E3 2017 superhero round-up: One stop for all your heroic gaming


All the info you need about superhero and comic book inspired games shown at this year’s E3 gaming convention!

This year’s E3 has finally come to an end. A lot of great games were announced—some of them starred some superhero favorites and had an overall comic book influence. I’ve compiled a small list of the biggest superhero and comic book-inspired games shown at E3 2017.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite

Photo Courtesy of Capcom

I have been looking forward to this game ever since it was announced last year during Sony’s PlayStation Experience event. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is one of my all time favorite fighting games, and one of my favorite games of the last console generation.

I was extremely surprised and excited when the latest trailer revealed that a story demo was available for download during Sony’s conference at this year’s E3. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is the fourth game in the Marvel vs. Capcom fighting game series, and it looks like it’s taking the crossover to a whole new level. While I didn’t get to finish the story demo, I thoroughly enjoyed what I played.

The game itself controls similarly to 3. The main difference I noticed is that the characters that are meant to be tanks or heavy-hitters have some serious wait to them. I was caught off guard while playing as Captain Marvel. I know she has super strength, but I didn’t expect her to be as powerful and weighty as she is in the story demo. I also didn’t expect her to be in flight during the entire fight. I had no real problems with it, I was just not expecting it.

The overall story of the game focuses on the latest Marvel vs. Capcom roster trying to stop Ultron Sigma from taking control of their universe. The bits of the story I played through were a lot of fun. However, if you’re looking for a fighting game with a story that’s going to take itself seriously, this game probably won’t be for you. While all the characters are written as they should be, Infinite looks like it’s going to have a rather campy campaign. I’m all for it.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite will launch on September 19, 2017.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Photo Courtesy of Ubisoft

Yes, that is the real title of the game. No, I did not play The Stick of Truth. To be honest, I’m not the biggest South Park fan. I am a fan, however, of what I’ve seen so far of the latest game based off the long-running animated series.

Set a day after The Stick of Truth, The Fractured but Whole follows the cast of South Park as they get into another out-of-control game where they make up all of their own characters. This time, the game is lampooning the superhero genre instead of fantasy—specifically, superhero movies (there’s a joke making fun of Marvel’s phase approach to movie making).

One thing I’ll give South Park credit for is their ability to constantly present witty parodies of relevant pop culture events and phenomena. So I definitely think The Fractured but Whole will be worth checking out even if you’re not a South Park fan. Or a fan of puns.

South Park: The Fractured but Whole is set to be released on October 17, 2017.

Crackdown 3

Photo Courtesy of Microsoft Studios

Full disclosure: I have not played a Crackdown game since the first one. I remember it being a ton of fun though. Outrunning cars, leaping over small buildings, and roundhouse kicking criminals across a street never got old.

The Crackdown series has always been influenced by comic books. From the cell-shaded art style, to the game play itself, the first Crackdown felt like a fun superhero game that came out in a time when superhero games weren’t all that great. The game for Superman Returns came out a year before, with the game for Spider-Man 3 coming out the same year as Crackdown. Both games were awful.

While the first Crackdown seemed to focus solely on the fact that you were a super cop that grew stronger as you progressed through the game, Crackdown 3’s main selling point seems to be the destruction as well as the return of the ability orbs. You play as a super cop again in a futuristic city where virtually everything can be destroyed. The ability orbs are back, making upgrading your abilities just as fun as the first game—hopefully.


Photo Courtesy of Marvel

I am insanely hyped for this game. This game was announced at Sony’s E3 press conference last year, but we haven’t seen anything new since then. Unless you count the trailer shown at the PlayStation Experience in December (I don’t because it was two seconds longer and used to promote the PS4 Pro).

If you want an impression of what’s in store for the story and Insomniac’s take on Peter Parker and Spider-Man, then check out Stillanerd’s write up. I’m here to talk about the gameplay.

I am already in love with the gameplay in this game. Insomniac has always been one of those developers that makes sure their games are as fun as possible.

Their Spyro games for the first PlayStation are classics. The Ratchet and Clank games for PS2 were some of the best of that generation (Ratchet: Deadlocked is still one of my favorite games), The Resistance Trilogy was one of the best franchises on the PS3, and their game Fuse is a painfully underrated game. Fuse isn’t a perfect game, but it is fun.

Spider-Man seems to be continuing that tradition of fun, with Insomniac taking combat cues from Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series. I was surprised to see stealth used so well in a Spider-Man game. I couldn’t stand it in the first game for Sam Raimi’s first film, and it was okay, at best, in Spider-Man Noir’s levels in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions.

The stealth shown in the gameplay at this year’s E3 seemed to be the most intuitive use of stealth since Batman: Arkham City. It’s like the Arkaham series in that you find a vantage point and then figure out how to take out your enemies without alerting them.

Since Spider-Man is more agile than Batman, the stealth was a lot faster and seemed a bit less repetitive. My only gripe is that I couldn’t tell if the stealth was 100% necessary for that area, or if it could be approached as the player chooses.

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The next portion of gameplay focused on the combat. Again, much like the Arkham series, the combat seems to be a dodge-counter-then-attack system. However, it looks like Insomniac is implementing Spider Sense into the combat.

The screen would darken for a few moments as time slowed down—allowing the player to choose a target, string together a combo, and immediately move on to the next enemy. This, to me, is a very smart improvement over Arkham‘s combat.

After the combat sequences was a chase that involved Quick Time Events (QTEs). For those who don’t know, a quick time event is a sort of cut scene that occurs during gameplay that requires the player to press certain buttons within a certain amount of time as they appear on screen.

A lot of people have been critical of this aspect of the demo shown at the press conference, as they feel it’s lazy and there to fill in time for the game—instead of just adding to the overall gameplay. To them, I say, “Shut up.”

The QTEs shown in the eight minutes of game play were relatively seamless. I was blown away and extremely happy with how the QTEs revolved around the unique ways Spider-Man used his webbing during the chase.

The short sequence of the chase where Spider-Man is swinging around a crane—while using his webbing to attach to a nearby building— was incredible. They also served a greater purpose. Every single QTE in the chase was used to keep the overall cinematic feel of the chase and the tension going. It would be awkward and a little difficult if the game suddenly said, “Hey! Ignore the villain, stop and web up this crane, then hope you do it in enough time to catch up to the helicopter.”

And for those saying that the QTEs prove it was one big cut scene and not actual gameplay, you can see where the character model kind of freezes as it transitions back to gameplay.

I can’t continue to talk about a chase in a Spider-Man game without talking about the web swinging. The beautiful, beautiful web swinging.

Insomniac seems to have gone the route of the Spider-Man 2 and Ultimate Spider-Man video games—meaning that in order to web-swing, you need something to swing from. I’m all for it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. What got me all hot and bothered was the way Spider-Man traverses the environment while he’s swinging through New York City.

I mean, did you see the way he was running on buildings like it’s nothing? The way he smoothly leaped through a fire escape and then instantly went back to swinging? Or when he reached the end of a building, he would shoot a line behind him to corner the building without losing momentum?

Sure, this is all stuff from the comics and the movies, but this is some of the best web-swinging we’ve seen in a game since Spider-Man 2—the game considered to be the definitive Spider-Man experience.

The only thing that disappointed me is that this game still doesn’t have a release date. How are you going to have such a strong showing with such a cool teaser at the end and not have a solid release date? Yes, I would rather the game come out when it’s ready, because I am so sick of games coming out before they’re ready (*glares at Mass Effect: Andromeda*). But I need this game now—like right now.

Spider-Man will come out in 2018. Hopefully sooner than later in 2018.

The Square Enix / Crystal Dynamics Avengers game

Where the hell was this game? The announcement trailer was released on Marvel Entertainment’s YouTube Channel back in January, but nothing has come out since. According to the description of the video, Square Enix signed a multi-year deal with Marvel to publish multiple games—with the first being the Avengers game in development at Crystal Dynamics (the developers behind the latest Tomb Raider games).

In all honesty, I forgot the game was even announced until the end of Spider-Man‘s gameplay reveal. I’m sure we’ll see something sooner than we think, but I still find it strange that this game was nowhere to be found at E3. There’s so little media for this game that I couldn’t even find a picture to go along with it.

Even though Square Enix is a Japanese publisher/developer, I don’t see the game making an appearance at the Tokyo Game Show in September. Maybe we’ll see or hear something new next month at D23?

Next: PS4 Spider-Man gameplay trailer first impressions

That’s it for superheroes comics at E3 for this year. I think it was a pretty great year, considering all of the games shown seemed be top notch. Hopefully, the trend of showing off superhero games at E3 continues.

If there’s anything I missed, let me know in the comments, and be sure to discuss what games you’re looking forward to the most!