This week marks the official release of Marvel’s Spider-Man for PlayStation 4, developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony, a day many players have been waiting for all year, if not longer. So far, the reviews for Spider-Man have been astounding – receiving an overall Metascore of 87 on Metacritic from over 100 different critic reviews, over five of which gave it a perfect score, including DualShockers, Game Rant, and Impulse Gamer. Spider-Man has seen lots of love in the games industry through the years and has starred a role in over thirty video games, dating all the way back to 1982 with Spider-Man for the Atari, developed by the Parker Brothers.
This makes sense though – Spider-Man’s web-slinging and spidey sense abilities combined with the many skyscrapers of New York and a large pool of bad guys to pit against the player create the perfect concept for a superhero game that provides fun, fluid, and easy to pick up gameplay and combat. Spider-Man games have provided countless hours of fun to players through the years, and we’re excited to see all the player reactions that will follow the launch of Spider-Man for PS4 – but this also sets our spidey senses tingling in a separate direction here at The Loot Gaming.
Which of the other superheroes deserve their claim to fame with their own game? There certainly is no shortage of options here as the world of superheroes is more than abundant, and the Marvel and DC cinematic universes have shone new light on many heroes that most people likely didn’t even know existed before their appearance in numerous blockbuster films and TV series. Today, we’ll cover my Top 5 superheroes that deserve their own game (in no particular order) and explain why I think each is a viable option to receive her or his own game. Then, we’ll wrap up with a look at what some of the other authors here at TLG see as their top picks and why.
Note: Some of the superheroes in this list may have already had a previous game in the past. This list is simply meant to feature either heroes that deserve their first game or superheroes that deserve a more recent or better spotlight that one they may have received before.
With all of that out of the way, let’s jump right into my top 5 superheroes who deserve their own game.
Image by Marvel
Ant-Man was hardly on the radar for mainstream superhero fans until his film tie-in to The Avengers and the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Marvel’s Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Using the Ant-Man suit constructed by Hank Pym, Scott Lang (Ant-Man) can shrink down to the size of insects to avoid harm’s way, effectively traverse through a heavily secured building, and take the advantage of his dastardly foes. From a gameplay perspective, this would play out so nicely – shrinking and expanding as you work through a mission, calling on your insect comrades when you need support, even unlocking upgrades for your suit, ranging anywhere from The Wasp’s wings to the ability to shrink into the Quantum Realm! There is so much fun to be had with exploring an environment you may be used to experiencing at normal size, just to see how it plays out in the size of an insect. My mind immediately wanders to the epic battle scene between Ant-Man and Yellow Jacket on the toy train set as it “roars” around the electric tracks in the living room. Also, imagine all the locations devious developers could hide collectibles!
2. Wonder Woman
Image by DC Comics
Not only is Wonder Woman one of the most iconic female super heroes of all time, she also just so happens to be one of the most iconic super heroes, ever – no gender role needed. Her Amazonian heritage brings a great feel of strength and prowess to her image, and her access to certain technologically advanced devices, such as the Lasso of Truth and her indestructible bracelets make her quite the formidable opponent. One of my favorite things about Wonder Woman is that, while strong, powerful, and trained in combat, she favors a diplomatic approach and looks to resolve conflict with a pen, before feeling the need to draw a sword, so to speak. This could make for some incredible dialogue and character interaction in the style of the game, and would add some much-appreciated depth to the super hero video game genre. As far as combat goes, here Amazonian martial arts training would pair very nicely with a Ryse gladiator-style combat system and would be a rather fresh approach at that.
Note: Thanks to fellow The Loot Gaming writer, Chris Mahoolahan, for the Ryse suggestion and discussion.
Image by Marvel
As both a player of games and a law student, this one is a no-brainer for me. Blind vigilante by night, articulate and zealous litigator by day, Matt Murdock as the Daredevil is a super hero dream come true for me, and I unbiasedly believe it creates the perfect scenario for a video game. I think you know where I’m going with the– “OBJECTION!” That’s right, Ace Attorney style gameplay in the courtroom is a perfect fit for a Daredevil game, and is a tried and tested formula proven to be wildly successfully in practice. To be clear, for a Daredevil game, I’d want the courtroom antics to be toned down a bit from Ace Attorney, but blatantly stereotyped judges, a suspenseful jury at the edge of its seat, impossibly well-put together facts and case developments to open and close a case at high-stakes velocity, all subject to the witty banter of Murdock’s law partner, Franklin “Foggy” Nelson are an absolute must to reintroduce courtroom drama into a video game; and The Daredevil’s dark and gloomy Hell’s Kitchen vibe is the perfect opportunity to blend this in nicely. Objection sustained.
As far as combat goes, Daredevil would do well to borrow from fellow vigilante of the night, Batman. Arkham style combat mechanics, restructured to suit the Daredevil’s weaponry and heightened senses resulting from a blinding radioactive barrel are a must. Just imagine this – Murdock is lurking through a dark alley, stalking after his foes. All of a sudden, footsteps approach. The developers darken the scene and blur out the camera to total darkness, capturing the essence of blindness – all you can hear is the rapidly increasing thump of Murdock’s heartbeat as he realizes danger is near. Then, you hear a series an of blows, punches, and grunts as the approaching gang members jump Murdock, taking a few weak shots, presumably knocking him to his knees. But then, you hear the pitter patter of rain drops starting to hit the alley’s concrete ground all around you. Suddenly, the camera starts to come to life again – coming into focus on Murdock, rising from his knees. He clenches his fists, cricks his neck, and as the rain comes pouring down, Daredevil’s senses reach a new height – he lunges forward, ready to make his foes suffer for the wrongs they’ve committed. Repentance has come. Now that is a video game scene! Bring this one to life, developers, I am ready.
Note: Special thanks to fellow The Loot Gaming writer, Ghostwriter, for Daredevil discussion and ideas.
4. Jessica Jones
Image via Fight Like a Girl by Cameron Stewart and Matt Wilson
Daredevil just exemplified that a successful super hero game doesn’t have to focus solely on combat and beating up baddies to be a good concept, but I think Jessica Jones has what it takes to bring this idea to the next level. Jessica Jones is a self-proclaimed private investigator with super powers that she developed after a car accident (originally this was because of a radioactive spill, but the Netflix Series derives her powers from experimental procedures that were used to save her life after the car accident). Jones’ PI business is known as Alias Investigations, and it serves as the perfect starting point for Jones’ first video game adventure. How? – Telltale Games. Telltale games expresses its games through an engaging narrative experiences where the player is left to make crucial decisions throughout the game that tailor and alter the experience of the game – these decisions can be as small as whether you choose to say hello and be respectful towards someone, or can be as crucial as choosing who lives or dies in an unavoidable either-or scenario. This makes for incredibly engaging storytelling and has been formulated to many of Telltale’s own IP’s, as well as used for crossover adaptations, such as Telltale’s The Walking Dead or Batman: The Telltale Series.
This narrative play-through style would fare well with Jessica Jones, having you track down leads, develop relationships, make tough decisions, and experience the life of a PI in its truest form. Some scenes can be more combat driven (using Telltale’s button matching sequences) to show off Jones’ immense strength, as she perhaps saves a civilian who’s trapped beneath a car or punches a foe through the wall. Jones often has a camera with her as well, taking pictures and documenting individuals and scenes of interest for investigative purposes, and this could play out in a very entertaining way within these narratively driven sequences.
5. Beast Boy
Image by DC Comics
This one may come off a little abstract, but Beast Boy deserves his own game. Period. Beast boy is such an interesting character, and his beast morphing power would play so smoothly into the hands of the player and is begging to be developed, especially in light of the new Titans trailer that dropped this year at San Diego Comic Con. Garfield Logan has a rich origin story. Logan used to live with his parents, who were developing “reverse evolution” to bring extinct creatures back to life when he contracted a lethal illness that nearly killed him. In an effort to save his life, his parents injected him with a serum to change him into a West African Green Monkey, the only creature alive that was immune to the lethal disease. While he did survive the illness, the serum changed his skin, hair, and eye color to a permanent green and granted him the ability to shape shift into any creature he has seen.
I can easily imagine a Beast Boy game where Logan’s shape-shifting skills develop over time, giving the player the access to shift into any creature they’ve come across while out on their adventure, and learning how to better utilize the skills of each creature, such as flying, running, and other general combat and traversal skills. Roll this into his eventual introduction to the Teen Titans, and you’ve got a lore-rich story with ever-evolving combat and gameplay mechanics that are time relevant with the moves DC is currently making in the cinematic universe. Plus, as interesting food for thought, if Xbox is looking for a console exclusive to come back at Spider-Man PS4 with, Beast boy might just be the perfect fit to make Sony green with envy.
The Loot Gaming Staff Picks
Sergio Diaz – “Rori Lane from Wayward . . . With crazy powers ranging from transmutation to cat-telekinesis. It’s a wonderful wacky world of yokai and it’s just so good.”
Ghost Writer – “Ghostrider, Dr. Strange, Daredevil, Morbious, The Flash. [For Daredevil], Stealthy Arkham gameplay to get evidence and Ace Attorney gameplay to put them way.”
Chris M. – “1. Hulk – because the outings on GameCube were awesome. Think of what it would be with today’s tech and destructible environments; 2. Silver-Age Batman – Think La Noire meets the Arkham games, [but] with more crime solving than combat; 3. Wonder Woman – Do it Ryse styles and tell her Origin story. 4. Punisher – Gory FPS. ‘Nuff said; 5. The Flash – a modern Sonic adventure, less the aneurism-inducing characters.”
Adam Llewellyn – “Swamp Thing!”
That does it for our picks, so now that we’ve covered our thoughts, we want to hear from you! Which Super Hero do you think deserves her or his own game? Tell us who and why in the comments below!