I’ve recently been playing a lot of Skyrim, & modding it in particular. If you’ve ever spent any time on the Skyrim Nexus mods page, you’ve probably noticed that the largest categories for mods are the armor mods. And if you’ve ever spent any time looking for armor mods for a female character, it probably realized by scanning the first page that most of the popular armors are ridiculously skimpy.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to say I’ve never used a skimpy armor in a game. Back when I modded Oblivion, I had a lot of the armors from mod author Hentai, who was good at making interesting but impractical armors for female characters. But in general I think armor should look like it can actually save your life.
Unfortunately women tend to get the short end of the stick when it comes to being protected in videogames. Most developers seem to think that so long as the lady bits are covered, they’ll be fine. I know that men get distracted by breasts easily, but I don’t think if I’m being attacked he’s going to be distracted enough to only try to stab me in the chest. Imagine if this logic applied to male armors. You’d see a lot more men running around in loin clothes & nothing else. Everyone would look like they belong in 300.
That being said, there are some really cool armor designs out there. So I’ve been thinking about what sorts of armor I would personally wear. You know, if they existed in real life & I actually had a need for armor. This isn’t a Top Armors list, just ones that I would wear myself. And it’s limited to games that I have experience with, so if you have an armor that you would love to wear, post in the comments.
N7 Armor (from Mass Effect)
You all knew this would be on here. While I find most space marine armor unrealistically bulky (seriously, how big would you have to be to wear COG armor & still be able to run around?) I really like the design for Commander Shepard’s N7 Armor. Whether it’s the male or female version, it looks like it’s both protective while be flexible enough to run around on the battlefield. A cool aspect is that you can mix & match parts & even give a custom paint job.
Hilde’s Armor (from Soul Calibur)
Although I don’t typically use Hilde because I prefer characters with a faster fighting style, I love her character design, & her armor in particular. Given that the same franchise has some women fighting in spandex & thongs, Hilde’s look really stands out. I remember reading in an interview that the developers wanted to make a sexy character in full armor when they were coming up with Hilde’s design, & I think they achieved it. If I were going to engage in some swordplay I’d definitely consider an armor like this.
Nightingale Armor (from Skyrim)
This was my favorite armor in the game. Once I got it when I playing on the 360, I never wore anything else. I just really loved the black leather & the ribbing on it. It looks protective yet flexible enough for a rogue character. I also really loved how it obscures the character’s face. I could actually see this being legitimate, real-world armor. It also has some great stat bonuses for sneaky characters (which for some reason I always play as in RPGs…)
Daedric Armor (from Skyrim)
I don’t typically go for heavy armor in any game I play, but there’s no denying that The Elder Scrolls’ Daedric armor is always a sight to behold. It just looks so imposing. I’m not sure I’d be able to actually stand up in this stuff, but I doubt much could touch me.
Demon Hunter Armor (from Diablo III)
This is sort of cheating because I haven’t actually playing Diablo 3. But I was introduced to this from a mod that adds an armor to Skyrim that is modeled from the Demon Hunter Armor. I loved it & it’s what I’m using for my current playthrough. But this armor has everything I’d want in a female armor. It doesn’t disguise the fact that the character’s a woman but it’s not pandering by showing lots of skin. It looks protective yet flexible. And it’s just downright badass. The stilettos on the boots are a bit strange, but you could argue that since the armor’s meant for a ranged character they wouldn’t be at a disadvantage. I’d just have to train myself to run in them.
Valkyrie Armor (from Valkyrie Profiles)
When you imagine the warrior maidens who gather the souls of the fallen, you think of something like this. The designs for the armors the Valkyries wear in the Valkyrie Profile games fits perfectly with their roles in Norse mythology. I especially like the plumes on the headdresses. I think it’s the combination of the plate armor & the flowing skirts that give the armors an air of regality. This is the armor of a woman who could gracefully cut your head off.
Big Daddy Armor (from Bioshock)
I think if any of us saw something like this coming at us, we’d die of a heart attack long before we could actually get drilled. I imagine the developers were like, “Yeah, the Big Daddy’s are pretty scary, but how can we make this wet-your-pants terrifying? I know! Let’s make one of its arms a giant drill!” If it weren’t for the whole having your skin & organs grafted to the suit thing, I’d really consider this armor just for the fun of scaring the crap out of people. But that’s of questionable necessity since apparently the prototype didn’t have to go through this horrible process. Backward progress or bad game development?
Mantle of the Champion (from Dragon Age 2)
The Mantle of the Champion actually refers to three different sets of armors that Hawke can find in the final act of Dragon Age II. The mage variant is my personal favorite. I think it’s the fur collar combined with the longer hem on the back. It just looks really cool & suitable for a rogue mage. Although I have to question to practicality of having one arm unprotected. You have armor on one arm but not the other. Looking cool aside, is there a reason for it?
Emissary Armor (from Dragon’s Dogma)
One of the best aspects of Dragon’s Dogma was being able to mix-&-match as well as upgrade the armor pieces. You could come up with all sorts of interesting combinations. So picking one armor is difficult. But out of all the full armor sets, the Emissary Armor was my favorite. It was a DLC armor & while not the most powerful one, it’s great for the beginning of the game. I used the coat piece with other armors for a long time in the game. It reminds me of the Crusades, & the spiked crown makes me think of Dante’s Inferno. I think it’s all the straps that do it for me. I notice that I like the look of armors that have straps or cords to them. Just personal taste. I bet it’d make it a pain to get into in real life, though.
As I said, this isn’t really a best armor list pieces that I can recall seeing & thinking, “I’d so wear that.” It really tempts me to cosplay, except no conventions ever come to my area of the country. I’ve seen some particularly good pictures of cosplay with the Demon Hunter armor.
I might post a follow-up article on armors that I would never wear in a few days.