Earlier this week we got news about Square-Enix and Marvel assembling to deliver games based on the Avengers property. Seems the project is in the capable hands of Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, the studios behind Tomb Raider and the Deus Ex series respectively. That's a decent indication these games will be big-budget productions and not yet another free-to-play "Pop a Bubble With Iron Man" mobile-based distraction.
Are you happy about the team-up between Square-Enix and Marvel? If you were in charge of the games (and we know you'd do an amazing job), which Avengers would you include in the mix? Which genre would you skew towards? We're listening.
Can't say I am, honestly. I can't remember the last good superhero game I played. Well, no, that's not true — the last great superhero game was Crackdown. But that wasn't licensed, you know? No restraints, no IP holder oversight, no publisher vetting, no need to appease a board of directors or Disney shareholders. I have great faith in Crystal Dynamics, but the things I like about their work are kind of the opposite of what I want from Avengers. Lara Croft is most interesting when she's human, vulnerable. Her adventures become a lot less fun when she has to become an invincible superhero, which is kind of the point of Avengers. I'm sure this joint venture will be far and away the most polished superhero game ever, but that's not quite the same thing as being What I Want.
Geez, what a grouchy sendoff for my final community question. Yeah, I'm the crotchety old guy, grumping his way into retrogaming. Sheesh.
I'm ticking the box that says, "neither excited nor unexcited."
As a kid, I grew up reading superhero comic books. Spider-Man was always my favorite, but I also enjoyed the Avengers, amongst other series. And I loved the Avengers movies, so my ambivalence is certainly not due to a lack of interest in the subject matter. It's just that at this point I'm finding it difficult to get enthused over the announcement without knowing more details.
An Avengers game certainly presents plenty of design challenges. How do you make the game feel like it's about a team of superheroes if you can only control one at a time? If it's an open-world adventure as one might expect from the pedigree of the developer, how will the team's disparate super-powers work? And since the Avengers only get called together to fight huge-scale battles, how would you articulate that in a game?
Personally, I'd love to see some kind of throwback beat 'em up in the same style as the classic X-Men coin-op, but with all the modern trappings - online co-op play, massively destructible environments, powerful special moves, and huge bosses to fight. That would certainly enable team play, giving the game a proper Avengers feel - but I doubt whether such an old-school approach would be commercially viable.
I guess we'll just have to wait and see what Square Enix have in store for us.
Unlike the rest of the team, I'm a bonafide comic fan. It's an odd match, to be sure, but I'm looking forward to seeing what Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal get up to. The magic of adapting the Marvel Comics universe, or any comic universe, is that there are tons of stories to tell. You know what works and what doesn't, you just have to pick up things that work then not.
There's a whole tapestry that Square Enix' studios can pull from. Maybe they want to explore Operation Galactic Storm or the Serpent Society? Maybe they want to focus on the Avengers team that include Triathlon and Silverclaw? Is Jarvis a butler or an AI? There are so many choices, allowing a team to be creative, while also leaning on something that's proven and strong.
Square Enix has the chance to built something amazing here. Hopefully they don't screw it up.
I'll come clean: Most of what I know about Avengers was delivered to me via the movies. So my perception of Avengers is based very heavily on visuals and movement, and I guess that's why I'd love to see an open-world adventure game that lets you zip around New York City as Iron Man and / or the always lovely-looking Thor.
I wonder if other Marvel franchises and team-ups will be allowed to bleed into the games, though? Because I certainly have days where I'd just feel comfortable in the skin of a sentient bipedal raccoon that's one dumpster-dive away from going completely feral again.