San Diego Comic Con 2014 has now passed us by, and we’ve had lots of news and announcements and seen all the new radical and crazy stuff companies are doing. But, here, I want to talk about one particular thing it made me think about; what the hell happened to superhero games and movie tie-in games? Marvel had one of their many panels at SDCC talk about their Games division. I was following all the news and announcements and the games they were discussing, and here’s some statistics; only 2 of the games weren’t F2P, only 1 of the games is on home consoles, only 1 of the games is an actual proper PC game. And if you want an example of the kind of odd thinking that really drove me to talk about this; Marvel announced a new fighting game, with just their characters in, and then said that it was purely a mobile/tablet game. Because of course, as we ALL know, fighting games are known for their suitability to mobile and tablet formats, and have a huge audience there.
And all that got me thinking, what the hell happened to the days when I was younger and there were all these awesome games with Marvel heroes coming out and being pretty good? There was Spiderman 2, the X-Men Legends games, the Marvel Ultimate Alliance games, the couple of Hulk games that let you free-roam and destroy stuff freely. And even when the games weren’t great, they still at least showed some potential to be great; I’ve played the Iron Man movie game, and while the actual game leaves a lot to be desired, you can tell the ideas were in the right place and it was still kind of satisfying to fly around as Tony Stark, and use repulsors and unibeams and rockets and all that stuff to shoot tanks and planes and the rest.
Beyond all those older things though, a lot of the games were starting to get better anyway; both X-Men Origins Wolverine and Captain America: Super Soldier were/are pretty good games. Wolverine had some pretty cool ideas for what to do with a Wolverine game, and Captain America was Arkham Asylum with a shield and Nazis so pretty cool all around. Plus there’s the prototype footage of the Avengers video game that THQ (I believe) had in development; yeah, it’s kind of bizarre that it was in first person, but also it just looked really cool on all accounts. Spiderman has been doing alright with the Amazing Spiderman games as well, as they both seem pretty good.
Yet here we are, stuck in a world where Marvel have been primarily making free-to-play mobile games for each of their films and generally. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve played (and paid) quite a few of the non-film games; they’re not _bad_ games by any means, but it also feels like I was playing them to fill a bit of a void. And funnily enough, every time I find myself getting into LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, I lose interest in those free-to-play games. Because I realise that the free-to-play games really are my stop-gap for not getting enough Marvel superheroes in my gaming diet. So I find myself very glad that the Guardians of the Galaxy movie game isn’t a free-to-play game where it feels like I’m going to be nickel and dimed slowly but surely because I enjoy Marvel.
We’re not past the mobile thing though. Yes, the Guardians of the Galaxy movie game (subtitled The Ultimate Weapon) isn’t free-to-play, but its still a mobile game. Yes, the Guardians of the Galaxy will be getting put into Disney Infinity 2.0 (don’t get me wrong, I am very excited to have Marvel in that game, the original is pretty cool in my book), but its still only being an extra in a larger game which isn’t even just about Marvel. So we return to my problem, which is basically summarised as “Where the hell are my console or PC games that I can buy and play without microtransactions, Marvel?”.
In fact, I’d just be happy to get more LEGO Marvel Super Heroes with even more characters and even more area to play in and even more of everything basically. Or if you could give me more games to go with the movies, if that’d help you financially, because I know that’s always important. I literally don’t care, Marvel, just give me things that I don’t have to play on my mobile. My mobile is basically just for Marvel Unlimited, Twitter and texting by now anyway, so I’m not playing games on it. JUST LET ME PLAY SOME GAMES ON MY CONSOLE SO I CAN ENJOY YOUR GAMES AS WELL AS YOUR MOVIES AND COMICS AND KIDS CARTOONS AND ACTION FIGURES AND EVERYTHING ELSE. PLEASE, MARVEL, PLEASE.
Okay, calming down now. Thanks for reading folks.
Joe Trail is the editor-in-chief of Don’t Be A Pixel. Mostly because he says he is, not because he has other writers to edit over. But such is the life of a busy editor-in-chief, obviously. He’s also an avid writer for the site. Of course.