10 Marvel Games That Need To Be Made
A reader and Marvel comics fan lists the games he’d like to see get made, from Ka-Zar and Damage Control to Iron Man and The Punisher.
Before we start I’ve always wanted to write a Reader’s Feature, but I imagine like other members of the GameCentral community I haven’t had the confidence to do so up until now. So what’s changed I hear you ask? Well, it’s thanks to the good people of GC and their encouragement of my contributions to the Inbox. And their ability to edit my ramblings, which can’t be easy as punctuations and full stops are a mystery to me.
Also, thank the gods for spellcheck or they would of needed the Rosetta Stone to decipher my emails. I like to imagine GC’s reaction when they open their Inbox and see my latest missive akin to a kindly Perry White, although I have a sneaky suspicion that it is more likely to be a rant in the style of J. Jonah Jameson.
As I’m sure you may have noticed I have an interest in comic book superheroes and Marvel in particular holds a special place in my heart. With this in mind, and the fact that they say you should write about what you know, I would like to give you a run down of the 10 properties of the Marvel universe that I would like to see adapted into video games – and the developers who I think would be the best fit for each one.
There are some obvious choices that I’ve included, but I’ve also tried to be eclectic and have as much variety as possible with the character’s and genre’s on the list.
1. X-Factor Investigations. I adore Chris Claremont era X-Men, but most recently it’s the writer Peter David’s work that has caught my eye. The game would be made by Telltale Games and be similar to The Wolf Among Us, featuring the character Jamie Madrox, aka the Multiple Man. At its core is a modern day Philip Marlow-esuqe private detective, dealing with all manner of superpower-based mysteries. Special mention must go to The Invisible Woman has Vanished, which could be one of my favourite titles for a comic story ever.
2. She-Hulk. I would take inspiration from Dan Slott’s run of Jennifer Walters, where she is a practising lawyer specialising in unusual cases. For example, Spider-Man suing the editor of The Daily Bugle for defamation of character. It would be made by Capcom and play similar to Phoenix Wright, and could be very funny if written well. Also thought-provoking if they chose to have Shulkie defend Magneto on charges of terrorism. Oh, and if Marvel ever decide to make a TV series out of it then it has to have the Dolly Parton song Nine to Five in the opening credits.
3. Ka-Zar. I’ve lost count of the amount of Inboxers who request more dinosaurs in their games, and judging by the colossal box office success of Jurassic World there is obviously a wider appetite for more of the terrible lizards in general. With this in mind I would give Lord Kevin Plunder a chance to shine. The character is best described as Marvel’s version of Tarzan, crossed with Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. The player would be able to ride Devil Dinosaur and work with Zabu the sabretooth tiger, facing off against Sauron the pterodactyl man and attempting to stop the Roxxon corporation from pillaging the Savage Land of its natural resources.
Also, the Zebra tribe would make for a fascinating exploration of the nature of racial identity. My choice of developer would be Ninja Theory, who have experience with crafting lush worlds with Enslaved. And thanks to their collaboration on Devil May Cry they now have the combat know-how as well.
4. The Silver Surfer. The story goes that Stan Lee was blown away when he first saw Jack Kirby’s iconic design for this character, so how about Hello Game’s attempting an adaptation of Norrin Radd’s story after they finish No Man’s Sky? It could use that game’s existing engine but put you in the role of the herald of Galactus, scouring the cosmos for your master’s next meal. You’d be competing with other heralds for the Devourer of World’s favour and witnessing the futility of some alien races to defend their home world, or the mass evacuation of an entire species fleeing into the void. Also, I would love to see more of the weirdness of the cosmic side of Marvel comics in general, like Ego the Living Planet for example.
5. The Punisher. With the news that Frank Castle is going to be playing a major role in season two of Daredevil I think it’s time for a new game. it would be less of a shoot ’em-up and would follow the character’s one man crusade to bring down organised crime. In particular it should focus on large open levels set around the globe and play in a similar fashion to the old school Hitman games, where planning is just as important as execution. Because you would be heavily outnumbered and quickly overwhelmed if you just try to run and gun through the environment. I would be willing to give Io Interactive a chance to bring Marvel’s vigilante to life, as long as it plays more like Blood Money and less like Absolution.
6. Spider-Man. My developer of choice would be Avalanche Studios. It’s their work on Just Cause, and that game’s grappling hook and tethering mechanic, that I believe could be utilised to take Peter Parker’s web-slinging skills to a whole new dimension. And as for storyline’s Spider-Island would be a fresh approach. Or the Spiderverse arc, which would allow for alternate reality versions of the character, in particular Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen.
7. Iron-Man. A few years ago It would of been hard to believe that old Shell Head would become one of Marvel’s most high profile characters, but that’s the magic of film for you. I would give the job to the Deus Ex: Human Revolution developer Eidos Montreal, as that series’ obsession with technology would fit the Armoured Avenger well.
It would be based entirely inside Stark Tower, which is hosting a gala event that is held hostage by an extremist transhumanism group that could consist of minor characters like the Kangaroo, Armadillo, Constricter, and Porcupine given a cybernetic makeover. And they would want access to the armoury, which would prevent Tony from using his full arsenal for fear of it falling into the wrong hands. In my mind kind of like a superhero version of Die Hard.
8. The Black Cat. I, like many, were disappointed with the recent Thief reboot, but there is no denying the inherent potential in the concept of a pinch ’em-up done well. With this in mind I would like to give Marv Wolfman’s creation Felicia Hardy her own game. I imagine some of you will be wondering why I haven’t chosen a certain raging Cajun for the lead, well the industry’s track record with the portrayal of accents in the vast majority of games fills me with horror of what Gambit would sound like. And I also have a soft spot for Spidey’s femme fatale.
My choice for developer would be Arkane Studios, the makers of the exemplary Dishonored. My experience with that game leads me to believe that they could remove the killing altogether and shift the focus to cat burglary. Playing as the anti-heroine breaking into Four Freedoms Plaza to steal a fantastical device or a daring heist into the heart of Latveria, while attempting to evade certain doom.
9. Midnight Sons is Marvel’s attempt to gather their supernatural characters into a team consisting of Ghost Rider, Blade, and Doctor Strange, amongst other more obscure members of their occult family. As a big fan of Bayonetta I’d love to see its nuanced combat system modified for various other characters like Werewolf by Night, Morbius, and The Living Mummy to encourage multiple playthroughs. I can just imagine the boss battles that Platinum Games could do with Mephisto, Dormammu, and Nightmare.
10. Damage Control is the name of an organisation whose purpose in the comics is to clean up the mess that’s left behind after the superheroes have ”saved the world”. I’d tweak the concept a little by having to do the job while the fighting is happening, and trying to minimise the destruction of a city’s infrastructure and save as many civilians as possible. it would play similar to Rare’s Blast Corps and perhaps Firaxis would be a good choice, as they did stellar work on updating XCOM.
Thank you for reading and if this makes sense to anyone then congratulations, you can award yourself the fabled no-prize.