Posts tagged hulk
What makes video games based on Comic books work
When I play a game based on a comic book character there is only one thing that I really want to get out of that game. I want to feel as if I am that character. It hardly matters who the character is just so that for the few minutes that I am playing the game I can forget who I am and pretend that I have metal claws or can swing from buildings . This is why often games where you play a single hero work better than games where you have far more choices because even when you do a great job of creating a game with twenty different heroes you have no choice but to make many of them play in similar styles. One character may be needed to make it past a certain trap or perhaps another does more damage but the controls and the feel of the characters remain the same. A great example of a game that was The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. The story of the game was OK, and I'm not that big of a fan of the hulk, but what it captured perfectly was the feeling of being the hulk. You could pick up and throw tanks, smash cars into shields, jump hundreds of feet and even run up buildings. There were no other characters and though you gained new skills they didn't truly change things. You could of course destroy buildings and cause chaos but the key was that it was fun from the beginning to the end because it felt like you were the hulk. This I suspect has been one of the problems for the Superman Games. The most important of superman's powers is that he is invulnerable, but that doesn’t make for a great game, so they tone down that power so that things hurt him, just not very much. Now though, I don't really feel like I'm playing superman. Spiderman is perhaps the most fun though. Having recently played Spiderman: Web of Shadows I discovered that there is a great deal of joy in swinging across the city, and this game does it nearly perfectly. You always feel like you are right on the edge of being out of control as you swing, and often you are only inches above the city streets. You can even swing through crowds of villains knocking them down or use the webs and your agility to make lightning quick strikes and be largely away from the fight before they know what happened. I have played many video games based on comic books in my life , some work and some don't but to me the ones that always work the best are the games that make me feel like I really am the hero because if I'm playing a game about spiderman all I really want is the experience of being spiderman. Picture from Scotty Shoemaker
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