When it comes to gaming, Marvel is finally getting its act together. After years of pouring its efforts into the mobile market with its licensed heroes like Spider-Man and Deadpool to be made into mediocre action games, the company is finally starting to pay proper attention to PC and console gaming. You can see it in the return of the Marvel vs Capcom franchise, the announcement of a PS4 exclusive Spider-Man game made by Insomniac, Marvel Heroes gaining momentum, and the reveal of Square Enix’s Avengers project.
As fans of the brand, we’ve been waiting a long time for this, and we can’t wait to see what the company does with VR.
Earlier this week we reported that Marvel’s Games division was promising at least one VR project that will “absolutely amaze” its many fans. That’s the only hint the company was willing to drop, but it was enough to set our Spidey-senses off. We’d love to peer into the brains at Marvel to see what’s in store but their psychic defenses are all too strong, so we’ll have to guess instead.
So, without further ado, we present our pitch for our dream Marvel game (and something I’ve personally been longing for for years): X-Men – Danger Room.
To me, my X-Men!
Now, anyone that follows the comics and movies know that Marvel’s mutants have had a strange few years. Marvel doesn’t have the movie rights to the X-Men, Fox does. As Marvel’s multi-billion dollar Cinematic Universe has grown, its influence on the comic books it inspired has been felt; the X-Men have felt increasingly like a separate part of the universe whereas they used to be tightly integrated with it. Tellingly, none of Marvel’s upcoming games feature any mutants.
That’s partly why we want Marvel’s VR game to be focused on the X-Men. With recent relaunches in the comics, the X-Men are looking a little more like themselves again, and it’s time to see the studio embrace its family of misfits once more outside of its own pages. VR is the perfect venue to host the reunion.
When you take a minute to think about it, a lot of VR’s more common and obvious gameplay mechanics are directly linked to various members of the X-Men. Gear VR’s on-board touchpad immediately reminds anyone that uses it of the way team leader Cyclops reaches up to his glasses to let loose an eye-beam. In games like Psychonauts, we move things with out minds much in the way Jean Grey would. Even teleportation locomotion reminds us of the blue-haired Nightcrawler.
When you start thinking of all of these mechanics coming together in a single game, something special starts to form in your mind. What if you could have a four-player co-op game in which players could take on the roles of different X-Men and do battle with their biggest enemies via the Danger Room, a simulation room very similar in concept to VR itself, where training excesses bring mechanical versions of Magneto, Mr. Sinister, and others to life for you to battle against?
Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
Imagine this. You boot up the Danger Room. To one side you see Storm starting to summon winds to blow back a squad of giant mutant-killing Sentinels. To your left Kitty Pryde reaches into one of the machine’s legs and starts pulling out core components. Iceman circles around above your head, fast-firing frozen chunks and creating his own shields and weapons with Tilt Brush-esque controls. Then you look down at your own two hands and see Wolverine’s iconic claws extending from them.
A Sentinel’s foot is coming right for you, you quickly glance towards a safe spot, hit a button and a thick plume of purple smoke surrounds you. It fades just as soon as it appeared as Nightcrawler jumps back to a strategic location. Kitty manages to bring a Sentinel to its knees and Iceman’s blockades slow it down. You take your shot; metal-bodied mutant Colossus appears next to you, grabs you and flings you towards the head of the beast, which you chop off and watch topple towards the ground.
An X-Men VR experience seems like the ideal VR action game, and the list of possibilities goes on and on. Gambit’s staff combat and exploding card-throwing powers, Rogue’s ability-sucking touch, Jubilee’s fireworks-spouting fans and, yes, Deadpool’s wise-cracking shootouts could all fit perfectly inside this package. Working together to take down Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, or defend the world against the latest threat from Apocalypse would bestow hours of fun upon us.
The idea’s just too perfect not to be done (there’s a chance I may have already told multiple developers about this idea so if it comes true I take full credit). We’re not sure when Marvel will finally be ready to reveal what it’s working on in VR, but we’ve got our fingers, toes and — in Angel’s case — wings crossed that it’s something to do with the X-Men.