We’ve arrived at the big 3. If this were the Olympics, we’d be looking at the podium. So hopefully it’s clear that when making these choices, we took into consideration not only how much certain comic books and the worlds they seek to create would offer to a gaming experience, we also thought about games that would give new experiences, with new elements of gameplay. Not to mention how undeniably cool any of our top games would be to see on our favorite platform.
Not just anything can follow a science fiction mystery, but our next entry would never be referred to as “just any” comic book. So with this in mind, let’s take a look at the #3 on our list, a man who truly needs no introduction and wouldn’t want one if we asked.
#3. John Constantine – Hellblazer
It’s no coincidence that Vertigo’s sullen soldier against the supernatural is the only one of its original titles still being published. John Constantine’s on-again, off-again crusade against the forces of hell is only made more complicated by the fact that he has no altruistic desire to rid anything of evil, a conflict which has led EMPIRE magazine to name him the third greatest comic book character ever. Third, behind only Superman and Batman. So what could make a chain-smoking scholar of the occult, styled after Sting stand alongside the world’s greatest detective and the big blue boy scout?
Constantine is the definition of an anti-hero, constantly bringing his friends into the path of danger without much thought or remorse. As one can imagine, this leads to the development of incredibly complicated relationships. Since relationships are one of the most important parts of human interaction, gaming in general could learn a great deal from the realism of Hellblazer. Physically lacking, Constantine relies on his knowledge and instruments of the occult, manipulating enemies and allies, along with educating himself in hypnosis, sleight of hand, and the calling forth of familiar supernatural beings. The fact is this wide of a range of game and combat mechanics are far more sophisticated than many “horror” titles that publishers seem intent on giving us.
Much of the mainstream may only be familiar with the character through the 2005 Keanu Reeves film Constantine, but trust us, that barely scratches the surface. The Constantine of the comics has far rougher edges and a darker demeanor than even Reeves could exhibit while still remaining appealing to audiences. The world created in that movie might actually be seen as the most compelling feature, and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t long for a game world so populated with the forces of good and evil.
Why We Need a Hellblazer Video Game:
Just imagine a game sharing Alan Wake’s gameplay, but lifted from the woods into the seedy slums of London. As a plus, take the promise of Wake even one step further, by actually removing the emphasis on gunplay of any kind, and you enter into an entirely new genre. It would be a more than welcome return to the world of graphic adventure games like Rise of The Dragon, where the important part of gameplay was exploration of an environment and interactions with other characters. Sadly, this is a game mechanic that has been left on the shelf in favor of the high-energy, adrenaline-fueled shooting and ducking behind cover that have become trademarks of recent shooters.
A world of the occult, the macabre and the sinister, where the lines between our world and that of angels and demons are blurred is a setting that many development teams would jump at the chance to create. To have that world existing just inches below the unsuspecting population of a major city like London, England could bring fantastic art design and style to help give the game a one-of-a-kind look and feel. This single concept is promising enough for the folks over at Funcom to build their MMO The Secret World around it.
Let us enter that world embodying a character who over the years has has been written by legends Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Andy Diggle, and Alan Moore, and you’ve got a one-of-a-kind gaming experience.
If someone out there develops a gripping third person game with Heavy Rain’s moodiness and thriller elements, based all around one of the most sardonic and grim sorcerers the comic world has ever seen, we won’t be the only ones lining up to get our hands on a copy. And if the game was done to the same standard of excellence that the comic has adhered to, perhaps it could do for the darker horror genre what hits like Left 4 Dead and Resident Evil did for survival horror. Hey, maybe someone could even convince Sony that Hellblazer would be a perfect title for PlayStation Move, just to get the ball rolling.
So with Vertigo Comics’ poster boy filling the #3 spot on our list, you may be wondering what surprises or vindications are waiting in our last two spots. We won’t ruin the surprise, so let’s just say this: if you decide to spend as many hours with our next character instead of loved ones as we plan to, he won’t be the only one hearing voices…