Last month’s release, Batman: Arkham Knight has again proved that although Marvel has a proven track record on celluloid and the small screen, DC has a large lead when it comes to video games. Batman: Arkham series over the four game instalments has been delivering top class products with storylines and game mechanics that not only have been praised over and over again but also given a new universe for the Batman fans to explore.
Marvel on the other hand doesn’t have a strong hold in the video game verse and has tied up with the toy brick company LEGO to deliver family games for its movie franchises time and again. LEGO games have done well among fans and the gamers alike, combining the humour and collaborative play, but have missed that intense action and compelling storyline which DC and Warner Bros. titles have been providing since the first title landed in 2009.
The last Marvel game to have connected with fans was way back in 2009 – being X-Men Origins: Wolverine – which saw Wolverine’s search for his true self in the fantastic settings of Africa. Since then, Marvel has focussed a lot on its cinematic universe but has certainly fallen gravely on the video game front. One may argue that Marvel has delivered good games for smartphones with Marvel: Contest of Champions doing really well for both the android and iOS versions or the Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes across various platforms; but when compared to the experience provided by the Arkham series this argument falls flat on the face.
The way the combat and game mechanics have been handled by Rocksteady and a one off game from Warner Bros. Games Montreal bringing the Dark Knight in the hand of gamers and provide countless hours of campaigns through the dark streets of Gotham is still unbeatable among other such games. Many have tried their hands at providing such brilliant hand to hand combat in the game along with the gritty narration but have failed and that is what makes the Arkham series a major hit in the video game world.
The open-world/narrative action game is a solid entity in its own right. The Batman world extends into the video game so beautifully without having to alter much from the comic space and is essentially what Batman is, but just presented in the video game form.
One thing is that this is possible because Warner Bros. – which owns DC – has three world class studios lined up for making these games and have been doing it time and again. Marvel on the other hand does not have that luxury; whatever games that have been out were licensed and not pure Marvel properties.
In a new start to its video game voyage, Marvel has joined hands with the episodic gaming studio Telltale Games to collaborate on a project which will be out in 2017. The reveal does not mention which Marvel superhero is to be the star of the game or if the entire Marvel universe will be seen in it. Telltale Games has been developing successful games with The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Tales from the Borderland and the recently released Game of Thrones series.
Marvel and Telltale partnership will be one to look out for but Marvel needs to go beyond this and make video games which have the production value that match steps with Arkham and explore its universe to the fullest. One would definitely love to play Iron Man with Jarvis taking orders and do anything with the suit and money at his disposal. Or maybe even a Captain America or the mighty Thor; Marvel needs to invest time and money into this section of entertainment and not just license out its characters to third party studios to deliver games when their movies are to release. Marvel needs to be in the game to compete let alone win.
Tell us what Marvel character, team or story would you love to see made into a game? And if so, what type of game?