Adventure games allow for good characterising as they are generally in the 3rd person and so the character has more of a history compared to a first person character, the history explains why the character is doing what there doing and more importantly their motives. Take Lara croft from Tomb Raider she is shown as a beautiful adventurer who is also incredibly rich and so is adventuring for personal reason rather than financial. Lara has been in many games now but in each game she has a mission to find something and this (from the ones that I have played) is to find out about her history. (Lara’s parents are dead.) Her father was an adventurer and she is following in his footsteps. There has been a large amount of story over the course of the series and because of this she seems familiar.
I personally like 3rd person games as there is more of a past to the characters but i’m starting to get into 1st person games as they do absorb the player so that you become the character.
First impressions do count in games (and reality) if a NPC looks weak and fragile but within the game the character is supposed to be a strong expert fighter which is physically unfeasible then the game won’t be believable. Are preconceptions of character can change but the player will still have there first impression of the character.
Generally characters are attractive as to appeal to the player, I think when playing a game the player wants to play as a ‘better version of themselves’ I think this has a lot to do with being the perfect hero and that is being strong, smart and beautiful.