The Marvel and Square Enix game partnership has garnered turbulent results so far. 2020’s Marvel’s Avengers was a commercial disappointment and fans were not impressed with its reliance on online play. This year, however, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has fared much better in terms of critic and public opinion. It even recently won Best Narrative at The Game Awards. Developers Eidos-Montréal did a fantastic job, although all companies involved will now hope to build some consistency.
Square Enix are spoilt for choice with a huge catalogue of characters at their disposal. They can choose to give a lesser known comic book favourite a videogame spotlight, or continue focusing on the more mainstream characters. This article has narrowed down the possibilities to 5 characters who are on the latter side, but suggestions in the comments of those on the former side are welcome. First, though, let’s take a look at those 5 superheroes who deserve to join Marvel’s Square Enix game series.
Marvel’s team of mutants have been absent from videogames since the, now de-listed, 2011 title X-Men: Destiny. With the rumour mill currently spinning regarding their inevitable addition to the MCU, it seems like a great time for the X-Men to return to the virtual universe. The developers can build on the teamwork gameplay from Guardians but with a twist. The head of this superhero team is Professor X, but he’s leads more from behind the scenes unlike Star-Lord. Therefore, players should be able to control and switch between multiple X-Men. They can instruct one another to execute their signature abilities. Square Enix’s game would just give fans a bit more freedom to fully control their favourite member.
With Marvel’s games opting to be narrative-heavy nowadays, future entries would continue this. There are numerous plot-device options when it comes to the X-Men. Death and resurrection and time travel are two that have been recently used in the films. One other plot-device that could work for this game is sanity, following the famous Onslaught story. This would write out Professor X as being an active leader and tell a story of the X-Men needing to work closer than ever before in order to save the world. The characters can develop throughout the game as they argue then reconcile, sharing what good the team has done for them.
The Human-Kree hybrid superhero is yet to star in her own game. There are multiple versions of Captain Marvel for Square Enix to choose from. Carol Danvers and Monica Rambeau have been rather prominent in Marvel’s mainstream media recently, so one of these two would be ideal. This entry could begin to establish a ‘Marvel Game Universe’ by featuring Avengers‘ Kamala Khan/Ms Marvel with Sandra Saad returning. The two characters are set to team up in the MCU’s The Marvels, so fans may also like to see a virtual version where Ms Marvel is more experienced.
Co-op games have been thriving in recent years thanks to titles such as It Takes Two and A Way Out. It would be cool to see this game series join in. Marvel’s Captain Marvel should feature two player gameplay where players control Captain Marvel and Ms Marvel, with the heroes combining their abilities to defeat enemies and solve environmental puzzles. The former would be a lot of fun to play as with her speed, flight, and energy powers. Square Enix using a co-op system would help to present a possible narrative of Kamala trying to prove to herself that she belongs in the Avengers after making a mistake on duty.
The star of the Alias comics celebrated her 20th anniversary this year, no doubt with a few whiskeys. Jessica Jones has continued to be in hiding, though, since the end of her TV series in 2019. A return to mainstream media via the MCU is unknown, so how about being a part of Marvel and Square Enix’s game partnership? This one would focus more on detective-based gameplay as Jessica steps out of superhero retirement. Inspiration could be taken from Batman: Arkham and L.A Noire, with players being placed in an open world New York where Jessica investigates cases while fighting crime when necessary. She could also rediscover her ability to fly as the game progresses.
Where Jessica Jones goes, Luke Cage follows. Their relationship could be a focal point for the narrative. Perhaps, Luke is reluctant for Jessica to get back into superhero action. Villain-wise, Kilgrave is the easy choice. It would take a great effort to follow David Tennant’s TV series iteration, but there’s plenty of history between the characters. Kingpin, the self-proclaimed leader of New York’s crime scene, would be someone new and interesting for Jessica to tangle with, though. She can spend the game investigating some big plans of his and then attempt to thwart them.
Stephen has had a rough few years in the MCU. He was caught in the five year long ‘blip’ and is now heavily involved with the unstable multiverse. Doctor Strange has grown to play such a pivotal role that he deserves a Square Enix game, especially while his popularity is high. He would be a very fun character to play as. His magic expertise and martial arts skillset can provide challenging puzzle-solving and intense combat gameplay. Players could unlock new abilities for Strange in the form of new mystical artefacts throughout the game.
Marvel’s demonic villain Mephisto would be a great choice for the star antagonist. His abilities to project illusions and manipulate memories can be used to torture an experienced Strange, allowing cameos from other characters associated with him such as Clea. The chosen developer could produce some sequences involving illusions that send players on a wild ride. Batman: Arkham’s Scarecrow sequences would be good to take inspiration from.
The ‘Merc with a Mouth’ is no stranger to videogames, having starred in a self-titled game in 2013 which is now difficult to obtain. Therefore, it’s only right that he gets a second go courtesy of Square Enix. A Deadpool game has to feature fast-paced gameplay, with plenty of guns and close combat, to reflect the chaos that always follows the character. To prevent repetition, stealth could also be included to force Deadpool to slow down a bit for his own sake. A variety of unlockable weapons, moves and abilities would help too.
With his brain being rather unpredictable, this Deadpool game’s story should include narrative choices which can turn him into more of a hero or villain. He can be aware of the player’s power and respond to each choice made to help increase user interaction. T-Ray is known as his archenemy, and is a strong antagonist option since the developers can continue the question of whether T-Ray is the real Wade Wilson. No matter the story, though, there should be a lot of fourth wall breaking. A reference to the Marvel’s Avengers criticism would be very brave yet hilarious.
Do any other Marvel superheroes deserve a Square Enix game? Let us know in the comments below!