Marvel and Square Enix are partnering up for a series of Avengers games, and it might just be the shot in the arm superhero games desperately need.
There are already plenty of awesome superhero games that you aren't giving credit for to fit an agenda Edit: I meant to say games, not movies 😫
There are definitely a lot of great superhero movies, but the problem is specifically the games. There are a lot of games where you play as side-characters alongside the universes main heroes (DC Universe Online) or superhero games not connected to a Marvel or DC (Wonderful 101). But we have yet to find that amazing Iron Man game or the totally awesome Wonder Woman game. We've had the Arkham games and the spider-man game, but I think that there is just so much more in superhero comics to pull from.
Don't forget Superman 64 :)
There are also plenty of awesome licensed superhero games where you play as the actual characters. They don't even have to be Marvel or DC characters since we've had plenty of great games based on properties from other comic book publishers. You'd be foolish to overlook great games such as Scott Pilgrim vs the World, The Darkness 1 & 2, Astro Boy: Omega Factor, Tatsunoku vs. Capcom, & Transformers: Devastation. DC tends to primarily favor Batman when producing a solo videogame, but they used to produce Justice League games based on the DCAU during the 6th gen as well as the Injustice games. Marvel on the other hand has had plenty of its properties such as in solo games such as Hulk, Captain America, Wolverine, The Punisher, Deadpool, X-Men in addition to Spider-Man as well as the Marvel vs Capcom games. And who says the superhero videogames even need to be licensed anyway? Plenty of great original superhero games as well that deserve to get recognized. There have been a lot of subpar superhero games in general, licensed or not. However there have always been an abundance of great ones as well.
The problem is that great licensed superhero games are the exception. And you're right, there are plenty of games out there, but think of them in comparison to the Arkham games. Even if you aren't a diehard Batman fan, you can come to them simply for the reason of them being awesome games. Meanwhile, if you are not a specifically a fan of the characters and seeking them out in particular, most are not likely to pick up the Deadpool game or any of the movie tie-in Hulk and Captain America games. It's a level of visibility that takes being a great game first and foremost, and standing out from the pack. Which is exactly what I hope Square Enix can manage to do.
You also don't have to be a diehard fan of Hulk to enjoy Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, whose mechanics were so great that it was later used in Prototype. You also don't need to be a diehard fan of Wolverine to enjoy X-Men Origins: Wolverine since it plays like a well crafted title similar to Devil May Cry and God of War. Like I said there are plenty of great licensed superhero properties that you're overlooking to fit this agenda that most of them are bad in order to hype up this Square Enix publishing deal with Avengers.
Unfortunately, neither of those games are modern though. Wolverine was 2009, while Hulk was 2005, on the PS2. And as strong as they might have been at the time, the mechanics of Hulk might of resonated, but the game as a whole did not. And while we've had Devil May Cry games and God of War games since Wolverine, we haven't had another Wolverine game. It's not about there never having been a single good superhero game. It's about the fact that the last ten years, (an incredibly long time in gaming) hasn't seen much variety or growth when it comes to DC and Marvel's pushes into the industry, even while we've seen the birth of something as unbelievable as the MCU. The Avengers project could be the first step to changing that.
We've actually had a variety of titles based on Marvel and DC properties grow in the videogame industry in the last decade since 2006. Not to mention DC and Marvel aren't the only publishers who've had their properties adapted into videogames in the last decade. We've had great works from others such as Image, Tatsunoku & Shonen Jump as well. Besides all that Square Enix is definitely not even the first to do this movement. - Warner Bros Interactive already set up a great fighting franchise for DC in the form of Injustice and the sequel is on the way in May. - Telltale gave us The Wolf Among Us and Batman adventure games as well with an upcoming adaptation of Guardians of the Galaxy. - SIE is going have Insomniac develop a Spider-Man game for them which will likely be developed into an ongoing franchise. - Capcom is resurrecting the iconic longrunning Marvel vs. Capcom franchise this fall. - Bandai Namco has the lockdown on future Shonen Jump videogame adaptations. Various other publishers have already kept this train going, so it's still very inaccurate to say Square Enix's Avengers project is the first step towards anything that hasn't occurred earlier.
The article actually makes specific reference to Injustice, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Spider-Man. I'm glad to hear you have thoroughly enjoyed the superhero game offerings recently. Injustice, Telltale's Batman, and, as you probably could have guessed, the Arkham games are some of my favorites. For a lot of gamers however, especially when it comes to those looking for AAA, polished experiences in the DC and Marvel universes but aren't a fan of fighting games, there hasn't been much. Even less for those who don't like Batman or Spider-Man. Games based on manga like Shonen Jump are awesome for fans and will always have a place. But especially in the west, Marvel and DC have much further reaches. Think of the number of people that have gone to see the marvel movies, even though they would never consider themselves comics fans. They are the massive blockbusters that have wide enough appeal to bring in kids, parents, and even grandparents. But in games, there are only a few really standout superhero games, things that garner mainstream attention. This new deal has the potential to change that. And for those of us that have enjoyed the offerings recently, limited as they might be, that's not a bad thing. It means bigger titles, more attention, and new ideas generating games that we might really love.
I'm aware the article specifically talked about those games, but they still shouldn't be disregarded. I understand that DC and Marvel are huge brands, but if you're a fan of superhero videogames then it shouldn't matter who the comic book publisher of the title is or if the franchise is licensed or not as long as it provides a great experience for fans of the expansive superhero genre. This same thinking is applied to various other mediums such as television, movies, or the comics/manga themselves. This new deal will just add to what's already been started instead pioneering an entirely new movement altogether.
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