Stellar Blade Criticism Over Eve’s Character Design Is Unjustified

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Fictional Women With Somewhat Exaggerated Designs Aren't Big Deal!

Story Highlight
  • Stellar Blade has attracted controversy from the West due to exaggerated character designs.
  • Eve borrows the likeness of an actual Korean model, so the criticism makes little sense.
  • Similarly designed characters already exist in the industry, so the sudden outrage is strange.

Stellar Blade has yet to be released, but it has become one of the most, if not the most, controversial games of 2024. It looks promising, and its demo has received plenty of praise from gamers.

As a 20-hour-long game with no microtransactions, it seems to be doing a lot right. After my experience with the demo, I thoroughly enjoyed Shift Up’s latest title, with its combat comparable to Sekiro’s incredibly high bar.

So, why is the title attracting so much controversy? That is mainly because of the main character, which people apparently think is exaggerated. Is the main character really exaggerated? The answer isn’t a simple no or yes, but the criticism is unjustified.

Why it matters: Female leads like 2B, Lara Croft, Bayonetta, and Ada Wong in video games are incredibly famous due to their roles and, of course, how they look.

Stellar Blade
The Combat Mechanics, Ost, And World Design Of Stellar Blade Are Insanely Good

Stellar Blade Criticism

I think the criticism is unjustified, mainly because the main character is based on a real-life model. Eve is based on a 3D body scan of a Korean model, Shin Jae-eun.

So, if a character’s body proportions are based on a real-life model, how is she considered exaggerated? Perhaps Shift Up leans more on the fictional side, but the situation has been blown out of proportion. Certain journalists even went as far as to say that Eve is a doll sexualized by someone who has never seen a woman.

For starters, this is not a fair point, as criticizing a game is a different thing, but pointing fingers at the developers goes beyond the fine line of fair critique. Fortunately, the journalists have already issued an apology after this statement.

People like Eve certainly exist in real life. As I said, Shift Up may have tuned Eve to be a bit more appealing, but she isn’t as far removed from reality as everyone is making out to be.

Perhaps Western audiences should be more open. Furthermore, this pointless debate is taking attention away from the game’s positive elements. As a title taking inspiration from Nier Automata, Bayonetta, and more, this character design is not too surprising.

Aspects like the gameplay, narrative, and soundtrack should not be neglected due to the current controversy.

2B And Bayonetta
2B & Bayonetta Are Famous For Their Character Design And Role In Their Respective Games

Have People Forgotten About 2B & Bayonetta?

The criticism surrounding Stellar Blade makes me wonder if people have forgotten about 2B and Bayonetta. Both of these female leads feature the so-called exaggerated body, but both are well-known and loved in the gaming industry. 

2B has also reached the anime community, reaching even more people. Her popularity extends beyond Nier Automata, thanks to memes, online communities, and the recently released anime.

So, why has Eve not received a similarly warm welcome? In my opinion, fans have just forgotten that this was always a part of gaming.

Stellar Blade controvery
byu/Fickle_Neighborhood7 instellarblade

This makes me fear that the critics are going to give this game a hard time based on such a small element. While everyone is free to share their thoughts on Eve, this should not become an excuse to score the game any lower than it deserves to be rated.

Like every game, Stellar Blade is a result of years of hard work and passion. It seems a bit petty for critics to cut scores based on their preferences, especially if the other elements are strong.

Is This About East Vs. West?

Western developers often take a basic approach to their female characters. Recently, Microsoft has encouraged its developers to avoid exaggerated female designs. This helps explain some of the contentions around Eve.

Meanwhile, Eastern developers take the so-called exaggerated approach. If the debate is about culture and values, a game like Stellar Blade is the wrong target. At the end of the day, the game is meant to be a fun piece of entertainment.

Shift Up itself has put it best. Gamers should not care much about these elements and enjoy what is on offer. Everyone else is free to skip the release. Fortunately, it seems the discourse has not harmed the title.

Stellar Blade became the most pre-ordered game on the PlayStation store after the demo, and the developer is still optimistic about creating more single-player games

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