I’m not a big gamer, although I’ve owned an XBOX system for a while (an earlier version that I haven’t played in years); and I haven’t really kept up with the evolution of gaming – the systems, different platforms and, of course, the actual games themselves. So in checking out trailers for some of the upcoming new editions, announced at E3 this week (E3 being the Electronic Entertainment Expo, which is an annual video game conference and show at the Los Angeles Convention Center), I’m impressed by how cinematic they continue to look and feel. Not that the computer generated characters and worlds look ultra realistic, but they are certainly much improved, and, to be honest, some of the worlds created in some of these massive games are absolutely breathtaking to look at and virtually inhabit and navigate with relative remote control ease.
And with virtual reality being the next big thing (the much-ballyhooed Oculus VR device becomes commercially available early next year, as game creators rush to produce content for that platform), I can only imagine just how much more intensely realistic game play will become in the next several years.
All that said… Angela Bassett features in an upcoming new game that was just announced at E3 – the highly-anticipated (according to my research) “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege” from Ubisoft, which gaming experts and analysts are saying has the potential to become the best-selling shooter in the company’s history.
It’s a first-person shooter video game which is set for release later this fall.
“Rainbow Six Siege is an intense, new approach to the first-person shooter experience. Choose from a variety of unique Counter-Terrorist Operators and master their abilities as you lead your team through tense, thrilling, and destructive team-based combat.”
Bassett and her involvement (as the latest “Six”) in the game were revealed yesterday during a Ubisoft news conference at E3 installment. From what I learned, it’s a character that’s akin to “M” in the James Bond franchise. In Bassett’s case, “Six” is the codename for the leader of the elite counter-terrorism group depicted in the game. The character has always been male in past “Rainbow Six” games, as well as in Clancy’s original novel.
“We’ve known for quite some time we’ve been looking to cast a female actress for ‘Six’ this time around,” said “Rainbow Six” animation director Scott Mitchell. “Angela Bassett was one of our top choices from the beginning. We were looking for someone who could deliver a strong, commanding performance.”
In the game, players will portray one of several international operators under the command of Bassett’s “Six” character. For the part, her performance had to be motion-captured (as you can see in the image above). “It was a layering technique, which is very different from film, but it was very, very interesting,” Bassett said.
Bassett spoke with The Associated Press about her part in the game, sharing the below interesting tidbits:
AP: Why were you interested in this role?
Bassett: I don’t have much experience with video games, especially not at this high level. Whenever I get an opportunity to go in another direction, I do. I’m very aware of media and women in the media and the way we come across. I thought this would be a very strong look, as a woman and as a black woman. For myself, it’s a way to keep current. I just wanted to have an opportunity to be part of something like that.
AP: Were you aware of the many criticisms how women and African-Americans are portrayed in games?
Bassett: I wasn’t at first. I have a cousin who is very much into this world. He told me this would be a big, big, big deal. I said, “Really?” There have been opportunities in film where the part was a male, and they’ve changed it for me, and I’ve been able to bring it to life. I’ve always liked that. This was another opportunity to do that. To hear that in this world, women are not usually in this role, that was very exciting news to me.
Read the rest here.
Watch a teaser for the game, which features Bassett in her command position: