Video game developer Compulsion Games is sharing some new details about its new game South of Midnight and the title’s lead, Hazel, who is a Black woman.
Compulsion revealed the South of Midnight game at the Xbox Showcase on June 11. The YouTube trailer for the game describes it as a “fantastical and macabre third-person action-adventure set in the American Deep South.”
The trailer also introduces the game’s lead character, Hazel. According to Compulsion, Hazel is a Weaver — which is a “magical mender of broken bonds and spirits.”
The developer described Hazel’s personality as being “outwardly confident, wisecracking, and actively on the hunt.”
Compulsion stressed that Hazel’s character was brought to life by both Black women and other women of color.
Black women leads still remain a rare element of video games. Because of that, there has been a great deal of excitement around Hazel’s debut in the South of Midnight game.
Speaking to Xbox about South of Midnight, narrative producer and creative specialist James Lewis, who is a Black man, and creative director David Sears opened up about the work that went into developing Hazel’s story.
“I think part of the trouble of having limited representation is that it can put a lot of pressure on any one character to represent every aspect of a culture,” Lewis said. “To tell the story of a Black woman in this setting creates another level of complexity that the team had to meet with curiosity and empathy.”
Lewis added that Hazel offers an opportunity to normalize Black women leads in the video game space.
“At the end of the day, we want Hazel’s story to shine through. Hazel’s job is not to fix racism or the South’s troubled history,” Lewis said.“Making her an authentic person that people like my wife, my daughter, my mother – who all look like Hazel – will hopefully recognize and relate to.”
Gamers Share Excitement
On Twitter and YouTube gamers have shared how much they are looking forward to the game and the introduction of a new Black woman heroine in a video game title.
“The importance of this will go over the heads of so many, but @CompulsionGames thank you for exercising due diligence on Hazel for South of Midnight,” one Twitter user wrote.
South of Midnight will be released on Xbox Series X/S, Steam and day one on Game Pass.