Rainbow Six: Siege will also have male hostages
Rainbow Six: Siege players will not only be saving female hostages, Ubisoft has confirmed. Following the game's debut at E3 earlier this month, there was some outcry over the way in which the game was presented. It featured a hostage rescue mission in which the Rainbow counter-terrorism unit had to breach a terrorist stronghold and rescue a female hostage. And lately, any time a male rescues a female someone has to complain -- though I have a sneaking suspicion some of the articles about this issue are created simply for "hits."
Regardless, Ubisoft has addressed the topic, confirming that male characters will also be hostages. Yay equality, right?
Ubisoft's reasoning behind the female hostage was to make the viewers/players "feel empathy." According to Ubisoft technical artist Oliver Couture, the developers "wanted people to want to protect her. If the hostage gets killed a team loses the game, so we wanted players to care about the hostage so that's the design we choose."
"But we're also gonna have male hostages," he added. "That's part of the plan."
Couture continued that Ubisoft is trying to "define next-gen with the hostage." Giving the hostage personality, make the hostage react to things happening around them, coughing because of smoke, are all things Ubisoft is doing to create a "living hostage."
"So she'll react to explosions an things like that," he explained. "It's pretty cool. She'll cough because of the dirt in the air, she covers herself when there's shooting -- those sorts of things."
"We want the player to be able to move her into different positions, for there to be fluid controls. It's a balance between player comfort and reality."
The notion that players want to protect females or children more than males is a belief that has long existed in the gaming industry. I don't think I'd have felt anything different if we were rescuing a male hostage though. For me, a hostage is a hostage regardless of gender. If anything, I saw the character as more of a gameplay mechanic than an actual personality -- which I guess Ubisoft is trying to avoid. Granted, we were only treated to a brief clip of the game, so there wasn't any setup. Maybe the backstory would provide some explanation as to why this specific woman was a hostage, and where the kid was.
Or maybe people shouldn't make such a big deal over rescuing a female in a video game. I don't think the hostage being a woman makes the female sex look any weaker. Any person in that situation -- male, female, child -- would react the same way. And I dare any men to tell me otherwise.