It is always refreshing to stumble upon video games that offer a story focused around a female leading character.

Games with female leads are definitely becoming more popular, and 2016 introduces both new and old female protagonists. We even see a rise of established franchises using pre-existing female characters and developing their own stories, widening those game universes and shape-shifting our point of view as we go through them.

Here are 5 upcoming video games featuring a female protagonist in 2016/2017.

  1. Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst


Release Date: June 7th, 2016
Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC
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Following the success of the 2009’s game Mirror’s Edge, the studio DICE is now releasing a reboot next month, an open-world version of the action-packed adventure of the female lead young Faith Connors. Fans all over the world have been waiting for a new occasion to run through the sci-fi world of Glass and try out their new obstacles. The return of the female protagonist Faith is also good news as it is one that has gathered a lot of attention, not only for her cool face tattoo but also because of her overall persona. Neither being a damsel in distress, a quirky pixie dream girl or a sex symbol, Faith has been praised by all for the focus on her story rather than her appearance. A rebel and a criminal, this female lead is among the most badass characters for many and we are pleased to get to know her story even more this June. She is also pictured in the spin-off comic books for the series.

  1. Dishonored 2

emily looking at mad

Release Date: November 11th, 2016
Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC
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The first opus of the Dishonored series featured hero CorvoAttano, protector of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin. With the upcoming Dishonored 2 November 2016 release, you can choose to either play as Corvo once again, or you can play as the Empress’ daughter Emily Kaldwin. Dishonored 2 is thus a video game where, as the hero of a set story, you can play as either the male protagonist or the female protagonist in the same set of missions. However, because these are two different characters, each of them bring different powers and different perspectives. Taking out the obvious fact that we are taking two different characters with two different backstories. Some video games will have you switch out between the genders without a change in the interactions and outcome of the story. To have differences of character and reactions without dramatically changing the two set paths is an interesting way to tell their stories, and still sets them apart as their own identities.

  1. Horizon Zero Dawn

PS4 Exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn

Release Date: February 28, 2017
Platform: PS4
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This action science-fiction game has gotten Playstation 4 players awaiting since the trailer first dropped last year at E3. The female lead of Horizon Zero Dawn is named Aloy, she is a young warrior in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race went back to their primitive habits and is surrounded by gigantic robot animals. Once again the habit of game art made for a supposed «perverse» gaze is way behind us, Horizon Zero Dawn is very story-oriented and Aloy’s look is doing nothing but accompanying this story and its universe. This young female protagonist is a fighter and a hunter, and she is dressed for the part. Will Horizon Zero Dawn live up to the hype? Only time will tell.

  1. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

female with facepaint and looking tribal

Release Date: 2016 (TBC)
Platform: PS4, PC
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The date is not yet set for the upcoming PC and Playstation 4 game, but it was said to have a release date in 2016. Once again an opus with a focus on the plot, this one features a pre-existing character of the Hellblade series, Senua, fighting through her own madness as reality and nightmare mesh into one world. As an existing character that we met before inside of the series, it is interesting to see the world through the eyes of this female lead character, especially one that is so unstable. It makes exploring this universe a whole new experience.

  1. Bloodstained : Ritual of the Night

art of female protagonist with dress on

Release Date: March 2017 (TBC)
Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC, WiiU, PS Vita
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Coming up in a little bit less than a year is Castlevania’ proud successor Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night made by Koji Igarashi, creator of the precedent game and new studio owner after leaving Konami. The game has been funded through Kickstarter, bringing 5.5+ million dollars (way more than the game’s original goal funds) and it’s going to come up on every console. The story follows a young female leading character, a orphan named Miriam as she is trying to undo the curse that has been cast upon her. Not much yet has been released from the project, though the creator makes a point of keeping fans updated.