Xbox fans got a little bit of a slap in the face earlier this year when it was announced that Marvel and Insomniac were working on a brand-new Spider-Man game that would be exclusive to the PS4. However, there was a silver lining. As Combicbook.com reported in its video game section, the Spider-Man game is just the beginning for Marvel as the company looks to expand its gaming presence. There’s apparently a full lineup of AAA games on the way, and it stands to reason that eventually they’ll be available for all major consoles (even if the new Spidey game won’t be).
What we don’t know, however, is which characters these games will concern. It could be that they won’t revolve around individual characters at all, but will instead be ensemble games, which could take various forms. But if there are additional character-based games (or franchises) to follow Spider-Man, these are some of the leading candidates.
Black Panther may not be the first option that comes to mind for most superhero fans, but the timing will probably be just right. With the Spider-Man game announced for 2017, we’re probably about two years away from whatever is to come next—and Black Panther the movie is due out in 2018. Releasing a game to coincide with the film’s debut would be a great way to capitalize on interest in the character.
Additionally, Black Panther makes for a simpler gaming adaptation than most superheroes. Because he moves in a relatively ordinary way and relies on a protective suit and advanced martial arts rather than traditional “super powers,” he could function similarly to, say, Batman in a video game. There would be no issue with how to incorporate flight or other types of powers. Developers would also have a lot of fun playing with the fictional setting of Wakanda, the wealthy African nation from which Black Panther hails.
Iron Man is clearly Marvel’s most popular character, at least on the big screen, and that makes him the most natural selection. But his ability to move in any direction, change speeds, blast off energy, etc. make him a tricky challenge for developers. He’s unlike any character or super soldier we’ve seen in a game, and while the physics engines could certainly handle it, it probably wouldn’t be easy to make gameplay smooth.
That said, there are so many dimensions to this character that a thorough game could be built around more than just action. For instance, what about story mode challenges dealing with the Stark empire? Amidst all the action, some may forget that Tony Stark isn’t just rich, he’s actually one of the wealthiest fictional characters of all time. That, at least, is how he rated in a fun little article at the Lottoland online platform for Euro Millions enthusiasts, which of course was meant to amuse players with the sensational wealth of make-believe individuals. Stark has Bruce Wayne wealth (more, actually), which means there’s a full-fledged business dynasty to run. Plugging that into a story mode would make for a very unique experience and would offset the possible awkwardness of controlling the man in the suit.
Like Black Panther, Captain America (and the rest of the characters on this list) would work fairly well from a physical and mechanical standpoint. His actual physical capabilities are fairly ordinary: he can just take a hit, and maybe run and jump a little more impressively than the average human. Meanwhile, boomerang action with the shield could be a whole lot of fun in a video game.
But there are other reasons that Captain America would make a lot of sense as a headliner for Marvel’s first non-Spider-Man AAA game on modern consoles. To begin with, he’s still the captain and the “lead” Avenger, even if Robert Downey Jr. has sort of assumed the role on behalf of Iron man in the MCU. But Captain America also has the deepest and longest backstory, which could make for outstanding franchise potential. Starting in World War II and moving into modern Avengers stories would make for a huge amount of material.
There’s certainly no rule stating that Marvel has to stick to MCU characters when it’s making this rumored lineup of AAA console games. They may not own the cinematic rights to the X-Men characters, but presumably they could do whatever they want to with Wolverine in video game form. And he might just be the most enjoyable character of all to embody—something like a cross between the roving, soldier-like quality of Black Panther and the destructive power of the Hulk.
This would work on a lot of different levels for fans. To begin with, even with Marvel’s somewhat lackluster console performance, Wolverine was already the subject of one of the most successful games. Additionally, fans who are following along closely with the MCU are eagerly hoping for some kind of X-Men content that feels a little bit closer to the Avengers and the rest of Marvel. A Wolverine game would be very well received.