Marvel Video Games to Look Out For After D23 – BlackSportsOnline
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Marvel Video Games to Look Out For After D23

As you well know by now, BSO was fortunate to have attended D23 Expo 2022 and we had a time we won’t soon forget. Disney puts on events like nobody else and there’s inherent Disney magic that only seems to happen with them. While their video game presentation was really poorly put together and hardly took advantage of the time it had — the whole thing was over in 23 minutes when the panel was scheduled for an hour and a half — there were a couple of key announcements made that we need to cover here. 

The biggest announcement, by far, was the unnamed Marvel game set in WWII and featuring four different heroes. Captain America and the Black Panther are the major characters for this game, but very different versions than what we’re used to seeing in the MCU. This is WWII Captain America and Azzuri as the Black Panther, that’s T’Challa’s grandfather. The other two heroes are a Wakandan War Dog and an American Howling Commando. The game is being made by Skydance New Media, which is a branch of Skydance Media. This studio is run by Uncharted director Amy Hennig, who was specifically brought over to helm some major projects of which this is one. The other is likely a revival of Project Ragtag of Star Wars fame. 

The game is expected to feature an Uncharted style with a sprawling narrative that twists and weaves as it unfolds. This is pretty much the style that Hennig is known for and the style of game that seems to do the best with Marvel fans. Games that have ventured from the simple action-adventure formula rarely find success and Square’s Avengers title completely bombing is a perfect example of this. They sacrificed a quality narrative and story for a live service model and it went splat whereas the much simpler Guardians of the Galaxy became a slow-burning hit after word-of-mouth spread that it wasn’t a live-service pitch but rather a completely realized title with a powerful story and great character development. 

If we’re being honest, there’s a reason that games like Avengers bombed while stuff like Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Guardians of the Galaxy were runaway successes. Comics are about characters and character growth. You can deliver that in a live service model if that’s not the base of your initial game, such as was the case with Avengers. They tried to worry about story and character growth after the game had released and that’s simply not how it works with comics. You must grab the reader right out of the gate and drop them into a narrative that is so powerful the individual is unable to tear themselves away from reading or playing the experience. 

This is exactly how the MCU found success and how the later shows of Disney+ are finding success while the earlier efforts were panned. Studio head Kevin Feige focused on character and story and let the rest unfold from there. Similar to Feige, Hennig is someone who knows how to let character and story do the grabbing. Uncharted games found their success with tremendous narratives, fun characters, dramatic set pieces, and great puzzles. This is also at the core of what makes a great comic. It’s for these reasons that I am really excited to learn more about this project. 

Hennig seems bound and determined to deliver that same experience to gamers with her move to Skydance New Media. Much was made of the move at the time and we’re starting to see bits of what made her ultimately take the job with Skydance. They clearly had ambition and saw her as critical to the success of these projects. Given the noise people made when they dropped the trailer for this project, I can promise the hype for this game will be at Game of the Year levels when it’s finally revealed in full. It had that kind of hype for a launch where they didn’t even tell us the name of the game, I can only imagine what the hype will be when more information becomes available. 

To put this in perspective for people who weren’t there, this game got a louder pop than some of the TV and movie projects they announced at this same Exposition. This was the most talked about game from the presentation and it’s the only one that didn’t have a name or much info about it available at D23 Expo 2022. You have to put out some kind of trailer for a game with no name or release date to be your most talked about product. In fact, one could make the argument that the announcement for this game made every other announcement seem like small potatoes by comparison.

The only other game worth mentioning from this panel was Marvel’s upcoming mobile game called Marvel Snap. It appears to be really simple to learn, but very complex in its depth after you learn to play. The goal of the game is to offer an extremely quick experience without much by way of a learning curve and it seems to deliver. I’m really not much of a mobile-phone gamer, I prefer to take my Switch, PS Vita or Steam Deck, but I might actually find myself playing this one. It looks fun and was hyped by people I trust. It’s free, it’s easy to learn, and if I don’t like it, I can always just not play it ever again. Seems like a low barrier of entry to me and that’s just the way I like it. 

The takeaway from this column is that you should definitely be pumped for more info on this new spy thriller game set in WII. If I haven’t droned on enough about this game, then watch the trailer at the end and tell me it doesn’t have you geeked just a little bit. There’s something about the music panning over the images leading to the reveal that somehow manages to steal the show without revealing a damn thing about the game. I seriously hope this game delivers on the potential.