Growing up I was a huge video game magazine reader and I loved reading issues of Nintendo Power and Electronic Gaming Monthly at the start of the year where they would have a big preview of all the great games expected to arrive in the next twelve months any beyond. With a lot of great comic book games either with a firm release date or expected to show up sometime in the next calendar year, I’ve put together a comprehensive list of all the games that you can expect to hear me talk a lot about here, starting in January with…
LEGO MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS
RELEASE: January 26th, 2016
WHAT IS IT?: The next chapter in the long running Lego franchise post Lego Dimensions and the follow-up of sorts to 2013’s Lego Marvel Super Heroes, this game features story content cribbed from not only the first and second Avengers films, but also the two Captain America films, Iron Man 3, as well as Thor: The Dark World, complete with dialogue taken straight from the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On top of being able to play events from these beloved films for the first time in a video game, Lego Marvel’s The Avengers will feature multiple open-worlds to explore where characters like the new Ms. Marvel, Thor, and Captain America can be unlocked and played with. Sadly no Spider-Man to swing around with this time around though.
WHY SHOULD I BE EXCITED?: The Lego games have only gotten better over the years and Lego Marvel Super Heroes is among, if not the best Lego game to date that’s also a love letter to Marvel fans both young and old. Initially it was worrisome that this game came off like a down grade at first as it focused on just two films with a limited roster of characters, however TT Games have shown over the months that this game is no mere movie game and a worthy follow-up to their first Marvel outing. For handheld players on both the 3DS as well as the PS Vita, the portable version will feature an open-world to explore for the first time on those platforms as well.
THE WALKING DEAD: MICHONNE
RELEASE: February 2016
WHAT IS IT?: A three-part mini-series starring fan favourite character Michonne set in the universe of Telltale’s award-winning The Walking Dead series.
WHY SHOULD I BE EXCITED?: Telltale is coming off a huge 2015 which was the release of Game of Thrones, Tales from the Borderlands as well as Minecraft Story Mode, Telltale is one of the hardest working and hottest game makers today, and this is just the first that we’ll see of them in this feature. In their previous seasons and expansions, Telltale only had established characters from The Walking Dead comic series show up for brief cameos, so this is the first time that we’ll actually get to play as someone who Telltale didn’t create. It will be interesting to see how this character weaves into Telltale’s corner of The Walking Dead universe, and if we’ll see Michonne either hear about, or even meet up with Clementine and company.
DISNEY INFINITY 3.0: MARVEL BATTLEGROUNDS PLAYSET
RELEASE: March 2016
WHAT IS IT?: The first Marvel play set for this year’s edition of Disney Infinity complete with a new Captain America figure and hopefully some more surprises. Marvel Battlegrounds features a story that has Loki and Ultron teaming up to rule the world with an army of evil robotic duplicates of characters from the Marvel Universe.
WHY SHOULD I BE EXCITED?: I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan of the Marvel play sets found within last year’s 2.0 edition, however developer Avalanche and their many partners, including United Front Games of Sleeping Dogs fame who is primarily responsible for this play set, have really stepped up their game with more diverse environments and tighter gameplay mechanics in 3.0. This is the first time in Disney Infinity history that more than two players will be able to play together with this expansion letting four-players play at once. Players who powered up their figures to level twenty will also have new moves and powers to play around that are specific to this play set. While described as an arcade brawler, initial reports peg this as Disney Infinity’s answer to games like Power Stone and Super Smash Brothers which could be a huge win for the series and fans of local party games as well.
BATTLE CHASERS: NIGHTWAR
RELEASE: December 2016
WHAT IS IT?: A continuation of the Battle Chasers series of comics, Nightwar successfully collected over $800,000 through a succesful Kickstarter campaign and is being described as a love-letter to fans of 16-bit JRPG’s.
WHY SHOULD I BE EXCITED?: Though early in development, initial screenshots of Nigthwar look stunning which is to be expected as it’s being worked on by series creator and famous artist Joe Madureira. The team behind the game, the newly formed Airship Syndicate, is composed of a lot of staff who were once part of developer Vigil games, those who worked on the Darksiders series which itself was also an homage to Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda franchise. If this game does for JRPG’s what Darksiders did for Zelda, we’ll all be in for a treat in our stocking come next December.
TELLTALE BATMAN SERIES
WHAT IS IT?: This was just announced at the 2015 Game Awards so little is known about it other than, well, it’s a Telltale game series starring Batman. This will be their second time playing in the DC Universe after 2013’s The Wolf Among Us.
WHY SHOULD I BE EXCITED?: As stated above, Telltale is coming off of an incredible year and everyone is excited to see how they will evolve their craft and keep things fresh. Without knowing that much about this project, I can only hope it’s a companion piece to the more action heavy Arkham franchise that will put a greater focus on Batman as a detective and the psychology of the main character and his villains. My only worry is the action portion of the Batman character and how it will translate to Telltale’s minimalist approach to controls and over use of QTE’s (Quick Time Events), though given how protective Warner Bros. and DC is over their most sacred comic book franchise, I don’t think they would hand off the license to Telltale if they didn’t have something figured out already.
TELLTALE MARVEL GAME
WHAT IS IT?: Right now all anyone knows is that Telltale is working with Marvel on a series that will see release in 2017.
WHY SHOULD I BE EXCITED?: Outside of Disney Infinity and the Lego series, Marvel has been sticking mostly to mobile and free-to-play games over traditional console games. A partnership with Telltale could be just what the doctor ordered to get Marvel and parent company Disney back into making console games that aren’t aimed at a younger crowd, though to be fair, I do love both Infinity and the Lego games, I’d just like to see an Arkham equivalent Spider-Man or Captain America some day. I’m not sure what characters I’d like to see in a Marvel/Telltale game, but I think Netflix stars Daredevil or Jessica Jones could turn out to be the spiritual sequel to The Wolf Among Us that we’ll probably never get.
UNNAMED TMNT GAME FROM PLATINUM STUDIOS AND ACTIVISION
RELEASE: Unknown at this time, but if true, I’d wager Summer 2016 alongside the new movie.
WHAT IS IT?: This hasn’t been formally announced, but a rumour emerged this month that Platinum Studios, those behind Bayonetta and Transformers: Devastation are working on a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game.
WHY SHOULD I BE EXCITED?: Platinum is one of the most respected studios around, especially when it comes to action. Though their first licensed outing with Activision, 2014’s The Legend of Korra, didn’t turn out so well, this year’s nostalgia heavy and absolutely gorgeous Transformers: Devastation was a huge hit with fans. IF this game turns out to be real, which I’m sure it is, and IF Platinum can do for the Turtles what they did with the Autobots and Decepticons, this could have the potential to be the best TMNT game since the 16-bit days.
UNANNOUNCED WB GAMES MONTREAL MONTREAL DC GAMES
WHAT ARE THEY?: WB Games Montreal, those of Batman: Arkham Origins fame, unveiled they are hiring for not one, but two titles set in the DC Universe.
WHY SHOULD I BE EXCITED?: Batman: Arkham Origins was a polarizing game that felt like filler until Batman: Arkham Knight, but to me it was a great game that showed there’s a lot of potential in WB Games Montreal. With what the studio learned from Origins, I’m very interested to see how they’ve evolved and what characters they will bring to life. Superman? The Suicide Squad? A new chapter in the Batman franchise? Who knows really, but I can’t wait to find out.