Batman: Arkham Knight came out yesterday and I’m taking a brief break from it to write this blog and when I say brief, I mean brief. I can’t wait to get back in the Batmobile and roam the streets of Gotham city as it’s Silent Guardian, a Watchful Protector, the Dark Knight *Hans Zimmer’s score*.
Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy is a landmark in modern video-game development and culture; it shows both audiences and other developers alike that a good superhero game can be made. Other than the aforementioned trilogy (and Origins) there have been very few examples of good superhero games. I hear that a couple of the old Spiderman games are fun and the X-men Origins: Wolverine game was pretty good (a lot better than the film). Before you comment below about how much of an idiot I am, it’s ok, I haven’t forgotten about Lego Batman and Lego Marvel Superheroes. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t consider them as superhero games, the Lego games are in a genre of their own.
Superheroes are ruling the box office, or at least they were before Jurassic World. And Star Wars will probably smash records this December so let me rephrase that: Superheroes do quite well at the box office. Avengers: Age of Ultron, despite only being an okay movie, has proved this and no doubt Ant-Man will make a ton of money next month and yet this popularity of the genre has yet to infect the games market.
A couple of reasons for this are thrown around every now and then, one being that a superhero is too overpowered to be a protagonist but the Arkham games and Infamous Second Son show this not to be the case. I’m not asking for a Superman game; a less powerful hero should be the focus such as Green Arrow or Flash who are at the forefront of pop culture with their TV shows. Flash style super speed can be successful because a similar game mechanic was seen in Infamous Second Son and the spin-off game First Light.
I wrote this issue into the Out of Lives podcast (episode 13) and, after Ross Miller finished complaining about how long my email was, an interesting discussion took place. Correy suggested a Planet Hulk game and this sounds like an amazing idea. Marvel cannot currently make a Planet Hulk film or any Hulk film at all for that matter due to boring contract disputes about the ownership of the character (although just yesterday it was reported these disputes were settled). Planet Hulk is a pretty out there idea for the MCU and the storyline could translate to a video game format relatively well with some awesome God of War style boss battles in the gladiatorial arena. Being in the MCU is an instant selling point for such a game. If a Guardians of the Galaxy idea is too barmy for the big screen then they can make it a game. The MCU games could show us what the superheroes were doing between their films or could focus on some lesser known characters who may not get their own film for financial reasons.
EA are ramping up production on several Star Wars games such as the upcoming Battlefront and Amy Hennig’s Visceral game. Marvel could do a similar thing and hire a great publisher and their studios to create games within their interconnected universe. What do you think of this idea and are there any superheroes you would like to see as a protagonist in a video game? Tell me in the comments and as always you can find me on Facebook and Twitter @kylebrrtt. Now, back to the Batmobile.