We need a hero!
Batman and Spider-Man are no doubt the most famous superheroes in the world, starring in some of the most popular films of all time, along with a handful of great games. However, while they've both appeared in titles that worthy of their fame, so many other costumed characters are in desperate need of a game to match their potential. Even a slightly underwhelming Bat-adventure like Batman: Arkham Origins is better than almost every other game starring a hero from Marvel or DC Comics. And were sick of standing by and doing nothing!
Weve collected the heroes that are most deserving of a game thats at least as good as Arkham Origins. Wed even settle for a slightly middling game that fits thematically, like the humorous Deadpool from earlier this year. These guys and gals would translate wonderfully into a digital medium, if only the right publisher would give them a chance.
Hows this for a multiplayer focused game: One character is a super strong rock man, one can shoot fireballs, one can throw invisible force fields, and one can stretch far enough to span the entire screen. That accounts for each member of the Fantastic Four, a sci-fi squad of adventurers that have had worse luck with games than theyve had with movies. But all that could change with one multiplayer-focused, third-person beat-em-up.
The most important thing in an FF game is that each character has a very unique skill set that the stages are built around. Fantastic Four is built on a family dynamic, so the game should always have all four characters on screen, whether theyre controlled via an online buddy or AI. And FFs archenemy, Doctor Doom, is the perfect game adversary, given his love of attacking the team with hundreds of robots before throwing them into death traps.
Think Aquaman sucks? Thats hes useless out of water? That hes a loser who spends all day talking to fish? If you still define Aquaman by his appearance on Super Friends, you clearly havent been reading his comics lately. Aquaman is a badass King of the Oceans that will stab Darkseid in the face, and has risen above being the butt of lame jokes. He somehow became the coolest member of the Justice League, which makes him more than deserving of a game.
The biggest issue with an Aquaman game is that some portion has to take place underwater, and underwater levels are almost always terrible. To cut down on that, we propose that most of the ocean gameplay be kept to a hub area that AM uses to travel to different parts of the world to fight crime. And whether underwater or on dry land, Aquaman needs deep melee controls built around his trident--sort of like Batmans fisticuffs in Arkham, except AM can also call a shark to bite off your head.
Well admit that Hawkeye was the most boring teammate in The Avengers, but Hawkeye is having a renaissance of sorts in his offbeat comic adventures. In his solo books, Hawkeye is living his life as Clint Barton in stripped-down stories of crime-fighting away from the Avengers. Barton saving the lives of his neighbors from slumlords and douchey Eastern European crime lords might not be as colorful as fighting Loki, but the sparse look makes it stand out in the world of comics. And the same would be true for a video game, if they incorporated muted palette and sketch-like character designs.
Though we dream of a cel-shaded open world game done in that style, its unrealistic to think Marvel would ever spend that much on a Hawkeye game, so lets translate the intentionally flat look to a 2D downloadable action game. Think Mark of the Ninja, only with boomerang arrows. To keep the action varied, how about the occasional detective level starring Clints pet, the lovable Pizza Dog? If done right, Pizza Dog could be better at solving mysteries than Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright combined.
This being from another world may be faster than a speeding bullet and can leap tall buildings in a single bound, but hes also the one with the worst luck when it comes to video games. Superman has appeared on systems as early as the Atari, but his adventures were either barely average to the worst games ever made. For a character that just reached his 75th anniversary, its about time he got a good game--but how do you make one for a character thats all but invincible?
Despite all the advancements in gaming hardware, Supermans powers are still too god-like to accurately show in action. EAs Superman Returns had a smart idea by having Supermans health bar represent the well-being of Metropolis, playing up Supes' role as protector and bypassing his indestructibility. The next Superman developer should run with that novel idea for a sandbox game, but find a way to not make it as boring as EA did. Replacing Brandon Routh as Superman would definitely help with that.
Superman may be overdue for a good game, but Wonder Woman is in desperate need of any visibility outside of comics. DC may say that shes part of The Trinity alongside Batman and Superman, but its hard to believe it based on her lack of media appearances beyond her campy 1970s show. Who knows when Princess Diana will get her own film, but a kickass game would remind people why she deserves one.
Given Wonder Womans roots in Greek mythology, God of War is a great inspiration to start with. WW is as strong as Superman and more of a natural-born fighter than Batman, so the brutal combat would fit her like an indestructible bracelet. Wed be willing to bet she can tear off Medusa heads even faster than Kratos can.
As we mentioned before, both Spider-Man and Batman have had great games, proving that street-level heroes work great for action games. So why hasnt Daredevil, the samurai of New York City slums, appeared in one yet? DD swings around The Big Apple just as much as Spidey, but Daredevil is also just as skilled in hand-to-hand combat as Batman. If Marvel really wants to rip off the Arkham games, DDs grittier feel fits better than any of their other heroes.
In fact, Daredevils radioactively heightened senses would make more sense with Batmans Arkham ability. Daredevil could actually sense an attack behind him or find a clue buried in a crime scene; Detective Mode is basically how the blind Daredevil always sees the world. When you really think about it, Batman has starred in the perfect Daredevil games. Its about time Matt Murdock stole them back.
Like how Batman flies around a city, beating the crap out of drug dealers and arms merchants? Well, replace the Batarangs and grappling hooks with Nth metal wings and a mace, and you've got Hawkgirl. Yes, we could go with Hawkman as well, but superheroines need more representation in gaming--and Hawkgirl has far more personality than her stuffy male counterpart.
Hawkgirl is usually seen alongside the Justice League, protecting the people of the fake Louisiana city of St. Roch. She isnt as forgiving as Batman when it comes to crime, often beating the crap out of crooks with a large array of weapons that would make for great in-game unlockables. The only real issue holding her back is a forgettable rogues gallery that includes such criminal masterminds as Shadow Chief and Gentleman Ghost. Maybe she could just borrow a few of Batmans bad guys?
GL almost had a good game with the movie tie-in Rise of the Manhunters, and there were some good Green Lantern missions in DC Universe Online. But were not ready to settle when hes so close to greatness. With so many Earth-bound heroes in games, Green Lanterns ideal adventure would embrace his sci-fi roots, with him meeting aliens and battling ancient evils. Hmm, that sounds so familiar
Green Lantern has been an outer space cop before the developers of Mass Effect were even born, so we dont see anything wrong with the ringslinger taking it back. And just like Mass Effects Shepard being whoever you want, your Green Lantern could be any of the 3,000 members from the galaxy-spanning Lantern Corps. And while the scale and setting might fit Mass Effects, the combat could get way crazier, seeing as Green Lanterns ring can create anything he imagines. Sounds like the ultimate Omnitool.
Holding out for a hero...
Those are our picks for deserving supermen, but we're betting you have your own favorites that are primed for video game stardom. Please share your favorites in the comments!
Need to read more about comic books? Read our history of Batman games to the best and worst of Batman adventures and then find out the 9 greatest comic book games that dont star superheroes.