Written by Andrew Loeschner.
Insomniac’s Spider-Man provided an impressive close to the Sony press conference at E3 not only because, well, it’s pretty epic but also because it’s not often we get superhero games that don’t . . . how do I say it . . . suck. And part of the reason so many superhero games aren’t great is because certain characters make the job more difficult. It’s incredibly hard to do a Superman game well when you have a character who’s literally invincible, has super strength, and can fly everywhere. So what comic book characters from DC and Marvel would actually adapt well to the gaming industry?
The Punisher presents the perfect opportunity for a third-person shooter with a massive arsenal and vehicles. It could be the GTA of superhero games in that there would be a wealth of options as to what could be done in the world. And his straddling of the hero/villain line would allow for really cool story options and even the possibility of past actions and decisions setting up future scenarios. Distinguishing it from other shooters of a similar caliber might be difficult, but if done correctly, and with a compelling story, a Punisher game could easily be a beautiful, brutal, and absolutely fun game to experience.
Wolverine’s had his fair share of movies, that’s for sure. But what about games? Logan showed us an emotional side of the character that often got lost in the grand scale “save the world” type scenarios. But at the same time those grand scenarios are pretty epic. A game developer could easily choose to make a Wolverine game that focuses on one of those two kinds of arcs. And, let’s be honest, Wolverine represents my favorite heroic trope of the badass loner who has a heart deep down. Like the Punisher, there’s a lot of potential for compelling stories (not to mention tons of awesome side characters), and he’s a grounded enough character that building a combat system for him wouldn’t be impossible.
With Anthem announced it looks like there’s a spot in the market for badasses in exosuits . . . or cyborgs. Victor Stone is a character rarely touched on in film or games, and the struggle of retaining humanity while being largely machine is a struggle many of us would like to witness. It could definitely make for, say it with me now, a compelling story. Not to mention that the game would have the potential to be a philosophical analysis of the role of technology in a world where we grow ever dependent on it. . . . . And blowing stuff up with an arm cannon would be awesome!
Wait, hear me out. Picture a puzzle game reminiscent of Portal, but featuring the magician instead. Time manipulation would be an awesome feature in a puzzle game, and combat could likely be included too. I don’t picture this game being so much a AAA open world title as much as a smaller game aimed more at a specific niche of gamers.
Some speculation has gone around that Rocksteady’s next title might be a game featuring the master archer himself. While there’s no evidence to back this up, it’s definitely a cool idea. Aspects of the Arkham games could be incorporated (stealth and combat primarily) along with features and a story that make the game unique to the character (archery anyone?). With potential for side characters like Black Canary and villains like Deathstroke, a Green Arrow game is definitely doable. The challenge would most likely be finding a way to set it distinctly apart from the Arkham series.
Similar to the upcoming Spider-Man, but at the same time fundamentally different. A Daredevil game would give the high flying feel of a superhero game while at the same time being intensely grounded into a much darker and gritty world than Spider-Man is likely to get into. The combat opportunities would be massive and the ability to have a different mode of “vision” that resembles the blurred hearing from the show would definitely set the game apart from its peers. Not to mention, it would tie in well with a Punisher game.
And we’re back to cyborgs and exosuits. We saw flying mechanics in Anthem that looked similar to what we’d want in an Iron Man game. Now with Tony Stark’s smart-mouthed charisma to boot, an Iron Man game would be loads of fun. Particularly in an open world setting like New York City. The gameplay likely wouldn’t be groundbreaking, but the story opportunities and the sheer exhilaration of playing as the popular hero would be enough for us.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Not exactly from DC or Marvel, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been popular for a long, long time. We’ve gotten everything from comic books and cartoons to full-fledged live action movies. And, sure, we’ve gotten video games. But none of those games have captured the full potential of what a Ninja Turtles game could do. With unique combat abilities and styles for each turtle, not to mention the starkly different personalities, there’s a huge opportunity for anyone willing and able to capitalize on a franchise that so many hold near and dear to their hearts.