A few months ago Square Enix and Marvel shocked the world with the teaser announcement of a Wolverine game and the reveal of a Spider-Man 2 game that would include Peter Parker, Miles Morales and Venom. It’s been a very good few years for super hero games, despite the disappointment most fans had with Marvel’s Avengers. And the next few years for Marvel Video Games is set to be amazing too.
It’s no secret that most people would give credit to the great slate of super hero games to Batman: Arkham Asylum which set the standard for action and RPG elements in them. But besides Spider-Man 2 and Wolverine, what other super hero games are out there?
Marvel has a rumored fighting game coming that will be comparable to DC’s Injustice, they also have a turn based tactical game akin to XCOM coming out called Midnight Sons. That’s what I think we need more of, the big set pieces and blockbuster games like Batman, Spider-Man or even the soon to release Guardians of the Galaxy is great, but there’s so many other genres of video games Marvel could dip their toes in.
X-Men x Sim City
Over the past few years the X-Men comics have seen one of the biggest renaissances in the Marvel Universe. What Jonathan Hickman has done with the mutants since House of X and Power of X is nothing short of incredible. The X-Men no longer live in the streets of the world trying to survive against racism and prejudice. They now live on their own living island nation of Krakoa which is rivaled perhaps only by Wakanda.
The mutants have risen and finally created the society they’ve always longed for and deserved. In fact, recently, they’ve event terraformed the moon into a settlement. Using this same idea, why not create a game that lets the player direct the growth of the mutant nation?
Imagine picking one of the leaders of the X-Men as your nations leader, Jean Grey, Scott Summers or Professor X would all have vastly different takes on how to lead. As you grow and evolve you could upgrade certain mutant powers to help you build or transform.
Someone like Storm could help with crops and irrigation, a mutant who controls rock or metal could help with construction. Those with healing powers would help contribute to better hospitals and medicines. The world of the Sim City Builder is perfect for the modern age of Krakoa.
Don’t tell me when you look at this trailer and imagine mutants and the wonders they could create with their powers, you don’t just start drooling over the idea to play the game.
Hawkeye x Breath of the Wild
This idea may be a bit close to what we already expect out of triple A Marvel Video Games, but here me out. Hawkeye: Breath of the Apocalypse. Inspired by Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the final episodes of What If…? Hawkeye is the last surviving Avenger on planet earth, but there’s a chance he can turn it all back…he just needs the time stone, or time machine, or something.
In an open world, you get to run around as Kate Bishop (the cooler Hawkeye) and collect everything you need. Just like in Zelda games you find and increase your arsenal as you go.
Instead of a bomb bag you find a working repulsor from Tony’s lab. To replace the boomerang you find Captain America’s remains with his shield still in tact. Or collecting caches of Black Panthers vibranium to upgrade your weapons and armor. All of the equipment you need to help in your adventure belongs to your fallen friends so they’re still with during this journey.
Ant-Man x Heist Simulator
Scott Lang and the crew are under utilized and under appreciated when it comes to their abilities. People look at Ant-Man and think he’s just the guy who controls ants. But his movie shows just how creative you could get with a video game. This game wouldn’t need any kind of combat, but something like with just normal and heavy attacks could suffice because the real focus would on the powers and how to use them to solve puzzles.
Take a platforming and open world exploration game like Jak and Daxter or Banjo-Kazooie, now set it in a mundane location like a bank, or a lab. What might sound like a boring location to some, would make an interesting game world to explore as a tiny hero.
As Ant-Man you have to navigate through one of these locations, using your powers and bug-companions to figure out how to steal something. Add in collection items and occasional boss-fights with a focus on puzzles instead of melee combat and you have a hit on your hands.
Just imagine this game trailer but with Ant-Man, the Wasp and Luis? Does that not immediately make you want to throw your money at the idea alone?!
Doctor Strange x Life is Strange
The fact that the word play here is perfect is enough that this game should be made, but hear me out for the full details. Doctor Strange and his magic isn’t just about big set pieces and blowing things up. It’s about figure out the puzzles, it’s about studying the problem and finding the best solution.
A game where Doctor Strange is called in to solve some paranormal problem with magic through deduction and talking with other heroes would amazing. Maybe some of the Avengers have gone missing after a big event, but there’s no clue or traces as to why. Magic is thought to be involved and some heroes may be possessed or not who they say they are.
It would be up to Doctor Strange to talk with everyone, investigate several areas and master new spells and uses of those spells to figure out what’s going on and how to fix it. There would be no need for any real combat, just time travel spells, illusions and whatever other creative things the studio behind it could come up with.
Super Heroes and Video Games
What has always made comics and super heroes so successful is that everyone has their favorite. In recent years the industry has making huge strides to be more inclusive and make sure everyone is represented in some form. Sometimes these attempts succeed, sometimes they don’t.
But video games, like super heroes should be for everyone. To that end, the games can’t all be the same we have to explore different genres and types of games with the heroes we have.
The best part about a lot of these potential Marvel Video Games, is they wouldn’t need to be as graphics intensive as the super hero games we see now. They could release on all games consoles, Nintendo Switch OLED, Xbox Series XS, PlayStation 4 or 5, and of course they’d be PC Games too so everyone could enjoy them anywhere they go.
But it’s going to be awhile before Marvel and the game developers behind them start realizing the gold mine in non-action RPG genres. So, for awhile if you want your Marvel fix of newer heroes, remember that the Hawkeye Disney Plus series is on it’s way. The Eternals and Spider-Man: Far From Home will also be dropping before the end of the year.
2022 is gearing up to be even bigger for Marvel fans with the release of Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, She-Hulk and Moon Knight Disney Plus series.
As more and more of these movies and TV shows come out and more games are developed, before long hopefully we start to see game developers taking chance. At this point, I’d even settle for a Psylocke or Wolverine themed Overcooked game.
Feature Image Courtesy of Netmarble Games.