From Lara Croft in Tomb Raider to Aloy in the Horizon franchise, we have seen women be the heroes of their own games, and players have thoroughly enjoyed them. So, why hasn’t Rockstar and Grand Theft Auto decided to have their own female protagonist, and will they bring one on for GTA 6?
The history of women in GTA hasn’t been in the best light. Females are usually over-sexualised and are there as a secondary character or a bit part. Women are often found on the front of GTA game covers, but usually, they are models that are never seen again in the game.
Besides players being able to choose to be a woman on GTA Online, we haven’t been in the shoes of a women since the game series started in 1997.
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The women of GTA
The only time we’ve had female protagonists in GTA was in GTA 2, but the Game Boy Color version only. Players had their own choice of protagonists from six characters, two were women called Candy and Gretchen.
GTA: III was going in the right direction when Catalina was the main antagonist, putting a woman in a high-ranking role. But since then, the franchise has just gone backward.
Women have always made appearances in GTA’s storylines, but mostly as wives or girlfriends. In GTA 5, Michael’s wife Amanda and daughter Tracey are regular characters but besides them two, women aren’t all that common.
Yes, we had Mary-Ann, Maude, Mrs.Thornhill, and Molly Schultz but they are either supporting or side mission characters. In GTA: San Andreas, only a handful of women appear as part of the main storyline, Kendl, Catalina, and Denise to name a few. Other’s make an appearance but are usually off-screen quicker than they are on it.
Carl can romance a few women in San Andreas, but their characters aren’t fleshed out, leaving yet again, women in GTA with no real personality. The two main women in GTA IV are Kate McReary and Mallorie Barbas. Yet again, their main purpose serves as being the partners of the main characters Nico and Roman Bellic.
One of the most favoured parts of GTA 5 was the fact there wasn’t just one protagonist, but three. However, none of them was a woman. Inside, we got three men from three different walks of life. It worked well but why wasn’t any of the protagonists a woman?
Even if it was just that you could have changed to a female character for the heists, it would have been a step in the right direction.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Valhalla gave players the choice between having a female and male protagonist and the storyline wasn’t hindered in any way due to this. An earlier installment of the series, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate had two protagonists, a brother and sister, something which could be a big hit in GTA.
Imagine playing as a crime family where you could change up between a few of the family members, cousins, brothers, sisters – the possibilities are endless and would allow players the option to be a woman too.
GTA 6 setting could favour a female protagonist
The rumor mill has been swirling, with many fans trying to guess where the next installment of GTA will be located. One of the most common rumors is that the location will be South America. ‘Project Americas’ would have the series return to Vice City and a new location of a fictionalized Rio de Janeiro.
The rumour also states the next installment could be set in the 80s when drug trafficking was prolific. Griselda Blanco was a Colombian drug lady, and her story has been told numerous times through TV shows and movies. She is a great example of how this sort of storyline/location would fit a female protagonist.
Why should the next GTA have a female protagonist?
Women are starting to run the world in gaming. More and more developers are opting for either a female protagonist or a strong secondary character.
Sadie Adler was one of the standout stars of Red Dead Redemption 2, so much so that fans were calling for her to have her own standalone story DLC. Her introduction to the story made it seem as if she would be another ‘damsel in destress’ but as the story grew, Sadie become a badass, wanting revenge for those that had wronged her.
Lara Croft is one of the longest-running female protagonists in the Tomb Raider series. She has starred in numerous games and due to her popularity, the franchise has been made into films, books, and comics.
Now, I’m not saying GTA should go full-on Tomb Raider and have a woman be their sole focus but a change from the typical hyper-masculine main character would be a refreshing mix-up. If we could get a mix of Sadie Adler and Catalina, two of the strongest women in Rockstar’s history, then it would be a good start.