VIDEO GAMES: 2013: A look forward
Now that 2012 has been looked at, it's time to look forward to see what 2013 has in store for fans of comic book related games.
Even with only one month under our collective belts in 2013, there is still some interesting things on the horizon for comic game fans.
The first game out of the gate is probably the one I'm most worried about quality wise, the game being Activision and Terminal Reality's the Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. It has the displeasure of having a "me too" stigma after the huge critical and commercial success of Telltale's the Walking Dead adventure game series, though that game is based on the comic book property while Survival Instinct is based in the universe of the popular AMC TV series.
The other problem is that for a game that was announced mid last year for an expected March 16th release, Activision is awful quiet on talking about the game. It very much smells of a publisher trying to push a game out in time to catch the buzz that the return of the show in February will generate. Story wise it also fails as it serves as a prequel to the series with the main playable characters being the Dixon brothers, two characters the player knows will live. Having the unpredictability of death is what makes the Walking Dead so good when it comes to narrative. Developer Terminal Reality has shown that they can make a good licensed product with 2008's Ghostbusters, but then they were also responsible for last years lackluster Kinect Star Wars. With its release mere weeks away, only time will tell at this point.
For Wii U owners who have completed the Armored Edition of Batman: Arkham City and are looking for a new super hero fix, Activision's port of the Amazing Spider-Man could very well be worth your time, but there are a lot of IF's in there. IF you haven't played it already, IF you don't have either a PS3 or 360 and can get the game at a discounted price and IF you don't mind paying full price for a port of a game released in June of last year.
The Amazing Spider-Man is a game that is very much worth your time, and if (there we go again with that word) you're a gamer who only had a Wii and just got a Wii U, I would definitely give this game a look. But if you have already experienced it, there are not many reasons to double dip. I can't see the Wii U controller being put to much use, and the only extra value is the DLC which is not that good overall with the exception of the Stan Lee adventure pack. It also troubles me that this game is not listed under any retailer, and still has a vague "Spring 2013" release date.
Sometime this spring, envious Marvel fans who felt left in the cold since DC Universe Online came out in 2011 finally get to experience a MMO with some of their favorite heroes. Currently in closed beta, Marvel Heroes from Gazillion Entertainment is generating some very positive buzz from fans and the press alike. Although the game is free to play, you can go to the companies website and sign up for a choice of paid packs that grant different pre-game bonuses.
April will see the first comic game released on a level playing field for the three major console platforms when WB releases Injustice: Gods Among Us, the fighter developed by Netherrealm studios. Netherrealm is no stranger when it comes to the DC Universe, as the last game they made before becoming Netherrealm studios was 2008's Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe.
That game was a decent effort that gets a lot of unfair criticism, but the real game to measure the excitement level for this product is 2011's reboot of Mortal Kombat. That title was a fantastic meld of story and a great fighting engine and should Injustice keep that level of quality, it will be a real contender. For anyone who wants a taste of what the story will be like, I urge you to read the prequel comic series currently ongoing via DC digital comics.
Another DC game that's easy to forget about is Little Orbit's Young Justice: Legacy. Announced last year, very little is known about the game or publisher. From the few previews that are online, the game appears to be an unpolished Marvel Ultimate Alliance style action-RPG. What is happening with the game given the recent cancellation of the TV series is still to be seen.
Looking later in the year, Marvel fans are getting some very nice treats. The first is Deadpool from Activision and developer High Moon Studios. High Moon has shown exactly how well they can adapt properties into an interactive medium with their phenomenal Transformers games. At this point the public doesn't now a lot about the game outside of a teaser trailer, but with that studios talent combined with Deadpool veteran Daniel Way supplying the story and the vocals of Nolan North, there is very little reason to NOT be excited for this game.
The big Marvel game that's getting a lot of publicity from comicbookmovie.com is Tt Games Lego Marvel Super Heroes, a game many assumed would never happen but are overwhelmed with joy that it exists. Lego Batman 2 was such a terrific game, but the subtitle DC Super Heroes was a bit misleading as the cavalry doesn't become available until near the end with the exception of Superman. From the videos that have been posted here, it doesn't seem like that's the case with Lego Marvel Super Heroes. Tt is promising an open world Lego New York where you're are free to fly around as Iron Man, web-sling as Spider-Man or smash as the first in the series large mini-fig Hulk. Whenever this game is scheduled to launch is not coming fast enough.
At the cusp of the month of February, we already have quite a few games covered. With 11 months left, E3 in the summer and potentially new consoles in the Fall, hopefully we'll see more exciting new experiences and surprised. Stay tuned!
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