What other Marvel games should Square Enix be making?
Samuel: Square Enix announced a multi-game deal with Marvel in January, with Crystal Dynamics working on an Avengers game and the Deus Ex devs at Eidos Montreal reportedly making Guardians of the
Galaxy. How do we feel about this, as well as the fact that Deus Ex – also made by Square Enix – is now on hiatus? And what do we want from this deal in particular?
Andy: I love Deus Ex and have never really been into Marvel (except Guardians of the Galaxy, which I love), so this news has left me feeling a bit sad. I’m sure Crystal Dynamics will make a really solid and probably quite good action adventure featuring a famous Marvel character, similar to the Batman Arkham series. But it’s not Deus Ex, is it? I just want Deus
Ex, forever. I feel like Eidos Montreal’s artists might be wasted making cities for superheroes to have big, long, boring fights in, instead of cool cyberpunk dystopias. Prove me wrong. Please. Phil: I think I’d feel better about a
Deus Ex hiatus if they’d bothered to finish Mankind Divided’s story. Still, the possibility of a Marvel series is intriguing. Games based on comics and films have a tendency to be bad, but Square Enix has access to some talented development studios. Will
Avengers work as a game, though? That’s a lot of different systems to dabble in. Presumably you’ll be moving from the flying weapon suit level, to the big, stompy green man level, to the spy who does kicks level. Will that work, or do Crystal Dynamics have something more elegant in mind?
Samuel: Superhero games lend themselves so well to sandbox environments, that I don’t think a linear game will quite do it. An
Avengers game should be more like a party-based action RPG set in Manhattan (but better than Marvel
Heroes), where you can switch between characters at any time. I admit losing Deus Ex is a bit crushing, though. Phil, you’re indifferent to Marvel generally. Is there any particular character or superhero team you have an affinity for? Phil: …
Samuel: Er, I’ll take that as a no then, Phil. Superheroes are just wrestlers with more elaborate costumes. You should be all over that shit as a man who watches WWE on purpose.
Phil: OK, I admit, Iron Man is a much better character than Brock Lesnar. Then again, even Hawkeye is a better character than Brock Lesnar, so maybe I’m just wasting my life. It sounds like you’re pitching a sort of urban Dragon Age, but are superheroes suitable for RPG combat? There don’t seem to be consistent rules about how powerful they are – presumably it’s flexible in order to maximise the drama of the moment. Maybe that’s an unfair assessment, but, at the very least, isn’t Thor a bit OP?
Samuel: Well, I’m picturing more of a game with Dragon Age’s individual character abilities and the way they can tactically slot together – but framed more as a third-person sandbox game with a lovely city to explore together. If you start bringing stats into it, then yeah, Hawkeye is just an embarrassment next to Thor. The logic is too daft. And yeah, Thor is just too OP generally. You can’t start putting in stealth sections where Thor quietly sneaks up behind Thanos and twats him on the back of the neck with his hammer.
Andy: I reckon they should bring back forgotten Silver Age villain Paste-Pot Pete as a character. You could run around wearing a big floppy beret and firing sticky paste at people. Or how about bell-headed mad scientist and supervillain Doctor Bong, purely because it would look hilarious on the cover art? But seriously, superhero games are tricky to get right, and few developers have managed to do them justice. So it’ll be interesting to see how Square Enix tackles it.
Samuel: While we’re going deeper into the lore, let’s have the main villain be especially comic booky. Maybe it can be The Maker, who is actually the Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards from an alternative universe, gone mad, with an eyeball that’s gone wrong and now he’s travelled to our universe to raise hell. Or maybe Superior Spider-Man, who is actually Doc Ock downloaded into Peter Parker’s brain and now making him do naughty stuff. Does that sound like good comics, Phil? Phil: Forget everything I said, Square Enix is screwed.
The discussion is over, but would it win in a fight versus aquaman? Let us know @pcgamer