Since 1979, there have been 80 video games based on characters in the DC Comics universe, according to Wikipedia. Of those, 50 have been about Superman or Batman, with Batman unsurprisingly having the bulk of that amount. Those 50 don't include the games in which Superman and/or Batman appear as supporting characters, either. There has been a criminal under representation of DC's vast pantheon of characters.
This list is going to go through 10 games based on DC characters that should absolutely be made (in no particular order). In the interest of keeping things interesting, as few entries as possible are simple action/adventure games, like most superhero games. For example, the only reason Wonder Woman doesn't appear on this list is that it was hard to think of a game centered around her that wasn't just an action/adventure and/or RPG. Still, she absolutely deserves her own game; most of the female DC characters do! Catwoman is the only one who has gotten her own game, and that hardly counts as a game at all.
#1: John Constantine
Genre: Detective Noir/Supernatural Horror
John Constantine is a character that most people were introduced to through the Keanu Reeves movie based on the character, or through the short lived television series. Neither of those entries is exactly upfront about the gruff, hell bound, Brit being a DC superhero in the first place. The recent animated film will hopefully clear that up for some of the masses.
Constantine is often depicted as a sarcastic, vice-loving, force against the denizens of Hell. Whether through his silver tongue or magic, Constantine works in the shadows to keep the shadows from bleeding into the light. So how perfect would it be to get a detective style game where the player controls Constantine as he solves supernatural mysteries, faces hellish horrors, and interact with other supernatural characters of the DC universe?
Supporting Cast: Zatanna, Doctor Fate, Raven
Genre: Mini-Game collection
Superman has had a well documented troubled history with video games. It seems no matter what, the world's most famous superhero can't get a good game centered around him. So maybe the Man of Steel's opposite, Bizarro, would have one of the best games ever made.
Bizarro was created to be a counter to Superman, but things got taken a little too literally and Bizarro became so much of an anti-Superman that the destruction-causing, well-meaning, oaf lives every day like it's Opposite Day. A video game about him could easily be an action/adventure, focused on putting cats in trees, starting fires, and destroying buildings all to make Metropolis a better place. However, given the character's weird nature, he seems better suited to a mini-game collection, much like the Wario Ware games.
Supporting Cast: Mr. Mxylplyx, Superman, the Bizarro versions of other heroes/villains
#3: Jonah Hex
Genre: Open World Western
Though he possesses no actual super powers, Jonah Hex is still a force to be reckoned with. Easily identified by his horribly burned face, Hex is both a blessing and a curse, a man that is both welcomed for solving problems, but quickly forced to leave due to his personality and appearance.
A Red Dead Redemption style game featuring Jonah Hex would be a hell of a lot of fun. Traveling from town to town, righting wrongs, throwing back some whiskey and then saddling up to hit the next town. Another possible genre to pull it further from the action/adventure genre is an on-rails shooter, playing out like those arcade games where you would enter a screen and have to shoot all the enemies as they pop up while avoiding shooting the innocents who can't help but wander out into the open.
Supporting Cast: Mei-Ling, Quentin Turnbull, Grey Ghost
#4: Poison ivy/Swamp Thing
Genre: Farming/Gardening Simulator
The Green is one of the primal forces of the DC universe, and is the binding force behind all plant life on Earth. Characters with plant based powers are actually tapping into The Green, whether they know it or not. Two such characters would be Poison Ivy and Swamp Thing, both supers that desire to protect nature, even if they sometimes go about it in different ways.
A game that would suit both of them is a farming/gardening simulator. Players would choose to create a calm, peaceful garden with Swamp Thing, occasionally having to fend off those who would do nature harm, intentionally or not. Conversely, players could play the role of Poison Ivy, creating a menagerie of killer plants with the intent of using them to take over the entire planet. And for those curious, the other forces besides the Green are The Red (force behind animals and micro-organisms), The Blue (force behind the ocean and its life), The Grey (space fungus or something), and The Black (force behind death and decay).
Supporting Cast: Beast Boy (The Red), Aquaman (The Blue), The Arcane Family (The Black)
#5: Hawk & Dove
Genre: Asymmetrical co-op
Hawk and Dove are two opposites that are attracted to one another. Hawk is quick to violence, assuming all problems can be solved if you punch them enough. Dove is the opposite, preferring to talk things out and find the non-violent solution to everything. Together they work as a balanced team, serving under the opposing forces of the Lords of Chaos and the Lords of Order.
Co-op games typically work with both players have equal power, or at least the same access to equal power. An asymmetrical co-op game tasks one player with certain abilities, while the other gets different skills, both of whom rely on one another to survive. Resident Evil Revelations 2 is a good example of this, where one player had the gun and the other a flashlight used to reveal and illuminate targets to shoot. A Hawk and Dove game could work in the same way, with one player as Dove, being able to talk to enemies or use tools to circumvent violence. The other player would be Hawk, fighting those enemies that Dove fails to talk down while also relying on her to find ways to weaken oppositions that prove too much for him alone.
Supporting Cast: Kestrel, Anti-Fate, Shazam
#6: Space Cabbie
Genre: Open World Objective-Based Driving
Space Cabbie is exactly what he sounds like. He's a cab driver, in space. Certainly not a character to take seriously, but has access to any space-faring character in the DC universe, good and bad. With his Space Taxi, it's his job to take passengers from one end of the universe to the other.
Much like the game Crazy Taxi, a Space Cabbie game would have the player shuttling DC's super heroes and super villains from one planet to the next, hearing their stories and maybe getting into a few car chases here and there. Players could be rewarded for making great time, doing tricks, and hitting the button prompts for Cabbie to keep up the conversation with his various passengers.
Supporting Cast: Anyone that can be found in space, like the Lanterns or Lobo; speaking of Lobo…
Genre: FPS RPG
The Main Man. One bad bastich. Lobo. The last living member of a race that was wiped out (by him); Lobo travels the stars collecting bounties and getting into bar fights. Insanely powerful, he could set his sights higher, like on conquering worlds, but he lives for the simple life, and is happy on his spacehog, traveling the open stars.
Supporting Cast: Anyone he could take the piss out of.
#8: Mister Miracle
Mister Miracle, also known as Scott Free (I know), is the world's greatest escape artist. Raised on the deadly world of Apokolips, home of Darkseid, Scott knew a cruel and harsh life. Scott would go on to be the only person to ever escape from the planet, later finding himself on Earth, where he lived with his wife, Big Barda.
Miracle comes from one of the most dangerous places in the DC universe. Though he did manage to escape, doing so was no easy task. A game about him could tell the story of his escape from the fiery planet. It would play out like a roguelike, brutal and constantly changing to challenge the player's ability to react, evade, and combat everything Apokolips has to throw at him.
Supporting Cast: Big Barda, Granny Goodness, Darkseid
#9: The Super Pets
Genre: Pet Simulator
The Super Pets are the animal sidekicks of many of the Justice League's most prominent members. There's Ace the Bat Hound, Beppo the Super Monkey, Krypto the Super Dog, Whatzit the super fast turtle, Jumpa the super powered kangaroo of Wonder Woman, and, unofficially, the pets of Damien "Robin" Wayne: Bat-Cow and Goliath the Bat.
Naturally a game about these characters would be lighthearted and cute. Like Nintendogs, players would get to choose one of the super pets to take care of, dealing with regular issues like feeding and washing, as well as more super ones like training them to fight and brushing debris out of their fur. Hell, it could even feature some sections where you get to control the pet as they fight crime.
Supporting Cast: Animal Man, Beast Boy, Gorilla Grodd
#10: All of them!
Genre: Kart racer
Okay, not literally all of them, but a healthy mix of heroes and villains who come together to race against one another in a racing battle royale. Mario Kart has something of a stranglehold on the genre, with very few unrelated titles making it out and getting attention.
The game could work in one of either two ways. One, the characters could all be seated in karts, their art style taking on something of a cartoonish, chibi, looking so it's not just Flash with his knees up to his chest looking miserable as he goes slower in the kart than he ever would on foot. The other method is to have some characters in vehicles, like the Batmobile, and others using their super power of flight and/or super speed. The problem with the second one is that they tried to do that with Sonic in his kart racing games, but apparently having him on foot felt weird.
There you have it, 10 game ideas featuring 10+ DC super heroes and villains. There's no reason why DC should keep relying on just Batman to sell games (and animated movies for that matter) when they have all these other great characters to choose from. As demonstrated, the variety of characters lends itself to having a variety of game genres to choose from, too. We don't have to settle for F2P mobile games with static art and microtransactions (*cough* Marvel *cough*).
The views expressed above are those of the article's author and not necessarily those of Keen Gamer.