by Joey Esposito
As you are probably aware, earlier this week it was announced that Warner Bros. took a big step towards their video games no longer sucking as they became the primary shareholders in Rocksteady Studios, the developer responsible for last summer's gloriously good Batman: Arkham Asylum.
As most of us are lethal combos of comic book and video game fans, we thought it was only fair to let our wildest dreams run rampant and assume that Rocksteady would be making every DC game to release from now on.
Surely, that won't happen, but hey. The whole point of the internet is to drum up completely false and inaccurate rumors, so here's where they begin. Since we all know the big guys would be on any list like this - Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash - I'm going to be focused on some lesser known, but not completely obscure, DC properties that Rocksteady could have their way with.
10. Jonah Hex
With the Jonah Hex feature film coming out... soon(ish?), the resident cowboy antihero of the DC Universe will soon be in the spotlight. Hopefully, the movie doesn't blow ass and flop, but even if it does, Rocksteady could make one hell of a game.
Think of it like the upcoming Red Dead Redemption by Rockstar Games, but throw in some DCU insanity and you've got Jonah Hex. The game should play similarly to Red Dead as well, delivering open world play with an overarching storyline, while being able to pick up mercenary missions and the like.
Even Rocksteady's stellar "Scarecrow flashback" sequences could make a return (in spirit). Instead of fear toxin, perhaps Indian voodoo causes Jonah to hallucinate about his origins: how is face was scarred, fighting in the Civil War, etc.
Just leave that jezebel Megan Fox out of it, dammit.
9. Sgt. Rock
WWII shooters are a dime a dozen, but one starring DC war hero Sgt. Rock and Easy Company could bring a whole new dynamic. Namely, a non-cliche dynamic. We could enjoy the banter of Sure Shot and Four Eyes, have the option to light a cigar, plus have appearances from other DC WWII characters like the Blackhawks and even the Justice Society to assist in missions.
The Sgt. Rock game being an FPS is a must, but with a good squad control system. You need to be able to call in sniper hits, cover, and recon. Also using an established story like Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion that infuses actual events with the DC property could help draw in non-comic fans to the game.
8. Metal Men
Rocksteady? Known for their high octane action adventure Batman game? Yes, I want them to make a puzzle game akin to Dr. Mario or Boom Blox that incorporates the lovable Metal Men - Gold, Iron, Lead, Doc Magnus and the rest of the gang.
Infusing the puzzle genre with the Metal Men is a match made in heaven. Rocksteady could incorporate the elements and how they interact with one another as the primary focus of the puzzle, with the player perhaps taking on the role of Doc Magnus attempting to sort it all out.
It could even be switched up a bit to incorporate strategy as well, using the characters different abilities to work together to solve a stage: Gold's stretching abilities, Tin containing objects, and Mercury melting to fit in small places could all potentially lead to a challenging, but fun, game.
7. Green Arrow
Essentially, I would be happy with a game very similar to Arkham Asylum for Green Arrow. While Green Arrow has long been an important player in the DCU, for whatever reason he's still often overlooked in the eyes of the casual fan or average movie goer. Having now been brought into the spotlight via Smallville, Oliver Queen is ready to get the video game treatment he deserves.
In the same way that Arkham had a fully developed "Detective Mode" system, the Green Arrow game could have an "Archer Mode"; hyper reality that lets you unleash a bloody fury of arrows upon your enemy. Even the gadget system could remain in tact in the form of different quiver types that have various functions. EMP arrows to disable security systems, boxing glove arrows for quick enemy takedowns, explosive arrows to open up new areas and create distractions; there are tons of possibilities.
It's definitely a pipe dream, but Green Arrow is one DC badass that deserves as much recognition as Batman.
6. Suicide Squad
Gears of War with a heavy focus on squad-based tactics and strategy would be a great fit for DC's Suicide Squad. Led by Amanda "The Wall" Waller, there's an enormous cast of characters to choose from that have been members at one time or another, including fan favorites like Deadshot, Nemesis, and Captain Cold.
Swapping team members in and out would be key, each having different abilities that could be used to accomplish your missions in various ways, depending on the team combinations. A politically charged espionage tale is key, and while I don't think it's necessary for tons of DC character cameos due to the inherently large cast already present, it definitely wouldn't hurt.
A Suicide Squad game that accomplishes all of these things is pretty unrealistic in terms of sheer scope, considering the "obscurity" of the characters involved, but any DC fanboy would give their left leg to play it.
Selina Kyle, though a hero at times, is a thief, plain and simple. Forget the Halle Berry disaster (movie and game - in fact, forget Halle Berry all together), a Catwoman game should be as much about the slinking around and jewel stealing as it is hand-to-hand combat. Pretty much, mix Sly Cooper with Splinter Cell, and you've got what I want.
The Catwoman/Black Mask storyline from a couple of years ago would be a great plot to take from, and even better would be if Rocksteady was able to tie-in this game with Arkham 2, perhaps taking place on the same night with crossing paths and overlapping characters; sort of a companion piece.
And, as unlockable bonuses, Adam Hughes Catwoman covers. Of course.
Remember Geist on GameCube? It sucked. However, n-Space was onto something with the concept of possessing people and things, and I think that could play an effective role in a Deadman game. Boston Brand, known for being - well, dead - takes pride in possessing other members of the DCU to help out in times of crisis.
Rocksteady could take the character and stretch him into a slightly more terrifying world, infusing a good helping of horror into an action game that would see Brand jumping from body to body, taking on the different characteristics and abilities of the possessed.
A Deadman game could also be more dramatic than most other entries on this list, as Brand's tale is truly tragic and could be a good source of emotional despair. And as you know, there's nothing I love more than emotional despair.
Ragman. Detective Chimp. Blue Devil. Regular appearances by the Phantom Stranger. The Shadowpact is a team full of some of the DCU's most magical characters, and as such, are custom built for a classic style RPG full of spells, mana, and particle effects.
The magical community in DC is so rich with great characters, there would certainly be no shortage of tales to tell. Bring Shadowpact creator Bill Willingham on board to pen the story, much like Paul Dini did for Arkham, and we're golden.
The Shadowpact even has a built-in homebase or hub world in the form of the Oblivion Bar. All of the elements are there for a 60 hour plus adventure, and even though I'm not an avid fan of RPGs, I would quit my job to play this game.
2. Adam Strange
Honestly, of any game I've suggested on this list, I think an Adam Strange game holds the most promise to be a smash hit. Though the average gamer might not really know who Strange is, his zeta beam world hopping and sci-fi roots would make for an insanely action packed romp through the vast outer reaches of the DCU. Combining space flight, comedy, laser beams, jetpacks and the Rann/Thanagar War could hold mass appeal.
Even if you aren't a comic book fan, seeing a game like this in action with so much space adventuring would surely get your blood pumping, and if Rocksteady were to take it to the cosmic extreme, sci-fi game fans would have a new idol in the form of The Man of Two Worlds, Adam Strange.
1. Perry White & The Daily Planet Staff
Surprised? Think of it as "Newsroom Tycoon". Take the every day high blood pressure stress of Perry White running the Daily Planet and turn it inward; micromanaging the ins and outs of running a major metropolitan newspaper could hold years of fun.
To my knowledge, there's never been a sim game of this type, so factor in that originality with beloved Daily Planet regulars like Lois Lane, Clark Kent, Ron Troupe and Kat Grant (and of course, a button on your HUD that gets Jimmy Olsen to bring you coffee at any given time) and you have a game that is assaulting your nerdiness on all sides.
You could give beat assignments, manage salaries and bonuses of your staff, make advertising and distribution deals, ward off the threats of buyouts by Lex Luthor, reject accusations of libel by Morgan Edge, lock down exclusive interviews with Superman, and so much more.
There's an infinite number of possibilities, plus the ever growing arena of expansion packs and DLC. Hell, I'd even sacrifice the much longed for Superman adventure game in favor of this.
Rocksteady, you've heard my plea.
Great find, GregMO. I would love to see a Red Dead style game for Jonah Hex. Sgt. Rock as a MoH style FPS would be good, but I doubt it would catch on, seeing as how FPS has been done to death and fans would just view this as a licensed pile of dog vomit.