Superhero video games are getting increasingly more popular but they’re still few and far between. In that pile of Spider-Man and Batman Arkham games there is a void brimming with potential just waiting to be explored. And milked just like many other big-time super-powered bad-asses. We’re not saying that we don’t want another entry in Rocksteady’s highly-acclaimed series, but these ten protagonists certainly deserve equal treatment in the spotlight.
Does anybody out there remember the old 90s superhero craze that everybody tried to cash in from? I do and it certainly had a sea of mediocre movies that tried to push out any idea that came to mind. The Rocketeer, on the other hand, was one of Disney’s old superhero movies that was an underrated classic. While it did take a lot of ideas from a particular Marvel superhero – I’m looking at you Mr. Stark – it had enough of its own niche to create an original experience.
The plot of the movie was set in the late 30s and saw The Rocketeer fighting Nazi spies and the Mafia, armed with a robust jet pack and a Luger pistol. It may not seem much, but a concept for an open world game in which you can fly around and stop bad guys doesn’t sound too terrible, especially with the current Avengers game already showcasing Iron Man in a similar fashion. While The Rocketeer did have a few outings on the NES and SNES, we never heard again from the classic movie hero, and maybe we should.
With DC’s Caped Crusader taking up all the press these days thanks to the potential new release, nobody even glances at his Marvel counterpart. As a result, Moon Knight never appear in his own standalone game, which is a damn shame since there is so much material to work with. One of the most interesting aspects of the hero is his split personality, which would allow different play-styles and a complex story, possibly similar to that of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
Hellblade already established that these kind of concepts are welcome with players, so seeing them implemented in a superhero video game might just work out. Even better, Moon Knight could even introduce multiple other Marvel heroes and even engage them in a fight due to his psychosis. And what better time to release it than alongside the recently announced TV series by Disney. What we’re trying to say is give this underrated character a well-deserved video game.
While Ninjak doesn’t seem like your typical superhero, he does make up for as an interesting character. Seemingly just a mercenary, Colin King adopts more of an anti-hero persona as his comic book series progresses. A ninja spy working for the MI 6, he takes a stealthy approach with all his missions, yet is not afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes down to it. And for that particular reason, the game should also be in that vein.
Going for a blend between Metal Gear Solid and Sekiro, the gameplay can be both fast and frantic, as well as slow and methodical. On the other hand, Ninjak isn’t that hard of a character to understand and relate to. And while a simple job for a quick buck can suffice, exploring him deeper could lead to some potentially good plot twists involving espionage and conspiracies. One step further would be to see how the protagonist behaves in the presence of other heroes from the Valiant Comic Universe.
It’s important to know that the Mask, much like our previous entry, isn’t a conventional superhero, yet he does posses superhuman abilities thanks to the iconic wooden mask. The Jim Carrey movie introduced audiences to a more lighthearted prankster, but in the comic books, he is more than just that. The gaming industry is no stranger to darker adventure games. Titles like The Wolf Among Us showed us that more mature comic books can be translated into virtual form, and maybe this can be applied here as well.
Giving the Mask a similar makeover could be successful. Add the comedic, yet insane, personality to the titular protagonist, a memorable antagonist, and crazy situations in which the player will think outside of the box in order to solve puzzles. If Jim Carrey could reprise the role of Stanley Ipkiss it would give the superhero video game a marketing boost, especially if it goes for similar cell-shaded graphics as the Telltale Games, and a recipe for a good game is right there.
Similar to the movies, the DCU is not known for well-received video games, except for Rocksteady’s Arkham series of course. In that same regard, superhero video games have yet to introduce a good female lead that could shake up the industry. Wonder Woman is an icon, not just as a comic book heroine, but as a figure of virtue and justice, and giving her a proper title that could represent that would be a blessing.
Aside from the occasional pop-ups in the Injustice games and a few Justice League titles, Diana of Themyscira has not yet received her own magnum opus. A third-person action beat ’em up could be the way to go, with players exploring her early days of crime-fighting before her inclusion into the Justice League. Not only that, but Wonder Woman has an interesting rogues gallery she could face, equal to that of Batman’s. And just like Moon Knight, might be a perfect choice to introduce multiple other superheroes that could star in their separate games.
There was a brief time in the last decade when publishers took inspiration from big comic book giants in order to create their own original heroes. However, nobody expected that a developing studio would do the same, and after a few tweaks, we were gifted with one of the best superhero video games, Freedom Force. The game even had a follow-up, with the sequel introducing more characters and an expanded universe. And ever since its success, fans of the series craved for a third entry.
Sadly we never got that and developer Irrational Games was re-branded in 2017, along with its IPs, so chances are we might never see it in the near future. However, Irrational is responsible for a number of critically acclaimed titles, and even though they are re-branded, there may be a small window of hope for all those eager fans. The third game could continue with its unique strategy gameplay and focus more on the graphical details. All in all, we welcome any attempt at revisiting this universe with open arms.
The Phantom is to this day one of the most well-received pulp comics and has a cult following unlike any other of his time. The idea of a supposed immortal crime fighter protecting the jungles of Africa from mercenaries and pirates doesn’t sound intimidating at first. But as the comics moved from the gold to the silver age, the character and his adventures matured with each new entry.
The idea could be simple, an open-world game that allows the player to protect multiple native villages, fighting bad guys with a plethora of gadgets, while exploring the lineage of the Phantom from multiple historical periods. The gameplay could be similar to that of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. The last two games in the series, Odyssey and Origins, established that big, lavish open worlds are definitely doable. Add all the gameplay elements of Ubisofts mega-franchise along with a touch of that old pulp action aesthetic, and the mix is just right for an enjoyable superhero video game.
It’s been over fifteen years since the last Judge Dredd game was released, and even though it received positive feedback, we haven’t seen much of Mega-City’s most ruthless law enforcer in quite some time. The premise should remain the same, a first-person shooter with multiple weapons, upgrades, and baddies to test them on. The story can adapt any storyline from the comics, since there is so much material to work with. And if any developers feel bold enough, they could tackle an original plot of their own, similar to that of the 2012 movie.
In fact, Karl Urban could return for the role of Dredd and give gamers a truly unforgettable experience. Well known characters such as Judge Anderson and Judge Death can also drive the plot forward. Alternatively, the story could even take place where the last game ended, and create its own franchise. With next gen graphics and games like Cyberpunk 2077 coming out on newer consoles, maybe it’s the right time to once again walk the streets of Mega-City One.
Where do we even begin here? Hellboy had two outings on Playstation consoles and they were both underwhelming compared to other superhero video games. The 2000 Hellboy Asylum Seeker is a terrible mess and the 2008 Science of Evil had so much potential, but ultimately failed to do anything significant. That being said, Hellboy deserves another chance, and a proper monster hunting video game.
Recently Hellboy appeared as a DLC character in Injustice 2, and gamers were overjoyed that he was portrayed just like his comic book counterpart. Taking that into consideration, all we need is a Witcher-style monster hunter game where Hellboy would use different charms, trinkets, and ammunition to kill various creatures. Add other characters from the B.P.R.D such as Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, and Lobster Johnson, and you have a game worthy of the name Hellboy. The 2019 movie may have sucked, but a video game might fair better with fans of this demonic hunter.
While many characters on this list were just suggestions, there is no denying that Todd McFarlane’s lovechild deserves a video game adaptation. Yes, Spawn had multiple games released, some with mixed reviews, others with negative feedback, but this beast of a hero needs a new outing. There is so much McFarlane’s universe offers and is begging to be explored in the boots or, in this case, in the cape of this hellspawn warrior. There are multiple genres in which the character would shine, yet we think the most suitable for him would be open-world hack and slasher. Maybe something similar to Prototype.
Add a morality system like that of Infamous, different powers and weapons Spawn can use, and make the game as bloody as possible. On top of that, add a variety of enemies, from mobsters to demons and angels, and this is the closest thing you can get to an amazing game. The new movie reboot could provide an engaging story, and allow players to play more of a selfless hero or a vigilante, depending on the choices you make. Just thinking about the different ideas on how the game could work is enough to satisfy not just comic book fans, but gaming aficionados as well. Give us this game now!
The Ultimate Agent of Chaos. Honks at every type of media. The Unhinged Goose