Over the past 30 years or so, we’ve had more Marvel games than you can shake an adamantium claw at.
From the days of the Atari 2600 and ZX Spectrum through to the current generation of consoles, Marvel’s stable of heroes and villains have had many a virtual adventure. Still, one thing you’ll notice is the sheer amount of repetition: Wolverine, Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Incredible Hulk tend to feature again and again.
Now, this isn’t really a surprise, given these are some of the biggest, most recognisable Marvel characters of all.
Wouldn’t it be great, though, to see a little more diversity in their games? Especially as their cinematic universe is branching out more and more into previously-unexplored territory. We might never have believed we’d get a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, much less one that’s so beloved and worth obscene amounts of money. The same goes for Doctor Strange.
While Marvel’s mobile games embrace a huge roster of characters (Future Fight and Contest of Champions, to name just two), it’s time Marvel stepped-up their console game. Bring us AAA titles starring oft-underused heroes and villains, applying the same level of thought and creativity as seen in the best Spider-Man and Batman titles.
With that in mind, let’s check out 8 Marvel characters who deserve their own video game outings …
The Man Without Fear.
This has to be one of the coolest epithets for a character, right? Definitely up there with Man of Steel and the Dark Knight. As anyone who’s read any of the many Daredevil comic books or indulged in Marvel/Netflix’s exquisite series, the character actually has more than his fair share of fear.
Luckily, he handles it like a boss.
Blessed/cursed with enhanced senses resulting from his unnatural blindness, Daredevil’s a highly-trained ninja screaming out for his own starring role in the video-game world. Sure, he’s cropped up in various other games, either playable (the GBA’s Daredevil movie tie-in, Marvel Ultimate Alliance) or as an NPC (the PS1’s Spider-Man, The Punisher) but he’s yet to take on the starring role in a major console release.
He came close, though. Back in the halcyon days of the PS2, work was pretty deeply underway on a Daredevil game. It obviously never saw release, and so the blind lawyer of Hell’s Kitchen is still reduced to being a co-star.
The ideal Daredevil game would borrow pretty heavily from the Arkham series, given the similarity between he and Batman. Lurking in the shadows, using Daredevil’s echolocation, and intense martial-arts brawls could all benefit from a Rocksteady-inspired treatment.
Come on, Marvel – make it happen! You know you want to …
Another butt-kicker with an established fan-base, Luke Cage is waiting in the wings for his own video game.
Like Daredevil, Mr Cage has appeared in games before (Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Disney Infinity, some others) but is ideal for a slow-burning adventure.
While his super-tough skin and increased recovery time might pose similar problems for developers as a certain last son of Krypton, there could easily be a way around it – thugs injected with super-serums, that kind of thing.
The game could even focus on Cage’s exploits as a Hero for Hire, perhaps letting players choose from various jobs in a free-roam New York.
In the past couple of years, Gwen Stacy has gone from being a supporting character to starring in her own series as … Spider-Gwen!
This character stems from another Earth, in which she was bitten by a radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker.
In truth, a Spider-Gwen game could easily end up as a lazy clone of the many Spider-Man titles we’ve seen before. However, with a little effort, a Spider-Gwen game could be a breath of fresh air, putting a new twist on the web-slinging adventures we’ve played again and again.
For starters, Spider-Gwen’s costume is an amazing visual – just look at it! With today’s consoles, that bright, bold design would be just beautiful. There’s also the nice twist on an old character, taking someone so often a damsel in distress and making her a powerful heroine.
Setting the game in her native universe would also mean extra freshness, with Peter Parker doubling as the Lizard, Matt Murdock working as a villainous lawyer for the Kingpin, and other mirror-world oddities.
Jessica Jones was an unlikely pick for a big-budget Marvel/Netflix series, but as anyone who watched it will know, it ended up being something of a masterpiece. Not only was Miss Jones a great lead, she was given an outstanding villain in Kilgrave (AKA The Purple Man).
With Jessica Jones working as a private eye, there’s real potential to craft a game based around solving cases. Whether this worked as an open-world adventure or a more linear experience, Jessica Jones’ game would benefit from mixing brains and brawn.
Imagine following targets through a crowded NYC, performing surveillance, piecing clues together, and throwing the occasional bad guy through a wall. Imagine being able to team-up with Luke Cage as a married couple fighting crime.
It’s not as obvious a choice for adaptation as, say, a web-slinging, wall-crawling dude, but a Jessica Jones game could be as unexpectedly brilliant as her Netflix debut.
Like Spider-Gwen, a huge part of Moon Knight’s appeal is his awesome costume. Often cited as an analogue of Batman, Moon Knight actually has more of a mystical background, deriving his powers from Khonshu, the Egyptian moon god.
As a result, Moon Knight’s powers can get a little pick-me-up depending on the lunar cycle, making him even stronger and faster. He has a nice selection of gadgets and vehicles, as well as other identities.
Clearly, an obvious choice would be to set the entire game at night, but a day/night cycle would actually work well. With his variety of powers and vehicles, a Moon Knight game would have to be free-roam, and perhaps in the Arkham mould, featuring a dark, strange atmosphere.
And, speaking of strange …
Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme is now the star of a massive movie, grossing at least a zillion dollars around the world so far. Needless to say, a solo video-game is overdue.
Doctor Strange has appeared in numerous games before, most notably Marvel Ultimate Alliance, but his powers make him a no-brainer for a major console adaptation.
Unlike many other Marvel heroes, Doctor Strange isn’t an out-and-out brawler or a marksman. Instead, he depends on magic, which opens up all kinds of possibilities. With today’s technology, reality-bending spells would look terrific, as would the dark and mysterious enemies Strange tends to fight.
Rather than a free-roaming adventure, Doctor Strange would likely be best-served in a mission-based game. Levels might explore a mix of real-world locations and other dimensions, perhaps with enemies like Dormammu or Nightmare showing up.
Being able to explore the Sanctum Sanctorum would be pretty cool too, just as it was in Marvel Ultimate Alliance.
Rocket Raccoon and Groot
With Guardians of the Galaxy, James Gunn did an astounding job bringing such a risky bunch of characters to the screen. Without a doubt, two of the film’s major successes were Rocket Raccoon and Groot – and their sweet, moving friendship would give a video-game adaptation real heart.
Yeah, okay, so they’re two characters, but they’re inseparable. They have to count as one.
With an entire galaxy to explore, Rocket and Groot’s game could be an awesome open-world trip across multiple worlds and ships. Imagine the scale of Mass Effect but with a much more light-hearted tone.
Gameplay could switch between the two, perhaps with an option to play co-op, but the AI controlling your partner would have to be top-notch to make the experience all it can be.
Rocket and Groot would also choose from a list of jobs, take bounties, and perhaps even have to break out of a prison or two. There’s so much potential in this idea, it’s strange that it’s not yet a reality …
Once upon a time, the idea of a massive Ant-Man movie seemed ludicrous – but it’s now actually a thing! And, even better, it’s one of the best Marvel films, filled with plenty of laughs, gripping action, and likeable characters.
Just as Ant-Man’s ability to shrink and interact with insects worked beautifully on the big screen, so too could it prove a hit as a video game. Ant-Man could go deeper into his virtual surroundings than we’re used to: slipping between the finest cracks in walls; entering locations through their drainage systems; riding wasps across cities.
Sure, this might prove a little tricky for developers, and mean the world would need to be bigger and more intricate than usual, but Ant-Man could be a Marvel game with a real difference.
The game could star either Hank Pym or Scott Lang, and even have the Wasp in a supporting role. You could even unlock the ability to become Giant Man later in the game, but again, this might be a bit of a headache for developers.
Which Marvel characters do you want to see starring in their own video game? Let us know!