By Danial79 12 Comments
Something I often do--which is no doubt a waste of time and yet I cannot help doing it--is to consider how a game of my favourite character or team would be. This time around, I'm going to go with...
As with most comic-readers my age, I fell in love with the X-Men during their first animated outing, X-Men: The Animated Series. Since then, I have always had an interest in them, but just found it hard to keep up with their myriad of books. There have been many attempts to adapt the X-Men to video games, but none (in my opinion) have been particularly good. From the X-Men arcade game, where you get to choose from huge selection of six characters, to the lacklustre X-Men: Next Dimension fighting game, to the recent X-Men: Destiny, where you don't even get to play as an existing character. I think the X-Men are long overdue for a decent game, and this is how I think it could be done:
Who, Where, and When?
Even though the X-Men roster is constantly in flux, the core members haven't changed in a long time, so it wouldn't really matter which you chose. For the sake of recognition, it would probably be best to use the post-Schism groupings. Also, by doing this, you could increase your storytelling options by being able to use Utopia and the school, rather than just one. For those who haven't been following, here is how they stand:
What and How?
The "what" for an X-Men game is near limitless. Whether an attack on the group, or the world, there is always some source of conflict for the X-Men. What I'd like to see is separate problems for each team, including X-Factor (who I just realised aren't on the chart), that turn out towards the end to be related, most likely orchestrated by a singular villain.
The "how" is where I think I'm onto something. There is a game whose template I believe would work perfectly for an X-Men game, due to their shared tone and drama. That game is Heavy Rain. Before you scream at me, just hear me out. One of the problems with superhero games, is that when using a team, you have to even out each character's powers for the sake of balance. I remember playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (MUA) and feeling that characters such as Thor and Hulk had been severely watered-down, and this, as a comic fan, annoyed the hell out of me. In Heavy Rain, the entire game is scripted, though still controllable through QTE (Quick Time Events), so you could have a sequence where powerhouses like Magneto or Rogue are kicking butt, but then still be able to include weaker characters, such as Dani Moonstar or Dr. Nemesis, into the storyline without having to bring the others down to their level. It would also alleviate the problem of variety, where a character such as Storm with all of her abilities could stand next to a one-trick pony such as Cyclops without having to limit her power-set. What you essentially get is an interactive movie. When you think about it, it's the characters and drama that drive X-Men titles, and as soon as you put the characters into a top-down action/RPG game, you lose all that, and I think that is why a Heavy Rain-like game would work.
So there you have my take on how an X-Men game could be done. Do you have any additions? Would you do it differently? And more importantly, does it sound like something you would play? Feel free to write your own either in the comments section here or in your own blog. I look forward to seeing what everyone else would do with their favourites. Game on!