Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man has received a bit of publicity lately as the film’s director, Edgar Wright stepped down after working to bring the character to life for nearly ten years. The frantic search for a replacement has since come to a close, but some are doubting that the film will survive the departure of a visionary like Wright. This is by far the most attention that the character has ever gotten, which is a shame, because while he’s hokey as heck, there’s a definite charm to Hank Pym that I’ve always enjoyed. Maybe it’s that he’s so darn crazy you can’t help but feel sorry for him. But out of all the original Avengers, Ant-Man and his partner the Wasp are the only ones who have never had their own game. Ant-Man has appeared in video games before, sure, but he’s never been the star, and in most of his video game appearances he isn’t even playable!
There’s always a possibility that an Ant-Man game will be made to tie in to the movie next year. But here’s the thing: an Ant-Man game doesn’t have to be a cash-grab tie in. It could be a brilliant game on its own using two mechanics that have proven to work before, and they’re both from the same publisher. If you’re familiar with Ant-Man, you might already know where I’m going with this.
Ant-Man’s primary power is to change his size using a set of subatomic particles called Pym Particles (yes he named them after himself). Most famously he uses them to shrink, but he’s also used them to grow to Giant-Man size. Whether Giant-Man would be part of the game or not, this power could be translated like the puzzle solving size-shifting gameplay of The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. In that game, Link had to shrink in order to access new areas and solve puzzles. It made sense in the context of the game, but in an Ant-Man game, context would have to make it make sense as well. Perhaps the best way to do this would be to make it a stealth game. You control Pym on a mission, and he has to perform tasks both at his normal height, and at insect size, all while remaining undetected. This would make being smaller helpful, but it makes obstacles more formidable, which brings me to the next gameplay mechanic.
Ant-Man’s other major ability is the power to communicate with and control ants through use of a cybernetic helmet. Commanding an army of ants to tackle enemies much larger than yourself isn’t that different from the mechanics of the Pikmin series. This would be the bulk of the gameplay at insect size. When it came time to fight, ants could be used to attack enemies, or Pym could take them on himself since he retains his strength at miniature size (because science you know). There could definitely be incentives to use one option over the other depending on the scenario, or you could opt to use a combination of both. And since a stealth game is bound to have a few instances where you’re spotted, strategic use of size shifting could also come in handy here.
I have absolutely no idea what the plot could be like. Ant-Man doesn’t exactly have the most riveting rogues gallery. In fact, the closest thing he has to an arch-enemy, Ultron, is more an arch-enemy of the Avengers in general with a specific hatred of him. Maybe Ultron could be the main baddie, but I kind of think it would be more fun to be going on these stealth missions against absolutely lame villains like the Living Eraser or the Porcupine. It would all lend to a unique sense of humor that suits both Ant-Man, and the original vision Edgar Wright had for the movie.
Obviously, this idea isn’t fully thought out, but I honestly think that’s the beauty of it. Nobody has thought to make an Ant-Man game, but there’s potential there! I only hope somebody realizes this soon.