Next-generation is here!
Join us as we break down, year by year, the big comic book video game news and releases on what is now “last gen.”
March of 2019 gave us the first ever State of Play, a Nintendo Direct style program from Sony meant to spotlight upcoming games for the PlayStation ecosystem. The conclusion of the show shocked and surprised many when it was unveiled that Sony, along with developer Camouflaj, were working together on Marvel’s Iron Man VR as an exclusive for the PSVR platform. While Camouflaj only had one game publisher prior to Marvel’s Iron Man VR, the mobile first crowd funded title République, the studio’s head, Ryan Payton, was an industry veteran having worked on franchises like Metal Gear Solid as well as Halo.
Marvel’s Iron Man VR would be shown off at various trade shows throughout the year, and during New York Comic Con, it would land its first release date of February 28th, 2020.
The following month, news came that XIII, a stylish cel-shaded first-person shooter from the era of the original Xbox PlayStation 2 and GameCube was making a comeback later in the year from publisher Microids. Originally slated to land in November in that year, the remaster wouldn’t arrive until deep into 2020.
During the summer, E3 2019 would bring with it the first look at Square Enix’s highly anticipated Avengers title that was originally revealed to the public early 2017. Debuting during their presentation, what was previously known as “The Avengers Project” would officially be christened Marvel’s Avengers with a starting cast of five: Black Widow; Captain America; Hulk; Iron Man and Thor.
The trailer showed each hero defending the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco under siege by soldiers wielding weapons built by Tony Stark. It culminated with an explosion that crippled a next-generation helicarrier that allegedly claims the life of Captain America. A character overheard narrating the video was later revealed to be Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel, who would go on to become the game’s sixth playable character at launch, which was slated for May 15th, 2020.
Initial impressions for Marvel’s Avengers were lukewarm at best. The main studio behind the project, Crystal Dynamics, had a pedigree for producing high quality titles like the recent Tomb Raider titles, but it was tough to lock down from Marvel’s Avengers’ debut exactly what type of game it was. Not helping much was that the team had an uncanny resemblance to their counterparts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The other unexpected news from the summer came shortly after E3 in August. A company by the name of LCG Entertainment purchased the name and some of the catalog of Telltale in a bid to resurrect the company. This was met with a mixed reception given the pain and grief put on the many ousted employees from the original iteration of the company.
LCG’s plans were to start slow with the company, with their first step to get some of Telltale’s titles back on digital storefronts. At the conclusion of the year during The Game Awards however, a teaser trailer was dropped for The Wolf Among Us 2, which was in development prior to Telltale’s closure in 2019. A partner studio on the project, AdHoc, made up of ex-Telltale staff was unveiled to be working on the resuscitated project.
The Game Awards would also bring with it the only real DC Comics news of the entire year when Joker was revealed to be coming to Mortal Kombat 11 in January of 2020.
The big reveal from that evening went to the first look at what a next-generation console would look like when Phil Spencer of Microsoft took the stage to debut the Xbox Series X.
In the conclusion of the series, both Sony and Microsoft bring out their new consoles, three major Marvel games drop and DC finally makes some big strides back into the video game space.