Video Games and Comic Book Characters: A Natural Marriage?
This is a guest post by freelance writer Doug Dixon. He is a lover of all things related to comic books and video games. His favourite superhero is Batman.
To say that comic books are having a moment would be a massive understatement. The beloved characters from Marvel, D.C. Comics, and other companies have expanded their reach far beyond the pages wherein they once existed. Starting with classic television shows of the past and moving into merchandise, feature films, and more, comic books are clearly not just for a particular group of people anymore. They have transitioned gracefully into so many forms of media that picking just one to highlight is difficult, but that’s just what we’re doing here today. In this post, we’re taking a look at some of the new places explored by superheroes in the world of video gaming, which is much bigger than you may have realized.
Video games starring comic book characters definitely existed before the late ’80s and early ’90s, but it wasn’t until then that they found their proper presentation. It was during the arcade boom of that era where superheroes got their just due. That goes for whether you wanted to shoot up baddies as Punisher, take on hordes of enemies as a member of the X-Men, or save the world from Emperor Zass as Superman. Typically, these games were fashioned in the beat-’em-up style, which means you walked from one scene to the next and, well, beat the hell out of your opponents.
As undeniably fun as those games were, it’s been in the past four or five years that superhero-starring titles have really hit their stride. You can thank the previous and current gen consoles for that, as the PlayStations, Xboxes, and Wiis of the word have allowed for some truly incredible comic book-centric gaming experience. Take 2011’s Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, for example, and how true it stayed to the characters on its roster. As Games Radar points out, the previous title may have had more fighters overall, but the third game felt more like it was hand-crafted for Marvel fans.
The same can said for D.C. Comics and how much they clearly worked with the creators of the Batman: Arkham series, which culminates with Arkham Knight in June 2015. While that is definitely a long time to wait, you can get a feel for it by watching gameplay footage below. Or, you know, you can look back to the previous titles in the series and find out what it’s like for yourself. In case you haven’t played on the games yet, they are a fantastic blend of action and adventure. While there’s plenty of brawling moments for the Caped Crusader, you also have to use his detective skills to solve crimes and mysteries plaguing Gotham.
This type of fan service isn’t only being applied to console and computer gamers. There are other avenues being explored by comic book companies to make sure that all types of fans are treated equally. Betfair’s online casino demonstrates that fact perfectly, as their game developers teamed up with Marvel to bring their characters to the online gaming sect. In particular, you will find slot adaptations of some of the company’s most popular films from the past few years, including Iron Man, The Avengers, and, of course, Spider-Man. Similarly, mobile game developers have latched on to the undeniable popularity of comic books and the movies inspired by them. Just browse through the game sections of the Google Play and iTunes stores and it’s clear that, as a comic book lover, you’re pretty much covered.
With all of this widespread success for superheroes and their franchise, it’s only a matter of time before they begin to fade, right? Wrong. With any luck, they’ll continue to dominate the box office for years to come, so long as Marvel’s Avengers franchise stays fresh and the new Superman Vs. Batman film doesn’t fall short of expectations.