Great Marvel Games Insomniac Needs To Make Next
Superhero video games are everywhere you turn these days. But, for every Arkham City, Marvel's Spider-Man, and Lego Marvel Superheroes, we've got Superman 64, Catwoman, or Marvel's Avengers (sorry Crystal Dynamics). Surprisingly, we've seen the emergence of a new contender, as Ratchet & Clank's Insomniac Games has made its stake in the genre.
Following the success of the Rocksteady Akrhamverse-inspired Marvel's Spider-Man, the acclaimed developer returned for Spider-Man: Miles Morales in 2020, is already working on Spider-Man 2, AND is in the early stages of a Wolverine game. There are complaints and champions in equal measure that Insomniac could become a spandex-clad superhero studio, but if it does, it has opened the doors to a whole universe of potential.
Over the years, Marvel IPs have either shone or crumbled - meaning few have ever just been okay. We've already seen the Marvel Cinematic Universe have great success on the small and silver screen, and if Insomniac could pull off those fanciful fan dreams of a Marvel Gaming Universe, it would be something for the ages. With this in mind, here are eight Marvel superhero games Insomniac needs to make next.
The Fantastic Four
Yeesh, are you mad? Although The Fantastic Four is affectionately dubbed "Marvel's First Family" thanks to their debut in 1961, the years haven't exactly been kind to the group. Tim Story had two pretty average Fantastic Four movies, while Josh Trank's Fant4stic is rightly held as one of the worst superhero movies of all time.
Just like Spider-Man: Homecoming, Far From Home, and No Way Home's Jon Watts is tackling the challenge of bringing them to life with an MCU reboot, now is the perfect time for a gaming developer to strike with a similar idea.
Reed Richards and co. had an outing of their own thanks to the 1985 Atari game, but aside from that, they've largely been resigned to the background of the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance games. Seeing what Insomniac can do with world-building - and have already added two Fantastic Four-themed suits to 2018s Spider-Man - the foundations are already in place.
As Bloodborne showed us, everyone loves vampire games. We know FromSoftware's action RPG game isn't technically about vampires, but you get where we're going with this. Embracing the darker side of Marvel stories, Blade is another major name that's set to become a household name thanks to the MCU.
Mahershala Ali is due to play him in live-action following his tease in Eternals, but we say a Blade game leans into the rich history of the comics. There are any number of storylines a Blade game could go down, but at its base level, we could take a leaf out of Castlevania's book and have Blade take on Dracula.
Admittedly, we might be a little early in Insomniac's superhero world to take a gamble with something as out-there as Blade, but it's one that could really pay off. Just like Spider-Man 2 has managed to secure the legendary Tony Todd as Venom, you could even satisfy the Wesley Snipes fanboys by getting the OG Blade to lend his voice to the vengeful Daywalker.
Sadly, it looks like Rocksteady's Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has been pushed to 2023, still, it got us thinking about the whole antihero trope. Imagine Insomniac's take on Crystal Dynamics' maligned Avengers game. Instead of doing a better version of the superhero ensemble, what about an evil version?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is almost definitely setting up a Thunderbolts team of bad guys and girls with Yelena Belova, US Agent, and Abomination, while there have been others rumours of a live-action Dark Avengers. In the comics, the Dark Avengers lived up to their name of being the antithesis of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
Introduced in 2009, the Dark Avengers was first headed up by Norman Osborn (Green Goblin) and had an impressive roster of baddies that included Scorpion, Bullseye, and Wolverine's son - Daken. Namely, we just need to see a video game where you can fly around New York City in Osborn's red, white, and blue Iron Man armour.
Once upon a time, there was word of a PlayStation 2 Daredevil outing, but unfortunately, it was one of those many video game ideas that slipped into development hell. Decades have passed since, so what about a Daredevil game in the vein of Marvel's Spider-Man? Think Marvel's Spider-Man with a kung fu twist.
Insomniac making a Daredevil game would effectively just be a more brutal version of Spider-Man. Neither the Ben Affleck-led Daredevil movie nor its Game Boy Advance tie-in game were a hit, but with Mr. Murdock back in the MCU with Charlie Cox, it's a name you're going to hear about a lot more.
Importantly, it would fit nicely together considering there are a tonne of Easter eggs in Insomniac's first game. As well as the offices of Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock being discoverable in NYC, the fact Peter has their business card in one of his backpacks teases he's in contact with the Man Without Fear.
How hard is it to really make a good X-Men video game? We've had some reasonable attempts like X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse and X-Men: Mutant Academy, but more often than not, the team falls back on to the tried and tested beat 'em up formula.
We know Marvel's Avengers isn't the best role model for how team games work, but picture the scene where an X-Men game gives you a base character of Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean, or Storm. You then complete missions to level up and recruit more members of Charles Xavier's Gifted Youngsters.
It remains to be seen what Insomniac's mysterious Wolverine game entails, however, we're guessing there will be some major references to a larger mutant world. We also wouldn't put it past the odd cameo, and just like First Class' comedic recruitment scene, Professor X could pop by to set up a full-blown X-Men adventure.
As Marvel and DC continue to duke it out at the box office and on console, a cut-and-paste formula could work to the advantage of a Moon Knight video game. Remembering that Marc Spector is often referred to as Marvel's answer to Batman, an Insomniac Moon Knight lends itself even further to the studio's Rocksteady influences.
The title can dive into the darkness of Egyptian mythology, while Moon Knight can also explore the affliction of Spector's dissociative identity disorder. In the comics, he has three distinct personalities, which would make for a unique way to play a video game.
If all of this wasn't enough to champion a Moon Knight game, the seemingly unusual choice is about to hit the mainstream thanks to the Oscar Isaac-led Disney+ series. Once the credits roll, see how many gamers are begging for Moon Knight to get his own console caper.
Back to basics, who doesn't love Iron Man? Robert Downey Jr. has helped Iron Man soar to universal success, but let's remember he has decades of comic book history to tap into. More than just being a central figure of the Avengers, there's a fragile man that lurks underneath the armour.
Z-Axis was once working on an Iron Man game for Activision, and although it had the plug pulled, the character is more popular than ever. THQ Australia had also been working on a first-person Avengers game that collapsed around 2011. Production art showed off a clever HUD for Iron Man - which could easily be reworked for a solo game.
Iron Man villains like Iron Monger, Madame Masque, and Crimson Dynamo present an interesting rogue's gallery akin to Insomniac's OG Spider-Man. Finally, the fact the Mandarin is one of his most iconic foes means you could neatly springboard into a Shang-Chi game.
Zombie games... been there, done that. It's true that everything from Resident Evil to The Last of Us has tried its hand at the zombie genre and done it with great success, but let's not forget the potential of a Marvel Zombies game.
Born from a five-issue comic arc in 2005, Marvel Zombies is one of the best-loved alternate reality stories to come out of the Multiverse. A zombie outbreak has ravaged Earth-2149, with Avengers like Iron Man, Captain America, and Hulk being turned into brain-hungry munchers. The idea of a Marvel Zombies game is that you could either play as zombified heroes or survivors trying not to be turned.
Marvel's...What If? series had a breakout Marvel Zombies episode, while the idea has already greenlit for its own spin-off coming to Disney+. If you still aren't convinced, a Kickstarter for a tabletop Marvel Zombies game smashed past its target in record time. When it comes to a Marvel Zombies game, it's simply a case of when... not if.