Marvel is rapidly expanding and improving its presence in the console gaming market. It’s taken a little while, given that the MCU has been the most popular thing in cinema for nearly a decade. The company finally appears to be putting some genuine effort into video game development, and we’re already on the cusp of some results. We wrote a post back in December about the announcement of a new Marvel vs. Capcom game, and since then we’ve also learned more about Telltale’s efforts to delve into multiple groups of superhero characters. It looks like we’re in for a number of exciting games in the near future.
One of the reasons that it’s taken this long is that some of the company’s characters just don’t seem particularly well suited to video games. While some stumble in adapting to the gaming world, others are able to flourish. Spider-Man, who’s been at the core of several decent games and will feature in a new Insomniac title for PS4 in the near future is one character that developers seem to always come back to.
But there are a lot of superhero characters who would seem like more natural fits for traditional gaming formats. As we move into a new era of Marvel video games here are a few in particular who might deserve their own titles.
The “head” Avenger may just be the easiest one to make a game out of. Essentially a brawler with super strength, he could be a soldier in the vein of Batman, with some shooter aspects thrown in and tweaked to fit his boomerang-like shield. Done correctly, he could be a really fun video game character to play with, blending realistic human mechanics with a bit more ability. He could also take on a range of missions stretching from the era of World War II to present day.
The Captain has a limited history in console gaming, though this article made the bold assertion a few years ago that Captain America: Super Soldier was “basically Batman: Arkham Asylum” for the Marvel hero. That’s pretty high praise, and with a little more effort and a marketing push a follow-up could be similarly successful.
This is a matter of opinion, but Hawkeye seems to have been cheapened a little bit through the Marvel films, as well as some of the popular mobile games based on the Avengers and other characters. That’s nothing against Jeremy Renner, who plays the role well. The character just never seems particularly deadly or interesting alongside the rest of the heroes and in games he’s positively bland.
But as far as the comics are concerned, Hawkeye is a fun, deadly, and popular character. He’d be the closest of any of the main Marvel figures to approximating shooter gameplay, with a twist. As we know, Hawkeye’s arrows can do different kinds of damage, which would make for an interesting attacking style in any sort of game if developers would be willing to give him a chance.
Marvel hasn’t done enough to let its female heroes lead, and because many of these heroes are a little bit less “super” and more focused on martial arts, they can make for more natural video game characters. The company could opt for a Black Widow game, but in order to escape the Avengers a little bit, they might do better with Elektra, who was brilliantly resurrected by Elodie Yung in the Daredevil series.
Elektra has had limited involvement in games in the past. Still, this site says she was popular enough (after the Daredevil and Elektra films of the mid-2000s) to warrant her own spinoff movie as well as be included in Marvel’s online slot machine games. A slot game decorated with images associated with the character is a nice homage, but a beat-em-up or adventure game featuring this devastating antihero in the Hell’s Kitchen underworld or taking on the group of assassin’s known as the Hand from the comics would be a lot of fun.
Finally, there’s Black Panther—the closest thing there is to a Marvel Batman, and someone ideally suited for an Arkham imitation. The interesting thing is that we don’t know quite how to imagine the character in a modern context just yet. But with the Black Panther film is on the way we should have a better idea soon. We’ve seen the suit and fighting style already and rumor has it there will be chase scenes meaning new, character-specific vehicles could come into play. As soon as we have a setting this game will become easy to imagine and we’ll just have to hope that Marvel will be smart enough to take advantage of the opportunity.