The idea doesn’t seem that difficult to put together. There’s already a hero, a villain, a backstory, and a general premise for moves and abilities to work with. So why is it that Marvel has yet to make a successful console game for Thor?
With both successful solo features and Avengers films under the character’s belt along with an incalculable number of fans, it’s a wonder how Marvel can only seem to make Thor come to life on the silver screen, while games fall to the wayside.
That’s not to say there haven’t been any attempts to do so, just very poorly executed ones. In 2011, Thor: God of Thunder was released a few months after the live-action movie. If you didn’t hear of it, however, that’s not surprising. Saying the game was terrible would be putting it lightly.
At IGN writer Richard George said of the game, “Thor isn’t the worst game I’ve played, but it’s certainly the worst I’ve played in a long, long time.” He continued, “To say the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of this game lack the creative gameplay and visual approach that their DS and Wii counterparts (respectively) feature is only presenting part of the story.”
As if those words weren’t harsh enough, George added that the game was “monotonous, dull and uninspired,” and that “Thor completely lacks polish in almost every way imaginable.” Ouch.
While “Thor: God of Thunder” may have been a colossal failure, thankfully there have been other games the franchise was smart enough to push forward, at least slightly bolstering their game presence. Interestingly enough, they have all been created with a far smaller budget than their console contemporaries.
Last year they released two games, the first was the one being the anniversary edition of their app game, Marvel Puzzle Quest It’s a matching game where players find three alike images of Marvel’s top superheroes, and it has been strikingly popular. Available for Android, iOS, and PC, the game holds an average rating of 4/5 stars across all three platforms.
The second is a slot/arcade title, “Thor: the Mighty Avenger”. In the game, players must align images of Thor and other characters in the correct sequence to win money. Hosted on the Betfair platform, the game is able to attract a variety of players and perhaps reach a new audience. Additionally, for those who haven’t tried out the platform yet, there are promotional bonuses available to first-time players.
While the smaller games have been successful, they can’t completely make up for the challenge and engaging content of a console game. It’s unclear what the holdup is, but hopefully the next film, expected in 2017 according to IMDB will push a Thor-based gaming project past the idea zone. I don’t think I can play LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril one more time.
Just kidding, I totally can. That game is awesome.