Comics have been a source for the movie, TV, and games industries for many years. It seems right now there's a fresh boom in video games inspired by comic books in particular. Let's do a quick rundown:Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2: Activision's sequel to the hit action role playing game lets gamers take control of a large selection of heroes and villains from across the Marvel Universe, battling soldiers, other heroes and villains, and various assorted bad guys. This game will loosely follow the stories of Secret War and Civil War, two Marvel event comics that eventually pitted a faction led by Tony Stark, Iron Man against a faction led by Captain America.
Due in stores September 15, 2009Batman: Arkham Asylum: Eidos and Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment had one goal in mind with this game: deliver an experience to make players feel like Batman. To that end, they opted to not use a movie license, instead having proven Batman: The Animated Series and Detective Comics, Streets of Gotham, and Gotham City Sirens scribe Paul Dini craft an all-new story. Then they got several voice actors from the celebrated 90s TV show, including Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as Joker, and Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn. Add in the dark, eerie atmosphere of Arkham Asylum and gameplay that makes you use Batman's martial arts, detective skills, gadgetry, and strategic planning, and you have the makings of a great Batman game.
Due in stores August 25th, 2009DC Universe Online: This Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) is a ways off, having not yet even entered Beta, and as of E3 2009 this past June, not even entered the Alpha testing phase. However, the game has showed promise as it slowly and steadily builds to release. Sony Online Entertainment and DC/WB are taking the game seriously, enlisting DC writer Geoff Johns, DC artist/Wildstorm head Jim Lee, and living legend writer Marv Wolfman to construct the look, feel, and stories of the virutal DC Universe gamers will play in. While gamers will not be able to control the well-known characters in the DC Stable, their created characters will fight alongside and against heroes and villains like Superman, Green Lantern, and Doomsday. The game will be played exclusively online, sending players alone or teamed up in their own Leagues, Legions, and Societies on various missions, some inspired by events from the comics themselves.
Projected in stores late 2010, early 2011Champions Online: This one isn't a comic book game, techinically. This MMORPG uses superheroes and villains from the table-top RPG Champions. The game's deep and robust universe and customization have been translated into moving form, providing an action oriented overlay to the thinking man's game. Comic writer and editor John Layman is helping translate the story from book to game, and the original creators are involved as well. The game is in private beta now, and on track for its September release.
Due in stores September 4, 2009Iron Man 2: There isn't a ton of information yet about this just-announced title. Sega is making it, and releasing it before the movie of the same name. This time, it won't really follow the story of the film, instead using a story by Invincible Iron Man the comic's writer, Matt Fraction. Fraction plans to use elements from both the movie universe and the comic universe, and the game is promised to have more mission variety (the first game was defeat x amount of enemies, fly to point b, defeat x amount of enemies, fly to point c, beat boss, repeat).
Due in stores April, 2010Marvel Super Hero Squad: This game can kind of be described as Marvel Ultimate Alliance for kids. The game features the same re-imagined versions of Marvel's most popular characters as the upcoming animated series, battling their way in one or two player co-op action. It's absolutely adorable, and pretty funny to see a Wolverine with a big goofy grin hacking and slashing. For adults who want to crack into the game, there are unlockable costumes and a four player battle mode somewhat akin to Super Smash Bros.. It's truly a fun-for-the-family title, that plays especially well on the Wii, using a natural combination of motion and button controls.
Due in stores October 20, 2009Marvel vs. Capcom 2: This one is already out on Xbox 360, but as it is still on the way for PS3, it deserves inclusion on this list. Capcom breathed a second life into the arcade/Dreamcast/PS2/Xbox classic that is notoriously hard to find by making it a downloadable title with online play. The same ridiculously large roster is back, with smoother graphics for your HD display, and you can play ONLINE. Really, that's probably 'nuff said.
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