For whatever reasons, comic characters have always had a tough time translating over to video games. Due to my love of both, this has always bothered me. A recent exception has been Batman: Arkham Asylum, which has shown that it is possible, so I thought I'd just run through some of the "heavy hitters" and see how I think they could or couldn't work...
AvengersThe Avengers haven't featured in their own video game since the early 90's, however, this could soon change with the new film coming out in a few years. The big problem here is that films never make for good games. It limits their design and scope too much. Another problem is that with so many characters on the roster, you'd lose the intimacy of character development that I believe made AA such a good game. I'm sure some of the team could feature in their own game:
Black WidowAs a spy, Black Widow's game could play like those of Splinter Cell or James Bond, but in saying that, it's probably all been done.
HawkeyeI can't think of any recent games (good ones anyway) where the main form of weaponry was a bow and arrow, and with all the varying types Hawkeye is known for, I think he would make for an interesting solo game career.
Fantastic FourThe Fantastic Four have actually had a few of their own games, but from what I've read, they were terrible. I think the team has great potential for a game however, if only the time and passion was input to make it work. With only four characters, you could still have the character building and plot, but their much-different powers could also lend themselves to a wide variety of gameplay.
X-MenThe X-Men have seen themselves in quite a few video games as well, but I think the problem has always been their numbers. As I mentioned with the Avengers, having so many characters on the roster never allows you to get to really get to know them and you just end up with a brawling action game such as the Ultimate Alliance games, which can be fun in their own rights, but tend to get tedious quite quickly.
Captain AmericaCap has featured in a few games, but only once as a solo gig. The rest have been team efforts, in which I've already mentioned their drawbacks. Being a rather "normal" hero, I don't think he would make much of an exciting game. It would just end up as a simple beat-em-up I imagine.
DaredevilDaredevil on the other hand, I think has a lot of potential. I've never been interested in his comics, but his enhanced senses could make for some novel gameplay mechanics. For instance, he could have a "focus bar", which could be used for his senses:
- Hearing could be focused to hear distant or quite noises or conversations, or alert of nearby enemies.
- Smell could be focused to "see" scents as gas-trails that can then be followed or avoided.
- Touch could maybe be used as a sort of thermal "vision" where he can sense heat in his surroundings etc.
There is definitely a lot of potential there. Black Widow has also starred in many DD comics, so perhaps she could be included.
Doctor StrangeAs much as Doc Strange has grown on me recently, I'm not sure about his gaming potential. Sure he has a lot of magical powers and such, but I can't think of how they could be used in ways that haven't already been done to death. Perhaps a game with the other Defenders* would be better?
* Hulk, Namor, Silver Surfer, Nighthawk, and Valkyrie.