Playing Marvel's Midnight Suns has opened a lot of doors in my mind. With it's willingness to explore a lesser-known area of the Marvel Universe - and make me care about characters I wouldn't normally care about - Midnight Suns has been inspiring me to think about other parts of the Marvelverse that would be cool to see in video game form.
Yes, seeing an X-Men game done in the style of Midnight Suns would be cool. I would also love to see the Fantastic Four make their way into this sort of game in some form. But there are also places like the Savage Land - home of Ka-Zar that would be way more wacky and fun to visit. What about the Microverse, where 80's super team The Micronauts live? If you want to go a little more mainstream, how about an entire game set in the Quantum Realm?
But I think the very best idea I've had for the next Midnight Suns-style game is Secret Wars, the mid-80s miniseries event. But we just had a game where we get to play as Spidey and Iron-Man, and who wants another one of those? No, I want to build up and play as the team of bad guys on Battle Planet.
For those that don't know, Secret Wars was an awesome 12-part series Marvel published in the mid 1980s, with the intent of shaking up the status quo. A cosmic entity known as "The Beyonder" constructed an entire planet made of chunks he had ripped from other planets, then plopped all of Marvel's super heroes and super villains onto the planet to battle it out.
The story was fantastic to 13-year-old me at the time it was published, and I still retain a certain fondness for the series, so I would love to play a video game dramatization of Secret Wars. But again, we already have an awesome game with Captain America and The Hulk. What if we had a game where we fought against those guys?
The bad guys in Secret Wars were (thanks Wikipedia!) Absorbing Man, Doctor Doom, Doctor Octopus, the Enchantress, Kang the Conqueror, Klaw, the Lizard, Molecule Man (my dude!), Titania, Ultron, Volcana, and the Wrecking Crew. Magneto and Galactus are also hanging around Battle Planet, but their hero/villain statuses are a bit less cut and dry than the others.
How great of a cast is that? Maybe you could start the game as one of the less powerful characters - Klaw, or the Wrecking Crew dudes maybe - and then have to make connections to the others, slowly building the team over the course of the game while fending off attacks from those pesky heroes ("It's Wolverine! Gah! Get him, you fools!"). You could have a full new suite of powers to master, and you would fight against more interesting opponents than just an endless flow of Hydra dudes. Can you imagine how terrifying it would be the first time the Thing showed up in a battle? Or even Colossus? Having to fight the Marvel heroes - alone or teamed up - would be an absolute nightmare.
The social aspect of the game would be tricky and hilarious. How does Ultron react when you ask him to go fishing? Would Doctor Doom like a nice candle as a token of your friendship? Maybe bonding activities could involve things like taking food from peasants, or oppressing villages together. "You know, Doom, I can respect the way you removed that porridge from that orphanage. Ever since we laid waste to that tribe of elephant people, I feel as though you are my closest ally." Then Doom, unable to handle his emotions, would punch a mountain or something. I'm telling you, this would be awesome.
Do I think that Firaxis would really do this? Probably not, particularly since a Secret Wars film has been announced already, and the two versions of the same property might get a little confusing for folks that can't embrace comic books discordant continuity. But still - dare to dream, right?
Marvel's Midnight Suns has renewed my faith in comic book-based video games, with a fresh new take on some lessor-known heroes and a cool battle system that is strategic, but feels true to the characters. Whatever corner of the Marvel Universe Firaxis chooses to plumb next, I'm excited to see what they come up with.
But if that did turn out to be playing as Molecule Man while he romances Volcana, I would lose my mind.