By Andrew Mathieu / August 28th, 2016
Disclaimer: The following Top 5 list is the author’s own opinion and does not reflect the views or opinions of oprainfall as a whole
The game industry has been blessed with quite a few awesome video games based on superheroes. Even before games like Spider-Man 2, the Batman Arkham series and the various Lego games, several games like Batman on NES and Spider-Man on the original PlayStation were legitimately great superhero games. One problem I find right now is the lack of variety in solo superhero games. While games in the Lego series and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance give dozens of different characters a chance in the spotlight, solo superhero adventures are harder to come by. This is all despite the current superhero renaissance on television and in movies.
With that in mind, I’d like to present my top 5 Superheroes that I would like to see get their own solo video game. This could be a character who may be mostly part of a team dynamic, an alternate universe version of a more well-known character, or a character who is part of a family of heroes with similar powers that I feel are interchangeable enough to include. With that said, let’s get started.
5. Green Arrow
Archery has been one of the more prominent twists on the shooter genre in the last few year, and why not? Trading an endless stream of bullets for a bow and quiver was a nice change of pace, and led to some interesting twists on the formula. Link has his bomb arrows and Lara Croft has her zip line arrows; archery in games have become pretty versatile over the years. With archery making waves in certain shooters and action adventure games, isn’t it weird we haven’t gotten a game focused on a superhero whose weapon and namesake is an arrow?
Enter Oliver Queen, AKA the Green Arrow. He’s a character who has risen in prominence thanks to the success of the Arrow TV show. There’s a lot of ways you can make a Green Arrow game work. Have Ollie start on the island that started him on his path to becoming the Emerald Archer, or flash forward to his more current adventures, having him butt heads with both his villains like Cupid or Deathstroke, or other heroes such as Black Canary or Green Lantern.
Using you bow can also go beyond simply shooting bad guys. You can have grappling arrows that allow him to zoom around the city like Batman, or C4 laced arrows to create landmines for enemies. You can even get strategic with how you take down foes, like shooting their legs to make them crash into each other, or pinning them to the walls or ground. Batman proves you don’t need superpowers to be a superhero, and I think Green Arrow embodies that perfectly.
It’s been years since the last attempt at a solo Superman console game on the PS2 and Xbox. I get it, Superman has had multiple attempts at games and there isn’t much to show for it, but damn it, it’s 2016. The world deserves an awesome Superman game. One of the biggest issues with Superman games has been flight. I can’t image how difficult it must be to get a character to move around in a 360 degree space and have him control intelligently and intuitively by today’s standards. Another issue is how big a space do you give someone like Superman, who can reach mach speeds in the blink of an eye? Finally, there’s the issue of giving Superman opponents that he can’t dispatch in two seconds; armed robbers are not going to cut it.
For the first issue, maybe start the character off where he isn’t the powerhouse we all know and love. Before he learns to fly, Superman leaped in the air to get around; maybe start with that. As for flight, giving the man a decent camera and maybe a momentum based soaring mechanic might make flying a challenge, but a satisfying one. As for open space, if you can’t go open world, why not create huge area like cities or canyons and valleys that give you plenty of nooks and crannies to explore? Finally, Superman is not invincible. Aside from kryptonite and red sunlight he’s weak against magic and has quite a few villains that can give him trouble, like Doomsday, Darkseid, Reactron, Parasite, Cyborg Superman and other Kryptonians like Zod and Non. There’s also that bald guy in the robot suit, but haven’t we seen enough of him?
Superman has a ton of potential, as do the characters of his family and similar power set like Supergirl, Superboy, Power Girl, Martian Manhunter and Shazam. At the end of the day, we need a game that sets the stage for characters like him. In other words, this is a job for Superman!
The Dark Knight has had his run of the video game landscape, leaving his long list of nocturnal allies on the sidelines outside of side-missions and cameos. There are so many Gotham heroes to choose from, but I’m choosing Batgirl as the first to receive her own game. Unlike the various Robins, Nightwing and Red Hood, Batgirl started out on her own after being inspired by the Dark Knight himself. Not only is she smarter than most of her fellow Bat-allies, she also has a more fun spirit than the brooding darkness of the other heroes in her city.
It’s that adventurous spirit that would make for a real change of pace for the usual Batman adventures. Things can be mixed up further by having her be in college and have her manage her more social interactions. Unlike Bruce Wayne, whose billionaire playbook exploits are a facade to hide his secret identity, Barbara Gordon has her own personal life to juggle between her more dangerous night life. Having a different set of eyes to see both Gotham City and beyond would give the dark city a unique new viewpoint not yet seen. This doesn’t even mention the other heroes and characters Batgirl has like Black Canary and the Birds of Prey, Harper Row, Spoiler and her father, Jim Gordon, whose much more unkempt when interacting with his daughter rather than Batman. At the end if the day, it would be awesome to see a new Bat-game starring Batgirl.
2. The Flash
His name is Barry Allen, and he is the fastest man alive. After being struck with lightning and dosed with chemicals, Barry Allen became the Flash, and he really needs to have his own game! On the Flash TV show, there is a prevailing theme of going faster. Yes, Flash is fast, but so are his speedster adversaries like Reverse Flash and Zoom. Having a game where Flash is consistently leveling up his speed to unlock new abilities and gain access to new areas seems like a place to start.
Being able to zoom around Central City sounds like it would be a blast, but how about adding some detective elements too? Barry Allen is a CSI, so maybe that would be a factor in finding various criminals and the Rogues throughout the city. Speaking of the Rogues, Flash has a pretty wide array of villains that can present a variety of boss fights like Captain Cold, Mirror Master and Gorilla Grodd. There is a lot of potential in a Flash game, and it would be awesome to see if the Scarlet Speedster has what it takes.
1. Wonder Woman
How? How has Wonder Woman not had her own game yet? Aside from being the most iconic female superhero out there and having 75 years of material to pull from comics and various other media, it just seems bizarre. At her core, Princess Diana is a powerful, compassionate hero with super strength, superb combat abilities, and weapons including a sword and shield, indestructible gauntlets and her Lasso of Truth. She’s also steeped in both the realms of fantasy, science fiction and reality so you can have her fighting anything from griffins and minotaurs to have her take on ground soldiers and robots.
With fantasy action games like God of War out there, it’s odd that we haven’t had something like that with a character like Wonder Woman. Developers don’t have to have her fly if they don’t want to, they can focus on more grounded combat with cinematic set pieces sprinkled throughout. If they want to get even more fancy that can always break out her invisible jet and have her take to the skies that way. With everything Wonder Woman is capable of, you think she’d at least get a game to herself. With a Wonder Woman movie set to finally debut next year, there’s no time like the present.
Is there a superhero you like who has yet to appear in their own game, from Marvel, DC, or beyond. Feel free to share in the comments below.
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