The Attraction to Marvel
A Summary of the Marvel
Video Game Panel
By Garrett Fuller
While attending San Diego Comic Con, we had the opportunity to
sit in on the panel about Marvel’s upcoming video games. The
new Iron Man and Spider-Man games were represented, and a new Marvel
fighting game was announced. While all of these will be bringing great
new game play and content for fans, the game that got the most
attention was Marvel Universe Online. Thankfully, the Statesman
himself, Jack Emmert, was on the panel to answer the bulk of questions
from fans about what to expect in the upcoming Marvel world where you
too can play as a super hero.
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Cryptic has a vast amount of experience with super
heroes due to their previous MMOG, City of Heroes / Villains.
Jack began by talking about how large the world they are
trying to create will be. The focus will be on significant places in
Marvel like New York and the Canadian wilderness, but will include the
whole of our world. Players will also get to explore fictional
locations that are specific to the Marvel universe. Jack mentioned that
the world will be vast, but those two areas were specifically
Many of the questions from fans were about the Marvel lore
that players will be involved with. Jack said the team’s
attitude is “mostly Marvel” and they hope to put as
much of the comics into the game as they can while trying to balance
everything with the current story arcs and time line. With forty years
of comics to work with, there is a huge time frame for the game to take
place in. Jack mentioned that players will have many options in
exploring the current Marvel world as well as chances to possibly go
back into Marvel’s history. To my surprise, even Secret Wars
One of the biggest projects that Cryptic Studios is working on
is a database of information about Marvel comics. Jack mentioned he had
just finished re-reading the entire run of The Fantastic Four. The main
reason was to pick out every single gadget, character, NPC, weapon, and
all the information possible to build this database for the game. He
mentioned that almost everything you see in MUO, even if it is very
unique, once appeared in a Marvel comic.
When answering questions about characters, Jack mentioned that
you will be playing as a hero and fighting along side other Marvel
heroes in the game. There will be heavy interaction between players and
their favorite teams or super heroes, Jack even hinted that in some
cases you may actually play as the unique Marvel heroes themselves. He
did not go into detail on this but said the team at Cryptic is working
on loads of game play options for players.
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With CoX under their belts, Cryptic is set to do great
things in the Marvel Universe.
Cryptic and Microsoft are concentrating on moment to moment
game play. They do not want a boring grind fest MMO; they want action.
Jack mentioned they want the game to play as a console game by keeping
things very fast paced for the player. Along with the high level of
action, they also have to keep a close eye on game balance. All MMOs
suffer from very difficult balance issues and Cryptic is working hard
to make sure game balance is a focused effort.
Another point that was great to hear is the Cryptic team has
been included in Marvel’s writer retreats. This is when the
writers of the Marvel Universe get together to discuss story lines and
ideas that work within the Marvel lore and time line. With the game
designers being included, it really gives them a chance to stay on par
with the stories and adventures in the comics. It seems like all the
teams involved are really working together to make the best game
In closing, while the panel also focused on other games that
Marvel was coming up with this year, the online game got the most
questions. It seems like the buzz surrounding this game will continue
to grow as we get closer to beta and launch. In speaking with Jack
briefly before the panel, we both said we wished there was some game
footage to preview. Not yet unfortunately, but stay tuned! With the
response Marvel Universe Online received at the convention, I
don’t think it will be long before we get to see a preview of
the game. Until then, we’ll just have to enjoy the Marvel
world in the other games, comics, and those huge summer movies.
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