Today is unofficially Spider-Man day! Do you know what that means? It means that Marvel's Spider-Man, Insomniac's PS4 exclusive, is out today. Is the swinging good? Of course it is!
You can find Mike's review of Spider-Man here. In honor of its release, we thought it'd be fun to dream up our ideal superhero video game. Let us know yours too in the comments!
During PAX West I took part in a panel in which we pitched ideas for a Superman game. My idea was the most conventional of them, but I still like the idea. The basic elevator pitch is "Witcher plus Superman," with a depowered Superman steadily regaining his abilities through progression. Areas would include Metropolis, Gotham City, and Smallville, and combat would be environmentally focused, with Superman finding clever ways to stop enemies without killing them. Heroes like Batman would put in appearances, and depending on your decisions, you could end up fighting them.
While Batman has had many great games over the years, Superman has tended to get a fairly short shift, mostly because he doesn't fit as neatly into traditional game categories. But I believe that the problems facing a Superman game, specifically the fact that he's effectively invincible, make for some interesting opportunities for a clever designer. And anyway, this game would let Superman choose whether to date Wonder Woman or Lois Lane. And we all know who the right choice is (it's Wonder Woman).
I didn't come up with this idea originally, but I sadly forget the very first person who mentioned it to me. I'd love to see a Luke Cage/Iron Fist game by the Yakuza Studio. It would work a lot like Yakuza 0, with Cage playing like Kiryu and Iron Fist being closer to Majima. You set the game in Harlem, Chinatown, and Hell's Kitchen, giving each district the kind of density and life the Yakuza series is known for. Darts, arcades, and mahjong could transition over, but you could also get some New York flavor with chess, basketball, double dutch, three-card monte, and more.
You don't need to stop at Luke Cage and Iron Fist though. I think that's just a good place to start. Jessica Jones should feature in some capacity, and I think she'd be great in the first game, but you could save her from the next. Likewise, Misty Knight and Colleen Wing are two characters that you could easily add to the roster. Daredevil, I'd honestly skip because the character is more acrobatic than a Yakuza-style game would allow. You can have him as Matt Murdock, but his heroic alter-ego doesn't fit.
This would require some logistical handling, as it's easier for the Yakuza Studios team to visit locations in Japan than those in the United States, and the handling certain aspects of Luke Cage would require a deft, and likely American hand, but overall, it's an experience that I really want. Make it happen Marvel and Sega.
At first I was going to say that I'd really like to see a Marvel-based fighting game outside of the Marvel vs. Capcom series. But as I thought about it more what I really want is just Injustice but Marvel. Injustice did such a good job building an elseworld story for its DC characters that isn't just compelling, but actually good. I'd love to see a dark or alternative take on the Marvel characters in much the same way.
Now of course we've seen from the comics how making classic superheroes dark and gritty doesn't always work out *cough*Hydra Cap*cough* but not all of the characters in Injustice are dark for darkness sake. The MvC universe—as much as I love it—plays the book pretty straight and basically translates the most popular versions of Marvel heroes in fighting game form. But as we've seen from Spider-Man on PS4, a little reinvention goes a long way.
I'm not really up on superheroes, honestly. I find most modern Marvel movies pretty boring and same-y. I like Spider-Man and read a lot of Amazing Spider-Man as a kid; I'm also a fan of some of Batman's meatier graphic novels. So, I'm excited to pick up Insomniac's Spider-Man this weekend. Otherwise, when it comes to superheroes, I guess the one I'd love to see is a straight up Spider-Verse game. Give me multiple Spider-Mans. Give me Spider-Gwen. Multiplayer shit. I dunno. That's a million dollar idea right there, Sony.