 04:41

            It’s whatever I say it is, as I ruin yet another franchise for fans.

          • DapperWoef

            May 31, 2021 at 04:43

            Only thing getting ruined here is your credibility as a gamer/games journalist!
            DO YOU EVEN GAME, BRO?
            😛

          • The D

            May 31, 2021 at 05:24

            How dare you call my credibility as a James Gurnalist into question

    • The D

      May 31, 2021 at 03:48

      I think it’s a good debate to have, because beauty standards are definitely changing. And like you said, some studios go that route, others prefer more realistic approaches. There’s no harm in having both. Plenty of options and different standards of beauty to cater to I think. But yeah, nice point.

      Reply

      • Aussious

        May 31, 2021 at 04:41

        Precisely it doesn’t need to be an either or situation, it’s literally just a matter of playing to your audience, I’ll use CDPR again in this example they are in the fortunate position of having narrowed down their target audience to a tee, similar with GTA and other series like Saints Row everyone know exactly what to expect from those studios and franchises. Just like Nintendo and their mascot based games, that’s a very specific audience that’s easy to identify, however I feel like games like Last of Us and Horizon are going to have a far more trickier time with this as the target demo that they seem to be aiming for is far too broad. I also agree that there’s a wider debate to be had here.

        Reply

      • Michael

        May 31, 2021 at 04:42

        Why is it more “realistic” not to have attractive female main characters? Most women you see in real life go to great pains to make themselves look as attractive as possible. And having now seen several comparisons, it’s clear Aloy in the new Horizon game more closely resembles several men and boys than she does a woman. I just don’t understand why having beautiful women in art is suddenly a bad thing.

        Reply

        • The D

          May 31, 2021 at 04:46

          This might blow your mind dude, but a woman can have masculine features and still be beautiful to other people.

          Reply

          • Michael

            May 31, 2021 at 04:49

            This is the irony, isn’t it, dude. Modern feminism: Masculinity is bad, but women that act and look masculine – awesome.

          • Michael

            May 31, 2021 at 04:49

            This is the irony, isn’t it, dude. Modern feminism: Masculinity is bad, but women that act and look masculine – awesome.

        • The D

          May 31, 2021 at 04:46

          This might blow your mind dude, but a woman can have masculine features and still be beautiful to other people.

          Reply

        • Aussious

          May 31, 2021 at 04:55

          Again studios keep doing this without consulting their core audience (ala The Sonic movie)most of these are really purely aesthetic things that you can afford to change according to how they test with your audiences, instead they allow them to snowball into more divisive pointless political back and forths. It’s a let’s do it and hope for the best our intentions are in the right place it should work approach, which is horrible for business and maintaining fanbases…

          Reply

          • DapperWoef

            May 31, 2021 at 04:56

            #CHARACTEREDITORSFORALLGAMES

          • Michael

            May 31, 2021 at 05:08

            It’s politically and ideologically motivated, as it is with almost everything these days. Politics trump art, and we can’t have those horrible male gamers ogling beautiful women. They also conflate characters in art with real people, as if they should be viewed in the same way. Even the way this article is slanted, to shame men for wanting to have attractive characters in art as if it’s just about getting your rocks off and not a matter of aesthetics and taste – typical liberal/woke nonsense.

          • The D

            May 31, 2021 at 05:26

            Nah dude, nothing like that. If you think the original Aloy is the more attractive version, awesome I get you 100%. If someone else thinks the Forbidden West Aloy is more attractive, also brilliant. No one’s shaming you for what you find attractive, but the idea that because a character model has been changed and is therefore too masculine or fat because of how the cheeks have been rendered, is weird. Long story short, support each other’s tastes. Easy!

          • Michael

            May 31, 2021 at 05:46

            Might have been a slightly better article to write, that one, even though I still don’t agree with it.

  2. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    May 31, 2021 at 04:01

    Hahahaha no fucking way!

    Wow

    Reply

  3. DapperWoef

    May 31, 2021 at 04:31

    To prevent all this drama, why not add a character editor to the game?
    You want Cindy Crawford in her hey day running about and swinging and ruining the day of robots everywhere, you should have it. WIth all the make-up you want!
    You want Aloy to have a look that makes her look like Mike Schutte’s identical twin sister? You should have that too!

    Reply

    • Aussious

      May 31, 2021 at 05:02

      Agreed! This to me is the ultimate solution most games these days already take this more fluid approach, UbiSoft I’d say is ahead of the pack in this regard it’s not perfect but at least your avatar is closer to what the player wants than a default character meant to appeal to everyone. Sony’s games generally though do not have that level of character customization as they play out more like Hollywood Action/Adventure type experiences and far less like Roleplaying games.

      Reply

      • DapperWoef

        May 31, 2021 at 05:11

        The problem here is not all games cater to a male/female narrative. And I have no personal problem with that.
        I accept Aloy as the main protagonist of the Horizon games, much like I accept Lara Croft as the Tomb Raider, Nathan Drake in Uncharted etc
        Not all games should have Mass Effect levels of character creation. That is great to have, but not all development studios want to do that, or can do that.
        All I am saying is, let me choose what the character I am going to be staring at for hours on end look like, within the narrative the writer of the story gives me.
        If Aloy is a woman, let me choose the woman that is pleasing to my eyes.
        It would cause way much less butthurt in this world.

        Reply

        • Aussious

          May 31, 2021 at 06:12

          I totally get that however as a RPG gamer primarily, fortunately all my mainstays have offered customization options for decades now so it doesn’t really bother me. I have a very superficial relationship with games like Tomb Raider and God of War who offer very little in terms of choice and customization so to me its all the same, how she looks should be a matter of the target demo and I just don’t think Sony really knows who that is so they selling to everyone.

          Reply

  4. Gavin Mannion

    May 31, 2021 at 05:49

  5. HvR

    May 31, 2021 at 12:39

    Not sure why everyone is on about the cheeks, it is the jawline that bothers me.

    Seems really out of proportion to the rest of the face; like Aloy had here wisdom teeth out the previous day; or maybe she found a special artifact from the past. THE JAWZRSIZE!!!!

    Reply

  6. Gerhard

    June 1, 2021 at 04:07

    I look forward to Forbidden West. Having said that I do believe that when you change a main character’s look people are going to have an opinion. Sure it does not change how the game plays but it does change the gamers experience. Personally i like the older version more.

    Reply

  7. Illumina Blade

    June 25, 2021 at 02:28

    She’s clearly at some superhuman level of fitness and I ain’t seen one Olympic gymnast martial artist survivalist warrior with 4AM deep south walmart cheeks.

    Reply

  8. Liam Lane

    August 6, 2021 at 23:24

    I have no problem with women with a few extra pounds in games, as long as they aren’t too fat or ugle. My problem is that if they want such a character they either have to do it with a new character or if they do it in a sequel they do so believably. As I can’t see her being fat in six months with all the stuff that she does and doing.

    Reply

  9. Bloody Macbeth

    September 6, 2021 at 06:03

    I personally don’t care what she looks like in the new game, she’s a red head so that’s strike one through three, you’re already out. Besides, its a video game not a dating simulator. That picture you used makes her look like a chubby 10 year old boy in the face though. Not important but sorta funny.

    That said I don’t know if its catering to the “woke” crowd or what but I hope not because those people are assholes. Saving the world one temper tantrum at a time!

    Anyway I noticed Adam Jensen’s cheeks were kinda fat in Mankind Divided, at least compared to Human Evolution. Maybe there’s a developer who works at both places that sucks at making cheeks?

    Reply

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