I have been trying to find inspiration for an article about video games considering that I took the MoviePilot quiz: Can We Guess Which Fandom You Belong To? and got the following results:
I was going to pass on worrying about this, or at least not worry about writing for any contest purposes, but I found inspiration last night and now I feel...well...like competing.
A Partnership is Formed
Some pretty exciting news was announced yesterday (April 23rd) concerning Marvel's video game oriented entertainment. Marvel has teamed up with Telltale Games to start producing console games. For those of you who don't know, Telltale Games are the developers of popular games such as, The Walking Dead, Tales from the Borderlands, and The Wolf Among Us.
We have seen DC rising to the top of the superhero/video-game food-chain with the very popular and critically acclaimed Arkham series, the latest of installment of which is due out this summer.
Marvel on the other-hand, may have some amazing films put out and they might be better off financially resting in the arms of Disney, but their video game department has been sorely lacking in good quality gaming. Unless of course you enjoy the low-quality facebook and mobile pinball games.
It'll be interesting to see whether or not Telltale use their distinctive style in graphics with the cell-shaded, somewhat cartoon-ish look (despite having very adult themes in their M rated games)
Now, with the announcement that Marvel has teamed up with Telltale, there is (as always) going to be some backlash. Fan worries spawn out of the fact that Telltale's games, although very popular, are not what you'd expect for high-profile superhero characters, considering that The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and The Wolf Among Us are more decision based, "point-and-click" games.
Fans are worried that there won't be enough action incorporated into the games produced by the developer. However, I think these worries are understandable, yet I don't think Telltale is underestimating what is expected in a Marvel-based video game. Plus, they have had more action-packed games such as the Borderland games which aren't quite the same formula as Telltale's other games.
What Are the Options?
Well, I wanted to look at some of the different video game genres and kind of figure out where Marvel's best chances of success truly lies when it comes to gaming. This is something that you, the readers, can help me figure out as well as the article (as always) is open for discussion and a poll will be taken at the end of the article.
Let's get started:
There's a ton of sub-genres to the action-genre video-game. So, I want to just point out the few that I think would work best. You obviously have your Beat 'em up and hack and slash style video games like God of War or Devil May Cry and games of that nature. They're fun games and there are definitely characters in the Marvel Universe that I could see being a blast to play as in that style of video game.
But this isn't an unknown video game genre to Marvel as we've see characters like Spider-Man, Wolverine, and more recently Deadpool get incorporated into these style of games and they've usually resulted in being a less-than-average video-game experience.
So I think that if you are going to do a video game in the action genre, go the fighting game route. This would fulfill have a dream of mine (cause I really want a Marvel/DC fighting game) in being able to use so many Marvel characters in a focused display of one-on-one. But, I don't think one-on-one should be the only option. We already have our traditional fighting games like Mortal Kombat X. Plus, DC's already done the traditional fighting game thing by teaming with Netherrealm Studios and producing Injustice: Gods Among Us (another successful DC video-game property).
No, Marvel needs to do something different so as not to be confused with copying anything that DC has done, they need to do something different and I think that the perfect route in that aspect would be creating a mascot fighting game ala Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U.
Now, I might be a little biased in this regard because I'm not typically good at traditional fighting games but am perfectly capable of laying a beating in games like Smash Bros. But honestly, the whole vibe of Smash Bros. is huge because the levels are so detailed and it doesn't feel very linear in that regard. Also, using such a format for a Marvel-based video-game would fun to because we, as comic book fans, could re-enact some of the larger storylines in the comics such as Avengers vs X-Men, Civil War, and Infinity War and that sort of thing. Either way, the battles would be big, bad, and epic.
There's promise here and I would love to see this game happen.
The Arkham series has been an incredible series to play and I've thoroughly enjoyed each installment. It's also sort of become the groundwork for sandbox adventure games as the developers for Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor have credited the Arkham series' mechanics as being a huge inspiration for the gameplay in the Shadow of Mordor.
Part of what makes these games fun is the stream-lined combat system which easy to pick up for newcomers yet still requires skill to master if you are looking to get flawless combos and that sort of thing. I also enjoy the sandbox aspect of the game, having a huge map to roam around freely and discover hidden secrets and explore side-missions.
That could very easily explored and possibly expounded upon in a Marvel-focused sandbox game like the Arkham series. I've been doing a lot of thinking about what character would fit best in that style of setting and really, the possibilities are endless.
One of the more obvious choices would be Daredevil. While watching the Netflix original series starring Charlie Cox as the Devil of Hell's Kitchen, I just kept thinking about how cool it would be to incorporate some of the elements of Shadow of Mordor (as far as getting around the city).
It would also be cool to add additional storylines for playable characters like Elektra which could really expand the story and feel of the game.
I will say that Daredevil might be an obvious choice though considering that his character is so similar to Batman already, many may view this game as just a reskin of Rocksteady has already done with Batman. So, if players wanted to get more lethal, I think incorporating Frank Castle, aka, the Punisher would be fantastic.
It would be exciting to see how they could include the combat system while adding the lethal element that comes with the Punisher. This summer we'll be seeing Red Hood given an additional story DLC package and so maybe we'll get an idea of how gun play can be incorporated into the new standard of sandbox combat systems. Or perhaps, this year's Mad Max video game (if any good) could provide us with some insight.
Speaking of the Mad Max game, the game is classifed as a vehicular combat, action-adventure game. The game's first gameplay trailer was released recently and the gameplay looks remarkably fun. Check out this trailer for the video-game to get an understanding of how I am about to get to my next point.
Who do we know, in the Marvel Universe, that could be utilized for a game like this? Well honestly, you could incorporate the vehicular-combat aspect into Punisher's game as well. But what character could something like this be most prominent?
There's only one answer, and it's kind of awesome: Ghost Rider.
The character is underrated in my opinion and that is probably the fault of the less-than-average quality in his films starring Nicholas Cage. But the character definitely is interesting and could be explored in the video game the way that a movie might never get to.
But how fun would it be to tear up the streets on your ride (which you could customize to fit your own needs and style of fighting) and wreak havoc on evil-doers and invading demons?
Imagine being able to not only ride the streets of this world but the spirit world as well and fighting all sorts of devilish monsters, making them pay for their sins. That chain would be awesome to utilize too for those moments you dismounted from your ride and need to take care of a villain/monster while standing on your feet.
Plus, I feel that Telltale's designs for their games could be fun, visually, in a Ghost Rider game.
Tradition Telltale Style
Now, the likeness of Telltale Games doing a Marvel-based story in their typical fashion of making games more like an interactive movie where it's point and click based adventures, I think that creating a game based solely around Marvel's newest spider-based phenomenon: Spider-Gwen.
Reading and thinking about the newest comics centered around Spider-Gwen, I began to realize, both through her story and the style of art, that she was perfect for a traditional, Telltale style of game.
Her story is great and compelling and there's little known about her besides her origin. Slowly, us readers are learning more, but we have years ahead of us to really dive into who this character is.
I think this would allow some creative freedoms for Telltale to explore the character and it would also be a great way to promote lesser-known characters of the Marvel universe.
So, there you have it, these are just some of the awesome ideas that could be explored by Marvel for creating a new and innovative video game that would be different from what's been done before. You'll notice that, for the most part, I veered away from the Avengers as well, that was on purpose, I think it would be important for Marvel to bring some credibility and recognition to some of their more underrated and unappreciated characters.
So what kind of game would you like to see Marvel and Telltale games put together? Did you like the ideas that I had? Be sure to share your thoughts, opinions, and ideas in the comments section below and don't forget to vote in the poll!