Over the past few years, plenty of comic book heroes and series have received video games, including Batman and The Walking Dead. While these characters and franchises are enjoyable fan-favorites, there is still one series I would like to see receive the video game treatment: Hellblazer.
The titular Hellblazer, aka John Constantine, has appeared in numerous forms of entertainment. Aside from various comic book appearances, including the Hellblazer and Justice League Dark series, Constantine has starred in his own movie, as well as a television series. While the Constantine movie did receive a video game, it would be nice to see the character star in his own game once again, but this time based off of the Hellblazer series itself.
For those who do not know, John Constantine is an occult detective and con man from London. He first appeared in the Swamp Thing series back in 1985, and has since become a popular character in the DC Comics universe, known for being cunning, and yet cynical, foul-mouthed, and callous. He does, however, have his moments of heroism as he tries to defend mankind from evil. And that is one of the reasons Constantine should get a game: he is such a great character. The man can be incredibly conflicted, and it would be interesting to see that within a game. Seeing as many of the people around him have died, he’s also had a tough life. Constantine himself is considered to be a bad omen, and a story around that would be awesome.
Along with being a great character, Constantine also has some great stories. As a part of having a rough life, he’s seen and done a lot, meaning there are a number of stories worth telling. These could include how Constantine met his best friend Chas, how his blood became demonically tainted, and even how he formed his own punk band. Or the they could include the Newcastle Incident, one of the most horrific events of his life. Many superheroes have intriguing stories behind them, and Constantine is no different. But with so many interesting moments having come and gone in Constantine’s life, more than a few could make great plots in a game. A rich character with a heavy back story is good stuff for an engaging plot, making the Hellblazer prime narrative material.
Games have the ability to give players lasting choices. We like to think that the decisions we have made will have an impact, and see how our choices affect the plot of the game. Throughout his life, Constantine has had to make incredibly difficult choices, each with a heavy impact on the lives of others. People have suffered because of him. These sort of choices could easily fit in an episodic game similar to that of Telltale’s Walking Dead series. The Hellblazer series is not known for its action, but rather for the narrative it weaves. In a day and age where we see many games that rely on the narrative rather than all-out action, we are due for a Hellblazer game.
Comic book crossovers are a popular thing. Not just in comics, but in comic book movies as well. Having other characters appear in a Hellblazer game would make sense. Constantine has been around, and has met a lot of people. He’s teamed up with the Swamp Thing, he had a romantic relationship with DC’s Zatanna, and he appeared briefly in Sandman. Constantine was also a part of the Justice League Dark team. It would make sense for other characters from the DC Comics universe to show up in some way. They could even have someone like Batman show up, looking for a man with Constantine’s expertise. A lot of people can show up in a game starring John Constantine, looking for him as both a friend and an enemy.
Overall, a game starring Constantine could be a good thing. The character and the stories are rife with possibilities. He is also a popular character, with the recent live-action show and even the new Justice League Dark animated film raising his profile. It takes a lot to stand out from the crowd of modern games and superhero stories, but a foul-mouthed, snarky brit wielding magic against demons might just be the unique spin needed to do it. Constantine may not be on the same level as Batman, but he still has plenty to offer.