After playing the first episode in the latest Telltale release, I started to think about the long awaited Telltale and Marvel game that is scheduled for next year. Obviously, the key question that arose while I was thinking on this was who, or what, would form the main focus of this game. So here, and in no particular order, are ten ideas I have thought of for the Marvel/Telltale game.
Let’s start with potentially the most obvious character for Telltale to take on, our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. The basis of every Telltale game to date has been an exploration of choice and consequence, and no Marvel character embodies that more than Peter Parker. From his first appearance in comics, Spider-Man has been forced to deal with the fact that ‘With great power must also come great responsibility’. The combination of the focus on consequences of actions, or inaction, from both of these sources would no doubt provide excellent storytelling opportunities, and with a vast a diverse rogues gallery, we would be in for a treat with a game like this. The only downside I can see is that with Spider-Man, Telltale would have a large roster of games to compete with, especially with Marvel launching a PS4 Spider-Man game in the future as well.
- Iron Man
From the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man has been one of the key characters and components to its success, no doubt in part to Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal of the narcissistic yet loveable Tony Stark. A genius with a bank account large enough to finance his inventions, and a suit he uses to help take down criminals, this has great potential to be a Telltale game, particularly with the past of Stark Enterprises, and its weapon divisions, able to come back to haunt Tony. The downside to this is how close Telltale would be running to their current release. Based on the number of comparisons that have been drawn over the years between Iron Man and Batman, for Telltale to use both these characters as their main inspiration in their respective Marvel and DC games could be a bad move for the company.
- Captain America
The Sentinel of Liberty could make a brilliant subject for the Telltale Games franchise. With his enemies including the Red Skull, Arnim Zola, Baron Zemo and possibly even the Winter Soldier, the line-up of villains for this has a lot of potential. On top of this, a modern day HYDRA plot could provide an excellent 5-episode storyline, particularly if it links into the politics of America. The choice element would do well to face Captain America against some difficult choices, such as protecting the leaders of the country vs the people of the country. Cap has faced some difficult choices in his past, and Telltale could well monopolise on the struggle of this man out of time. To me, he could make a great subject, but only if managed well, as many people have struggled to identify with Steve Rogers.
- Nick Fury
As the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., there is little doubt that Nick Fury has possibly made some of the toughest choices in the Marvel Universe. This is a man who assembled the Avengers, rejected the verdict of the World Council, and faked his own death in order to root out a hidden HYDRA cell inside his own organisation. Playing as a normal man in a world full of heroes, Fury would have could have to make some tough calls on where to deploy his heroes in order to maximise on effectiveness and protect the world. Holding the power of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the might of the World’s Mightiest Heroes, Nick is certainly a man in command, but he is also the man who the blame lands squarely at the door of. Could a player potentially have to manage the heroes of the world, while dealing with the political, and media, ramifications of his choices?
- The Incredible Hulk
While not the first name that would come to mind for a Telltale Game set in the Marvel Universe, the potential for this should be largely clear to any comic book fan. Bruce Banner is constantly tormented by his own emotions, and during even the briefest moment of rage or anger, could transform into the Incredible Hulk. Given what Telltale have already done with the ‘Wolf Among Us’ game, there is no doubt they could pull off such a game. Managing the emotions of the fragile Bruce Banner, and having to choose when the right point in time to Hulk Out might be in order to protect himself or his loved ones, would provide a very interesting game mechanic. The only downside is that the best version of Hulk to use for this would be at a point where Banner does not have full control over his alter ego, however this would not necessarily translate well to a Telltale Game.
- Doctor Strange
With the Sorcerer Supreme set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe come November, it could well be that he will also star in the game rumoured to be released in 2017. We already know that the inclusion of Doctor Strange will set some big things in motion in the film world, as the introduction of magic undoubtedly opens the door for more things to come. Combine with this the demons, warlocks and other various evils that Strange has to combat, and you have a very full game on your hands. Personally, if this were the choice, I would hope that the choice elements would link to the current Doctor Strange stories in Marvel, where every magic spell and incantation has a price linked to it. Your choice of action, and of spell, could have disastrous consequences down the line if not careful.
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
It is possible that Telltale and Marvel may delve into one of their television franchises, and place the player in the roll of Coulson, Daisy or any other member of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. team. With the ever growing roster of Inhumans coming to the forefront through the show, this could be an opportunity to pull out some of the bigger names yet to be seen. Alongside this, the show has set up for some brilliant villains who have made their own names in the Marvel Comic world. The potential for this game could well be similar to the idea of taking the roll of Nick Fury, however with the interplay of the team’s relationships, some difficult choices could well have to be made by the player that will affect the dynamic of the team. However, with the link to the TV franchise, the game will be somewhat limited in its scope due to having to stay inside the limits it has already set.
- Heroes for Hire
Speaking of the possibility of a television based tie-in, it’s possible that Telltale could add a third party to the team up on this game by using one of the Netflix based series as inspiration. Allowing the player to take on the role of either Luke Cage or Iron Fist, the player could be launched in to a world of gangs and street violence. Hell’s Kitchen would make a perfect setting for the game, with the various villains and crooks that we have become familiar with in the Netflix series. On top of this, most of the characters already have some sort of background to build upon, and could utilise plot details from these series as well. Focussing on the Heroes for Hire, rather than any other of the characters that will feature in ‘The Defenders’ also allows Telltale to build upon the longstanding friendship between Luke and Danny. Once again though, the limits that would be placed on a TV series based game would likely be quite high, which could seriously impact game quality.
- Team-focussed story
The reason I have left the name of the team out of this post, is that I feel that this has the potential to take on any of a number of teams. Avengers, X-Men, Defenders, Fantastic 4, Guardians of the Galaxy, or any other Marvel team could well be the subject of such a game. The player could be forced to take on the role of the team leader, choosing who to take on missions, planning attacks (similar to the new mechanic introduced in the Batman game) and making hard decisions about either recruiting, or removing, heroes would make for an excellent game. Again, this would largely result in the player making choices that will affect the public view of the team he, or she, leads, and how threats could play on the fears the public have about the team’s failures. There are also enough classic stories to take on, and a vast array of villains to use, that this could be a real wonder if Telltale could pull off such a game.
- Civil War
Of course, it is hard to talk about choice and consequence in the Marvel Universe without eventually reaching this. Civil War took choice to a whole new level when it launched in 2006, pitting hero against hero in a violent debate over accountability. This year, Marvel has also launched Civil War II as a comic book storyline, which is currently dealing with an Inhuman who receives visions of the future, and an equally violent debate over whether this gift should be used to change the future by dealing with problems before they occur. With such intent, and violent debate common in the Marvel Universe, could Telltale create their own take on a Civil War between the biggest names in Marvel. Who the main character for this game would be is anyone’s guess, and whether they are a leader, or a recruit, to one side of the debate equally so. However, based on the success of both Civil Wars in print, and the recent film taking on the same story, we can be fairly sure if Telltale attempted this, they would no doubt create a story that would keep us all talking.