The big hit of the week in gaming has been the alpha test of battle royale multiplayer SOS: The Ultimate Escape.
Under the overarching narrative of a reality game show – with the audience voting for their fan favorites – players pick an avatar and compete to be one of three survivors to grab a relic and make it to the helo to be lifted off a monster-infested island. Rounds last 30 minutes, and the play is fast and – thanks to humans being humans – unpredictable.
The game looks great and I can’t wait for it to go to general release. The thing I’m mightily disappointed in is the avatar options.
You can play around with customizeable hair shade and length to individualize your avatar within pretty limited parameters.
Of course there are more caucasian males than any other option, but at least there’s an asian man and a black man (this is literally how low the bar is in gaming representation – I’m grateful there’s a grand total of two non-white options.) There is an option for a heavier male build. You’ll notice, however, there’s zero option to be a woman of color, or to be a woman of the same age as some of the male avatars.
Update: there is one older caucasian woman option.
Yes, it’s an alpha build. But gamers are diverse, and we’ve been asking for avatars that reflect this for a mighty long time.
My hope is when Outpost Games take this to beta release they listen to us.
Update 5 July: here’s a pic of all the basic avatar options, linked to in the comments by Elizabeth, who may or may not be from Outcast Games. Maybe she’s just a salty fan of the game. Hell, I’m a fan of the game and I didn’t even get into the alpha.
Lighting levels make the pic damn near useless, but I’ve squinted a lot, and I still don’t think I can see any black women.
The “missing black woman formation” is in itself problematic, but is still a useful basic check for diversity.
I’ll update as more info comes to light (heh, see what I did there?)
5 thoughts on “SOS: The Ultimate Escape offers disappointing avatar options”
1. The game is in an alpha state so of course the character options are limited.Only 3 of them have real customization options.
2. If you had the chance to download the game and look at the characters you would have seen the wide variety of races.
3. Of the 11 characters available, four of them are Caucasian. That leaves 7 non white options, not the 2 you claim.
Hi Elizabeth, thanks for commenting. Are you a member of the dev team or otherwise related to Outpost Games? I looked online for more info on avatar options but could find nothing. Maybe you can share a link to pics.
http://i.imgur.com/jsOAo0B.jpg x’s are caucasians.
thanks for the link Elizabeth. The pic is pretty hard to see any detail in. I have updated my blog post. Can you confirm you represent Outpost Games?
You should take another look at this. The Steam reviews alone make this worth it, and this is coming from an Alpha backer. We were sold on the idea of a bike, we got to test a bike, we got to give our thoughts on the bike, and then the dev’s pulled the blanket back and instead, we all got a coffee machine for the final release, but a broken one at that. Neither what we wanted, or what we pledged our money towards.