The Batman: Arkham video game series did for gaming what Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy did for film: it fully realized the medium as a dynamic, complex, and accolade-worthy platform for superheroes, while still maintaining the respective franchise's impressive scope. It's a wonder, then, that more video game producers have yet to capitalize on this same success, or try their hand at comic book inspired games - especially considering the current cape-and-cowl trend dominating cinemas.
Sure, with the debut of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we've seen plenty of games loosely based on their big screen counterparts (e.g., Iron Man, Thor: God of Thunder, Captain America: Super Soldier, etc.). Most would agree, however, such iterations have been little more than hackneyed cash grabs to coincide with and supplement the movies. It's a shame, too, since many of the Marvel characters and their abilities could lend themselves to entertaining video game exploration. Not the least of which includes Iron Man. With his impressive stock of armored suits - all with different capabilities, weapons, and purposes (see: the Hulk Buster) - and a rogues gallery only briefly tapped into onscreen, Tony Stark is ripe for his own blockbuster video game franchise, one that could rival Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham series.
And fans certainly seem to think so - or more specifically, video game modders. For those unfamiliar, "modding" derives from the verb "modify," and refers to the act of altering hardware or software to perform a function not originally intended by the designer - like dropping a superhero in the middle of Grand Theft Auto, for example.
The popular franchise has proven a suitable playground for modification, most notably by JulioNIB, who put Hulk and Spider-Man in GTA IV a few years back. And now, the modder has created an impressive and authentic Iron Man mod for GTA V that proves why the hero is so fit for the gaming screen. Check out the video above.
Complete with flight capabilities and repulsor beams, the mod does far more than provide players an Iron Man Mark III skin; it lets players become Iron Man and utilize some of his signature weaponized powers. These include the ability to hover a few feet above the ground, rocket punch enemies and vehicles with ease, soar through the air at a great speed using both glove and boot rockets, and fire rocket blasts from his chest reactor. One of the only faculties really missing in the mod, aside from Tony Stark's silver-tongued wit and irresistible charm, is the character's shoulder-mounted guns and flares - oh, and of course, Jarvis.
That said, there's hardly much to complain about in Julio's mod; and if you keep watching, you'll even see Iron Man perform an elbow drop into a tank and swat a flying helicopter to the ground. The destruction factor is fun, entertaining, and spectacular, but it provides only a tease of what the character is capable of in terms of story and development.
Rocksteady managed to combine Batman's impressive weapons and action with a compelling storyline and even more compelling three-dimensional world. Video game developers should take note of Julio's successes as well as the various missing components to expand upon the mod and create an actual franchise for the character. And if they can convince Robert Downey Jr. to voice the character, the game could very well be a success before it even hits store shelves.
Those Grand Theft Auto 5 PC gamers who are interested in trying out JulioNIB’s mods can find more information on the modder’s YouTube channel.
Grand Theft Auto 5 is currently available for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.