It seems like the movie world is run by comic books right now. What used to be nerdy is now normal and commonplace thanks in large part to the MCU. The same cannot be said for video games. Comic book video games aren’t nonexistent, but they are far and few between. The Batman: Arkham series and last year’s Spider-Man game on PS4 may finally get developers to license projects again. For now let’s take a look back at what could have been.
10 Ghost Rider
Does the idea of a game being made by Neversoft, widely known for the PS1 Spider-Man games and Tony Hawk Pro Skater, and Crystal Dynamics, of Tomb Raider and Legacy of Kain fame, sound good? It does, but unfortunately this Ghost Rider 2D action platformer did not appear to get off the ground that far. This was actually before both companies made a big name for themselves on those aforementioned series. Based on very early footage, Ghost Rider’s chain weapon made it look like Castlevania. Now THAT sounds like a cool idea.
9 Justice League
Technically this is based on a canceled movie, but as it is about the Justice League, let’s count it anyway. As a bonus fact, this Justice League adaptation was going to be directed by George Miller. It fell through, but thankfully we got Mad Max: Fury Road instead. Anyway this game appears to have been in development for at least Xbox 360. It was going to be a brawler starring Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Green Lantern and would have been developed by Double Helix. Unseen64 has a lot of footage of it in their retrospective deep dive.
8 Daredevil: The Man Without Fear
Daredevil is another case of a game being based on a movie, but again, we will count it. The craziest thing about Daredevil is that there has only been one game.
It was also an adaption of the first film starring Ben Affleck, but it was only for the Game Boy Advance, which was a huge downgrade for this Xbox and PS2 targeted project. While it would have been released alongside the film, it was going to take more inspiration from key moments in Daredevil’s comic life.
7 The Watchmen
BottleRocket Entertainment was made up of former members of Sony San Diego after their work was completed on the PS2 exclusive, The Mark of Kri. Fast-forward several years when Warner Bros. was hearing pitches on games that would tie in to their various upcoming DC film projects. The team eventually landed on The Watchmen. They decided to make it a prequel with the team members participating in various real world events throughout time like the assassination of JFK.
6 The Flash
After negations failed with their last pitch, BottleRocket Entertainment was soon recruited for a Flash project. It would have been open world and have been exclusively based on the comics with no other tie-ins in mind. There is very little footage left from this idea. The test demo just has The Flash moving through a city landscape without much dominating the area.
5 Trigun: The Planet Gunsmoke
Trigun was an early success for an anime on the Adult Swim lineup of shows including other hits like Cowboy Bebop. The creator of the show, or manga in this case to make it count, Yasuhiro Nightow, did work on the PS2 shooter, Gungrave. Red Entertainment developed this in partnership with Sega as a publisher. Based on the success of the first game, work was also under way for a similar game based on Vash's adventures called Trigun: The Planet Gunsmoke. Here is a very, very brief teaser for the project. This is all that exists.
4 Gotham By Gaslight
Gotham by Gaslight was actually based on a comic. For a good run DC decided to place their franchises into odd timelines. This Batman comic, for example, was classic Batman as if he existed in 1889. There was also a somewhat recent animated adaptation of it. Anyway Day 1 Studios was making this for Xbox 360 and PS3 and there was even a prototype out there. Besides this video though not much else is known about the project.
3 Green Lantern
Marvel milked Spider-Man and DC milked Batman to death in the 80s, 90s, and well, pretty much every era. There is a good reason for that as they are two of the most popular superheroes of all time. Marvel did go outside the box more often than DC, but there were plans to expand the DC game universe as well. As far back as the SNES, to go super retro, there was going to be a Green Lantern beat ’em up. It was being developed by Ocean Software whose track record was not good so it’s not surprising the game eventually got canceled.
2 100 Bullets
100 Bullets, first of all, is an awesome comic that ran from 1999 to 2009. For years it was trying to be adapted into a show, movie, and yes, even a video game. This was around the PS2 and original Xbox era, but after Acclaim shut down, these plans went under as well even though the rights were transferred over to D3Publishing.
It just never came to pass, which is a shame because the idea of a shady agent giving people a hundred bullets and handgun to exact revenge sounds perfect for an episodic type video game.
1 The Wolf Among Us
Speaking of episodic video games, the first season of Telltale’s adaptation of The Wolf Among Us is among the top three games in their catalog. Among all of their properties, it was the one we wanted to see a second season of the most. While there was an announcement, Telltale collapsing assured this was canceled. However, because LCG Entertainment just bought the rights to revive the Telltale name along with getting the rights to make games based on The Wolf Among Us, Batman, and Puzzle Agent, this could potentially get revived as well. It probably won’t relate to the original idea though, but hey, it’s something.