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The Green Lantern Game Fans Deserve
I’m a huge Lantern fan. DC Comics’ space cops is at the top of my list for favorite series. I’ve been a fan since I was a kid. I read as Hal Jordan went from smart mouthed hero to the galaxy’s more feared villain. Then I read as Geoff Johns brought Hal back and reinvigorated the Green Lantern brand into a juggernaut. Johns is an inspiration to me as a writer. The guy is fantastic in almost every thing he does. He sometimes crumbles under a huge event but when he focuses on a book, you can’t expect anything but the best out of him issue after issue. His revival of Hal Jordan and Green Lantern is something I’ve looked upon as also a revival of my childhood hero. Everything that has happened since Green Lantern Rebirth has catapulted the series into heights I bet DC never thought the series could obtain.
Then the movie came out. Listen, I’ll admit that fans are the hardest please. I look at the Green Lantern movie as a cool action flick. That’s it. If I start to look at it as a fan, I tear it a new one. Sinestro and the other alien Lanterns were done so well it’s almost like they forgot about the hero and villain. Parallax was terribly done but it was better then that rumored skin disease. At least we got some sort of physical manifestation of fear instead of a rash. Also, Ryan Reynolds is not Hal Jordan. I understand he’s a fan and he’s a cool guy. Really funny, too! The thing is, he shouldn’t have been picked to be Green Lantern. Hasn’t Hollywood learned that getting star power for these flicks doesn’t necessarily work? Ben Affleck will tell you. There were rumors circulating back when the casting was still happening that Chris Pine was just about given the role. I could see him portraying Hal Jordan really well, he just doesn’t have the build. My pick for Hal Jordan would have been Nathan Fillion. The guy’s humor and smart ass remarks that made him so likable in Firefly is exactly what Jordan does. Hal isn’t Spider-Man. Fillion also has the look and build. In my opinion, there is no other real life Hal Jordan past Nathan Fillion. Just like the guy needs to play Nathan Drake.
Why am I ranting about a movie on a game site? Well because Rise of the Manhunters was based off the movie. It was a side quest that happened during the film’s storyline. It was basically space God of War. That’s not technically a bad thing, though! The game was alright at best. If you liked the movie, you’d find something there to keep you playing. The constructs were cool and hey, who can’t like God of War’s combat? The thing is, the story sucked and there was no freedom of flight or room to move around. It was so linear that I felt like I was playing an old Genesis or SNES platformer.
Fans of GL deserve better. Batman has had two masterly games from Rocksteady while the rest of the comic kingdom looks on in awe. Green Lantern has the content and popularity to become a huge seller. It just has to be done right.
With so much happening in the Green Lantern mythos, it is more difficult to find what story to tell rather then come up with one. There is so much to pick from. Rebirth to Wanted. Sinestro Corps War. The War of Lights and the Blackest Night. All of these are jam packed with content, enemies, and room for more. To get the most out of the game, however, I feel like a custom tale would be the best route. Starting before the Blackest Night event but after the War of Lights, the game would have plenty of characters to show off and expand on. The story could be three acts ending with the Blackest Night. We’d play as Hal Jordan since he was really the only Green Lantern to spend time with all the other prominent members of the other Corps. Here’s how I’d go about it.
During a rescue mission, Hal Jodran comes across a Star Sapphire entering the orbit of a nearby planet. Curious, he goes and checks it out. There, he finds the Sapphire being welcomed by Lyssa Drak who is in possession of the Book of the Black (a bit different from the comics here). Jordan spies in on the duo and then sees a member of each Corps sans Orange, which is basically just Larfleeze. These members crowd around the book and begin to chant something. At this time, Jordan is attacked by someone and knocked out. After he escapes captivity, Jordan tries to warn the Guardians but, of course, nothing comes of it. Jordan assembles the prominent Lanterns we’ve seen in the comics to try and root out the traitors in each Corps. From there it’s a trip around the galaxy to try and destroy the Book of the Black and the coming of the Blackest Night.
This story allows everyone from Hal to Carol to Atrocitus get some face time and add their distinct personalities to the game.
Taking a turn from Rise of the Manhunters, I could see this going one of two ways. We could see a return of the God of War style that we’ve already played. This really puts an emphasis on chaining constructs together to hit the highest damage you can. There is a lot of impact and it is just plain ‘ol smash mouth action. I could also see a Marvel Ultimate Alliance-type of game here. We have access to so many characters here: Hal, Guy, John, Kyle, Carol, Atrocitus, Sinestro, Saint Walker, Larfleeze, and Indigo-1. Plus this opens up the DLC route that devs like so much with character packs. Imagine the Batman pack with Sinestro Corps Batman and Green Lantern Batman each with their own special moves to take advantage of the different rings. We could also get a White Lantern pack with Superman, The Flash, Green Arrow, and Wonder Woman. Too many possibilities. This style of gameplay really gives each character some room to breathe, insert his personality, and get a say in the story. Hal, Atroticus, Sinestro, and Larfleeze please! Smart-ass, anger, ego, and humor all in one team.
The War of Lights! Taking a page from Funcom’s The Secret War Facebook game for The Secret World, the War of Lights would have the Green Lanterns, Red Lanterns, Star Sapphires, and Sinestro Corps all fighting to gain control of the galaxy. There can even be multiple modes. PvP would be the main mode that allows players to take over sections of the galaxy. Then you have something like Mass Effect 3’s mutliplayer where you band together and defend areas. This allows people who dislike PvP to enjoy multiplayer with their friends as they tackle iconic enemies from the DC Universe to keep areas that are claimed. Everyone would get a galaxy map to show who owns what with the Corps’ colors and percentages for each faction to shoe how close someone is from taking over Sector 2814 or something similar to that.
This also lets players create their own Lantern for one of the four Corps. Obviously the Sapphires would be female models only but you can mix and match appearance options from prime members of the Corps like Arkillo’s jaws, Saint Walker’s head tail-thingy, Guy Gardner’s vest, and a ton more.
This kind of game featuring the DC Universe’s galaxy of heroes and villains in a custom storyline with intense back and forth mutliplayer is what Green Lantern needs to thrive. Limiting this brand is a bad move. There is so much you can do with this. Don’t let Rise of the Manhunters be the first and last Green Lantern game. Put some effort into it and reward fans with the digital and interactive experience we’ve been wanting.