Unlike some (bald) people, we can’t all be at Comic-Con this year, soaking up our annual allotment of nerd sweat and “he’s-right-over-there!” celebrity sightings. As the nexus of almost al things nerd, The Con’s been a gracious host to an increasing video game presence in recent years.
This year’s San Diego Comic-Con features more hands-on opportunities than ever, so if you’re one of the 100,000+ people expected to tromp through the convention center, here’s a list of what you should check out. The rest of us will just watch the videos and cry into our Captain America Coolattas…
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
The hit fighting game from earlier this year finds some new super-powers in a new edition due out this fall. A dozen new characters will debut in UMvC3, along with slight tweaks to the fighting system and eight new stages.
At The Con, you’ll be able to get a first look at Ghost Rider and Hawkeye as the Marvel heroes face off against new Capcom additions Strider (yes, finally!) and Firebrand, the pantless demon from Ghost ‘n’ Goblins. I’ve always been a Hawkeye fan, so that bit with Ant-Man riding on one of the archer’s arrows? Bought a tear to your humble author’s eyes, it did.
Batman: Arkham City
The Dark Knight might the one getting top billing in this new Bat-game, but the buzz in San Diego will be all about his villains.
Not only will Comic-Con attendees be able to take a gander at sometime-bad- girl Catwoman, they’ll also see The Penguin as the game’s take on the fine-feathered felon makes its debut. Aside from Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, you also get to see the Riddler’s diabolical deathtraps in action as he taunts Batman with his intellect. Riddle me this: Doesn’t that get you excited?
Spider-Man: Edge of Time
Unlike last year’s Shattered Dimensions, this year’s Spidey game stars only two Spider-Men—the present-day Amazing version and the future-dwelling 2099 version in a game that travels up and down the timestream.
The hook here is that Miguel O’Hara, the Spidey 2099, needs to prevent Peter Parker’s death from making his reality into a dystopian future.
Edge of Time‘s main feature is a Quantum Causality mechanic where things you do in one time period affect the other one. Familiar Spider-characters will show up to complicate things for the two heroes, including on-again, off-again bad guy Eddie Brock (now known as Anti-Venom) and The Black Cat, the super-thief who occasionally gets in Peter Parker’s Spider-pants. That probably won’t happen in the game, though, so don’t get your hopes up.
The Darkness II
The sequel to the 2007 first-person shooter inspired by the Image/Top Cow comic got a spotlight panel last night at Comic-Con. Developers from the Digital Extremes studio, comics/game writer Paul Jenkins, Darkness co-creator and legendary artist Marc Silvestri, and voice of The Darkness—Mike Patton from Faith No More—all talked about bringing an even more disturbing vision of Jackie Estacado’s demonic superpowers to life.
If you missed the panel, you can check out the gritty graphic novel visuals and brutal quad-wielding gameplay for yourself for the rest of the weekend.
Assassin’s Creed Revelations
Ezio Auditore’s final game holds more secrets than ever, as he undertakes a personal quest for knowledge after discovering that original AC hero Altair built a special library in Constantinople centuries ago.
The Italian assassin hunts for it and runs afoul of a new order of Byzantine Templars. To combat them, he’ll use new weapons like customizable bombs and a Greek fire turret.
On Saturday, July 23, the writers behind Assassin’s Creed Revelations will discuss at the “Assassin’s Creed: The Creation of a Universe” panel. They’ll be talking about how real-world history figures into the game and attendees will get to watch an exclusive preview of the animated short film Assassin’s Creed Embers.
Captain America: Super Soldier
The Star-Spangled Avenger’s getting his cinematic star turn this weekend and his game will figure prominently in Marvel’s Con presence.
Super Soldier offers up a blend of Prince of Persia-style acrobatics with exploration in the vein of the Castlevania games. Marvel’s also detailing plans on their other upcoming games, including X-Men: Destiny and the Marvel Universe MMO on Saturday at 12:30 in room 6A.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
In this prequel to 2000′s seminal Deus Ex, you control private security agent Adam Jensen, who works for Sarif Industries, a research company pioneering new methods of grafting man and machine together.
An attack by anti-augmentation Purist fanatics leaves Jensen himself badly wounded, but surgery to implant state-of-the-art bionic enhancements into his body make him stronger, faster and deadlier than he was before.
The mix of stealth, combat, multi-path progression and moral ambiguity should make DX:HR one of 2011′s must-play games, so check it out if you’re at the conference.
Street Fighter x Tekken
The crossover many thought would never happen pits characters from Capcom and Namco’s signature fighting game franchises against each other.
Several new fighters got announced at SDCC yesterday, with Tekken‘s Steve Fox and Yoshimitsu showing up along with SF stalwarts Dhalsim and Poison.
If you’ve ever wanted to see which arcade crew would take who in no-holds-barred combat, Street Fighter x Tekken has your answer.
Mass Effect 3
The Canadian developers responsible for the Mass Effect games have set up a BioWare Base at the Gas Lamp Hilton hotel, and fans will be able to get hands-on time with the game.
Then, on Saturday at 6:00 p.m, there’ll be a Mass Effect march where free Omniblades will be given out. The ME3 site‘s teasing a big reveal by BioWare honcho Casey Hudson at the end of the march, too.
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Nintendo’s bringing a heaping helping of its upcoming titles to SDCC but the crown jewel’s surely the latest LoZ game out this fall for the Wii.
At E3, Nintendo dev guru Eiji Aonuma talked about the added depth of the interstitial environments between dungeons. Aounuma added that new gameplay elements will pop up in environments that you’ve already visited, too, so you won’t want to just blow through them. Go and get your hands on the new Triforce adventure over at the Nintendo Gaming Lounge in the San Diego Ballroom at the Marriott Marquis & Marina all weekend.