We would all love to have video games of our favorite heroes, but it is not that simple. And if not, look at BatmanIt has not been until Rocksteady made his Arkham saga that a good representation of the bat detective came into our hands. I know what you are thinking now, my dear retro lover. Indeed, before Arkham Asylum have appeared good games starring batman, but they did not represent it correctly. With them, you didn’t feel totally Batman.
I played Sunsoft’s Batman like a sick person. It fell into my hands shortly after Tim Burton’s fantastic movie was released in theaters, and I couldn’t stop playing with it. However, that was not Batman. The masked man doesn’t face villains by just walking forward and throwing punches. He hides in the shadows, plays with fear, investigates and suffers a lot before achieving his goals. But of course, a Mega Drive could not represent it.
Because a video game is very different from a superhero that one in which a superhero appears. To give another example of this, let’s talk about injustice 2. Superman wouldn’t go head to head with anyone like that; he is the man of steel please He flies faster than light and has powers enough to blow the planet apart. And this is precisely the problem, how do we represent this well? How do we make a good Superman or The Flash video game in which we can feel like them?
Technically, it’s difficult to recreate Superman’s flight
Characters like Superman and The Flash have a difficult time creating games with them, because they need also function as simulators of themselves. You don’t just want to play with Superman, you want to feel like Superman. You want to role play it, play it, and even go back in time by making the planet spin in reverse with your speed. But it’s very complicated to recreate this technically. It was already difficult for Insomniac to achieve the fluidity they wanted with their Spider-Man for PS4. In fact, they were happy that the new generation allowed to reduce both load times and improve draw distance.
Flying with Batman or Spider-Man is not difficult, just pure mechanical pleasure
And if it has already been difficult to reproduce the speed of the wall-crawler, imagine that of The Flash or Superman. It is supposed that in an instant they can reach the other end of the world. But the problems are not just technical. also mechanics. Moving Batman around the city or Spider-Man is a lot of fun. Gotham’s vigilante needs your help to glide, throw hooks, and hang on to ledges. Spider-Man is on another level. Sometimes I just put the game on to go from one side of the city to the other, because going from spider web to spider web was and still is exciting. Phew, how am I going to enjoy the sequel to this game.
But with Superman it wouldn’t be fun because reproducing his movement doesn’t involve funny mechanics. That’s why in that Nintendo 64 Superman they put colored rings on him to pass through, to direct his navigation in some way and make it entertaining. Spoiler alert: gone wrong. He can fly up to the stratosphere and plummet wherever he wants. With The Flash he could be more graceful, since he would have to dodge cars, pedestrians and other obstacles. But this does not imply pleasure, but challenge. Flying with Batman or Spider-Man is not difficult, just pure mechanical pleasure.
How do we make Superman’s flight something tasty? I can’t think of how
And who do we put as villains? That is another difficult question to answer. As a rule, Superman’s bad guys oppose him through bureaucracy, intelligence, turning him bad or taking away his powers in some way. With a pure punch it is difficult to beat him. Yes, I would also like a Worlds Collide between Superman and Son Goku, but that is difficult… Except in Fortnite, of course.
With The Flash, things seem somewhat simpler, but I still see it as very difficult on the hardware side.
So to have a good Superman game we would need either more powerful machines, or rethink how we want it. If, for example, the title focused on his stage as a teenager discovering his powers, both the technical and mechanical problems. You could also look for a greater presence of his alter ego, Clark Kent. Or also do the mythical hack and slash on PlayStation 2, make him trip over a stone and his powers fall down a ravine.
With The Flash, things seem a bit easier, but I still see it as very difficult on the hardware side. And as far as playability is concerned, it seems to me that he would end up running smack into the same playable problems that Sonic runs into with each installment. Do we fill the city with loopings to make the most of his powers? Do we put hoops on it to go through them? No, that’s already been tried once.
Fancy playing The Flash to the max in QTE?
As with Superman, the best thing would be for him to alternate his secret personality with the public one. That is to say, that a voyage of discovery was represented and that the title ended with The Flash being the hero we already know. But, of course, with the speed that the character reaches there is a risk when designing his mechanics: that everything would end up being resolved with QTE. And something else: an excess of invisible walls to control his career well.
It seems to me that the final reflection of this article is clear: the easiest superhero video games to make are those with characters that are not like gods. Spider-Man works great, and the future Wolverine game sure will too. Logan will travel by motorcycle, which will be a pleasure (for who likes motorcycles, of course), and any individual can take him on with mechanically interesting combat. But what about Superman and The Flash? I can’t think of a way to make something drinkable come out. And you?