If you enjoyed Spider-Man’s role in the new blockbuster film “Avengers Infinity War,” there’s good news: Spider-Man has a new video game coming out later this year for the PlayStation 4, and you can even unlock Spidey’s “Infinity War” costume in the game.
It’s a great little tie-in across Marvel’s films, comic books, and video games, of a kind that fans would love to see more of. Of course, there have been plenty of Marvel games before, but only the upcoming “Spider-Man” game looks like a suitably modern and fitting tribute to the character as we know and love him today.
This got us thinking: What if Marvel Games, currently a subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment, could do for video games what Marvel Studios did for film?
Here are 14 other Marvel Cinematic Universe characters besides Spider-Man that deserve their own modern video game treatments:
Thor, Iron Man and Captain America
Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America all got video game treatments when their first Marvel movies came out. But those games were made at a time when the Marvel Cinematic Universe wasn’t as mature, or big, or important as it is today. And given how all three of these fan-favourite characters have been in several movies at this point, it’s time they each get games that do them justice.
The new “God of War” game for PlayStation 4 introduces one of the best new weapons in a video game: the Leviathan Axe, which can be thrown at enemies and recalled to your hand like a magnet. It’s highly reminiscent of a certain Marvel superhero demigod and his trusty hammer.
A Thor video game could copy this incredibly clever mechanic – offering a weapon that can hit enemies up close, but also be thrown and hits even more enemies on the way back to your hand – but to be fair, the Thor comics and films introduced this weapon concept came way before “God of War” came out.
2. Iron Man
Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, is the hero who started it all for the Marvel Cinematic Universe – but he deserves a better video game than the ones he got. Yes, the first two “Iron Man” movies got games for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii, but those games are largely forgettable.
What a modern Iron Man game could do is explore the fun part of the character, which we really got to see in “Iron Man 3”: all the different suits. A game that lets you explore an open world as Iron Man, but let you also build and upgrade Iron Man suits to take on different tasks and targets, could be incredibly fun, especially if it has a crafting system similar to “Monster Hunter World” where you must gather materials from increasingly difficult targets to build newer and stronger suits.
3. Captain America
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Steve Rogers was originally deemed too short, too weak, and too unhealthy to enlist in the army. But a military experiment changed all that: Rogers got injected with a serum that transformed him into a super soldier, who eventually helped turn the tide in World War II in favour of the Allies.
“Captain America: Super Soldier” was the Captain America game that came out alongside “Captain America: The First Avenger,” and it was rough, to say the least. That said, it was a missed opportunity: A modern Captain America game could feel like a “Call of Duty” or “Battlefield” game set in World War II, but you’re the lone super soldier in the fight, with incredible strength, speed, and fast-healing abilities.
4. The Incredible Hulk
The last big Hulk video game came out in 2008, right around the similarly-forgotten “Incredible Hulk” movie, which starred Edward Norton as the titular emerald giant.
But we’ve yet to see Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, as seen in the “Avengers” movies, in a proper video game. It could delve deeper into one of the best dichotomies in the recent films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: The life of the nerdy physicist Dr. Bruce Banner, and his monstrous alter-ego that’s released when he’s intensely excited or angry: The Incredible Hulk.
Imagine a “Grand Theft Auto” scenario: You’re a character in a big open world teeming with people you can interact with, as Dr. Bruce Banner. But if you build up too much anger or energy, you transform into The Hulk, which has consequences both good and bad: It makes you incredibly strong, but it also makes you a big target and easily attracts enemies to you. Perhaps utilising the two different characters at different times could be used to solve puzzles, or change the outcome of your game.
5. Rocket and 6. Groot
Rocket and Groot are an inseparable pair in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, and also in “Avengers Infinity War.” But some of the best video games have featured duos: Banjo and Kazooie, Ratchet and Clank, Kratos and Atreus, and so on. A Rocket-and-Groot game could explore one of the most unique combinations we’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far: A talking raccoon with an edge, and a walking tree that can only say three words: “I am Groot.”
“Horizon Zero Dawn,” which released in February 2017 for the PlayStation 4, is one of the best video games ever made – and at the center of that game is a woman who relies on a high-tech bow and arrow to fight a whole mess of creatures. Sound familiar?
A Hawkeye game could copy that successful formula employed in “Horizon Zero Dawn,” but it could also be a first-person shooter where you’re able to switch quickly between bows, guns, snipers, and more, similar to “Far Cry” or even “Destiny.” Hawkeye is known for his sharpshooting, and a first-person shooter could be a fun way to explore Hawkeye’s unique skill set.
8. Scarlet Witch
From a gameplay perspective, a Scarlet Witch game could work similarly to “Skyrim,” or the “Dishonored” or “Bioshock” games, where you control your character from a first-person perspective but you’re able to use a wide array of magical powers. Given how Scarlet Witch is one of the most iconic members of The Avengers, and the fact many people aren’t too familiar with her backstory, a video game exploring her origins could be a hit with fans.
Hear me out: Quicksilver may have only been explored in one official Marvel Studios film – 2015’s “Avengers Age of Ultron” – but we also got a taste of his powers in “X-Men Days of Future Past” and “X-Men Apocalypse,” and he was arguably the best part of those movies.
Imagine a video game where you could experience super speed: You can move and run faster than everything else in the game, but to give you that real sense of that super speed, the environments and enemies could also slow down to let you punch, kick, and manipulate to your liking. Think “bullet time” from the “Max Payne” series, but as a super power.
10. Ant-Man and 11. The Wasp
Ant-Man and The Wasp have some of the most unique superpowers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the ability to manipulate their own size, as well as the size of other objects. In the movies, Ant-Man and the Wasp can throw little discs that, when attached to any object, make it grow incredibly large or shrink incredibly small. A game that plays around with these physics could be unique, mind-bending, and plenty of fun.
12. Doctor Strange
The films “Doctor Strange” and “Avengers: Infinity War” both showcased the magical and metaphysical side of the Marvel universe, with wizards and inter dimensional portals aplenty. Dr. Stephen Strange, in particular, probably has the most unique abilities in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: He can cast spells, summon weapons and shields, and create portals to go anywhere in the universe – or other universes across other dimensions.
I know what you’re thinking – this is some trippy stuff. But that’s exactly why a Doctor Strange video game could be perfect: There are no limits to the creativity when a superhero’s powers are essentially “magic.”
Thanos the Mad Titan is the centrepiece of “Avengers: Infinity War.” He’s big, he’s powerful, but most importantly, he seeks the six Infinity Stones spread throughout the universe, hoping to collect them to wipe out half of existence as a means of restoring balance.
Thanos’ mission in “Avengers Infinity War” could actually make for an incredible video game: Imagine playing as Thanos as you move from galaxy to galaxy, planet to planet, fighting various Avengers and heroes from the Marvel universe on your way to collecting the six Infinity Stones and carrying out your goal. In this game, The Avengers would actually be the bad guys. Perhaps, like “Mass Effect” and other first-class role-playing games, you could make choices along the way that affect the outcome of the game.
14. Black Panther
“Black Panther” took the world by storm in 2018. It was the first major superhero film to feature a predominately black cast, and people loved it. In fact, it’s one of the biggest movies of all-time, not just among Marvel films. It was a cultural milestone in more ways than one, especially as it transcended most superhero movies with an absorbing story and three-dimensional characters.
A Black Panther video game might not be obvious, but that’s exactly why it could work so well. In the same way there was never a film that touched on African and African-American culture before quite like “Black Panther” did, a video game could make you further empathise with those rich characters. Perhaps, like the film, the action could come secondary to the plot, but there are lots of gameplay opportunities as well thanks to Black Panther’s powers and his high-tech vibranium suit.
BONUS: An Avengers game that ties all the above Marvel games together.
Above all, the signature feature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is its interconnectedness. All of the Marvel movies, and the events and characters in them, share the same universe and timeline. All the Marvel movies reference and intersect with each other.
It would be incredible if we could see this happen with Marvel’s games, too.
Given all the different gameplay styles of each Marvel hero, an interconnected Avengers game might be incredibly difficult to achieve – especially if you can switch between heroes at different points. Still, if Marvel Games could pull it off, it would be an unprecedented achievement, just like the films. This wouldn’t be something like “Super Smash Bros.” or “Mortal Kombat,” where you just have a bunch of different characters fight each other in an arena; that’s been done plenty of times before. This game could follow a general storyline, but allow for some free-roaming capabilities so you can play in big open-world sandboxes as your favourite Avenger.
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