Imagining a Wonder Woman Video Game

Wonder Woman has to be one of the most well-known super hero names from the DC Comics Universe, right up there with Batman and Superman. But, you wouldn’t know it by the distinct lack of a Wonder Woman video game. Sure, the powerful Amazonian has appeared in video games, several, in fact, as recently as Injustice 2 and as well-known as  the Lego Batman series, but she has yet to headline her own video game. Seems a shame, since Halle Berry’s Catwoman has her own video game, doesn’t it?

But we’d like to think it’s only a matter of time. And, if a Wonder Woman video game is on the way, let’s take a moment to wonder what it could look like. Keep in mind, we’re not trying to predict what developer will or even could develop a Wonder Woman game. We’re just using developers as examples of what a Wonder Woman game could look like if it was developed. But let’s answer the obvious question, first:

Why isn’t this Already a Thing?

WonderWomanI2

And before you say it, it’s not because a Wonder Woman video game would be a video game with a female protagonist, and gamers just aren’t ready for that yet. That’s demonstrably untrue, as scores of video games with female protagonists have already been made and been wildly popular. Examples include, but are certainly not limited to, Fatal Frame, Bayonetta, Tomb Raider, Alien: Isolation, Beyond: Two Souls, Beyond Good & Evil, Horizon Zero Dawn, Dishonored 2, Child of Light, Gravity Rush, Lollipop Chainsaw, any game in the Metroid series, and the list goes on and on and on, and that’s not even to mention the scores of games, new and classic, that allow you to choose to play as a female, such as Diablo, Gauntlet, Dead Island and Mass Effect, to name only a few. And yes, games with male protagonists still make up a disproportionate amount of published games, but that obviously isn’t because gamers don’t like women.

What it certainly has more to do with is the fact that Wonder Woman is a lesser-known IP. I know what you’re going to say: “What?! Everyone knows who Wonder Woman is!” That’s true, but isn’t that about all they know? Before I saw the new Wonder Woman movie, the only things I knew about her was that she has a whip, sword and shield, has an invisible plane (thank you Family Guy for that one), and that she’s really strong, I guess?

Can you blame me? Wonder Woman’s biggest on-screen presence was a TV Show from the 70s, which was well before video games, as we know them today, even existed (coming out just a few years after Pong). Meanwhile, IPs such as Batman, who has headlined scores of video games, have been beaten to death in pop culture, such that everyone knows everything about Batman. They know all about his dead parents, his double life, his many enemies, his many love interests, so much so that, from a publishing perspective, Batman is a much safer bet. Now that this new Wonder Woman movie is out, getting reviewed well, and raking it in at the box office to the tune of a projected $100 million in its opening weekend, a video game starring Wonder Woman seems more like an inevitability. But, what could it look like?

An Akrham-Style Wonder Woman

file_1522_batman-arkham-city-combat-tips-5

Thinking about what sort of game a Wonder Woman video game would have to be, it’s easy to see why this style would work. It would have to be third-person. It would need to involve melee combat with several different weapons, and it would probably involve timed counters to incoming attacks. Sound familiar?

Now, am I merely suggesting doing Wonder Woman: Arkham Asylum? Of course. That’s exactly what I’m suggesting. Wonder Woman is certainly at least a slightly more light-hearted character than someone like Batman, so Rocksteady might need to tone the grit down a little bit, but it’s still not much of a stretch.

Besides, this would give Rocksteady the opportunity to make a truly open-world experience, since Wonder Woman isn’t bound to just one city or one area like Batman was in the Arkham Trilogy. In fact, this is one of the more likely choices if a Wonder Woman game would actually be made, since Rocksteady is one of the few developers as of late that Warner Bros. have allowed to make DC comics-based games.

A Bayonetta-Style Wonder Woman

file_75206_bayonetta-2-wallpaper

Much like the movie (light spoilers, here), a Wonder Woman video game would likely feature the protagonist surrounded by many enemies, moving faster than what seems possible, to take them all out in a bit of a hack-and-slash approach. Of course, this would never happen, but a Bayonetta-style Wonder Woman game would have my money in a heartbeat.

Maybe it’s because we’re in a bit of a Platinum Games renaissance, their style of game would be high up on my wishlist for a Wonder Woman video game. With Nier: Automata and Bayonetta, they’ve already shown the know-how required to make a compelling, multi-layered female protagonist, and Platinum Games also knows how to make a kick-ass hack-and-slash, so Warner Bros. would just have to find a developer that can do that.

As I said, though, they’re laughing at this idea even in Loony Toon land. While Platnium Games have worked with big IPs before, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers and The Legend of Korra, they mostly work in the land of niche esoterica, and that seems to be where they like to stay.

A Tomb Raider-Style Wonder Woman

file_80432_rise-of-tomb-raider

If this imagined Wonder Woman video game is going to be more than just fighting, though, they might want to mimic a more multi-faceted video game, such as Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider series. These open-world action adventure titles are tailor-made for the AAA market. Games in this genre share a distinct and unmistakable framework, repeated in games like Horizon Zero Dawn, the upcoming God of War, and even a bit in similar games that came before such as The Last of Us and Uncharted.

A Wonder Woman video game with more eclectic gameplay elements could go a long way to giving the game wider appeal. Maybe some resource collection/management, and maybe some third-person cover mechanics could work well with Wonder Woman’s bow and arrow. More than this, these games usually have platforming or climbing elements that would make use of Wonder Woman’s impressive long-jumping skills we saw in the movie.

A game in this fashion with Wonder Woman at the helm is probably the most likely version we would see. In order to ensure this game is a success, Warner Bros. would have to put a lot of money behind it and give it the polish and shine we see from these other titles. Luckily, Warner Bros. is just coming into a large sum of money, and, with Justice League right around the corner, probably a great deal more.