The Marvel’s Avengers game is set to release sometime next year, but the gameplay did not leave as much of an impact as expected. To find out what it takes for gamers to become the superheroes they are destined to be, it is time to take a closer look at some of the best superhero games published in the last few years.
After the release of the first gameplay footage of the Marvel’s Avengers game, the hard task of the team of developers becomes clear. Despite the impressive graphics of Marvel’s Avengers, fans are already disappointed with the design of the characters and the large emphasis on cinematics in the reveal trailer, rather than gameplay.
What makes a great superhero game?
Reading about the righteous and conscientious behaviour and decisions of a superhero in a comic book is one thing, being able to take complete control over them as they fight crime and defeat their enemies is an different story.
As a gamer, you are in the middle of the action and decide how and when to perform a well timed series of punches or execute a counter to knockout a group of bad guys in an attempt to rescue the innocent civilians before they fall prey to the villains who terrorise the cities, or even entire universe.
Multiple superheroes stand side-by-side
Unlike most other superhero games, the unreleased Marvel’s Avengers game features a large roster of playable characters from the Marvel comic book universe. During the campaign and missions, gamers will be able to control superheroes such as Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Iron Man.
These are mighty superheroes, but remain human because they show recognisable emotions such as anger, incomprehension, sadness and disbelief. Creating a decent superhero game is a challenge, let alone a game with multiple heroes and villains. Each hero requires its own unique combat style that sets their gameplay apart from the other members of the team.
Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man
In the Marvel’s Spider-Man game released in 2018 and released exclusively on the PlayStation 4, developer Insomniac Games was able to focus on a single superhero who protects the city of New York while dealing with his personal problems of his civilian persona Peter Parker.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is set in the open world of Manhattan and built around the web-swinging combat and traversal mechanics of the friendly neighbourhood superhero Spider-Man. The game received praise for its story and narrative inspired by both the comic book series and later adaptations in other media.
A dark knight rises from the shadows
The Marvel’s Spider-Man game may be one of the best and fastest selling superhero games of all-time, but a large number of game journalists compared the game to the Barman Arkham series.
These Batman games are considered as some of the best superhero games ever made because of their great storylines, strong narratives and good character development with respect towards the comic books and later adaptations.
A darker story unfolds outside the comic books
The Batman Arkham series tells a darker and more mature story set in the Batman universe based on the extensive comic book lore. You encounter a lot of comic book characters and details that were never included in the adaptations in other media.
The darker Batman story feels authentic and attracts both comic book readers and gamers who are unfamiliar with the background stories of the characters. There is enough background information at hand to learn more about the world and its citizens.
Stealth takedowns and enemies who learn from your mistakes
In a good superhero game, the enemies are strong and smart enough to use tactics and learn from your mistakes in combat. This kind of dynamic battles makes the gameplay of both Batman Arkham Knight and Spider-Man feel rewarding. You learn to know the physical limits of the superheroes and develop different strategies to counter these weaknesses.
In Batman Arkham Knight, gamers can use a wide variety of gadgets to take out the enemies, but you will never dare to fight multiple enemies with combat rifles at once. Stealth takedowns and the darkness remain your best friend in the Batman Arkham series.
Faster combat and freedom of movement
The combat in the latest Spider-Man game is fast and a true representation of the abilities described in other media. The dynamic combat and movement speed makes Spider-Man feels young and create a different gameplay experience never seen before in a Spider-Man game. Batman feels slow compared to Spider-Man, but he is older and better prepared for his task.
Why are there so few good superhero games?
Apart from the technical aspect, game developers need to make hard decisions during the development process of a superhero game. There exist multiple versions of the same superheroes in each comic book universe.
It is difficult to please the entire Marvel or DC Comics audience. Some prefer the more traditional heroes from the comic books, others the more recent interpretation of the films. This makes the development process of a superhero game even harder and is one of the reasons why there only exist a handful of memorable superhero games.
Research, resources and comic books
Publishers need to give game developers the time and resources to research the often complex background stories of the superheroes and villains from the comic books. Otherwise, they will never be able to create the greatest superhero game of all-time.
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Disclaimer. This post contains copyrighted images from Marvel’s Avengers, a video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. The fair use of copyrighted works for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting or research is not considered as an infringement of copyright.