So it appears 2013 is a wondrous feast for gaming super-hero fans. Batman Arkham Origins was just announced, Injustice: Gods Among Us released this week and a Marvel Heroes MMO is about to consume any chance of a healthy life. Throw a Lego Marvel Super Heroes title into the mix, and just sit back and watch the nerds salivate. Who can blame us? Have you seen the Lego versions of Thor and Iron Man? Adorable!
Unfortunately, this is one grand illusion. A web of lies designed to dance our minds away from our true hearts desire. These games are all welcome to join the party, but where are we without a spectacular host? A game that can provide the alcohol and crank up the bass, before reliably guiding you to the bog once all hell spills over. We need the spinster of chaos. A base for smashing pleasures. We need the Incredible Hulk.
Before you hastily pillage the comments section, I’m very aware that the Hulk will make an appearance in both the Marvel titles mentioned above. I’m also aware of the wickedly fun Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction that was released on the last generation of consoles. In fact, it is a mix of these two ideas that constantly makes me yearn for a new title involving the green beast. In Ultimate Destruction, you could surf on cars, swing tanks around like a used dishcloth and tear down helicopters from the sky. Why haven’t we been blessed with a worthy sequel yet?
(As a side-note, I’m going to forget about that Hulk movie tie-in game that was released a few years back. It is what everyone involved would have wanted).
In case it wasn’t clear, I’m crying out for the Incredible Hulk. A brand new game that keeps the framework of Ultimate Destruction and infuses it with a dab of Marvel imagination. If executed well, it could easily match the fantastic Arkham series in scope, entertainment and fan-service. If any games designers are currently reading this, I beg thee to consider some of the suggestions that shall lay before you. Especially if you’re Rocksteady or Rockstar Games.
1) Avengers Crossovers
After the overwhelming success of The Avengers Assemble movie, this is a complete no-brainer. Instead of receiving missions from random civilians or government organisations, why can’t we have Iron Man, Thor and Captain America asking for help? It could create some awesome mission scenarios and add some much-needed vibrancy to the open-world you inhabit. Tony Stark could need a guinea-pig for new technology, Black Widow might be in need of a massive green distraction or Thor could require a baby-sitter for his troublesome demi-god brother. Heck, go crazy and throw in a mission where you take Captain America on a shopping trip for the finest over-sized purple shorts money can buy. If it gives me a chance to smash around something akin to Primark, I’ll be all over it.
2) Crazy Battle Arena Multiplayer
A multiplayer aspect would be ridiculous in the best possible way. My favourite idea would be a zany battle arena style game where you are locked within certain districts of the city. In this mode you could also include tasty extras from the Incredible Hulk universe. She-Hulk? Red Hulk? Lets have them all beating the bells out of each other with monster trucks and electrical pylons.King of the Hill, Capture the Flag and other competitive modes could work alongside a Horde-inspired mode, where you work together to fight wave after wave of S.W.A.T teams or alien foes. It would be the perfect recipe for glorious destructive (and potentially online) mayhem.
3) Open World Brimming with Destructive Opportunities
Perhaps the most important ingredient for my Hulk gaming dream is a fully destructible open-world playground. Alright, so this might be asking a little too much. But if you can’t hurtle your way through every building, we could have something akin to the Assassins Creed series, where certain visual queues indicate destructive shortcuts or certain collapsible buildings. I just to want to run around and destroy buildings with my bare, bulky green hands. That shouldn’t be too much to ask.
4) Hulk-Inspired Mini-Games
These could be darted around the world and provide some welcome light-hearted relief. Activities such as traffic bowling or a Crazy Taxi inspired civilian tossing service, that could be against the clock. There could also be a special game where, as Bruce Banner, you sneakily infiltrate a nearby school or church, transform into the green beast and see how much collateral fright you can cause in the nearby area. Similar to the Crash mode in Burnout, but with a slightly sadistic twist. The best kind of twist.
This brand new Hulk dream of mine could also represent a fresh start for the gaming Marvel universe. We’ve all been tragically disappointed by the likes of Iron Man, Thor: God of Thunder and Captain America: Super Soldier over the past generation. A fresh reboot of one of the most iconic super-heroes of all time could pave the way for others to follow. An on-rails shooter Iron Man in the vein of Kid Icarus: Uprising? A Thor title that could actually match the God of War comparisons or an Uncharted-inspired Captain America? It’s all possible. It just needs someone to shake-off the disappointed formulas we have all come to expect from these titles. All it needs is a pulverizing Hulk Smash!
Do you want to see another game starring the Incredible Hulk? Let us know.