Marvel held a panel looking over all of their upcoming video game projects Friday morning at Comic-Con International in San Diego, and it included more than a couple surprises. Chris Baker, manager of licensed games at Marvel Studios, went over the six major releases featuring Marvel characters slated for the next year. These included “Little Big Planet” add-ons, “Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions,” “Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet,” “Super Hero Squad: Online,” “Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds” and “Thor.” Marvel Studios Director of Games Todd “T.Q.” Jefferson also joined Baker on stage.
Prior to discussing any of Marvel’s games, Baker praised a fan seated in the front row who wore a perfect Spider-Man 2099 replica costume. The fan was more than happy to jump up on the side of the stage and pose for the audience before the panel officially began.
Baker warmed up the crowd with an announcement of previously unrevealed characters for the Marvel-inspired section of “Little Big Planet” on the Playstation 3. They were Captain America, Wolverine, Invisible Woman, Rogue and Venom. The crowd met Venom in particular with lots of cheers.
The panel then moved to “Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions” as Thomas Wilson, Creative Director of Beenox, and Dan Slott, who is scripting the game, made their way to the stage. After a brief trailer showcasing the four Spider-Man dimensions explored in the game - Amazing, Ultimate, 2099 and Noir - the creators talked about various elements the games will incorporate. The voice actors for the four different dimensions will be the voice actors from the four major Spider-Man cartoons - MTV’s “Spider-Man,” the 90s Fox Kids “Spider-Man,” “Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends” and the current voice of the “Spectacular Spider-Man.” Also announced was that Stan Lee himself will narrate the game. Wilson joked that Lee would ask for more alliterations every time they gave him a script.
A surprise announcement by Slott revealed alternate costumes will be featured in the game. These include the Cosmic Spider-Man Suit, the Iron Spider suit, the Scarlet Spider, the Negative Zone suit, the Spider Armor and Mangaverse Spider-Man. Of them all, the Scarlet Spider-Man and Mangaverse Spider-Man received the most applause from the hundreds of fans in attendance.
Producer Jason Gloston and writer Mark Hoffmeier from the two “Super Hero Squad” games took the stage. These games, both of whose trailers were shown, feature the all-ages animation style characters from the popular “Super Hero Squad” television show. Both games heavily feature comedy elements combined with action. When discussing “Super Hero Squad: Online,” VP of Amazing Society Jason Robar also joined them on stage. Robar said this will be the first time you get to play Marvel characters online and that “we give you a chance to take over these characters.” He then thanked his two co-workers, adding “thanks for letting me work on a game where I get to meet Stan Lee!”
“Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds” was the next title on display as Seth Killian, special advisor to Capcom, filled out the panel. After a brief game play clip, during which one fan blurted “I want this game now!” the PowerPoint presentation crashed just as Deadpool delivered a killing blow. Todd Jefferson quickly commented that “Deadpool’s super moves knocked out PowerPoint!” to much applause.
Seth then announced a new playable character in the game, the mighty Thor. A game play montage featuring the god of thunder played, showcasing plenty of hammer pounding and lightning throwing as fans screamed with joy at every hyper special move that flashed onscreen. Thor was especially notable for the use of the Olivier Coipel redesign as opposed to the classic Thor costume.
Not done with Thor just yet, Jefferson revealed that the hero’s own title was the game was most excited for. He played a very brief teaser trailer encompassing just a few seconds of Thor in action followed by a logo and a Summer 2011 release date. Upcoming “Thor” comics writer Matt Fraction will be working on the script, while “Thor” movie director Kenneth Branagh directed the teaser trailer for the game. Jefferson couldn’t divulge additional details about the games except that it will be an action-adventure style game.
In a brief Q&A session, Killian said that they are aiming to make MVC3 as “ridiculous as possible,” but will also work to keep it balanced. He also revealed that the game may feature downloadable content for new playable characters and stages, but that they will not even begin to discuss that until the game is released. Another question revealed MVC3 will feature new fight sticks and bundles tailored for the game, but Killian politely asked the crowd not to let that info leave the room. Asked by an extremely nervous fan why the game won’t be in 3D, Killian replied that they have found that 2D games have a “pop” and a logical, easily picked up style that 3D fighters just can’t replicate.
Wilson let the crowd know that, yes, “Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions” will indeed feature lots of web-slinging and that the alternate suits will not be worked in to the storyline, so no Civil War plot elements will bring about the Iron Spider suit.
The final question asked of all the panelists was about which games would feature Squirrel Girl. Slott was delighted with the question, having written the character in “Great Lakes Avengers,” but it was the “Super Hero Squad” producers who proudly announced that they will, given enough time, get around to putting Squirrel Girl “Super Hero Squad: Online.”
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