Sheva Alomar

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Sheva Alomar
Resident Evil character
Sheva Alomar.png
Sheva Alomar in Resident Evil 5
First game Resident Evil 5 (2009)[1]
Created by Yasuhiro Anpo (designer)[2]
Designed by Yosuke Yamagata (modeler)[2]
Voiced by Karen Dyer
Motion capture Karen Dyer
Portrayed by Naja Hill (promotion)

Sheva Alomar (シェバ・アローマ Sheba Arōma?) is a fictional character in the Resident Evil horror video series by Capcom. She was introduced in 2009's Resident Evil 5 as a native African operative of the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) and a new partner of the series' veteran Chris Redfield. The character was met with mostly very positive reception, but did not return in any installment of the series since.

Appearances[edit]

Sheva Alomar made her first (and as of 2014, the only) game appearance in Resident Evil 5. Described as a "new major protagonist", she has existed already during the early development phase of Resident Evil 5. However, her face and story background changed several times while she underwent much of redesign and re-imagining as Capcom searched for the right look "to combine two qualities, feminine attraction and the strength of a fighting woman." Rejected in-game models of Sheva have been created for some of the prior game ideas that involve her being a civilian, a guerrilla or a military commander.[2] Her character model was based on Australian actress Michelle Van Der Water, but her voice acting and motion capture were performed by Karen Dyer.[3][4] Pre-order bonuses for the game included a sand globe with Sheva and Chris.[5]

According to the character's backstory, Sheva's parents died when she was at the age of eight in what appeared to be a factory accident. She was then taken in by her uncle to live with him and seven other children. Eventually, Sheva ran away and was found by a truck driver who took her in and looked after her, but unknown to Sheva, he was part of a rebel guerrilla group. She later joined the group and soon learned that the factory was actually the location of a final test of one of Umbrella Corporation's bio-organic weapons (BOWs);[6] with the help of the local government, Umbrella destroyed Sheva's village and all inhabitants after the test was complete. Sheva remained with the guerrillas through her childhood. When she reached the age of 15, she was contacted by U.S. operatives to sabotage Umbrella's attempt to sell a BOW. With Sheva's help, the deal was stopped and Sheva was offered a chance to start a new life in America. Sheva accepted and, within months, she was speaking fluent English and enrolled in a university two years later. After graduation, her benefactor recruited her to join the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA). While Umbrella had dissolved years before this, Sheva's hatred of Umbrella and all others like them led her to join the BSAA. Sheva was assigned to Josh Stone's unit for eight months for training, in which she excelled and was chosen to become an operative agent assigned to the BSAA's West African department.

In Resident Evil 5 itself, Sheva acts as the player's ally (and an optional second player character in the co-operative gameplay mode) working with the BSAA agent and former American special police officer Chris Redfield.[7] She gets partnered with Chris at the start of the Kijuju mission as his new partner, following the apparent death of Jill Valentine. During the events of the game, Sheva helps Chris to defeat the Tricell corporation's Kijuju conspiracy and the Uroboros plot. In the end, Sheva and Chris together destroy the series' villain Albert Wesker.

In the game's viral advertising videos, Sheva was played by Naja Hill,[8] while Sheva's voice and motion actress posed for the 2009 calendar while dressed as the character in her various costumes.[9] In 2009, two action figures of Sheva were released in the RE5 series by NECA[10] and Hot Toys.[11][12] An action figure by Square Enix[13] and a resin kit by SomaliCraft[14] were released only in Japan.

Reception[edit]

Sheva was largely acclaimed. Already in 2007, UGO.com ranked Sheva as the seventh top "videogame hottie" of all time, declaring that "RE5 may not be out yet, but we've seen enough of Sheva to know that she's got some serious acrobatic chops to go with all the zombie-slaying she'll be dishing out next year."[15] In 2009, GameDaily featured her in the Babe of the Week galleries "Girl Power", "Brunettes" (describing her as both gorgeous and tough), and "Babes We're Thankful For".[16][17][18] In 2010, Dave Meikleham of GamesRadar included her and Chris among the gaming's seven "most violent double acts",[19] while Sarah Warn of AfterEllen ranked her as the 17th "hottest" female video game character.[20] That same year, PlayStation: The Official Magazine stated that "Sheva isn't just beautiful, she's smart and tough" and her addition "is probably the highlight of the Resident Evil 5 experience", giving her the Outfit of the Year award for one of her alternate costumes.[21] GamesRadar's Matt Cundy found her attire to be one of the most practical in the series, adding that "the absolute antithesis of vulnerable, Sheva is a walking fortress that is equal parts kick-ass and intimidating feminine sexuality,"[22] and Lisa Foiles of The Escapist included Sheva (as well as Jill and Ada) among her five examples of actually practical female hairstyles in games.[23] In 2012, Complex ranked her as the fourth best black character in video games,[24] as well as the ninth "hottest" video game character overall.[25]

However, not all reception was positive. IGN's Jesse Schedeen called Sheva a "walking bag of useless", stating their preference for the comeback of Rebecca Chambers.[26] Schedeen also opined Sheva was "just dumb as a rock when it comes to fighting zombies", asking for more of Jill Valentine.[27] Sheva's in-game AI was also lambasted by ScrewAttack, who contrasted her with Alyx Vance from Half-Life.[28] Nevertheless, IGN's Chris Reed included her among the 11 most useful sidekicks in video games, opining that "unlike many AI companions, she's great at getting out of the way when you're moving and shooting, but she's quick to offer assistance when you're running low on health or ammo. What's not to like?"[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sheva Alomar - IGN". Uk.ign.com. 2008-07-14. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  2. ^ a b c "Character Concepts," Resident Evil 5: The Complete Official Guide, Collector's Edition (Prima Games, 2009), page 195.
  3. ^ "Resident Evil 5 Video Game, Mocap Interview: Karen Dyer | Game Trailers & Videos". GameTrailers.com. 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  4. ^ "Resident Evil 5 - Interview with Karen Dyer — UGO.com". Gamesblog.ugo.com. 2008-10-23. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  5. ^ Resident Evil 5 receives sand globe pre-order bonus, PSU.com, February 14th, 2009.
  6. ^ "Celebrating 15 Years of Resident Evil - Albert Wesker's Best Bits - PlayStation Universe". Psu.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  7. ^ "Resident Evil: Character Guide - IGN". Uk.ign.com. 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  8. ^ "Actress Tv Host and Model official site". Naja Hill. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  9. ^ Sheva Calendar - :: Karen Dyer ::[dead link]
  10. ^ "Biohazard 5 - Sheva Alomar - Resident Evil Series 1 (NECA)". MyFigureCollection.net. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  11. ^ "Biohazard 5 - Sheva Alomar - VideoGame Masterpiece - 1/6 - BSAA Ver. (Hot Toys)". MyFigureCollection.net. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  12. ^ "Resident Evil 5 Hits Hot Toys - IGN". Uk.ign.com. 2009-04-24. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  13. ^ "Biohazard 5 - Sheva Alomar - Play Arts Kai - Play Arts 改 -Kai- (Square Enix)". MyFigureCollection.net. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  14. ^ "Biohazard 5 - Sheva Alomar (SomaliCraft)". MyFigureCollection.net. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  15. ^ UGO Team, Sheva Alomar – Hottest Girls in Games, UGO.com, October 27, 2011.
  16. ^ "Girl Power: These Chicks Will Kick Your Ass". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  17. ^ Babe of the Week: Babes We're Thankful For, GameDaily, November 26, 2008.[dead link]
  18. ^ Babes of the Week: Brunettes, GameDaily, January 23, 2009.[dead link]
  19. ^ Meikleham, Dave. "Gaming’s most violent double acts". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 
  20. ^ Sarah Warn, 25 Hottest Video Game Characters, www.afterellen.com, 15 October 2010.
  21. ^ "Outfit of the Year: Sheva Alomar's Tribal Outfit," PlayStation: The Official Magazine 29 (February 2010): 53.
  22. ^ Matt Cundy (2012-06-23). "Which Resident Evil hero is best dressed for a zombie apocalypse?". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  23. ^ Lisa Foiles. "Top 5 Most Impractical Female Character Hairstyles | Top 5 with Lisa Foiles Video Gallery | The Escapist". Escapistmagazine.com. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 
  24. ^ "4. Sheva Alomar — The 10 Best Black Characters In Video Games". Complex. 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  25. ^ Larry Hester, The 50 Hottest Video Game Characters, Complex.com, Jun 27, 2012.
  26. ^ Jesse Schedeen, Players Wanted: Resident Evil 6 - Stars Feature at IGN, IGN, April 14, 2009.
  27. ^ Characters Who Deserve Better: How come these guys can't get a break?, IGN, March 23, 2009.
  28. ^ "ScrewAttack's Top Ten Video - Top 10: Sidekicks". GameTrailers. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  29. ^ Reed, Chris (2014-04-15). "The Best Video Game Wingmen Ever - IGN". Uk.ign.com. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 

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