Written by Rick Warren / Gfn2112
Months ago, I posted my very first top five and in it, I shared some of my dream Marvel games. I’ve always wanted to do the same for DC, and this week, it’s time to make that happen. With WB in control of DC video games, narrowing down potential developers won’t be much of a challenge (the games will either be made by WB Montreal or Rocksteady). The bigger obstacle will be narrowing down the heroes and stories, because there are so many that I’d love to see...
5.) Justice League
Inspirations: Batman: Arkham Knight
The idea behind this game is exactly what you’d expect; a massive budget, intense action, and the voice cast from the animated series. Giving Rocksteady control over such a huge project is something that feels right, as their most recent project has shown a glimpse of what the big team-up fights would look like in a Justice League game. Switching between various members of the League while maintaining a combo, like the fights in Arkham Knight, is something that I’ve dreamed of for years. I can only imagine some of the wild finishing moves that could come from those moments. First, though, Rocksteady would have to get each member of the team right.
By looking at the DLC of Arkham Knight, it’s possible to get an idea of how the developers would approach a League game. Each hero could get their own mission (Nightwing) or small open area to explore (Batgirl) for their arc of the story, and it would help familiarize players with their individual playstyles. This would lead them into team-up moments with one other hero to build their chemistry and, eventually, the entire team would come together; think the animated DC movie Justice League War. Hopefully, this would just be the beginning. By designing unique movesets for each of the heroes, Rockteady wouldn’t just be creating an awesome Justice League game; they’d be giving themselves a foothold to create awesome DC games for decades to come.
Up next, the Batman of the future…
4.) Batman Beyond
Developer: WB Montreal
Inspiration: Batman: Arkham Origins
Batman Beyond is one of my favorite DC storylines. I was a huge fan of the show growing up, and loved how it built off Batman: The Animated Series. The older Bruce Wayne was just as interesting as his younger, heroic self, and Terry proved to be a likable enough character in his own right (even if he could never compare with Bruce). Beyond’s universe made it special; from the thrilling futuristic version of Gotham to Barbara Gordon taking up her father’s commissioner role. I would love to see the voice cast reprise their roles, Kevin Conroy especially, and I’d love to see the best story arc from Beyond in video game form: Return of The Joker.
Rocksteady has supposedly moved on from the Arkham series, but that does not mean we will never get another Batman game. In fact, I think it’s more likely than not. The series will likely be turned over to the developers of the underrated prequel, Arkham Origins. That game was a year of development away from being just as strong as the main series (a focus on refining the combat as opposed to forcing in multiplayer would have helped), and I highly doubt the developers would run into the same problems if they took another shot at making a Batman game. Further, Batman Beyond is a property that would fit perfectly as a video game, and one that fans have been hoping to see for years.
In spot #3, a choice that you likely won’t see anywhere else…
Inspiration: God of War
I know, I know, underwater levels are the worst things in gaming. Hopefully, though, this would be the exception. The biggest problem with underwater levels in games is that they always feel clunky. The characters aren’t meant to be in these locations, and most of the games in question aren’t built to support that type of gameplay. However, what if a game was built from the ground up to make underwater gameplay work? The movement and combat would feel natural as opposed to forced. It would be fast and intense as opposed to slow and frustrating. The camera would be easier to handle. The game itself would be completely different from any other on the market.
Whenever I think about this boss fight from God of War Ascension (one of the only things I remember from the unnecessary prequel), Aquaman comes to mind. Multiple moments like this would make for an extremely exciting game, and although it’s far from likely to be made, a God of War-like Aquaman is a game that I can see working very well.
Up next, a game that would capitalize on the resurgence of one of DC's best characters...
2.) Wonder Woman
Inspiration: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
This game is just common sense at this point, due to the overwhelmingly successful movie that came out earlier this year. Wonder Woman is back in the eyes of the public, and the character has found a whole new audience. Expanding that audience even further makes sense for WB, and a Wonder Woman video game is a very real possibility because of that. Tying up Cheetah mid-fight or having a sword battle with Ares are things that would translate perfectly to a video game if the mechanics were right.
Speaking of getting the mechanics right, there was a game this year that boasted a combat system perfect for Wonder Woman: Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. With a deep version of something like Hellblade’s combat system, I can see this hypothetical game being a blast to play. Nailing the sword combat and getting the feel of the lasso right would be challenging, but it’s doable, and I definitely hope it happens soon.
In the top spot, a character who has been plagued with issues outside of comic books…
Inspiration: LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2
It’s time. Superman fans should be able to find good content in more places than just the comics, especially in a time like today where superheroes are thriving. With Henry Cavill having the potential to be a great Superman on the movie side of things, and instead dealing with things like the moustache CGI in Justice League, the character must be done justice in a different form of media. Video games should be the next place to look, but this is another huge area where the Man of Steel has struggled in the past. Terrible games like Superman 64 have kept people afraid of what might happen if someone tries again, which is exactly why Rocksteady should. I believe that it’s possible to get Superman right in a video game, and if anyone can do it, it’s them.
The biggest issue with Superman games hasn’t been keeping him from feeling overpowered, like many think; the issue with Superman games has been giving him the freedom to use that power. Whether it was through poor design or the limitation of technology at the time, in many of the Superman games that exist he’s kept in small buildings and tight corridors. He hasn’t been able to fly freely or smash through the environment around him, but today, that could change. Superman shouldn’t be confined to the buildings in Metropolis, or even to Metropolis himself. He should be free to roam outside of his city, and outside of Earth altogether even. It’s an odd place to look, but LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 does a great job of merging iconic locations together. Essentially, it creates an open world out of a series of smaller open worlds. This is exactly what Superman needs. Obviously, it’s not possible to give players all of Planet Earth and parts of outer space to explore… but it is possible to make it feel like they have that jaw-dropping level of freedom. Environmental destruction, alternate suits, and a wide range of superpowers will be necessary features for a good Superman game, but it’s providing a sense of freedom that is the key to making a great one.
That’s all for this week! Check back next week for my top five superhero games of all time, and check the comments below for some honorable mentions.