Thanks to their beloved Dark Knight, DC Comics have made a pretty big impact on the gaming world. The phenomenal Arkham series has spawned its own sub-universe, spinning off into comic tie-ins and an awesome animated movie, appealing to hardcore and casual fans alike.
Still, there’s far more to DC than Batman. With Gotham, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Suicide Squad, and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, DC is finally introducing a wider range of characters to mainstream audiences.
2013’s Injustice: Gods Among Us did a terrific job of incorporating more obscure characters into a commercial, action-packed game, but there’s way more potential waiting to be tapped. Sure, Superman fans are still longing for the definitive gaming experience based on their favourite cape-wearing alien, but which other DC characters deserve their own virtual outings?
Okay, so this is a pretty obvious choice. Harley Quinn’s been a favourite character of many for years now, since she first stole the show in the Batman: The Animated Series episode ‘Joker’s Favor’, but she’s only gained more widespread popularity in recent years.
The Arkham series and Injustice gave her a sizeable role (with the mighty Tara Strong on vocals), while Margot Robbie’s awesome take in Suicide Squad brought her to greater attention.
Thankfully, Harley Quinn offers developers a huge amount to play around with. For starters, with the right script, this game could be genuinely funny and bizarre, though there’s real scope for deeper, darker aspects too. Bringing Paul Dini aboard again would be a smart move, considering he created Harley many moons ago.
Harley’s flair with baseball bats, mallets, guns, and her own fists and feet means this could be a non-stop blur of action, but we should also get to enjoy some branching conversations too.
Wonder Woman has been criminally underserved in the gaming world. She’s appeared in plenty of team-based adventures, whether as a support character or a playable hero, but she hasn’t actually headlined her own game before.
With Gal Gadot starring as Wonder Woman in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and the forthcoming solo movie, it’s only a matter of time until the character gets her own game. There’s so much potential for an awesome third-person adventure, involving plenty of sword-and-shield combat and exploration. The Lasso of Truth might even come in handy during dialogue exchanges, or as a way to uncover hidden secrets from villains (as with Arkham City’s interrogation feature).
Whether this were set in the Nazi-bashing WWII era, in Themyscira, the modern world, or a variety of periods, the character’s well overdue her own video game.
The Joker’s no stranger to video games. He’s appeared as either a boss or playable character many a time, such as in the Arkham series, the Lego games, Injustice, and numerous titles from the 8-bit and 16-bit eras.
However, the Joker has more than enough depth, charm, and combat-prowess to lead his own game. Ideally, he’d control much like he did in his Arkham Asylum challenge maps, X-Ray specs and all. Much like a potential Harley Quinn game, the Joker’s outing could be both dark and funny, playing to the character’s sadistic and playful sides alike.
Imagine if Batman were the game’s antagonist, with the goal being to kill the Caped Crusader – and your actually getting to do it? Sure, DC would likely swoon at the idea, but it’d make a refreshing change and show considerable guts.
John Constantine is easily one of DC’s strongest characters, and actually starred in his own video game once upon a time. However, that was a tie-in to the misjudged big-budget Keanu Reeves movie, and didn’t really capture Constantine at his best.
This game could either be a survival horror affair, pitting the hero against a horde of nightmarish demons, or as an adventure in the style of Telltale Games’ work. When written well, Constantine is a witty, fascinating character, especially in his early Vertigo run, and could work brilliantly in a game that went for all-out scares and narrative depth over just shooting stuff.
As with Constantine, Catwoman’s only solo video-game outing tied in to a lacklustre (to put it mildly!) movie. It wasn’t the character fans know and love, not by a long shot.
Catwoman has been portrayed brilliantly in the Arkham games, especially in Arkham City. Not only was she fun to spend time with, but she also played like a dream, allowing players to interact with Gotham (and its villains) in a different way than when playing as Batman.
If a team could expand on the short Catwoman-based moments from Arkham City, pitting Selina against her own allies and villains without having to rely on Batman, the result could be pretty damn special.
Swamp Thing is one of DC’s strangest heroes, a far cry from the masked exploits of the more traditional guys and girls. Making a game based around him would be a challenge, to say the least. It would also be a massive financial gamble, but hey – we’re fantasising, right?
Over the years, Swamp Thing’s background has changed somewhat, but many fans regard Alan Moore’s classic 80s re-invention of the character as some of the character’s best material.
Given that Swamp Thing is a completely different type of character, lacking the agility, martial-arts skills, or urban-settings of many other heroes, the game itself would have to be different too. Again, a narrative-focused, choice-based structure would be the smartest path, giving us the chance to delve deep into Swamp Thing’s world with a more psychological approach.
With his appearances in Injustice, Arrow, and the forthcoming solo Batman movie, Deathstroke has become a well-known character. He’s also an ideal video-game lead, equipped with swords, a range of guns, and hand-to-hand combat skills. Let’s not forget his substantial role in Arkham Origins, and his terrific challenge-maps.
Deathstroke’s being a mercenary also allows for a fairly open-ended structure, giving players the power to choose jobs and accomplish goals as they see fit. Mixing intense shooting with unarmed fighting could make this an adernaline-pumping adventure, focused on making money and offing targets rather than saving the world.
Terry McGinnis (Batman Beyond)
Batman Beyond started life as an animated series, and brought a whole new dimension to the Batman mythos. The story followed student Terry McGinnis as he took up the mantle of the Bat, mentored by an aged Bruce Wayne.
In recent years, the character has been given an ongoing comic-book series, and the appeal of playing as Batman in a futuristic Gotham is as powerful as ever.
The ideal Batman Beyond game would be in the mould of Rocksteady’s Arkham series, albeit set in a gorgeous, towering, neon-soaked Neo-Gotham instead.
Being able to play as a different type of Batman would also be a breath of fresh air for gamers used to having Bruce Wayne under the cowl.
Which DC characters do you want to see starring in their own video game? Let us know!