In my discussion of why I thought Batman: Arkham Asylum worked, I mentioned how it was due largely to the fact that it took the Batman character and merged it with Nintendo’s long-standing Metroid franchise. I then began to think about what other games would be great templates to join to a comic book character to kick-start some exciting gaming franchises, so without further adieu, let’s begin:
1) MARVEL’S THE WINTER SOLDIER…
…MEETS TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION
2014 will go down as the year where The Winter Soldier gained cross over appeal thanks to Marvel Studio’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Not to say that the new identity of the resurrected Buck Barnes didn’t create headlines when he came back and took over the identity of the Star Spangled Avenger last decade, and he did appear in a few episodes of the phenomenal Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes animated series.
The Winter Soldier is a character who works in the shadows and is proficient in numerous fire arms and hand to hand combat techniques. A stealth action game featuring the character, now that he’s more widely known, emulated after 2010’s Splinter Cell: Conviction would be a gaming marriage made in heaven: Stalking the shadows, marking enemies for execution, using your bionic arm as an EMP device while globe-trotting to the seedier sides of the Marvel universe, even having flashback missions where Barnes is still under the influences of his Soviet handlers intersect back into the plot’s present events.
Much like Splinter Cell Conviction’s co-operative multi-player mode which stood out of the campaign, a Winter Soldier game could have this as well with the Black Widow, who could have additional abilities like a grappling hook to add vertically to gameplay.
2) DC’S THE FLASH…
…MEETS VIEWTIFUL JOE
One of the stand out sections from last month’s X-Men: Days of Future Past featured the super speedster Quicksilver in an action scene that showed the audience exactly as he sees the world when moving at super speed: moving so fast that time it stands still, and the character is able to deflect bullets away and make enemies hit themselves.
These actions are very similar to Capcom’s Viewtiful Joe franchise about a movie fan who gets sucked into the world of his favorite movies and obtains the powers of a “V-Watch” that allows him to both run at super speed and slow down time to avoid/reflect projectiles, as well as to solve puzzles.
The Scarlet Speedster will be getting some major exposure this year thanks to the character’s new TV series on the CW. The Flash has had dedicated games before, both for handhelds, and a recent attempt was made for a full console game that barely saw any exposure. Combining the slow down/speed up mechanics from Viewtiful Joe to a full fledge Flash game could be something pretty fantastic. Imagine slowing down an entire room to redirect enemy fire and hits, then picking back up into fast motion to see it play out. This is a feature that could not only be used in combat, but in environmental puzzles as well.
Of course slowing things down is one thing, but what’s the Flash if you’re not running full tilt? Viewtiful Joe’s super speed caused his hits to heat up punches, something useful say when fighting a Captain Cold, or to even move fast enough to vibrate through unreachable areas. The Flash could be Batman and the Batmobile from Arkham Knight…without the car.
3) MARVEL’S GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY…
…MEETS MASS EFFECT
When Guardians of the Galaxy was relaunched in 2013 as part of the Marvel NOW initiative, the first thing I picked up on was how much the character’s redesigned outfits reminded me of something straight out of Mass Effect.
Upon reading the issue (and every single one after that) I always think about how much someone, heck, even BioWare themselves would turn Guardians of the Galaxy into an action-RPG. It would allow gamers to really get a look at the Cosmic side of the Marvel Universe as they’re never seen before, with a diverse cast of characters that could easily have some unique jobs: Peter “Star-Lord” Quill could use his elemental gun for traditional ice, fire and lightning attacks, Drax and Gamora could fill the roster as close quarters melee characters while Rocket attacks with any number of fire arms accompanied by Groot as a healer.
That’s not to mention the number of guest stars the comic has seen: Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Agent Venom, any combination of them could be added to the party either for select story missions or to swapped out with any Guardian to form a party of your choosing. Similar to The Flash, the Guardians of the Galaxy are getting a huge push thanks to the release of a major motion picture on the first of August, complete with a huge marketing push with everything from toys to a possible appearance in Disney Infinity 2.0. Should the film turn out to be a success, which I truly hope it does, I would love to see something like this get moved into production.