Horizon: Zero Dawn is undoubtedly one of the best PlayStation 4 releases of 2017, and it might be an early contender for Game of the Year title as well, even though it’s only March. Guerrilla Games managed to make a memorable adventure set in a post-apocalyptic open world, which didn’t betray the fact that they were actually new to making third-person games. Besides that, they created a memorable protagonist in the form of Aloy, who might end up as one of Sony’s iconic characters alongside the likes of Nathan Drake and Crash Bandicoot. The development team behind Horizon: Zero Dawn intended to make Aloy into a female character right from the start, but what happens if the character was a male instead?
We wouldn’t witness the father-daughter bond between Aloy and Rost
Stories of both father-son and mother-daughter bond in video games are common, but it’s exceptionally rare to find a game that explores the relationship between a father and his daughter. Rost might be seen as more of a mentor instead of a father to Aloy in the eyes of certain players, but it’s undeniable that they share a close bond, even though their relationship was non-biological. Aloy was even given the option to honor Rost in a section of the Proving ritual usually dedicated to mothers, which highlights their close relationship.
Aloy will approach the world in a different manner
One of Aloy’s iconic traits in Horizon: Zero Dawn is her personality and the way she viewed the post-apocalyptic world she was born in. Her compassion knows no bounds, and she can be sensitively emotional as she explores what’s at stake in Horizon’s world with a child-like logical thinking. Having a male protagonist would certainly change things up, since the common archetype of such characters is having a no-nonsense behavior and do whatever’s necessary to get the job done. This also brings us to the next point…
Aloy can and will employ more brute force in combat
One of the distinctive features in Horizon: Zero Dawn is its refreshing combat, which gives players various ways to exploit the machines’ weakness and take them down using a bow and arrow. You can also opt for melee if you prefer a stealthy or more hands-on approach, but it’s generally unreliable when you take on the bigger baddies. However, it’ll be a whole different ballgame when you have a male Aloy, which can take advantageous of his bigger build to employ more brute force in combat. You won’t feel the same satisfaction as when you hit the perfect shot, but it’ll still be fun to dish out heavy punishments and tear the machines from limb to limb.
We won’t be able to view all of the ultra-realistic Aloy cosplays
If there’s one constant thing whenever a memorable character is introduced in video games, is that you can expect plenty of cosplayers donning their looks. Such is the case with Aloy, who inspired many cosplayers to dress up in her post-apocalyptic outfit in a realistic manner. This doesn’t mean the guys will do a worse job if Aloy is a male, but it’s hard to imagine otherwise, considering all the quality cosplays we have seen so far.
One less progress will be made to ensure female protagonists are well-represented in video games
You know Guerrilla Games were undertaking some sort of a challenge and a risk when they made Aloy into a female character, but they were also confident that they made the right choice. Even though we are seeing more and more games using female protagonists, such as Tomb Raider, Mirror’s Edge, and Life is Strange, we still have questions about female character validations, and it’s frustrating for the developers. With that said, it’s nice to see them stuck by their decision and reaping the rewards out of it, because Horizon: Zero Dawn will leave a totally different impression if Aloy was a male instead.