Unless you’ve been living under a rock (one made of pure culture and refinement) then I’m sure you’ve at least heard of the movie “The Expendables”. In case you haven’t, let me give you a brief, yet entirely accurate description of said movie. A team of almost every living action star goes up against some random enemy to display their various action movie skills. Got it? Good.
Now, even with a plot that was wholly un-fulfilling, its still one of those movies that you just can’t help but to watch. Why? Because it has all of our childhood heroes in one movie! Who could deny that guilty pleasure?
One night, while watching The Expendables 2, I realized that if by some highly unlikely miracle a game could be made using the greatest action game heroes, then it could be the end all of action games. Sitting there, cheetos in hand, I mulled over all the possibilities, starting with the perfect team.
Now, since we’re talking a AAA action game here, I’m ruling out cutesy heroes like Mario and Sonic. Sorry, but the vision is a next generation, super high quality adventure, and will need more serious characters, who are alright dealing with and doling out bloodshed. Here’s what I came up with:
- Pointman: Commander Shepard (Mass Effect)
- Specialist: Ghost (Call of Duty)
- Spy: Sam Fisher (Splinter Cell)
- Operator: Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid)
- Assassin: Desmond Miles (Assassin’s Creed)
- Theif: Nathan Drake (Uncharted)
- Explorer: Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
With a team of such strong personalities, its understandable that the reason for them joining forces must be a terribly compelling one. Something huge must be at stake, and to need all of these characters who usually work alone to save the day, it might as well be the fate of the world. That is why I think that Commander Shepard is the perfect leader for this rag tag bunch.
Not only is the commander a proven leader, but this is kind of screams Shepard! It can be set at a time when the usual companions have split up, and each of the heroes is knee deep in their own adventure.
Somewhere in the bowels of villainy, there must be some social network for bad guys. My pop culture knowledge tells me that not only are villains quite aware of each other, but enjoy teaming up sometimes. Now i’m not saying that key figures from the heroes pasts have to team up, but somewhere along the lines, the right villain has to come across the right plan and come up with a plot so sinister, that it entails the help of similar minded individuals.
Perhaps an alien foe from the Mass Effect universe can upgrade Metal Gear tech (Cyborgs and Metal Gears) to a horrifying point and amass an army hellbent on destruction? Maybe a lost temple from the Uncharted or Tomb Raider Series houses a power source for said creations? What if that power source was something akin to a piece of eden from the Assassin’s Creed world? Hell, maybe the Illuminati is in on it.
Somewhere along the lines all of the more tech savvy heroes pick up movements from these evil doers and uncovers the heinous plot on the earth. And the commander who assembles teams for a living is the first to seek them out.
It would be awesome if the heroes sort of heard stories about each other, and some knew how to find others, etc. The dialogue in this game has to be golden. The best part is how the team, once assembled, interacts with each other. Who will butt heads? Which heroes will form bonds? Who will be the black sheep? The mission will be a new experience for all of them, but one that none of them could do alone.
As each member adds his or her own flair and experience to the team, things begin to start moving for the group. From there, it is a heart pumping dance with death as the heroes embark on a series of missions to save the world.
This game will first and foremost be an action game. However, Some RPG elements would add a touch of class to the deal. The heroes will use The Normandy as a headquarters. Players will roam around between missions to talk to other members of the team, unlock side missions, and upgrade gear and load outs for each character.
Much like the recent Grand Theft Auto V, A character selection wheel allows players to drop into the shoes of any team member. This is crucial, as some missions will be tailored to suit specific heroes, with specific skill sets and special abilities. For example, retrieving intel is best suited for Sam Fisher or Nathan Drake. In this perfect game, it could be Both!
Co-op Gameplay (both split screen and online) Could prove useful as pairing (Or teaming) heroes for the more difficult missions may make thing way easier. Maybe the Next Gen can handle such heavy workloads. For main story missions, though linear, there could be areas only accessible if certain heroes are present. Unlockables and events may play out differently based on who the player chose to deploy.
More importantly, each character should handle the same way they did in their respective video games. It’s a 4th wall touch that I think most players would find amusing.
Levels should be huge, but not a sandbox. Also, player choices should play a major impact on the outcome. That way, the player can feel like a part of the team as well. Maybe you can be given a choice between two scenarios, and the mission you choose has its own benefits and downsides. Add in a healthy dose of awesome quick time events, and the possible set pieces are endless! Feeling pumped yet?
This game would be a perfect candidate for episodic releases. A large scale such as this deserves a long play time, but nothing overly repetitive. Each “episode” should have a decent number of chapters for players to plan, play and enjoy. I think that during the main story line a series of single player or co-op missions can be released to spice things up, with either backstory or rewards for use in the campaign.
Maybe more heroes can be introduced this way too. How about cameo face offs? I’d love to see Desmond use his new-found assassin skills against a more seasoned wetworker like Agent 47 from Hitman. Maybe Snake will call in Raiden for some help with a cyborg onslaught. The possibilities and connections that can be made work wonders for the plot.
So there you have it. A simple structure for a game that would be so adrenalin pumpingly awesome, that at least one game controller has to explode upon inserting the disc into the console. I know that this game will probably never see a green light (or the light of day, for that matter), but a guy can dream, right? Team ups are always fun to think about, and even better when they work well , like in Marvel’s Avengers.
The video game industry could use something ambitious like that. But who knows, maybe this was exactly how the guy who pitched The Expendables felt, and we all know how that turned out.