The one thing almost every superhero game gets wrong


Hey gang, I'm so sorry to be bothering you with yet ANOTHER post about Amazing Spider-Man, but this has been gnawing at me for years, and this seems like a good time to get it off my chest.

Over the years, most games have gotten pretty good at replicating the feeling of being a superhero. When you're swinging between buildings as Spidey or grappling hooking (grapple hooking?) around Gotham as Batman or even smashing cars as the Hulk, it's a wonderful vicarious thrill.

But when you get right down to it, aren't most video game characters superheroes? Look at Mario, he's got the ability to toss fire, to grow and shrink at will, to have an impenetrable exterior and turn invisible. The guy is ALL OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR.

So what sets the superhero apart? How can we make their games distinguishable from all the other superheroes on the market (even though they may not be labeled that way)?

Secret identities.

How boring is Batman if he's just a regular guy with a bat costume permanently grafted to his skin? How hollow is Spider-Man without Peter Parker?

I've replicated so many classic superhero moments in my life, but the one that still evades me is that moment when all hope seems lost and I have to find an instant to sneak away so I can become my alter ego and save the day.

More importantly though, I'm never given a moment to connect to the very human side of this character. I learn nothing about how other people react to them when they're not soaring through the air or bending steel. How can I ever appreciate defying gravity if I never have to spend time being earthbound?

I'm not saying I need a robust billionaire playboy simulation. But the ability to put the costume away once in a while seems like such an easy way to remember that underneath the spandex is a person who's having just as much fun as you would be.