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AT's Top 10 Video Game Chicks

In this day and age, the variety of female characters in video games is astonishing. They come in many forms. Sometimes they are benevolent heroines and sometimes they are really sexy villains that spell your doom. Then again, they can also be your PDA sidekicks if you will, with hot-sounding voices that tell you where to go and what to do as you track through locales in first-person mode.

Whatever the case, you know that the games industry would be a dull(er) place if it weren't for these curvy objects of geek fantasies.

Yep, we've finally gotten around to selecting the most gorgeous choices of digital ladies. Believe me, it wasn't an easy task. There was a vast number of hot polygonal models to choose from, most of which really deserve to be in the list (or mentioned at least). Sadly, not many heroines can measure up to the charisma and beauty of icons like, Lara Croft or Cate Archer, so, naturally, the list was narrowed down. So, without further ado, we present our choice of the 10 most exciting females that kept us company during all these years of gaming.

10. Rayne - Bloodrayne

You simply cannot beat a sexy red-haired Dhampir. No really, you can't. Rayne, a.k.a. Agent BloodRayne, is the central female character of Terminal Reality's action adventure series, BloodRayne. Don't know if any of you actually remember, but it was suggested at one time that the character of BloodRayne was originally supposed to be Svetlana Lupescu, a Dhampir from Terminal Reality's title, Nocturne. This supernatural huntress had a human mother and vampire father and she represented one of the key characters in the game. In fact, early game art showed that BloodRayne looked almost exactly like Svetlana (being a vampire-slaying chick with twin blades). At some point, rumors indicated that the final outline of BloodRayne's character might've been partially inspired by Durham Red from the long-running British comic-book series Strontium Dog (though this was denied by Terminal Reality). When the original BloodRayne title came out, the game itself received average scores, while the charming lead character met with a favorable response from gamers. The sequel made a greater impact and was seen as an improvement both technically and gameplay wise. The character of BloodRayne eventually made it to the big-screen, but alas, Uwe Boll took the director's chair and... you know the rest.

Also, did you know that Rayne is the very first video game character to appear in Playboy Magazine (issue October 2004 - U.S. edition), as part of a feature entitled, Gaming Grows Up. Some pretty provocative pictures in that one, should you care to flex your Googling skills.

9. Nariko - Heavenly Sword

Meet Nariko, a relative new-comer to the gaming world. Nariko takes center stage in SCE's recently released PS3 title, Heavenly Sword. She wields a mighty weapon called the "Heavenly Sword," which alters into one of three forms depending on the attack stance used by the player. According to the game's plot, this sizzling red-haired female warrior has only a few days to live and she embarks on one final act of redemption against a king and his invading army. It was said that the "Heavenly Sword" slowly drains the life force of its wielder (if he or she is a mortal). King Bohan, who's obsessed with the Sword, begins a merciless campaign against Nariko and her people, so he can snatch the weapon for himself. So, in addition to looking positively gorgeous, Nariko has a righteous streak and knows the meaning of the world "honor." At the risk of losing her own life, she uses the powerful weapon to take vengeance upon King Bohan and his army.

Oh and did we mention that she's positively gorgeous, and possibly one of the most expressive video game characters to date?

We did?

The breakthrough facial capture technology comes courtesy of Weta Digital Ltd in New Zealand, the special effects company behind such movie blockbusters as The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong.

8. Alyx Vance - Half-Life 2

Gordon Freeman, the central character of Valve's shooter series, Half-Life, should feel lucky to have someone like Alyx Vance by his side. Before the incident at the Black Mesa Research Facility, Gordon lived a tranquil, number-crunching life of a scientist, but his existence quickly transformed into a devilish nightmare involving nasty-looking aliens and the G-Man. Still, it's not all bad. In Half-Life 2, Gordon runs into Alyx, daughter of his friend and esteemed colleague, Dr. Eli Vance. To our disappointment, Alyx shies away from skinny outfits, albeit her enthusiasm and spunk (He said 'spunk.' - Ed) can still charm the hell out of any poor old scientist with a crowbar (or any old geek with a gamepad). With the release of Half-Life 2 and Half-Life: Episode One, Alyx became one of the most adored female characters on the gaming scene. She was also one of the first characters to demonstrate the superb facial animation, brought to life with Valve's Source engine. (Facials are important. - Ed) Alyx is pretty damn good in a fight. The pistol is usually her weapon of choice, although on a few occasions she also wielded shotguns and sniper rifles. Pretty much like Freeman himself, Alyx's fate is yet to be determined, which is why we impatiently await the release of Half-Life 2: Episode Two (and hopefully Ep. Three).

7. Tina Armstrong - Dead or Alive Series

Tina Armstrong and all the delightful girls from the popular Dead or Alive series should by all means be regarded as some of the hottest female characters ever created (if you're into commercial Japanese art that is). For this occasion, however, we've singled-out Tina Armstrong. Tina is one of the three DOA babes that appeared in every installment in the series (the other two being, Kasumi and Lei-Fang). She's more than your average girl, ya know. In the United Stated, Tina is a true wrestling star, though her ambitions and dreams go beyond that. By participating in the Dead or Alive tournament, she hoped to someday be recognized as a supermodel. Unfortunately, her father, Bass, wouldn't allow it, which is why he joined the tournament himself. Eventually, having been defeated by her father, Tina changed her aspiration of becoming a model to being an actress. After that, a new dream ensued - being a rock star. During combat, Tina usually uses classic wrestling moves, including powerful throws, as well as arm and leg jams (who wouldn't want to be caught in her leg jam, eh?). Tina last appeared in Xbox titles DoA: Xtreme Beach Volleyball and DoA: Xtreme 2. On a quick side note, both games were widely criticized for lackluster design and tedious gameplay. If I'm not much mistaken, even the breast physics was regarded as flawed.

6. Catherine Ann Archer - No One Lives Forever

Catherine Ann Archer, better known to the world as Cate Archer, is your ultimate badass chick, extremely adept at kicking villain butt. The character of Cate Archer comes from the imagination of well-known development team, Monolith Productions. In the No One Lives Forever series, Cate is portrayed as a gorgeous well-trained operative, fiercely intelligent and extremely competent in carrying out her often deadly assignments. Born in Scotland in late March, 1942, Cate, sadly, couldn't rely much on her parents, so she became self-sufficient very early on. Eventually, she became a member of UNITY, an international organization formed to fight terrorism throughout the globe. During her intense career, Cate had to undergo numerous perils, but in the process she mastered many skills. She also wields a variety of weapons, including katanas, rifles, pistols and a wide range of high-tech gadgets. So, I should think it's obvious why Miss Archer ended up in this list. Apart from being one of most attractive game heroines out there, she's the female equivalent of James Bond and not many chicks can stand up to that. She's sexy and there's simply nothing she can't handle. (OJ Simpson would have her number. - Ed)

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