An animated and excited crowd packed into the large room at the Marvel Video Game panel on Saturday morning at New York Comic Con. Marvel gave the capacity crowd a glimpse at some of the big game titles they have in development and a chance to see a some new game footage for the very first time.
Marvel Director of Games Todd Jefferson hosted the panel and got things started with footage of the recently released “Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions.” Unfortunately, Jefferson had some difficulty getting the sound for the video clip to work. As the staff struggled to fix the technical problems an audience member shouted, “It’s okay, we’ve all played it already!” Jefferson finally gave up on the video and instead looked to Thomas Wilson, the game’s Creative Director, to answer some questions that had been previously posted on the Internet by fans of the game.
After some general questions about favorite villains and other possible dimensions – Wilson declined to comment any possibilities for other playable worlds – the big question on everyone’s mind was finally addressed: Will there be a sequel? Wilson said that their “first date with Spidey went well, we want to build a strong relationship.” Finally, the sound system kicked in and Jefferson played a video featuring future downloadable content, which is set to contain four cosmic versions of Spider-Man across all four dimensions.
Things then shifted over to Marvel’s “Super Hero Squad.” There are two new games coming up based on the all-ages franchise: “Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet” and “Super Hero Squad Online.” Both titles seem to capture the humor and fun that “Super Hero Squad” is known for. Jason Gholston, who servers as producer on the “Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet” title, said his team was very aware of the importance of making a great all-ages game. “It might be the first game a kid ever plays,” he said, a responsibility he does not take lightly.
After showing some footage for “Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet” that featured the game’s action, beat ’em up style, Gholston announced some of the voice talent that had worked on the game. The audience erupted with appluase as he named Mark Hamill as the Red Skull and George Takei as Galactus. “How could it be anyone else?” Gholston quipped when asked about Takei playing the infamous devourer of worlds. The game is set for a November 16th release.
The next “Super Hero Squad” game is the MMO, “Super Hero Squad Online.” While the audience seemed fairly unreceptive to the title at first, announcements that the game would have no monthly fee and be playable on both PC and Mac received big applause. The production team also promised they would continue to grow and build the “Super Hero Squad Online” game long after its initial launch. The team’s ultimate goal is to have nearly every character from the Marvel Universe make it into the game. “If you have a favorite hero, we’re gonna get to them,” said the producer.
The panel next move on to the hotly anticipated “Marvel Vs. Capcom 3.” The audience went crazy as Jefferson showed off footage of two new playable characters: M.O.D.O.K. and Magneto. M.O.D.O.K. in particular had fans leaping to their feet and screaming as the chaotic and fast paced action the series is known for played on the massive screen. Producer Ryota Niitsuma was on hand, and when asked what lead to M.O.D.O.K.’s inclusion he said, “The whole point is to make as fun a game as possible.” He also revealed that his favorite character in the game was Deadpool, who the development team apparently spent more time on than any other character.
“Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Thor” are both in development as live-action films, and each will receive an accompanying video game treatment as well. Both titles will be original stories, not rehashes of the plot-lines from their respective movies. While footage was scarce for both games, “Captain America” did show off a few action packed moments that featured the combat and platforming components of the game. The game’s director, Brandon Gill, said that the development strived to create “grounded, strong combat” for Captain America. Comics writer Christos Gage, also in attendance, was tapped to pen the game. He said he wanted to tell the tale of “a young Cap, new to his abilities and discovering his powers as the player does.”
The last major game discussed at the panel was the recently announced “X-Men: Destiny.” The brief teaser trailer did little to illuminate the game’s plot or gameplay mechanics, but “X-Men: Legacy” writer Mike Carey, who is handling scripting duties for the game, was there to assure the audience that the game was “thematically, very tied to the X-Men Universe.” When Jefferson probed Carey for more story details, Carey simply shook his head, smiled and said, “No.”
Before the panel ended, Jefferson told the crowd they were in for a surprise. The lights dimmed and a trailer for the classic Konami arcade game “X-Men” was met with huge applause. Jefferson promised the soon-to-be-released Xbox Live and PSN game would keep “all the cheese and all the bad music” of the original while still integrating new features like online multiplayer. Jefferson noted that the game was coming largely because the fans demanded it. “You asked, you get it,” said Jefferson. In response, an audience member shouted, “When?” Jefferson’s answer was a simple, “Soon.”