ByAaron Hubbard, writer at
Opinions, theories, and facts regarding movies, comics, and games.
Aaron Hubbard

I know I did a topic about Why Rocksteady Should Do a Woman Game. And I know I said in that article that Rocksteady should stick with DC because there were so many characters that I love in the DC Universe and I want to play them on video games and feel like I am doing heroic deeds and fighting evil and so on and so forth.

But, there was a rumor a long time ago, right after Arkham City was released, that Rocksteady would be working on a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) game.

As much as I stated that I would rather play a DC hero, there's no denying that a TMNT game would be a blast if it were done by Rocksteady.

There have been some failed games starring the Turtles, one released as recently as last year: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, and it was terrible.

Game case put together my Iron Angel (that's me!)
Game case put together my Iron Angel (that's me!)

All I played was the demo and I knew it sucked, the controls were too laggy and you weren't getting the satisfaction out of your hits like you'd want to. But, it was a measly $15 game placed on the X-Box Live Marketplace so I guess I was anticipating a little more than I should have been.

So, Rocksteady should be the ones behind any future Turtle games. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's move on to some awesome aspects to focus on.

1. Sandbox Playstyle

Obviously, in order to get the full potential of what it's like to play as our Heroes in a Half Shell, you have to keep the free-roam, open-world, sandbox play-style. You are going to want to have it be similar to Assassin's Creed, the way you scale walls, leap over obstacles, and I would even say find interesting ways to incorporate the New York City public, and have that be one of the challenges of the game is trying to remain as stealthy as possible without drawing attention to yourself.

Imagine this, except Ninja Turtles in NYC!
Imagine this, except Ninja Turtles in NYC!

So while you may be running and flipping through certain areas of NYC that are less inhabited and barren, you'll have to slow your role when it comes to making sure that you are not seen in broad daylight. That's another thing, to allow a real vibe to it, allow the day and night transitions to take place. Maybe it could be similar to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, where there were certain places you could go depending on the time of day.

2. Combat System

Gotta love the classics...
Gotta love the classics...

I think the fighting style should highlight the best part of being a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. To truly do that, you wouldn't need to change the game-play much from what it is in the Arkham games. All you'd have to take into consideration are the weapons and that wouldn't be too hard because they've already created characters in the challenge courses that used weapons like Deathstroke, Nightwing, and Robin.

But to get into a big group of Foot soldiers or Krang droids and go fight full-force as you would in the Batman games by using awesome combos and counters, that'd be the way to play the Ninja Turtles game.

Another thing to add about the weapon usage, don't let them hold back. We've seen games that are reminiscent of the different cartoon iterations over the years, let's have a comic book inspired Turtle game where they don't hold back and they do what they have to do. No obviously, it wouldn't be just a big killing spree, but I could definitely see weapons being a way to disable an opponent by injuring them in some capacity.

The game needs to be gritty and fun, just like the comics are tonally different from the cartoons or even the movie, it'd be nice to see these four, often-humorous turtles being who they are while having the backdrop of how gritty NYC can really be in the rougher areas where the Turtles hang out.

3. The Characters

Every member of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles needs to feel different in some way, otherwise the game will become repetitive and boring. What we need to have are different states for each of the four brothers and even have some exclusive capabilities based on who you are playing as. Let's look at each turtle individually and talk about some cool characteristics they could have to their play-style.

1. Leonardo

Dave Rapoza art
Dave Rapoza art

Out of all the turtles stats, I could see Leonardo being the one who has the most balance, who plays the way you'd expect him to play, fast reflexes and movements, his defense would be average, and his attacks would be well-rounded and satisfying.

What his exclusive characteristics could be, or perks, could be called "Focus". Focus would allow Leo in free-roam mode to heighten his sense and listen for cries for help, to eavesdrop on enemies, and help pinpoint hidden locations or items in the map. Using 'focus' in combat-mode would temporarily put every enemy in slow motion as they come at you, allowing the player to put in more combos before the battle speeds up (this could only be built up before the battle starts and would have to be used to start the fight).

2. Raphael

Dave Rapoza art
Dave Rapoza art

Now, let's talk about Raph. Raph would be probably the largest of the turtles, the slowest, but the heavy hitter of the group and the one with the most defense. His reflexes would still be fast enough to counter, he'd just feel heavier. Running in free-roam, you'd notice that he'd be more sluggish compared to the other three Turtles.

His perk could be "Rage". Rage would, in free roam, allow Raphael to increase his strength and move heavy objects out of the way that no other Turtle could. Rage in combat-mode could be activated only once and it wouldn't matter if it was in the beginning of the fight or the middle. It would increase Raph's strength and help him deal out more damage and ultimately deal out more critical strikes faster. This of course, would be a limited perk as well as having it on all the time would make the game too easy.

3. Donatello

Dave Rapoza art
Dave Rapoza art

Donnie's stats would be a mixture of Raph's and Leo's. He wouldn't deal out damage as hard as either of them, but his speed would be in-between the both of them so not the fastest out of the group but not the slowest either, and his defense would be the second highest on the team.

Donnie's perk would be "Hack" and in free-roam this would allow him to disable mechanical locks and any electronic weaponry (within a certain distance). This would be one way of making exploring with open-world with Donnie more interesting as he could gain access to secrets that no one else could, so exploring would be key.

To use 'Hack' in combat, you would go into battle with some sort of EMP device that would shut down any weapons the enemy might have like guns or tasers and things of that nature.

4. Michelangelo

Dave Rapoza art
Dave Rapoza art

Mikey would definitely be the weakest of the group in both attack and defense but where he is lacking in both, he'd make up for in speed by being the fastest. Exploring with Mikey would probably be the preferred method in open-world just because of his speed (that is of course you aren't on a mission that requires any of the skills of the other Turtles). His hits wouldn't be as hard as the other turtles, but he could deal out more punches in less amount of time, equaling everything out overall among the Turtles.

Mikey's perk would be "Prankster". Prankster, in free-roam, would allow Mikey to use his rocket-powered skateboard to traverse giant gaps and to reach things that neither Leo's Focus, Raph's Rage, or Donnie's Hacker could allow them to get to. In combat mode, it would be similar to Leo and Donnie where it would have to be before the battle, but Mikey would throw some traps and then taunt the enemy, thus bringing them into the traps that would temporarily stun them, allowing Mikey to deal out as much damage as fast as he can before the battle ensues.


Some of the cool things about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise is the fun cast of characters that they have. One thing in particular that would be cool to incorporate into the game would be having story expansions and challenge maps opened up for the other two characters that it would be fun to play as.

1. Casey Jones

Dave Rapoza art
Dave Rapoza art

Similar to how you swapped characters from Batman to Catwoman in Arkham City, the same could be done here. Casey could have his own expanded story set in the game that would get into his character's individual story a little bit. It would be awesome to go in there with your hockey mask and start dealing out damage with hockey sticks and baseball bats (you would get to choose your weapon of choice).

2. Splinter

Dave Rapoza art
Dave Rapoza art

Whether you liked the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie from this past year or not, you can't deny the fact that Splinter's fight scene with Shredder was the best of the movie.

Now imagine that you get to do some of those sweet moves in a video game! I think, personally, that it would be cool to go back in time with this one and play as Splinter before he had the Turtles, battling the ancient Foot Clan. It would be like an homage to the training storyline of Bruce Wayne's we got to play in Batman: Arkham Origins.


Ninja Turtles are amazing, their characters, their mythos, and their overall vibe is just so much fun and would be a welcome addition into the video game community if done well by a great gaming studio like Rocksteady Studios.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.


Which character would you want to play as the most?


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