Why Todd McFarlane's Spawn Is Perfect for a Soulslike – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Fighting demons in a world of hellish evil, Spawn’s chains and dark powers would make him the perfect protagonist for a Soulslike video game.
Todd McFarlane's Spawn is easily the most popular and well-known creator-owned superhero, and he's had a big resurgence in popularity for the past few years. Reaching comic book milestones and having a growing supporting cast of other Hellspawn, Al Simmons has reached heights that few others like him have. Now, it's time for him to conquer the realm of video games, and one genre is perfect for the hellish antihero.
The Soulslike genre of games was popularized by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne franchises, with the gameplay style now being used more frequently than ever. Featuring grueling challenges and, many times, incredibly hectic action, such a genre fits Spawn like a bloody chain. Here's how the dark horror superhero could be implemented in a superb new video game using Soulslike mechanics.
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Popularized by the Dark Souls games made by FromSoftware, Soulslike titles are action-adventure video games with incredible difficulty. Throwing players at enemies while making conquering the basics of gameplay a true challenge, these titles are arguably throwbacks to the days of harder games being the norm. Combat, even though it might be somewhat fast-paced at times, is tactical and intentional, requiring that players know exactly how to execute certain attacks and avoid those of enemies. Increasing a character's abilities and repertoire of attacks helps to make the challenges more manageable going forward.
A Spawn game would work well within these parameters, especially if it retells the origins of Al Simmons becoming a Hellspawn. Loopy and plagued by amnesia, Al would come back to Earth unsure of himself or how to use his newfound hell-born abilities. Thus, the challenge of mastering them and learning more attacks would literally be explained throughout the game's storyline. Likewise, the increasingly powerful nature of enemies such as angels, demons, and other Hellspawn could keep players on their toes, ensuring that things don't get too easy as they advance.
The same would go for the way in which this genre of games relays information, with the storyline unfolding slowly through clues and other bits of info as Al recollects the memories of himself. Soulslike titles are usually dark fantasies featuring demons, monsters, and other mythological elements which already exist within the Spawn property. With how popular and ubiquitous the Soulslike genre currently is, it'd be just the right way to bring Spawn back to video games.
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Back in the 1990s when Spawn was a huge property, the character starred in several of his own video games. These titles were released across several different consoles, including the Super Nintendo, Game Boy, Dreamcast, and PlayStation 2. Since 2003, however, Spawn has failed to spark another game of his own, largely due to the waning popularity of the character at that time. He's shown up in fighting game franchise SoulCalibur and as a DLC character in Mortal Kombat 11, but another title to call his own has eluded him
Giving Spawn a Soulslike is almost a guaranteed way to get more eyes on the franchise and pique the interest of gamers, especially those who might not otherwise check out a Spawn game. A darkly superheroic take on the genre would definitely freshen things up, and the more contemporary settings of Spawn's adventures would differentiate easily from feudal Japan, medieval times, or the other usual settings seen in Soulslike games. Spawn's creator Todd McFarlane also favors having his magnum opus in the hands of veritable masters, so FromSoftware tackling the tentative title would be another guarantee of greatness. Spawn may have been dead in video games for over a decade, but giving him a new title in the vein of Dark Souls would quickly resurrect him with hellish fury.
Timothy Blake Donohoo is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he majored in Communication and minored in Creative Writing. A professional freelance writer and marketing expert, he’s written marketing copy and retail listings for companies such as Viatek. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing video games, watching documentaries and catching up on the latest Vaporwave and Electro-Swing musical releases.


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