Friday, November 05, 2021
Remember when superhero games used to be only fine at best and almost unplayable at their worst? It was a time when the occasional good title, like X-Men Legends or Spider-Man 2, were drowned out by the profound mediocrity of games like Iron Man 2, Batman: Dark Tomorrow, and, of course, the legendary Superman 64 (that one’s less mediocre, more a complete trainwreck). Ever since Batman: Arkham Asylum changed the landscape for superhero games, the quality has increased across the board, and Marvel has been getting in on the action in recent years. Between Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Marvel’s Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel’s Midnight Suns, and the upcoming Wolverine game, we’ve got more Marvel games coming our way than we know what to do with.
Earlier this week, Uncharted alum Amy Hennig and Skydance New Media announced that it was working on another brand-new AAA game based on an as-yet-unannounced Marvel property. This got us thinking - which Marvel characters would we like to see get their own game? Sure, in an ideal world, we’d like to see more new IP and fresh ideas, but in a world where we’ll be getting more Marvel games, come what may, here are the heroes (and villains) we’d like to see starring in their very own games.
This is a nice easy one - one half brawler, one half Ace Attorney-style courtroom drama, a She-Hulk game could see you taking on both sides of the Jade Giantess’ crime fighting life. Jennifer Walters is a much more fun and lighthearted character than Bruce Banner, and was prone to breaking the fourth wall in her comics long before Deadpool came along and started doing the same thing - something that would transfer well to a video game. There’s plenty of room to manoeuvre with a She-Hulk game, too - you could have Jennifer Walters as a defence attorney during the courtroom sections, before clearing their names by taking to the streets as She-Hulk to find the real perpetrators. Or you could follow She-Hulk as a prosecutor, as she tries to take down a character like Kingpin, combining her heroics and lawyering skills to finally put him behind bars. Either would be a very different take on the superhero game, and it's one we’d love to play.
Moon Knight is one of Marvel’s most interesting characters, and he’s well deserving of the spotlight (or moonlight) in his own video game. And while Moon Knight is often unfairly compared to DC’s vastly more popular Batman - with his high-tech gadgets, lack of powers, and night-time escapades - we still think an open-world game in the style of Batman: Arkham City or Arkham Asylum would be perfect for the Fist of Khonshu. We know we’re not exactly light on open-world superhero games right now, with Sony’s Spider-Man games and Warner Bros’ upcoming Gotham Knights, but Moon Knight has tons of potential to not only make for an excellent video game adaptation, but to introduce more people to one of Marvel’s most interesting characters. There’s even room to explore Marc Spector’s Dissociative Identity Disorder, and, while video games in the past haven’t always approached mental health in a very respectful way, games like Psychonauts 2 prove that it can be done, and done well.
For the love of all that is (un)holy, can we please get a new Blade game, in the style of character-action games like Devil May Cry 5 and Bayonetta? Marvel’s most bad-ass vampire hunter is tailor-made for pulling off insane combos, as he takes down vampires with his mix of tools, weapons, and superhuman abilities. This is a game that doesn’t need to be an open world at all - give me a rollercoaster ride of cool locations to fight through, hordes of different vampire types to fight off, and deadly bosses to take on. And while we’re at it, let's bring back the bloody dismemberment of games like Ninja Gaiden and X-Men Origins Wolverine. Oh, and obviously we have to have a level based on that iconic vampire rave from the first Wesley Snipes Blade film. That goes without saying.
If God of War has consistently proved one thing time and again, it's that wielding fiery chains is incredibly cool. Imagine assuming the mantle of the Spirit of Vengeance himself, Johnny Blaze (or the later Ghost Riders, embodied by Danny Ketch/Robbie Reyes – we're not fussy), decked out in biker gear, skull aflame, lengths of chain glowing white-hot. As the stuntman turned vengeful spirit, you could ride wherever you like, whether it's up the sides of buildings, across rooftops, or simply around the streets, looking for innocent people to protect and evil skulls to crack. Skirmishes (or team-ups) with The Punisher, Venom, and the like would make for some neat fan service, not entirely unlike what developer Firaxis is attempting with its XCOM-style Marvel project, Midnight Suns. Ghost Rider has an interesting enough origin story and history to support his own solo outing, so why not give him a chance? You could even follow Blaze to the depths of Hell, for an epic showdown with Mephisto. Able to blast fire from his bony hands, Ghost Rider is imbued with the supernatural powers of the demonic Zarathos, and with some neat chain-wielding combat and speedy bike-riding, a linear action adventure could be tailor-made for Marvel's macabre motorcyclist. Either that or a cartoony racing game.
Playing as the herald of Galactus, you could begin your journey as the Silver Surfer (whose ludicrous real name is Norrin Radd) helping the colossal cosmic being locate planets to devour. Eventually, your voyage through space would bring you to Earth, where you'd meet the Fantastic Four and end up having to prevent the big purple bastard from eating the planet. If all of this sounds vaguely like the plot of the crummy 2007 film sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, you'd be partially right (it’s also covered extensively in the comic books) – our video game imagining of the Silver Surfer would be infinitely better, however, with the actual Galactus showing up, big pink helmet and all, rather than a (rubbish) nebulous dark cloud, as per the aforementioned movie. Tearing through space on a shiny silver board and exploring planets as in No Man's Sky or Elite Dangerous, paving the way for Galactus to step up and destroy them, before turning the tables upon arriving on Earth, could be an interesting prospect, perhaps with a few moral choices and consequences along the way. It sounds like it could be a complicated game to get just right, but we're fairly sure it wouldn't be impossible.
One of Marvel's greatest and most powerful villains, Doctor Victor Von Doom is an interesting character. The monarch of Latveria, Doom has often had grand designs on world domination, which could be a great fit for an Evil Genius-style game of conquest, or maybe something like Tropico or Civilization. You'd have to defend the nation from pesky super hero interlopers (including old enemies the Fantastic Four), keep your citizens subservient through whatever means necessary, and accumulate resources to maintain and expand your fiefdom. Perhaps you could even get stuck into some combat when you're not engaged in the management side of things, using Doom's formidable armoury to crush his foes. An action-packed brawler that casts you as the villain, alongside a massive strategy-based simulation? It could be the stuff of dreams. Or a complete mess. Either way, we'd like to see it.
While Insomniac's upcoming Wolverine game has one of the X-Men represented on PlayStation, the rest of the uncanny mutants have been sidelined for ages. It's been a good while since we've seen a really good X-Men game that isn't headed up by the ol' adamantium-laced canucklehead, and, while the idea of a proper team-based affair like Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (the single-player option) or Marvel's Avengers (the less desirable multiplayer option) is a great one, we'd also like to see another X-Men character have a stab at going solo. Cable would be cool, as would Bishop or Nightcrawler, but it would be great to see Psylocke – with her katana, telepathic abilities, and supernatural Crimson Dawn powers – cut loose. She's also been at the heart of a plethora of cool X-Men stories, and it'd be great fun to take on the Shadow King, or battle Wolverine as Psylocke's Lady Mandarin alter-ego. Granted, it's another action game idea, but we can't see how you could go far wrong giving the psychic assassin the spotlight, preferably with some Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance-style swordplay.
So, those are the Marvel properties that we’d love to see turned into video games - preferably good ones, of course. But are there any you’d like to see? Let us know down in the comments.
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