Iron Man VR on PlayStation VR has us thinking about what other superheroes from Marvel and DC Comics need their own VR games. These are our top picks.
Iron Man VR is a game for the PS4’s PlayStation VR headset that lets you climb into Tony Stark’s armor. While modern VR gaming is still in its infancy, there’s no denying that superhero games are an attractive use of the technology. Who hasn’t wanted to slip into the leotard of their favorite comic book heroes (metaphorically) and really feel what being superhuman is like? If the game is a hit, here’s our wishlist for other superheroes that would rock in VR.
Marvel’s master of the mystic arts seems perfectly suited for virtual reality. His power set doesn’t involve a whole lot of moving around, so teleporting from place to place will feel more natural. And because casting the Rings of Raggador and Strange’s other spells often involves hand gestures, VR will help the experience feel more immersive as he battles against his supernatural foes. We’d love to see the psychedelic landscapes of Steve Ditko rendered in 3D.
John Stewart is an ex-Marine architect turned space cop, armed with a will-powered ring that lets him create anything he can imagine. As opposed to an action-packed twitch experience, we see a Green Lantern game being more cerebral, using a 3D virtual interface to connect with the Power Ring and actually sculpt energy constructs to solve puzzles and capture some of the galaxy’s nastiest criminals. Or imagine creating a weapon in one mode and then bringing it into combat in another. The possibilities are limitless.
The promise of VR has always been to take players into worlds that they could never visit, and the size-changing abilities of Scott Lang would be an incredible way to illustrate that potential. Virtual reality could absolutely sell the sensation of shrinking into a world where a housecat is the size of a city bus and crossing the living room floor is a dangerous journey. Throw in a telepathic bond with ants that could be used—Lemmings-like—to solve problems for your hero and you have a very fun idea.
Plenty of X-Men could make for cool superhero games, but Gambit has a powerset virtually made for VR. If you’re not familiar with the Cajun Mutant, he has the power to charge objects with kinetic energy and make them explode. His usual weapon is a pack of playing cards, but think about a VR title where he can grab just about anything in arm’s reach, power it up and fling it into foes to detonate them. Strap a robust physics engine on this thing and you’ve got a recipe for chaos.
To save his home planet, Norrin Radd consented to become the herald of the mighty planet-eater Galactus, a ravenous cosmic entity who feeds on worlds. Imagine a Silver Surfer game set before his debut in the pages of Fantastic Four, as he scours the spaceways to find planets devoid of sentient life. Think of the massive procedurally generated universe of No Man’s Sky, but instead of scraping together a spaceship you’re testing planetary defenses and making complex moral decisions on whether to sacrifice a world to your master.
VR is all about visual presentation, but it can also let us experience the world in completely new ways. Imagine what a gutsy developer could do with Marvel’s Daredevil, a blind vigilante who possesses heightened senses and innate radar that lets him perceive the world around him. Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s run on the hero used a really cool outlined visual style to represent his radar sense, and a melee combat game where you’re smacking down the Kingpin’s thugs without ever seeing them could be really slick.
About the Author
K. Thor Jensen is a writer and cartoonist living in the Pacific Northwest. He has contributed to dozens of prestigious outlets, including PCMag, Tested, Clickhole, and Game Informer. He is currently finishing his second graphic novel, Cloud Stories, which will be released in 2015. Follow him on Twitter @kthorjensen. See Full Bio