Superhero games and my disappointment. - TOGNick Blog - www.GameInformer.com
Switch Lights

The lights are on

Superhero games and my disappointment.

Superheroes and games based off of them are nothing new in the world of video games.  For as long as I can remember, there has been a new game based off today's superheroes.  While they haven't always been received well by gamers and critics alike, there have been some positive strides.  My disappointment doesn't come from some of the more recent licensed games, such as Arkham Asylum, or even Ultimate Alliance, but rather from the open world games.

While a lack of freedom isn't missing in some of these games like Infamous and Crackdown, there hasn't been much creativity for the user.

When the first Crackdown was announced, I was quite excited.  I thought that finally there would be a game that would let me go crazy in a city as a superhero.  My excitement dwindled when I learned that hurting civilians was punished by losing experience, and that you were limited to the powers you could use.  The powers basically amounted to super strength and an ability to jump really far.  I felt let down, I wanted a game that was going to allow me to go crazy, and I got a be a good guy GTA, where the only benefit was the ability to throw cars and jump up building.  But this wasn't the first attempt at an open world superhero game.  Of course I'm talking about City of Heroes.

While giving me complete freedom to create any superhero, and later villain, that I could dream up, once again disappointment.  Not so much for the lack of creativity, but a little more on the lack of freedom that is supposedly promised.  On top of that, I'm a firm believer of the idea that once I pay for a game I shouldn't have to pay a monthly fee, and yes I know that it's to keep servers running and maintain fresh content.  The complete lack of people to indulge my sick and twisted mind, with fantasies of destroying everything in my path just were not satiated.  On top of that the world really didn't feel alive to me.  I never felt like I was completely part of a living world.  The controls as well were hard for me to get behind, I do my best work with a controller in hand.  

Now, I sit here and question to myself, "what would I like to see in a non-licensed or even licensed superhero game?"  The answer lies somewhere in between City of Heroes and Crackdown.  I would really like a game where I can create a hero/villain with powers of my choosing.  While I don't know too much about development or the limits for developing this sort of game, I can only imagine the possibilities.  Imagine for just a second, this scene.

You're chasing down your target, there are several cars passing you on the street. You've taken Telekinesis as your main power, improved defenses (it's a game after all you can't be invincible to all forms of damage) as your support power, and mind control as your secondary power.  You look at the nearest car and Mind Control the driver, which takes you to them as your playable character, you speed up and attempt to crash the car into the target, who sends it flying into the air with his own TK, you with the press of a button switch back to your avatar and while the target is distracted fling one car and then another at him.

There are several powers that you can choose from at the beginning of the game; Telekinesis, Mind Control, Improved Defenses, Enhanced Senses, Flight, Ice, Electricity, Fire, Wind, Super Strength, Super Speed, Wall Crawling, Metal Skin, and Healing.  You can only choose 1 primary power, 1 secondary power, and one support power.  As you progress through the game and use your abilities they level up. The game plays similarly to Crackdown, in which you are given a free world to do as you please.  The story that is given offers you neither a good or a bad choice, you as you will discover are merely a simple player in a grander scheme of things and your morals are not in question.

I haven't worked out much of a story, but I just want more freedom with powers that I can use in a game.  City of Heroes did this, but the controls and monthly fee turned me off, and Infamous and Crackdown limited you in terms of powers and way you want to play.  A nice medium is all I ask for, can we please make this happen developers?

comments