“We work at the same university.”
“Yes, and Hawkeye is one of the Avengers, but no one ever says, ‘Help, Hawkeye!'”
-The Big Bang Theory
I have a healthy respect for the underrated character who provides support, but isn’t necessarily on the movie poster. I think the world relies on people like that to stay turning.
Hawkeye is one of those characters that no one really knows what to do with. In the Avengers movies he was pushed to the side. In every game adaptation I’ve seen he’s either minor, or left out entirely. Only one source seemed to know how to handle him.
Marvel comics has a Hawkeye book with minimalist 60’s style art that only covers Hawkeye when he’s not being an Avenger. It’s brilliant because it’s human. Like all of Marvel’s heroes, he’s got personal crises to deal with and relationships to maintain, but unlike the rest of Marvel’s pantheon, he’s only got his wits and a bow. There’s no super suits, or vast arrays of money, no great show of force he can bring down.
Now, I know better than to suggest a game where you run around Manhattan picking up Hawkeye’s dry cleaning and going on blind dates (this isn’t Spider-Man 3). Instead, what I’d like to see is Marvel meets Metal Gear Solid. Hawkeye can’t just come in guns blazing (though we’ll come back to that), so he’d need to rely on stealth and cunning to defeat enemies.
The Arkham games have shown us that stealth and puzzle solving can be both challenging and entertaining. My idea isn’t to retread the Batman games with a Hawkeye skin, that’d be fun but unoriginal.
If we remember that Hawkeye (at least in some cases) is a spy for Nick Fury, then that has the potential for a lot of interesting stories. We could have Fury trying to get information on a cartel, or AIM’s activities in Russia, or investigating spies within SHIELD. The first hurdle the game would bring is as an espionage thriller. You’d sneak around a foreign city (eastern Europe sounds great for this kind of thing because it always worked in the Cold War) and try to gather intelligence on the enemy cell. It’d involve capturing operatives as they moved through the streets, hopping from rooftop to rooftop to get an angle on a thug and take him down with a tranq arrow.
Once you had information on the headquarters of the enemy cell, then we go into Solid Snake territory. A sneaking mission into an enemy fortress where you only have your bow and your stealth to rely on. (Though we sometimes see Hawkeye with guns, as shown below, so guns are an option). You could even break it up into a series of missions, (i.e. the tanker chapter of Metal Gear Solid 2, or Peace Walker). I like the idea of being on the prowl in a suit like Hawkeye uses in the Ultimates (see below).
Plenty of puzzle based challenges, several different types of arrows to fire, and you could get into mechanics like Sniper Elite with the functions of a bow. Could make for interesting game dynamics. A target range to practice would be essential.
The culmination would be a final boss fight against an obviously superior opponent and it should be really difficult to take him (or her) down, not because he or she can withstand so many arrows, but because their firepower is greater than yours and you can’t get shot but once or maybe twice without going down.
A game about a capable human in a world of superhumans. I think Bruce Wayne and plenty of others could get behind that idea.