Marvel Characters in Video Games - Part 1

For whatever reasons, comic characters have always had a tough time translating over to video games. Due to my love of both, this has always bothered me. A recent exception has been Batman: Arkham Asylum, which has shown that it is possible, so I thought I'd just run through some of the "heavy hitters" and see how I think they could or couldn't work... 


The Avengers haven't featured in their own video game since the early 90's, however, this could soon change with the new film coming out in a few years. The big problem here is that films never make for good games. It limits their design and scope too much. Another problem is that with so many characters on the roster, you'd lose the intimacy of character development that I believe made AA such a good game. I'm sure some of the team could feature in their own game: 

Black Widow

As a spy, Black Widow's game could play like those of Splinter Cell or James Bond, but in saying that, it's probably all been done.


I can't think of any recent games (good ones anyway) where the main form of weaponry was a bow and arrow, and with all the varying types Hawkeye is known for, I think he would make for an interesting solo game career.

Fantastic Four 

The Fantastic Four have actually had a few of their own games, but from what I've read, they were terrible. I think the team has great potential for a game however, if only the time and passion was input to make it work. With only four characters, you could still have the character building and plot, but their much-different powers could also lend themselves to a wide variety of gameplay. 


The X-Men have seen themselves in quite a few video games as well, but I think the problem has always been their numbers. As I mentioned with the Avengers, having so many characters on the roster never allows you to get to really get to know them and you just end up with a brawling action game such as the Ultimate Alliance games, which can be fun in their own rights, but tend to get tedious quite quickly.

Captain America 

Cap has featured in a few games, but only once as a solo gig. The rest have been team efforts, in which I've already mentioned their drawbacks. Being a rather "normal" hero, I don't think he would make much of an exciting game. It would just end up as a simple beat-em-up I imagine.


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Daredevil on the other hand, I think has a lot of potential. I've never been interested in his comics, but his enhanced senses could make for some novel gameplay mechanics. For instance, he could have a "focus bar", which could be used for his senses:  

  • Hearing could be focused to hear distant or quite noises or conversations, or alert of nearby enemies.
  • Smell could be focused to "see" scents as gas-trails that can then be followed or avoided.
  • Touch could maybe be used as a sort of thermal "vision" where he can sense heat in his surroundings etc.
There is definitely a lot of potential there. Black Widow has also starred in many DD comics, so perhaps she could be included.

Doctor Strange

As much as Doc Strange has grown on me recently, I'm not sure about his gaming potential. Sure he has a lot of magical powers and such, but I can't think of how they could be used in ways that haven't already been done to death. Perhaps a game with the other Defenders* would be better? 
HulkNamorSilver SurferNighthawk, and Valkyrie.


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Hulk is obviously my favourite character, but he has also seen his fair share of video games. Their downfall comes from the repetition of simply smashing stuff. I think the 2003 Hulk tie-in was on the right track with having Bruce Banner "stealth" levels to mix it up a little, but I think they just didn't get them quite right. Bruce is meant to be one of the smartest people on the planet, so if this was incorporated somehow, I think it could work. My best guess is to do something along the lines of Amadeus Cho, where he can "see" equations and use something as simple as a well-placed pebble to take out an enemy. If that was combined with the stealth, I think it would mix up the action quite nicely.

Iron Man 

Due to the recent release of the Iron Man films, Tony has subsequently starred in his own video games. Both of these sucked, as movie tie-ins always do. I think they were on the right track with their open-world gameplay, but a change of scenery is not enough to trick people into thinking the next mission is "new".


Namor suffers the same fate as Aquaman. For whatever reason, gamers don't really like being underwater. My best guess is the lack in scenery. Being underwater, even in the best of conditions, only always a visual distance of a few meters, so you never get "background scenery", which tends to get a little boring. On top of this, neither Namor or Aquaman have very impressive powers, so what do you do with them?

Nick Fury 

I'm not sure if anything could be done with Mr. Fury. He's... just a guy. I don't even understand how he had his own comic series, let alone making it into the gaming world.


Frank Castle has already featured in many video games. Simply being a guy with guns, out for revenge, he pretty much is the epitome of every other video game character out there...


I don't really think She-Hulk could hold her own in a video game. She doesn't have the "screen presence" of Hulk, so would probably best be suited to an Avengers game at best.


I'm not even going to bother with Spidey. He's probably had the most video game appearances out of any Marvel character, and even has a new one called Shattered Dimensions due out soon.


Thor also has his own game due out soon, though being a film tie-in, I have very low expectations. I think, as a character, Thor has a lot of potential, so hopefully I'll be proven wrong.


Again, Wolverine has already made many video game appearances, including his own, so I don't think there's anything I could add. 


Seem a little bleak? Of course not! Even though Hawkeye, FF, and Daredevil were the only ones on my list I classed as "potentials", all that means is that it's time for some of the lesser-knowns to step up to the plate. Characters such as Moon Knight, and teams like the Inhumans and X-Force. There's tons of potential if only the video game developers were willing to take the risk.