The video game industry is an ever-changing amalgamation of everything that came before it. Every year the technological development of video games continues to blow consumers’ minds with improved gameplay and cinematic graphics, all compounded by enthralling stories. The past three years have seen an exponential growth in the industry with the advances made by Sony’s PlayStation 5 and further expansions for streaming games.
For example, Fortnite, the streaming battle royal giant that still dominates the industry, was the first big game to announce character skin crossovers. The skin crossovers have been huge, including characters from globally known properties like “Stranger Things,” DC Comics, “John Wick,” the NFL, “Star Wars,” “Ghostbusters” and even the “Alien” franchise.
Perhaps one of the most popular crossovers came from Marvel Comics, specifically the Season 7 Thanos/ “Infinity War” tie-in back in 2018. Players were able to search for the Infinity Gauntlet, which, when found, would turn the player into the mad titan himself (leading to some hilarious memes.) Since then, Marvel Comics has partnered with different video game developers to launch a slew of games. Here’s what’s coming and what you need to know.
1. Marvel’s Midnight Suns
One of the more far-fetched games announced this year was Firaxis Games’ Marvel’s Midnight Suns. The game is being advertised as a tactical role-playing game with a character roster featuring the titular team of Marvel Comics antiheroes that includes Blade, The Punisher and Ghostrider, as well as characters from The Runaways like Nico Minoru. Various and oft-overlooked characters from the X-Men like Magik will also appear. Classic Marvel characters like Iron Man, Captain America, Captain Marvel and Dr. Strange will be playable as well.
The game is scheduled to come out in March 2022. Some fans have speculated that the game itself will provide a potential sneak peek into what’s happening in the MCU, with a new “Blade” already announced along with the highly anticipated X-Men reboot and the already filming “Moon Knight” series. A live-action film or series based on the Midnight Sons is plausible for Phases 5 or 6.
2. Marvel’s Avengers
After its trailer garnered mixed reviews for some questionable character animation, Square Equinox’s Marvel’s Avengers debuted in 2020, also with mixed reviews stemming from the game’s underwhelming central storyline. The video game has, however, continued to update the gameplay and character mods/skins, and added an abundance of story mode expansions, with its most recent, Black Panther: War for Wakanda, debuting this past August. The game’s success has been linked to its various film skin tie-ins, like classic comic attire for Hawkeye/Kate Bishop, the white suit from “Black Widow” and, most recently, 2008’s “Iron Man” Mark III.
The video game has no plans of stopping as its characters are already tied to the MCU, paving the way for more crossovers once the Hawkeye Disney+ show drops this November and the Marvel Kamala Khan show drops early 2022. Keep an eye out for skins and expansion packs, hopefully with Lucky the Pizza Dog!
3. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
Another Square Equinox game announced for fall 2021 is Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Like the other games on this list, it is not affiliated with the MCU (yet). In fact, the game used different character looks to distinguish it from the film’s recognizable ensemble. The game is taking its inspiration from the comics, as well as basing its graphics and gameplay on Mass Effect.
Like Marvel’s Avengers, the game will be a third-person combat action game with a single-player format — aka only Star-Lord. This has already disappointed some fans who hoped for co-op modes and the ability to play as any member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. It is also a single-story video game. There will be no expansions or DLCs, so the game you purchase is the game you get. The story mode has been reported to be similar to Quantic Dreams’ Detroit: Become Human, which had players’ actions and choices impact where the story goes. So far, the game’s humor looks great, and I look forward to the banter.
4. Marvel’s Wolverine
This next one surprised fans as they had no idea this character getting a solo game was even an option: Beloved game developer Insomniac has announced Marvel’s Wolverine. The game is so early in development that it doesn’t even have a year established for the release date; with this title being behind the most anticipated Marvel video game sequel, I suspect the earliest release will be late 2024. The teaser trailer excited fans who saw Easter eggs that reminded them of Insomniac’s impeccable attention to detail. Sony has stated the game will be a PlayStation 5 exclusive, so start saving money now!
5. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
One of the most anticipated video games of 2023 is Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. After the huge success of the first video game (selling over 18 million copies), it’s a no-brainer that Insomniac would make another. What we know so far is that the sequel will include both Peter and Miles, back at it with wild combo moves that will absolutely wreck some poor street thug.
It will still sadly be single-player like both its predecessors, but it is also a PlayStation 5 exclusive, and Insomniac did not pull any punches when showcasing the updated costumes, graphics and gameplay advances. The game looks like a cinematic masterpiece and its trailer’s money shot of Venom — who looks gorgeous and is being voiced by the original Candyman, Tony Todd — was the cherry on top. Venom was teased in the post-credit scenes of the first game and now we have confirmation that he is here and hopefully hungry. We’ll have to wait just a little bit longer before swinging into action.