The licensing of superhero stories has spawned a slew of comic-based movies and games, and more often than not, marketing the IP takes precedence over delivering a good game. In a new in-depth article on GameCareerGuide.com
, Albert T. Ferrer asks, ‘Are video games bad for comics
“Some of the biggest superhero characters,” Ferrer writes, “have been made into games that (upon a quick search on a review compiling site such as Metacritic reveals) have fallen victim to fairly average ratings. Lack of polish, lack of depth, lack of care, and ‘heavily scripted’ seems to be the general consensus from reviewers of comic licensed games from Marvel to DC Comics, handheld to home console. Retaining integrity is not so much the problem; it’s the overall intent, design, and execution.”
Featured in the article are comic book and game experts including Joe Madureira, a comic book writer and artist, as well as creative director at Vigil Games for THQ’s Darksiders
Ed Boon, of Midway and producer on the upcoming Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
, shares his insight on what happens behind game publisher and developer walls as well. Zack Snyder, director of comic adapted films such as 300
, spoke recently on the subject while at Comic-Con, and his thoughts are considered in the article as well.
In this excerpt, Ferrer briefly maps out the issue:
“… [I]t’s easier for a developer to create a game with a relatively straightforward design than it is to tell a well-crafted interactive narrative that requires players to become emotionally invested in the experience.
Translating the vision from the pages of a comic book to another medium has been proven to be a difficult task for those adapting the material, and a hit-or-miss experience for those anticipating the adaptation. The potential for great games is there, but it has almost never been executed well.
Fans who have grown up with these characters naturally become very particular about the way their favorite comic book heroes are interpreted through various media, and video games are no exception.
From the perspective of disgruntled comics fans and game players who have seen more than their fair share of comic-gaming gone awry, there is a clear distinction between the few successful games that have reached the market and the obvious duds.
Will comic book-based games remain in an alienated genre all their own, or will developers seize the opportunity to pull them out of the shadow of mediocre?”
The article, 'Super Growing Pains: Are Games Bad for Comics?'
is available in full on GameCareerGuide.com.