What Can a Stark Do? Things That Marvel Should Consider?
The Iron Man 3 app was an interesting kind of runner: for one thing, you were flying around a pre-set path inside a Stark Armor. In between runs, players had to manage suits by upgrading them and researching ne w suit variations. It was all nice and good, but somehow, most of it lacked the raw edge that the films delivered. The game focused more on dodging hits than being able to take down enemies –which really is not all that awesome when you think about it.
Put It On Hidden Rails
One of the biggest problems with runners is that there is too much focus on the “avoid obstacles” bit and a whole lot less emphasis on actually using the massive payload that each Armor had. This was made even more evident in the fact that most armors functions the same and only differed with passive stats performance and the extra-special super move.
The next Iron Man game should be more like a free-camera, on-rails action game. While Iron Man moves around the stage in a preset path (and at a preset speed), the players get to determine which direction he is aiming his weapons at. The game should combine both 3rd person and first person views when it comes to presenting attacks: we can have the camera go over the shoulder when you are setting up several missile lock-ons for a massive salvo attack, and then it can allow you to go focus in a first person center-reticule view when charging up a unibeam. A radar system (as well as JARVIS’ audio cues) should help the players determine which direction they should turn the camera towards. This will allow the developers to provide threats that come in from all sorts of angles.
Since the game cannot delve too much on the current and upcoming storyline in the films, it can have a good chunk of it focused on previous scenarios. The escape from the cave of the first film would be a great tutorial session where the players learn the weapon controls as Stark maneuvers the Mk-I around. Other major battles across the course of the previous three films would make for excellent stages.
Of course, not all fights need to be about throwing lasers and bullets at enemies. A few stages with Iron Man’s more close-combat geared armors would also be fun (and that would also mean creating a new mechanic for punching and smashing enemies with something like the Hulkbuster armor). As a free to play title (provided that it is still following a similar model as the last game), the next game should feature weekly or daily events that will challenge players of all levels –which is where having a variety of combat mechanics available truly shine.
Give It Some Grit
Another problem with the previous Iron Man game was that it was just a little too shiny and plastic-y. The hardware limitations on mobile devices may mean that hi-res textures are not feasible, but a bit of cinematic flourish will go a long way. Creating a “helmet HUD style perspective” would allow the developers to put grain and artifact-effects to the visuals which would help blur out the flatter textures and simplified enemy character models. Setting up the darker stages to have a infra-green effect (and even those horizontal lines that old screen are known for), games like Warship Gunner and Gunner Z have done similar visual effects pretty well. Oh, and before we forget, “bloom” is always appreciated as it tends to make the lighting feel more realistic.
Make Your Own Armor
While pre-existing scenarios means that you don whatever it was that Tony wore at that specific event, other stages should allow you to freely explore the rest of the available tech. And more importantly, put them together. It should be completely possible to create pre-existing suits from the available parts (and maybe acquire a few bonus effects for doing so), but that should not prevent the players from seeing how much of a payload a Hulkbuster-style armor can carry. From paintjob to weapons loadout to special features, a player-custom armor would allow fans to feel more invested in the game.