There are few things that Marvel and DC fans can agree on. However, one such thing is that the Batman Arkham series of games revolutionised the superhero gaming genre. While DC has had huge success with the Batman series, the same can, unfortunately, not be said for Marvel. There have been some great Marvel superhero games in the past, such as the much-loved Spider-Man 2, but nothing that has come close to matching the hype that surrounded the Arkham games. With the announcement of Insomniac’s upcoming Spider-Man game, Marvel fans might finally get a superhero game to rival the Dark Knight’s. After putting a list together of DC superheroes who deserve their own games, I got to thinking. Which other Marvel superheroes deserve this honour and who has what it takes to stand toe-to-toe with DC’s Caped Crusader? Here is a list of just some of the Marvel superheroes deserving of their own game:
1. Doctor Strange – Open world magic, mystery and trippy visuals
Before the release of the recent Doctor Strange film, not many people out there were familiar with the Sorcerer Supreme. However, thanks to modern technology, Marvel was finally able to translate Steve Ditko’s trippy visuals to the big screen. Thanks to the next generation of consoles, the same over the top visual style found in both the recent film and Ditko’s drawing could be recreated for a game.
Being a deep and multi-layered character with an interesting and unique group of enemies, there is no doubt that a game based on the Doctor Strange universe would be unlike most games out there. With his various magic abilities and access to all manner of weird and wonderful relics, such as the Eye of Agamotto and the Book of Vishanti, a Doctor Strange game would work best as an open world RPG similar to the Witcher III game. Doctor Strange could travel between the real world and the and the mirror dimension while facing off against some familiar and unfamiliar foes along the way. Switching between different realities has already been done successfully in the Soul Reaver and Shadow man games. With the myriad of Doctor Strange lore, the game could be both a visual and narrative treat.
2. Rocket & Groot – A buddy cop game featuring a rodent and a living tree
There is little doubt that Marvel’s weapon-obsessed Racoon and living piece of tree bark make one heck of a team. Now, why not a Guardians of the Galaxy game you ask? Why just focus on Rocket and Groot? Firstly, there is already a Telltale Guardians of the Galaxy game released and, secondly, focusing on the relationship between the fast-talking quick-witted Rocket and the “I am Groot” spouting Groot could make for a fun and possibly hilarious game.
As with most games currently out there, a Rocket and Groot game would most probably be an open world/open space game. The main difference, however, would be that it could follow the same narrative style as that of a ’80s buddy cop movie. Not only would the tone fit in perfectly with the already established movies, but having Rocket and Groot working together to chase down an evil villain bent on destruction, while all sorts of hijinks ensue, could make for an unforgettable experience.
With Rocket being an explosion-loving weapons expert, and small enough to fit into tight spaces, and Groot being a durable lumbering piece of muscle, each could use their abilities to solve certain environmental puzzles, removing obstacles from their path or interrogating witnesses. This would help mix up the gameplay a bit. Naturally, the writing would have to be spot on as most of the dialogue would be driven by Rocket, with Groot chirping in with “I am Groot” every once in a while. Add an ’80s-inspired theme song and you have one of the most unique takes on a superhero game currently out there.
3. Moon Knight – A fascinating and dark exploration of the mind
Many out there might say, “But isn’t Moon Knight Marvel’s version of Batman?” While both are billionaire playboys and both employ an arsenal of technologically advanced tools and weapons to fight crime, this couldn’t be further from the truth. One of the main differences between the Dark Knight and Moon Knight is that the latter wouldn’t mind killing or beating his opponents to a bloody unrecognisable pulp. Oh, and did I mention that he is also insane?
Moon Knight, as written by Charlie Huston, has three distinct personalities vying for control of his mind. Not only that, but he has an unhealthy obsession with Khonshu, an Egyptian god. While a Moon Knight game would most probably be similar to the Arkham games in execution, it would be the chance to explore his mental instability and the battle between the three personalities that would differentiate the game from the former. Exploring Moon Knight’s mental instability would not only ensure an interesting narrative but also be a visual treat as we get to physically explore what the mind of a madman is like. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be any over the top brutal moments. Moon Knight will get more than enough time to enact his unique brand of justice on his unsuspecting victims.
4. Gambit – A heist game with flair
Back in the ’80s when the X-Men animated cartoon burst onto our TV screens, the one mutant that quickly became a fan-favourite was the pink armour wearing rogue, Gambit. Now, I know what you are thinking, with his popularity waning to a point where a movie about him has been in the works for years, why develop a game around the Ragin’ Cajun? Think about this for a second. An object/information of great importance is locked away in an impenetrable fortress/place and only a group of ragtag mutants lead by the charismatic Gambit stand any chance of retrieving it. There you have your game.
Raised by the Thieves Guild in New Orleans and having incredible acrobatic skills, along with the ability to charge non-organic material with kinetic energy, makes Gambit the perfect guy to lead a team of unlikely mutants on a mission to retrieve something important. Similar to Mass Effect 2, Gambit would need to recruit his team before finally being able to set out on their mission. The game could see players interacting with lesser known mutants, such as Marrow or even the light controlling Dazzler. With a mixture of action, branching conversations and espionage, the game could give players a new experience rarely touched on by current games.
5. Iron Fist – Martial art Mayhem
After the release of his terrible (and painful to watch) Netflix series, Iron Fist is ready for some redemption and maybe, just maybe, a game based on the hero is just what the doctor ordered to take away the lingering pain. While there has been a sore lack of martial art based games (at least good martial art based games), one of my all-time favourites still remains BioWare’s Jade Empire, a game that focused as much attention on ancient myths and lore as it did on kicking butt and mastering various martial arts.
As the worlds greatest martial arts master, a game featuring Danny Rand could follow his transformation from rich kid to a living weapon. There have also been a few games in the past, most notably Absolver, which allowed players to create their own combos. Implementing a similar system successfully into an Iron Fist game, letting the player unlock more and more combo options and modifiers as they progress, would form the base for a great game. It would most probably be a mixture of an open-world brawler and an RPG, allowing the game to focus on both Danny’s fighting prowess and his mastery of the ancient fighting styles. Of course, the game would also delve into some of the ancient lore that has featured in the comics and sees him facing off against The Hand, as well as some more obscure villains such as the mystical beast Ch’i-Lin.
6. Iron Man – The life of a playboy superhero
Iron Man might be the most well know superhero on the list, especially since the first Iron Man film is mostly credited with kicking off what has become Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Although there have been a few games based on the Iron Man films (some terrible, terrible games) ol’ bucket head has yet to star in a decent game.
Instead of just having Tony don the armour and fly around shooting anything that flies and moves, a new Iron Man game could instead incorporate a more open-world experience, similar to the GTA series (minus all the senseless killing) and let players play both as a playboy and all-around smart ass, Tony Stark and Iron Man. Players would need to contend with hostile takeovers and board meetings, as well as super-powered villains as they try to protect Stark Industries and the world. While playing as Tony might sound like it could be less fun than filling your tax returns, if handled correctly it could add some interesting narrative beats and give us a deeper understanding of what it means for Tony to be both Iron Man and a well-known businessman.
Of course, there will be loads of shooting, fighting and flying around as Iron Man will need to prevent various forces from destroying the world. The game could even include the odd cameo from an Avenger or two. It could give players a Marvel superhero experience that would be completely different to what they are used to.