6 Marvel Superhero Video Games I Want To Play
The big superhero video game news this week is that Spider-Man is finally coming back to gaming! It won’t be a movie tie-in or a kiddie game. Instead, it looks to be a return to glory with Spidey swinging around a digital Manhattan! They perfected the gameplay back with the now-legendary Spider-Man 2 game back on the Playstation 2. Surely the Playstation 4 era can do something just as good.
Beyond the new Spider-Man game, word is also coming out of Marvel that they want to put more effort into their superhero video games. No longer will they churn out crummy movie tie-in games. It sounds like Marvel wants to do for their video games what they built for their movies. Perhaps the overwhelming success of the Batman: Arkham franchise has convinced Marvel that there is money and notoriety to be had in the world of video games!
This sounds great to me (even though I don’t own a Playstation 4, and likely won’t get to play the new Spider-Man game)! And I’m just the guy to offer Marvel a few suggestions for possible video games.
6. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction 2
Some may remember this, and some may not, but Marvel released the perfect Incredible Hulk video game back for the Playstation 2. It was called The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, and it lived up to the name. The game developers essentially created two big, destructible sandboxes (a city and a desert) and let the Hulk run wild! He could smash anything, turn buildings, vehicles and other items into weapons, he could do Hulk jumps to cross vast distances; Ultimate Destruction was one big, glorious love letter to the Incredible Hulk. And it had little to nothing to do with either of his movies. It was just a straight up Hulk game.
So how about we recreate that game bigger and better on today’s hardware? Take the energy, excitement and fun of the Hulk in the first Avengers movie and turn that into a video game. Simple as that.
5. X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but for comic book Wolverine (or X-23)
The only good thing to come out of the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie was the tie-in video game. This thing was a delight. Not only did the develops do a bang-up job creating a lunging, clawing, battling Wolverine, but they programmed this wonderfully visual healing factor. You could watch Wolverine get torn down to nearly his Adamantium skeleton, only to regrow muscle and skin in real time on the screen. It was neat!
But that development and technology has remained dormant since that game and movie came out. We have had very few X-Men video games since, the last one coming out in 2011 (and it was a stinker!) As far as I know, Marvel still has control over the video game rights for the X-Men. So why not produce an ass-kicking, continuity-free Wolverine game? With no need to tie it into the movies, Marvel could cut loose and deliver something truly excellent. They did alright with that Deadpool game a few years ago. And I would definitely be down with them making an X-23 Wolverine game in the same vein. That might even be cooler!
4. Green Goblin Flight Simulator
I doubt anybody’s going to make a video game starring Spider-Man’s chief supervillain when they can just put the Green Goblin in as the villain. But I think the Green Goblin’s glider could rival web-slinging in terms of video game travel. Well, honestly, it probably can’t. Web-slinging is unique in such a wonderful way. But how about a game where we get the same digital city as a Spider-Man game, but instead of web-slinging, we’re zipping around on the perfect personal flight craft. Several Spider-Man games have included an unlockable Green Goblin, but I want that pushed even further. I want to thread the needle between skyscrapers, I want to duck and weave and throw pumpkin bombs to my heart’s content! Free us from the shackles of Spider-Man and let our goblin laugh roar!
3. Ant-Man Adventure
There isn’t much reason to make an Ant-Man video game outside of a movie tie-in, except for one really big reason: creating a real-time shrinking/growing effect could be a pretty spectacular gameplay mechanic. Create a game world in which the player can shrink or grow at a moment’s notice and still exist in the same world. In the ancient video game past, any ‘shrinking’ levels would just be regular platformers with ‘big’ objects in the background. I don’t think we’ve ever had a game world where you could go from normal-sized to miniature and still be in the same room, with the perspective changing around you. Usually in games, the world stays the same size, while Ant-Man just gets smaller. Not in this game!
It would be too easy to create a game where you only have to shrink or grow to get past a certain obstacle. I want a game where you can shrink or grow at will and choose on your own how to pass every obstacle. The game would stay from your perspective, so when you shrink, the world ‘grows’ around you. Plus, when you’re small, all fights turn into Shadows of the Colossus!
It probably wouldn’t be as fun a mechanic as swinging around Manhattan, but it could be a lot of fun if the developers get it right.
2. Multiple Man Point-and-Click
Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man, really came to prominence a few years ago as a mutant private detective. His solo mini-series and X-Factor set Jamie and his friends up as hard-nosed, neo-noir, superhero gumshoes, investigating crimes and mysteries in a world full of mutants and super-beings. And that sounds kind of perfect for a point-and-click Telltale story game! Like Sam & Max, The Walking Dead and Telltale’s own upcoming Batman adaptation, here is a character they could really sink their teeth into.
Multiple Man’s signature super-power is to split himself into duplicates, who then can go on and conduct different parts of the investigation. So take the regular Telltale point-and-click style, but instead of following just one character, we’d have the option to somehow split ourselves up into multiple characters all pursuing different aspects of the case. It could be a pretty funky and weird gameplay mechanic, but Telltale are more than clever enough to make it really engaging!
1. The Sandbox Marvel Universe
So I’m just gonna throw it out there: a massive, GTA-style city sandbox game starring dozens upon dozens of Marvel Superheroes. I don’t care that it’s probably not feasible and would be a brain-melter to make, I just want it to exist. They’ve already sort of got a working model in their LEGO Avengers games. But I want something real with regular-style characters. Give me a big, digital Manhattan, like in the Spider-Man games, and create a whole roster of Marvel characters who can be swapped out at a moment’s notice.
Need to get across town quickly? Pick Spider-Man or Angel or Falcon or Quicksilver. Need to then switch and go into a bar for a classic brawl? Grab Wolverine or Daredevil or Captain America or Darkhawk. Need someone to take on a big, brawling supervillain downtown? Choose Hulk or Iron Man or Cyclops or the Thing! Want to take a simple stroll through the city, just enjoying the game mechanics? Go with Spider-Man again, or maybe Ghost Rider or even the Green Goblin.
And don’t tell me it’s not possible, because gamers have been making superhero mods for Grand Theft Auto games for years. There are mods for Ghost Rider, Iron Man, the Flash and more, just by manipulating the pre-existing game mechanics. And you’ve got games like City of Heroes or DC Universe Online that have to incorporate a whole slew of different super-powers into a big world setting (though I don’t want this sandbox game to be a DCUO clone). So it can be done, and it can be done by professionals.
I just want an awesome, crazy, fun Marvel superhero playground. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.