Upcoming sci-fi and action RPG Kova has a female protagonist who inspired by real-life herstory. Developer Black Hive Media also confirms that the game is headed to PC, PS4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch.
Kova Female Protagonist is a Nod to Real-Life Herstory
Currently aiming to raise funds on Kickstarter, in Kova, players assume the role of a space mercenary who goes on a mission to collect beacons. The female protagonist is actually based on a real-life instance of herstory as lead coder and writer Mandy Lowry based the character on Valentina Tereshkova, a retired Russian cosmonaut who was also the first woman in space.
Speaking to me in an email, Lowry says that as Tereshkova ‘broke the ceiling’ for other women and that “it was fitting to give our female protagonist an honorable nod to her.” The developer explains that “as a woman software engineer I can only imagine the feats that Valentina had to overcome as a woman in the 1960’s trying to overcome a role historically held by men” and that the female character, written from a woman’s point of view can “help encourage young women and girls that it’s ok to break gender roles.”
Black Hive Media is keeping the game’s story close to its chest for fear of spoilers, so right now it’s unclear now just how much the game shatters those gender roles, though Lowry does say that “every character you meet, every mission you take on, basically everything you do will add to the overarching storyline and lead you to the answer of the big Fermi Paradox question.” The Fermi Paradox is the suggestion that it makes sense for aliens to exist, but asks why there isn’t evidence of their existence or interactions with Earth.
In the absence of big narrative details, Black Hive has at least revealed plenty of information Kova gameplay and some images of its phenomenal art style. Including exploring many planets and getting stuck into both crafting (to maintain the ship and offer combat advantages) and plenty of shooting (“intense battles”), players will also meet and earn a reputation with three different factions. These factions each have different aims (including fighting for droid rights and creating advanced robotics) and can grant new items, and affect dialogue with NPCs.
These kind of features seem like standard RPG staples, true, but Lowry notes that “open world games suffer from player’s not having a clear direction and focusing too much on the vastness of the game.” As a semi-open world game, Kova will still offer “extra hours of exploration to the more adventurous players” but the developer will “make sure that from the start of the game you are given a clear directive that you can follow.”
“In general,” says Lowry, “we’re setting out to craft an experience that blurs the lines of what gamers might expect from certain genres.” So fans of sci-fi RPGs should look out for this genre standout when it’s released later this year.
Kova is aiming to release on Windows PC in December 2017. PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch versions are also planned. A crowdfunding campaign for the game is currently underway on Kickstarter.