The PlayStation showcase this week was pretty good, showing loads of games that will drop over the next few years. As a mostly Xbox player (and a huge comic book fan), I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t gutted that another Marvel character would only be available on PS5, and with the MCU asking the world What If? I had a brainwave!
Although movie and superhero games have a bit of a rough history, if you put the time in there are still a few gems to be found. I’ve written before about the Punisher game from 2004, and even though it’s not a popular opinion the Marvel Avengers game isn’t as bad as most would make you think, as long as you stay away from the online multiplayer on offer.
However, with Insomniac gearing up to release Wolverine in a few years time, it made me wonder “What if” other developers got a chance to dive into superheroes and comics. This list could have been endless, but here 5 that could work in the future.
Venom – Radical Entertainment
We all know how well Insomniac have taken to the Spiderman universe, and Spiderman 2 will probably be a 10 out of 10 game, but I’d like to take a step back and see who else could take this anti-hero title on board.
Often considered as the big bad, for those not in the know, Venom eventually became one of (in my opinion anyway), the best alternative takes on what a hero could be, no matter how dark his origins are.
A solo game could take either his evil beginnings or the more recent hero based stories, and due to his methods Radical would be a great choice to take a shot.
This choice comes purely due to their previous work on the Prototype game, which is massively underrated. If you swapped out the main character model, it could be argued that they have already made the best Venom game so far.
Swapping out the gilding mechanic featured in Prototype for web-swinging, it’s pretty much all there! Some of the special moves featuring finishing moves with a load of tentacles reaching through environments and characters to rip them into pieces, it’s hard to not think of Venom.
Even if they decided to focus more on the Agent Venom character from more recent comics, the stealth elements of absorbing other NPC’s and gunplay would still be a great fit. Unfortunately, this one is a bit of a pipe dream, with them being rolled in to support development on Call of Duty and they haven’t had a solo title since 2012.
Ironman – Bioware
Ok……..I know, just stay with me here.
Anthem isn’t the game that we all hoped and dreamed for, it’s been destroyed by most critics and players (rightfully so by the way). However, there are parts of it that that work quite well. The game still looks fantastic even a few years after release and the flight system in-game feels great except for the cooldown system in place.
Due to this and also the exo-suits featured, I’d love to see what Bioware could do with the Ironman franchise. JUST NO LIVE SERVICE GAME ELEMENTS!
This is where Anthem seems to have disconnected with players, and I would worry for any major game that takes this as its main idea going forward. Games like this are a power fantasy and seeing numbers pop above enemies heads doesn’t match what we should feel.
At their best, Bioware has proven that they are masters of story and world-building. Imagine a Marvel game where certain Ironman suits or characters are hidden behind choices made in-game and tell me that you wouldn’t be at least a bit interested. A couple of wrong responses made could see Rhodey (War Machine), go from either battling alongside you to adversary and trying to take down Tony Stark while he battles the bottle or even his responsibilities of keeping the world safe.
This paired with the (pretty rock solid) cover-based shooting system seen in Mass Effect 3 would be a great pairing and could build into a universe as big as what’s been seen on the cinematic offerings for the MCU.
It might just be me, but I am convinced that this could work. On a personal point, I’d love to hear the AC/DC songs featured in-game as well.
The Flash – Volition
Once again this is a choice based on one mechanic that shows what could be done. Volition have already (kind of anyway) made a superhero game…
Saints Row 4 is utter madness and falls somewhere between The Matrix and a superhero game. One of the abilities on offer sees the player character able to run at super speeds and travel across the game world quicker than by travelling by car and maybe even aircraft.
It’s not for everyone, and although I enjoyed it, a large number of gamers would like to see the series return to its more GTA based origins. That’s why I’d like to see what was on offer in a game paired with a different hero.
The super-speed should only be one element of the game, with the other side focusing on a more CSI or Batman styled gameplay of working out what happened during criminal events, Barry Allen is a forensic chemist after all.
Gameplay should be a mix of both fighting using his speed and also the aforementioned science-based knowledge to take down enemies. Cut back a bit, but not too much, on the mature humour on offer in Saints Row 4 and they could have a superhero game that’s a little different than most and worth the entry price.
The Punisher – ID Software
Ahhhhh The Punisher, my old friend.
The PS2 and Xbox games are some of my favourite titles ever. It’s by no means world-changing, but it takes solid gameplay and makes it soooo enjoyable thru violent means and a great score-based system.
It’s for both these reasons that ID Software would be idle to take a stab at the franchise (and also that I’d love Xbox to nab their own Marvel property lol ).
Even though it’s not really for me, both Doom 2016 and its sequel Doom Eternal are pretty spot on when it comes to gameplay and mechanics. The game has a feel and flow that can only be appreciated once it’s played in hand.
Although most superhero games are 3rd person (probably so that you can see the character more), this seems on the outset like a perfect match. Doom and its sequel, are incredibly violent, one of the most in recent times. It might be a hard idea to get by the big wigs at Marvel but the tight shooting and executions could transfer easily to one of the darkest characters from the Marvel universe.
Take the alien kills currently on offer and change them to more realistic generic bad guy kills, add the same weighty gunplay and the game is there. I’ve decided this is such a good idea I might learn to code AND DO IT MYSELF.
Doctor Strange – Remedy
Control is such an underrated title. I was late to the party, due in part to the performance issues on both Xbox One and PS4, but now with a (medium to high-end build) PC, it really shines.
It might be the floating in mid-air or maybe it’s just the general feel of the game, but Remedy would be perfect for a Doctor Strange game. They have the same high-end production values that Insomniac have brought to Spiderman but also back this up with great gameplay.
Control is a great base to build a Dr Stange game, with players having the ability to use powers like environmental throws and almost Jedi force methods to push or hit enemies. Not only this, but Remedy have proven time and time again (rather suited to Dr Strange lol), that they are able to create amazing stories.
Take what’s on offer in Control, and add this with the world shifting mechanics featured in the most recent Ratchet and Clank and the game is made!
Similar to my note earlier of Bioware, Remedy could quite easily build their own version on the MCU and would be a perfect match to the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel which looks to tie into the MCU multiverse.
I could do this all day, but for now, I love you 3000