DC Heroes and Villains Wastes Its Epic Premise On A Match-Three Game

DC Heroes and Villains Wastes Its Epic Premise On A Match-Three Game

DC’s Fandome event went hard over the weekend, with four hours of content dedicated to all the games, TV shows, and movies on their slate, with some comics also getting a look-in. It was a great showcase of the depth of stories and characters DC has to offer.

In terms of games, Rocksteady is, of course, going to deliver an excellent next instalment in their brilliant Arkham series with Suicide Squad, and there was the brand new Gotham Knights trailer. The only other game on offer at the event was DC Heroes and Villains, which features a pretty epic story:

The DC Heroes and Villains must team up to stop the Teen Titans’ nemesis Trigon. In the teaser, we can see the heroes and villains battling each other as usual, but presumably that content comes before the great team-up to drive home how fragile and unusual this alliance is, blah blah blah.

That’s a really cool story, I want to play that game. The problem is that that story is wrapped around a match-three game, presumably with all the predatory in-app purchases and fun restrictions that come with the genre.

It really drives home my irritation with the current state of DC superhero video games. These costumed heroes are practically perfect for games — we saw the success Sony had with the brilliant Spider-Man games, and DC’s previous success with the Arkham series and Injustice: Gods Among Us. Where are the incredible games that explore the DC world more deeply?

But instead of complaining about this disappointment of a great premise being squandered on match-three instead of something more substantial, here is my wish list for DC games.

A classic Superman game where we get to play as both Clark Kent and Superman to save the day through his love of humanity, utilising journalism, Super intelligence, and being really good at punching stuff. Obviously this would need to include the super friends and Lois Lane, because they’re half the fun of Superman.

How about one where you get to train with the Amazons on Themyscira as Wonder Woman before going out to discover the broader world? I’m not familiar enough with the world of Wonder Woman to be more specific with my suggestions, but a game seems like the perfect place to immerse ourselves in a lot of lore and develop some really strong opinions.

Supergirl is a fascinating character who would be incredible to explore more in a narrative game — she’s canonically smarter and stronger than Superman, and she also has memories of Krypton and the trauma of being stuck in her pod all those years after watching everyone she loved die. Surely there’s something cool a talented studio could do with that?

If you want a brooding caped crusader without telling the origin story of Batman again (I think maybe his parents died or something, but who could say), Batwoman is right there with her fascinating desire to serve her community despite having her dreams dashed by Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. A playable version of the Elegy comic would be incredible, and frankly I must have it.

If the story must involve Gotham and has to have Batman (as most things from DC do these days), why not do something with the Gotham Central comic series? It’s a classic for a reason, focussing on the overworked cops who have to deal with super villains without the super powers. Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen are compelling leads; Two Face is a fascinating villain.

But while we wait for that wish list of games that will never exist, and the Suicide Squad game coming out next year, let’s enjoy this teaser trailer for DC Heroes & Villains and dream of what might have been (and still could be):

What about you? what DC Comics story are you itching to play?


    • No, I just completely forgot all about it and somehow filed it in my memories as a movie. Thanks for catching that mistake!

  • I always thought Constantine would make for a great game if done right.
    Keep it seperate from the heroes and villains stuff and go for a L.A. Noir meets silent hill, real world meets supernatural kinda deal.

    I’m still surprised that nobody has made a Flash game yet.
    Sure, a game about a fast hero sounds kinda lame if all your talking about is making the player move faster but what if you also slowed that world down as well?
    That would allow for some cool ideas, mechanics and challenges as you interact with the world at varying levels of slow motion and maybe even see the result replayed in normal speed.

    • A Telltale-style game for Constantine would be great, I think (incorporating more of the classic Telltale adventure-game-style investigation alongside the narrative conversation-steering ‘X will remember that’).

      A Flash game with a slowed down world ala Superhot could work very well. At least until the inevitable disappointing climax where you’re facing another evil speedster whom you have to battle in real-time while the rest of the world is slowed.
      A Flash game should definitely be less about punching people and more about tactics. Maybe when tackling a group of thugs, time slows down, and you choose which order to take out each thug and whether to go high or low or something. And if you choose wrong, you get hit by a stray bullet or freeze blast or something and have to choose again from a new vantage point with a different distribution of enemies.

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