Playable black characters are common in video games about as much as there are black protagonists in summer blockbusters. That is to say very few. However, these few are simply awesome to play. Some gamers may not even know that there are actually non-stereotypical black characters one can play as in quite a few major titles. Here is a list:
This super popular title features Barret Wallace, one of the best playable black characters in the history of video games. Wallace starts off as a side character to main Cloud Strife but becomes prominent throughout the storyline. He is a complex character with a very interesting back story. The rest of the game is quite great too. So get yourself a budget gaming laptop and start playing.
This much-awaited sequel to Prototype features Sergeant James Heller, an action hero with a tragic past. He is not going to rap, profusely use street slang or do some stupid dance move. Rather, he will be on a quest for justice in New York City, turning the metropolis into a flaming hellscape. He is a great black character in a truly remarkable game that is definitely worth trying out.
You can play Yelena Fedorova in this legacy title. Yelena is one of the few truly intriguing black female characters in video games. She is African Russian and has mecha legs shaped like a goat. Dangerous and villainous, Yelena is actually the second boss you will have to take on in this game. If you love action and excellent playable characters, don’t wait to check out Deus Ex: Human Evolution.
Fans remember Resident Evil 5 as the game that started to ruin the survival-horror franchise. Sure, the game is more action-y than using your wits (and deadly tools) to survive the zombie apocalypse. Some gamers do like the revamped RE5, and if you are into it, you can play as Sheva Alomar. She is a lethal African soldier who had grown up among militants. Sheva teams up with Chris Redfield to gun down various mutated creatures. Sheva’s gun fighting skills in the game are truly remarkable and can be said to surpass even Redfield’s. The game has a really groovy bonus “fairy” costume for Sheva that players can unlock.
Who can forget Carl “CJ” Johnson from this GTA title? CJ is a gangbanger, but unlike the rest of digitally rendered stereotypes, he is a man with a good heart. He spends most of his time cleaning up his hood. CJ is on a quest to avenge his murdered mother, something the player can definitely get behind.
Street Fighter features an ensemble cast of playable characters. Elena is a Kenyan teen with incredible martial arts skills that players can choose as to kick ass. She is skilled in an indigenous fighting technique known as Capoeira. Elena was not one of the most popular characters from the game, but she is one of the beloved with a devoted cult following.
Next time you feel like video games are not diverse enough, try one of the above and play as a super cool black gal or dude.