SDCC 2019 Marvel Games Panel Review

With the MCU as hot as it is right now, there is no real reason to think there wouldn’t be any games based on the Marvel Universe. While there are no official MCU-based games announced or even in development, Marvel Games has showcased 3 games at this years San Diego Comic Con that I will be looking at.

The first game that I am looking at is the newest edition to the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series released today. MUA3 is a new story that does not relate to the previous two entries and is based off of Thanos and his rise to obtain the six Infinity Stones. I have picked up the game and despite the 10 minutes I have put into the game, I can see the button-mashing beat-em-up to be a lot of fun for the next 11 hours and 50 minutes of campaign I still need to plow through. The biggest announcement at the panel are the DLC characters that will be free and the paid DLC characters. The free DLC characters should have been playable at launch without DLC as they are Loki, Cyclops, and Colossus. The paid DLC characters I will pick up as soon as I can as they are Blade, Moon Knight, Punisher, and Morbius as the Marvel Knights. I do not know much about Moon Knight or Morbius to really know how they will play, but I am stoked for the Punisher as I predict he will be a slower character that can really produce a lot of damage to enemies.

SDCC MUA3
image: Ryan Penagos @AgentM

Another game showed at the panel was Iron Man VR which look very average to me. I have seen the footage of what the player will look at and it looks good, but I still think that VR is a fad. There are some very fun games to play for 15 minutes before I get queasy and need to put it down. Batman VR was proof that a cool comic book character does not always translate efficiently into VR. Iron Man VR Looks the same to me. The developers flaunt that players can really feel like Tony Stark while “flying” in the suit, but I have played “flying” VR games and I have not been very impressed with them. Something that also makes me hesitant to get this game is the extra things that surround the view of what you are supposed to do. That may be what Tony Stark experiences, but that doesn’t mean that it is a pleasurable one. All that extra eye distractions can be a very big headache to those who are new to VR, and even those who are used to it. I think that if Marvel needed to make a VR game based on one of their heroes Spiderman is a way better fit. Swinging through New York City can be fantastic if done right, and if it were a simple add on to the PS4 Spiderman game, that could be very cool and something worth picking up.

SDCC Iron Man
image: Ryan Penagos @AgentM

The last game showcased at the panel was Square Enix’s take on Marvel with Marvel’s Avengers. Square Enix games are not something I actively seek out, but I have really enjoyed the older games they have put out such as Final Fantasy III and Super Mario RPG. I am recommended Octopath Traveler all the time, but I don’t have the time to invest in another game considering my backlog grows by the minute. As far as Marvel’s Avengers is concerned I have not been that impressed with it. Don’t get me wrong, I think that the story that the first trailer reveled is fantastic, but the character models do not look flattering. Iron Man looks like a slightly skinnier Kevin Smith, Black Widow looks like a stereotypical “hot” person with red hair, and Captain America looks like a stock photo when you google “dad”. In addition, the voice acting is not what I expect when I think of these characters. That could be a fault of the MCU being so ingrained in our culture that the thought of Captain America not having the voice of Chris Evans is eerie and a little off putting. Those things could be there in the final game, but it doesn’t make the game bad automatically. At the panel, there was more footage shown that I wasn’t able to find, so I can’t do a lot of justice to what the Hall H attendees saw. Hopefully what they saw looks better than the trailer online. The panel also let people know that the game will have multiple costumes for each Avenger, and the big reveal is that the collector’s edition of the game will have an exclusive Captain America statue. That’s great and all, but that won’t make the game good as is. The last time Square Enix put out a highly anticipated game, we got Kingdom Hearts 3. This could go either way, and I’m hoping for the best.

SDCC Avengers.jpg
image: Ryan Penagos @AgentM

Marvel Games can be very good, but this panel did not really wow me save for the Ultimate Alliance announcements. I’m very skeptical with big announcements nowadays because over-hyping can lead to severe disappointment, and this is something that I really don’t want to get disappointed about.

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