April 20, 2011

GTA4 – What stuck? Part 2/3

Continuing the three-part series about things that stayed with me after finishing GTA4, this time I’ll discuss the women of GTA4!

“Nico’s cousin’s girlfriend” – Female characters in GTA4

GTA4 has a large cast of interesting characters. That’s what GTA games are, in part, famous for: Tragicomic stereotypes of criminals who – while often unflattering – carry vivid personalities and are carefully crafted. Yet the GTA series has never been the go-to franchise for strong female characters. This kept bothering me for the whole duration of GTA4.

I still don’t know who this woman is even though she’s featured prominently in the game’s PR materials.

Why do female characters get so little attention in the game? Surely immoral female criminals would fit well in the series’s character roster. In GTA4, there are very few women who have any meaningful impact on the story. Kate, Michelle and Elizabeta are the ones with the most screentime, and if you count in Nico’s cousin’s girlfriend Mallory that brings the number of central female characters up to four. That’s not a very large number compared to the around twenty or so focal male characters that Nico encounters during the game.