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Friday, July 26, 2013

[SMITE] Credit where it's due

In a previous post I mocked SMITE's interpretation of female deities and their apparent penchant for upping the combative ante by insisting on fighting in high heels. Though there was an exception, she was not without her issues (sorry Freya). Let it not be said however, that I do not notice improvement.

So the newest deity/mythical-character/seriously-guys-where-is-the-line to be added to SMITE is Chang'e (pronounced somewhere between "Chang-Uh" and "Changa", I am not an expert). I am not an expert on Chinese mythology but apparently she dances and has lunar associations. However, she is also tastefully dressed heard it here first at some point...she is not wearing heels.
How dare she show ankle...
Full disclosure, I took the screenshot mid-animation because otherwise you can't see her feet but it also revealed something else of interest; they did not animate anything above the skirt-line. Note that it's just a willed in texture. While some games these days go lengths to animate the full leg so that clever players can spin the character around and get a panty-shot, Hi-Rez has preemptively nipped that one in the bud and covered her. I think it's nice and tasteful, preserves the image of more of a chaste beauty they were going with. I am not against animating the legs, and to be frank, Hi-Rez is the kind of company I wouldn't be surprised to see it from, so I am impressed that they chose not to. It was a choice they did not have to make, and likely wouldn't have been blameworthy for, but shows that they can go the other way.

And of course, the most important part; she is not wearing high heels. I do not know the proper name for the shoe design, but it is indeed a flat and clearly meant for movement. So bravo to Hi-Rez, I hope this becomes a trend. I personally don't mind them taking some artistic license with female gods, but the heels on combat/active goddesses were a bit much (I can excuse Aphrodite since she was a beauty goddess, and floats around anyways).
Prada would be proud

A picture of her idle animation; aside from a plunging neckline she's virtually non-sexualized and yet still quite beautiful. That doesn't mean there aren't things to quibble about. I am not sure whether she would meet a Chinese definition of beauty or how well she holds to source material. I could add that she doesn't speak; the rabbit speaks for her, and all she does is dance and look pretty, all of which could send some negative signals. That said, Hi-Rez is basically stuck to the source material there so my issue is not with them.

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