Hollywood may get all the headlines at San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), with the influx of stars from television and film that make the short commute south to the annual pop culture convention, but this year attendees have more interactive attractions and video games than ever before. Video Games: The Movie will have multiple screenings at the show. This year’s convention has also seen a first-time explosion of Oculus Rift virtual reality experiences that tie into movies such as Pacific Rim, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Into the Storm and TV shows like Sleepy Hollow.
The Walking Dead Experience is back at PetCo Park, right next to the Borderlands 2: The Pre Sequel laser tag set-up. And Sega has set up all of its games, including the Sonic Boom titles and Alien Isolation at Nerd HQ, also at Petco Park. Ubisoft has brought its Assassin’s Creed video game experience to life with a parkour experience that tests gamers’ real-world skills. But for traditional interactivity, nothing beats video games. Games are everywhere in downtown San Diego, both inside the convention center and throughout the area, as game makers give fanboys and fangirls their first hands-on opportunities. Here are five titles showcased at Comic Con that gamers will find worth taking a look at once they’re released.
Studio: 2K Games/Turtle Rock Studios
Formats: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Release date: October 21, 2014
Multiplayer gaming takes on a whole new dynamic in Evolve, which pits teams of four hunters against one monstrous creature in winner-takes-all battles. Set across different planetary landscapes, complete with indigenous creatures and vegetation that can be eaten for health (if you’re the monster), this game offers two very different strategies. The team of hunters must communicate from the get-go, picking the appropriate classes before going to battle. The monster (there are assorted creatures, each with unique abilities) is given a head-start in which he can build up his strength and evolve, as well as find a place to confront the heavily-armored, but much smaller enemies. The developer is working on an assortment of play modes to further entertain players and spectators, as this is one game that draws crowds eager to watch the hunt unfold.
Studio: Microsoft/Lionhead Studios
Formats: Xbox One
Release date: Fall
Taking place hundreds of years before the events of the first Fable release, this new role-playing game introduces colorful characters across multiple, upgradable classes that allow gamers to explore missions together with friends. Lionhead Studios has gone beyond just adding four-player cooperative gameplay to its fantasy franchise. It allows a fifth player to take on the role of the villain in the game world and send out enemies to stop the heroes from accomplishing their quests. The world of Albion has never looked so vibrant, thanks to the processing power of Xbox One. And playing as the villain within a multiplayer context is a very interesting gameplay twist.
Far Cry 4
Studio: Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
Formats: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Release date: November 18
The Far Cry franchise introduces brand new characters and locales with each original adventure. This fourth installment in the franchise is set in Kyat, an untamed region of the Himalayas filled with turmoil caused by a self-appointed king. This open-world game gives players new gameplay elements, including the ability to ride (and shoot enemies) from atop a six-ton elephant. Players can also use a gyrocopter to scout areas and gun down snipers from above. The rugged and jagged landscape includes perilous mountains and steep cliffs, which are perfect for deploying your wing suit to attack enemies from above. Players are given an arsenal of weapons and gadgets to use and the open world lets you play as you wish, whether you prefer stealth gameplay, sniping or run-and-gun assault.
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
Studio: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment/TT Games
Formats: All Platforms
Release date: Fall 2014
The Dark Knight is celebrating his 75th Anniversary this year at Comic Con. In addition to a first look of the new Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice movie starring Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck, there are two new video games in the works. Since we previously highlighted Batman: Arkham Knight at E3, this time around we’re focusing on LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. The Caped Crusader goes to outer space in this new two-player co-op game, which unites DC Comics’ most popular super heroes to stop Brainiac from destroying Earth. The Justice League are among the 150 playable characters in this new game, which also rolls out an assortment of bad guys like Killer Croc, Solomon Grundy and Joker. From powerful Lantern rings to cool new arcade-style spaceship combat, this game pushes the bestselling franchise forward while retaining the fun factor that captivates kids of all ages. You simply can’t go wrong when combining LEGOs, video games and comic book characters.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Studio: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment/Monolith Productions
Formats: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
Release date: October 7, 2014
Peter Jackson is in San Diego showcasing his third and final Hobbit movie, but fans are in for a brand new experience inspired by the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which is set between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, introduces the ranger Talion who is seeking revenge on Sauron and his army. Fans will learn the origins of the Rings of Power in this game and see brand new worlds, as well as settings that look much different from how they appear later in the films. The game introduces dynamic gameplay, including a complex Nemesis system that directly connects player actions with enemy progression for a different type of persistent combat experience. The world evolves around Talion based on player choice, adding a more personal and customized interactive adventure.