A few months ago I wrote a couple of articles concerning The Struggles of Making a Superman Video Game. I stressed that while Batman’s human limitations enable him to make a success of the video game world; Superman’s many superpowers oppose traditional “video game rules” making it difficult to create a worthwhile Superman game.
At the time of writing that article I was playing the latest Tomb Raider which reminded me a lot of another DC superhero: Green Arrow. Tomb Raider’s storyline is near identical to Green Arrow’s origins story .among other similarities. Lara rocking a bow for one. Throughout the entire game I was always thinking “What if this was a Green Arrow game?”
In a world of overpowered DC superheroes Green Arrow is just as human as Batman. Perhaps even more. Unlike Superman, the Green Arrow character would have no problem working within a video game.
Both Tomb Raider and the Batman: Arkham games would be good templates to start from. I would based Arrow’s move-set on Batman’s and Lara Croft’s as well; having a melee combo system similar to Arkham titles along with arsenal of weaponry mostly revolving around trick arrows. Silent arrows for sniping, smoke arrows for decoys and etc. Different arrows should be used to overcome different circumstances.
When facing against a horde of enemies up close there should be a rapid-fire option where you can launch auto-aimed arrows at enemies at the press on a single button. Perhaps have the left trigger could be used to change target and aim while the right trigger would be to “shoot”.
To keep things inabuseable and in order to reward player skill. While you’ll have the ability to shoot rapid-fire arrows; this would have to be done rhythmically. Your shots must be timed in order to continue the rapid fire. After each successive arrow the timing should be slightly harder. You could even to rated on your archery.
And that’s just for close combat. You would expect there to be some long-range archery sniping wouldn’t you? This is where you’ll manually aim and snipe you’re enemies from afar. Also wouldn’t it be cool to shoot arrows mid-somersault?
Arrows wouldn’t just be used for attacking enemies but for platforming puzzles and stealth missions as well. A fire arrow may be needed to burn a particular obstacle to get past something. Want to listen in on what some mob bosses are planning in the building across the street? Shoot an arrow at the wall with a radio receiver and listen in! The possibilities…
Star City or “the Island”?
One thing I am in two minds about is where the setting of the game should be. A Green Arrow game centered on “the island” would obviously be based on the origins story; Oliver Queen becoming Green Arrow which could happen as you progress through the game.
You could start off the game with Oliver just arriving on the island. Him starting off as the spoiled rich kid he was having no fighting ability whatsoever having to earn all these abilities on the island. But how would Oliver has access to his modified trick arrows if he’s stranded on the island? The use of a variety of arrows would be beneficial for the game.
So maybe based the game in Green Arrow’s hometown of Star City: a city greatly divided by wealth and which suffers from crime and corruption. Replace jumping of trees and mountains to bridges and buildings, in the city, Green Arrow would have access to his “Arrowcave” and can fully access all his weaponry.
Ultimately, Green Arrow has always been about bridging the gap between the rich and the poor. I’d like for some in-game system to represent this. Whether it’s included in the main story or side-quests in the game.
“You have failed this city!”
Lastly, as much as I like the TV series, Arrow, I wouldn’t want the game to be based on the series. Games based on shows and films almost never work. Producers end up focusing on obtaining the right voice actors and ensuring that there’s enough cut-scenes in the game instead of focusing on how the game should be played and that should never be the case.
Though the Green Arrow character has never been more popular than he is now and the TV series, Arrow, is a lot better than I thought it would be. One thing is for certain; there has never been a better time to make a Green Arrow game than now.