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While many developers are searching for new and creative ways to give players customization options, PC survival game Rust is actually taking some of that control out of your hand, automatically assigning a gender that you won’t be able to alter.
Open world survival games are all the rage these days, ranging from the semi-grounded zombie survive-a-thons like DayZ to the anything goes approach of titles like ARK: Survival Evolved. But while most of those games grant players the ability to craft a personal avatar, it looks like Rust will handle that process for you. Gamespot is reporting that Rust will actually assign you an avatar based on your SteamID and, even more puzzling, players won’t be able to alter the character model they are assigned.
While Rust has been out in the wild for wide testing for a while now, the developers only recently allowed for female avatars to be created within the game. That seemed like a move in a positive direction in terms of inclusiveness, but then players found out that they weren’t able to actually pick what their character looked like.
In developer Facepunch Studios’ most recent blog post, they address these changes and what they mean (or rather “don’t mean”) for the game world. In the post, it’s explained that stats are in no way tied to your character model, so everyone will still hit the world on an even playing field. Also, since female avatars weren’t available for this first year in Early Access, technically nothing has changed in regard to players feeling “connected” to their avatar. Actually, it’s a pretty interesting way of looking at the issue.
We understand this is a sore subject for a lot of people. We understand that you may now be a gender that you don’t identify with in real-life. We understand this causes you distress and makes you not want to play the game anymore. Technically nothing has changed, since half the population was already living with those feelings.
In other words, if you were a female playing Rust this past year, chances are pretty good that you were stuck playing a male character. Now, no matter what your gender, there’s a chance you won’t be playing a character you can readily relate to. I suppose that forces players to adapt to the hand their dealt in Rust, much like in real life, but it’s easy to see why some folks would be sore due to this choice of character assignment.
The post goes on to explain that additional variations will be added in the coming weeks, meaning that players will not be stuck with their current avatars forever. Also, the game is still in Early Access, so who knows if this character assignment feature will remain intact throughout the lifetime of Rust.
But like I said, it’s an interesting take on character creation and, as an experiment, might yield some interesting and unexpected outcomes.