Which Comic Heroes Most Deserve A New Game?
We've seen a lot of comic book-based video games over the years, but for each Batman: Arkham Knight there seems to have been several Superman 64s. Comic book-based video games don't always hit their mark, but that doesn't mean people should stop trying to make them. Here are several comic heroes we want to see given a second chance in the game world.
[Editor's note: This story was originally published in April of 2015]
Who Should Make it: Klei Entertainment
Why it could be awesome: As a rule, video games based off super hero films are generally several times worse than the film. Considering how terrible Catwoman's 2004 Halle Berry adaptation was, it's actually kind of impressive that the game was worse. However, Catwoman's inclusion as a playable character in Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham City proved that the character can handle herself in a game world. We'd love to see this jewel thief featured front and center in her own stealth game. Klei Entertainment's Mark of the Ninja is a good prototype, so why not combine the 2D stealth action from that game with a Metroid-style exploration map. Catwoman could sneak into the "secure" lofts of Gotham's rich and famous to steal their goodies, and then use the proceeds to buy new upgrades and powerups. What do you think she'll find when she sneaks into Wayne manor?
Who Should Make it: Rocksteady
Why it could be awesome: Some people think that Daredevil is the poor man's Batman, but we believe that the Man Without Fear has enough going for him to set himself apart. Netflix recently showed that the character can appeal to a wider audience, but his best representations in games are a canceled Xbox/PS2 game and a mediocre 2003 movie tie-in for the GBA. We think Daredevil deserves better; he deserves the Rocksteady treatment. Since Batman's combat and city exploration work so well, we'll steal that. Daredevil's hyper senses could be used in a similar way to Batman's Detective vision, but since Daredevil's senses are much more precise, maybe the game could slow down time, allowing our hero to line up trick shots with his billy clubs or discover secret interactive corners of the environment to smash his foes head's into. Daredevil would also be collecting clues à la L.A. Noire, and then use them to prosecute his foes in the courtroom. If he doesn't get enough info to put his enemies behind bars, they might end up back on the streets.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Who Should Make it: Turtle Rock Studios
Why it could be awesome: Even though the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have remained an important cultural touchstone for the last several decades, the best TMNT games are nearly 20 years old. Since the best aspect of those old games was the co-op, we'd love to see someone bring back those classic beat 'em ups with a modern twist.Sure, Platinum Game's upcoming title looks promising, but we have an even better idea. Let's follow Left 4 Dead's lead, but convert the concept into a third-person action game. Players would work in teams of four and try to fight their way through hordes of foot soldiers, aliens, and other mutants. Those who stray too far from the group would be easily shell shocked, but those who stick close to their friends would be able to make good use of each individual turtle's special move set.
Next up: We put a new spin on comics' most beloved family and then tackle the Superman problem...
Who Should Make it: BioWare
Why it could be awesome: Marvel's first family is widely beloved because, even though they have super powers, they also have real-life issues that cause conflict among the group. Sadly, their games have more warts than they do. Most Fantastic Four games have been generic action games with the super power to bore fans. The highlight of the Fantastic Four comics is its ability to tell high-concept sci-fi stories. We'd love to see someone like BioWare construct an RPG-like narrative that sent the FF traveling through various levels of reality and ultimately had them stop some cosmic threat from ripping the universe a new black hole. Co-op would be nice, but we'd rather see BioWare develop a solid action experience first. Similar to Dragon Age, we imagine combat sequences where players can pause the action at any time to flip between these four heroes and stack up commands that would make good use of their various powers.
Who Should Make it: Ex-Maxis developers
Why it could be awesome: Superman 64 is widely regarded as the worst super-hero game ever made, if not the worst game period, so it's not surprising that Superman is on this list. The problem that most developers get wrong when working with Sups is that they make him too fragile. A Superman game shouldn't be about him trying to survive attacks from super villains; it should be about him trying to save other people from super villains. We think that a Superman game should draw inspiration from God games. Superman could fly around a miniature open-world version of Metropolis (or maybe even the world) and save people from a host of crazy natural and man-made disasters. Superman will take a lot of hits, especially when one of his classic villains enters the mix, but his biggest challenge would be managing to put out several fires in different parts of the city, all at once.
Who Should Make it: Treyarch
Why it could be awesome: The Punisher has fared a little better than a lot of the other heroes on this list; THQ's 2005 release was a slightly above-average action game, but the most interesting aspect of that title was the fact that it's torture sequences almost earned the game an Adult's Only rating from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. We're fine with The Punisher pushing those boundaries, but we'd like to see its gameplay polished to match. We think Treyarch's work on the Black Ops games sets a good tone, so why not make a Punisher game that was a shooter? We'd still like to see a story-driven shooter that focused on Frank's conflict with the mob. Maybe you could even throw some Max Payne bullet time in there for good measure. Just don't make it anything like the 2011 PSN arena shooter The Punisher: No Mercy.
Those are our ideas, and sure we could have mentioned a few more, such as Deadpool, Aquaman, or Thor, but we wanted to leave room for you to tell us which superheros you'll like to control in a triple-A video game. Check out our list of The Best Superhero Games Of All Time, or this list of Ten Marvel Comics That Should Be Games for more inspiration,