I know that talk for strong female characters in games in a well worn topic by now. It gets to the point where you feel like you\re flogging a dead horse since we can kick and scream all we like, but the past shall remain the same and we will continue to see shallow female characters in games.
As her adventure continues, Kate must go look for the heir of the Voralberg factory; Anna's brother Hans, in order to sign the factory over to it's new owners. A journey from which we see vast changes in our protagonist. Kate is trying to live that very typical dream of most modern women, the "woman who has it all" type if you will. High flyer with a great job, supportive friends and a loving partner. However, as Kate travels further into the depths of Europe, heading towards to more desolate and distant lands of Eastern Europe, the more she realises that perhaps these things aren't as important as she thought. She stops letting her boss walk all over. She sees Dan's selfish ways and him not being the man she thought. She even takes news of Olivia's poor judgement and it hardly leaves a scratch.
I feel that Kate's physical attributes should be mentioned here also. Mostly due to the fact she is very understated. A fixed white coat, fixed brown trousers and flat winter boots. A beautiful face and brown hair pulled back in a pony tail. Practical while still looking feminine and sophisticated. As a character artist, I personally like going for outlandish outfits in my own work. It takes a lot of restraint and respect for the character, their story and the game as a whole to make a character that is so "of this world". She is an aesthetically pleasing character, but she is never the victim of the male gaze. The camera doesn't leer nor is she animated in a provocative manner. Two things that can render a thoughtfully and well crafted female protagonist into a character that panders to the assumed "white, heterosexual male" audience of videogames.
At the beginning of Syberia, I wasn't Kate's biggest fan. I'm sure anyone has played Syberia will tell you the same. But the more we get to know her, the more we learn about the people in her life, we realise how that woman who seems to have it all together? She's just like the rest of us. We actively see her grow and change. See the changes in our she interacts with her environment and the rest of the characters. Something that we rarely see, regardless of the gender of our protagonists.
It's not a perfect game by any stretch, after all what game is, but it was certainly an experience that has stuck with me for a long time. So if you are a fan of games with unique and interesting stories, especially if you are an adventure game fan. I would very much recommend you give this forgotten gem a whirl.