Is it okay? Sure in an op-ed.
I'm honestly not sure how a review can really be more objective than an op-ed piece. By it's very nature it's a subjective medium, about the only way we get useful information from it is either through meta-analysis and averaging a large number of sources or through selectively choosing reviewers whose taste we have come to trust or by sticking to a publication that endorses our own political and aesthetic values. Some gaming magazines attempt a more structured format, with specific scores for gameplay, art, whatever other elements they feel are worthy of discussion. These categories are still rather arbitrary, but at least in that case we can definitively say whether a review fits the format.
In a review the ludonarrative of the game means far more than the art style of the character, right? I would say yes, or else we should have a real discussion about Minecraft.
The artstyle is one of the mediums through which the game expresses its narrative. Comic book writers who have sufficient discretion over their publication are careful to select an artist whose style compliments the story that they've written (Neil Gaiman in particularly did this quite frequently). If the art is irrelevant to the game, then there's no reason that Bayonetta needs to be depicted in such a manner and it could as easily be changed to something less offensive. I would actually argue myself though that the style of Bayonetta is deliberately provocative and has artistic merit as part of its exploration of the nature of power fantasies. (Not 100% sure of this because I haven't actually played Bayonetta, but this is the impression I've picked up from the snippets of the game I've seen). I think it does the art designers of a game a disservice though to act as though their work doesn't carry an important part of the game.
Judging Minecraft for its art I think is mistaking production value with communicated message. Also one could argue that Minecraft (in addition to conserving computer resources and the work schedule of what was originally a solo designer) uses a stylistic choice to express the game's theme of building complexity from simple things.
She is a female power fantasy killing angels and demons. Could you imagine what a Christian reviewer might take away from that?
Their opinion would probably be quite valid to a reasonably sized area of the public, although perhaps one not traditionally associated with video games as a key demographic. If I read a review written from a hardcore Christian perspective then I would probably avoid further reviews from the same source/reviewer because it's not useful to me, however I'm sure it would be useful information to other Christians considering the game's suitability to their value system.
My point being in the current environment how much of this outrage is real, and how much is manufactured to generate more clicks (and more money) for those involved?
People wouldn't be clicking on it if there wasn't at least some interest, if not necessarily on the part of the media producer then perhaps on the audience. I've no doubt that for many writers, financial concerns are dominant but this is true for any form of media. However this couldn't continue if the audience didn't have some interest in the discussion, especially when it's motivated financially. Of course it's a self-perpetuating cycle with the media also working to create an interest and it spins out in complex ways.
However I think it would likely be some form of fallacy to judge whether a claim is correct or not based on the motives of its creator. The idea can be judged on its own merits.
On this we agree, and I would wonder how do you feel about generic sandbox games protagonist storytelling? Take Dragon Age or Skyrim for example. You pick your character's gender, sexuality, class, race to which that world defines those available anyway. Now which of those choices actually affects the ludonarrative? Should all games have this option to cover all the potential player's bias? Do you feel a generic character's story to be as compelling as one written for a set protagonist?
I could go on at length on this one, it's a very interesting question with a lot to cover. However I'll try to keep it simple for the sake of the thread.
I particularly enjoy games in the open sandbox style because they offer a very self-motivated and directed play-style with an ability to create your own story. However unless they put a disproportionate amount of effort into the programming and design it will never be able to compete with the story for a set protagonist in a different game. As such I play a bit of a mix. I certainly don't think all games should have this option, that would really diminish the storytelling potential of games. However if you are going to go with this option, then you should go all out and cater to as diverse a range of possibilities as possible (within limits of programming, writing dialogue, art design, etc).
What I would really like to see is a proportional representation of set protagonist games with characters who... to put it simply aren't straight white males (let alone the other cliches). I do understand the difficulties of this, if the general population won't buy it then you can't afford the developing costs and games are made and sold on their own, not as part of a set. However it's frustrating that gay people are 10% of the population (let's say for sake of argument, I don't have the exact numbers) and are only represented as the set protagonist in... one game? (Persona 4). It would be nicer to see 90% of games tailored to straight content and 10% toward gay to achieve equal representation.
Without serious changes to our economic system that's unlikely to happen any time soon, although I would like to see some work going into achieving this. Either through designing games that can appeal to mass audiences while still achieving representation or through changing the social zeitgeist so that straight people feel comfortable exploring a world through a gay avatar without fearing about their sexuality. This will require talking about the issue to figure out how to do this. Possibly in a game like GTA V, you could include a single gay character amongst multiple set protagonists so that it's less confronting since it lacks that concentration.
To be honest I'm not sure how this would be achieved, but I think it's something that we should try to achieve. However I doubt that the gaming industry will spearhead this development, it's more likely to happen slowly through television and other more developed and less interactive medias and then gradually enter into the gaming world.