SDCC 2016: The Video Game Report

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[featured image: Oliver Ayala, Dapper Geek News, used under Creative Commons (Flickr)]

Here’s our roundup of the video game news that came out of Comic-Con International in San Diego. What new games are you looking forward to loading on your console?

 

Bluefin announced three ultra-limited, exclusive Mega Man products, produced by TruForce collectible and featuring the Capcom characters.

 

Standing at 10" tall, this statue is made with a chrome resin finish, stands on a 6" diameter base, and lights up when on the base. Only 600 units were produced, so supplies are limited!
Standing at 10″ tall, this statue is made with a chrome resin finish, stands on a 6″ diameter base, and lights up when on the base. Only 600 units were produced, so supplies are limited!

 

Only 800 units of this wearable Mega Man helmet were produced. Made with high-quality ABS plastic, it includes a display box and functioning LEDs.
Only 800 units of this wearable Mega Man helmet were produced. Made with high-quality ABS plastic, it includes a display box and functioning LEDs.

 

The X-Boost is 6" tall, features an LED in the booster, and includes multiple accessories and a stand.
The X-Boost is 6″ tall, features an LED in the booster, and includes multiple accessories and a stand.

{Flickering Myth}

 

Niantic CEO John Hanke made some interesting announcements in regards to their hit app, Pokemon GO!

The three gyms were announced to each have a leader, namely Candela for Valor, Blanche for Mystic, and Spark for Instinct. Their exact purpose is still a mystery, but it appears that they will be used to dispense tips and other in-game information to team members.

 

From left to right, we have the gym leaders for Valor, Mystic, and Instinct.
From left to right, we have the gym leaders for Valor, Mystic, and Instinct.

It was also revealed that many other functions which are integral to the original game are being worked on, so that they can be brought to GO as soon as possible. Trading, Breeding, and taking your ‘Mons to Pokemon Centers were all brought up, and it was also mentioned that players will eventually have the ability to customize Pokestops, though the extent and method of this was not revealed. Adding later generations of Pokemon was mentioned, but is not on their priority list until they’ve added all the current functionality that they have planned.

{bgr}

 

Activision has made some announcements in reference to the newest game in their hit Call of Duty series. Showing off nearly fourteen minutes of in-game footage from the single player campaign, giving players a taste of what they’ll be in for.

 

Additionally, they revealed that any pre-order of the game will also include the highly popular ‘Terminal’ map from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, though with updates to bring it more into line with Infinite Warfare’s future-combat sensibilities.

{heavy.com, toonzone.com}

 

Dark Horse Comics announced a partnership with Blizzard, showing off their intent to make a 100-page Graphic Novel showing the backstory and history of the heroes and characters from their popular game Overwatch, as well as an art book. They’ve already begun republishing Overwatch‘s digital comics, which are currently available here.

{idigitaltimes.com}

 

NetherRealm Studios released some new details about their highly-anticipated Injustice 2. It’s no surprise that Wonder Woman will be making a return, but in addition to her, we’ll also be seeing the Blue Beetle making an appearance as a playable character.

As a change from her Injustice 1 appearance, Wonder Woman will now be able to use all of her weapons at any time without swapping them out.
As a change from her Injustice 1 appearance, Wonder Woman will now be able to use all of her weapons at any time without swapping them out.
Using his power suit, built from alien technology, the Blue Beetle is a well-rounded character capable of suiting any play style.
Using his power suit, built from alien technology, the Blue Beetle is a well-rounded character capable of suiting any play style.

{heavy.com}

 

In an interview with Phil Lamarr, the voice actor who plays Aquaman in the Injustice games, he made some comments on the recent resurgence of the character. “I think the original conception of Aquaman was sorely lacking. I only think it’s been in the last couple of conceptions that he’s really come into his own. They tried for years to do anything with him. I feel like it may have started on Young Justice, but Injustice took it to the next level and gave the character a solid grounding.”

Expanding further on the character, Lamarr commented on what he saw as the flaw in many of Aquaman’s depictions, saying, “You have one of these characters that is ostensibly one of the most powerful heroes, he just wasn’t cool. They finally figured it out. He’s bad-ass. He’s the ocean personified, but he’s also a man.”

However, when discussing the process of recording his dialogue, Lamarr expressed some frustration with the process. The acting for Injustice 2 was done with solo actors, lacking the context of another actor to play off when recording their lines. He explains: “You have to imagine the line and how it might be said. It’s a lot of mental work, plus now they do facial capture while we’re doing the lines. You’re basically wearing a bicycle helmet with this arm and a camera with a light shining in your face while you’re trying to act. It’s like, should I jump through a hoop while I’m doing all this as well?”

Laura Bailey, who plays Supergirl in Injustice 2 (and also played Catwoman in the Telltale Studios game, Batman: The Telltale Series) agreed with Lamarr’s sentiments and compared the recording to her work with Telltale. “You go in the booth with your rig on, and you don’t get to see the dialogue around it… With the Telltale games, we’re getting to record together on a lot of it, which is really cool and new in a lot of video games. It’s been happening in years for animation, but getting to be together to record for a video game really makes a difference with a lot of story elements.”

{Comics Alliance}

 

Speaking of Batman: The Telltale Series, Telltale Games converted the Legend room inside the Hard Rock Hotel, making it a theater for the launch of the new game.

Troy Baker (Batman), episode director Kent Mudle, and Telltale’s head of creative communications Job Stauffer took the stage along with Greg Miller from Kinda Funny. Miller, dressed in Batman ’66 Bat-regalia, warmed up the crowd, which then had a front row seat as they played through sections of the game.

“Realm of Shadows” became available August 2nd.

{Comics Beat}

 

Capcom also had some Street Fighter-related news, showing off their newest DLC character, along with several new ‘Summer Swimsuit’ costumes for Cammy, Laura and Ibuki.

Juri was released on July 26th, and is currently available for purchase.

{heavy.com}

 

Resident Evil: Biohazard showed off a great new VR Demo, showcasing the controls with the Playstation VR, as well as their fresh new take on the survival horror genre, using the first-person VR viewpoint to instill fear in new gamers and veterans alike. The display was built to look like a haunted house, and simply getting in to try the demo was nigh-impossible, with fans lining up for hours to try out the short demonstration.

{Nerd Reactor}

 

While at a panel discussing his new film, Snowden, Oliver Stone made several comments regarding Pokemon GO!, saying that the app was ‘A new level of invasion’ and that it could usher in an era of totalitarianism as Google uses the app to data mine its users. He believes that the app is being used by the government to keep tabs on its users. When he voiced these concerns about the app’s security, though, he received laughter from the audience, who apparently either disagreed or simply weren’t concerned.

{inquistr}

 

New gameplay footage of the remastered Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age was released, showing off the control scheme, new visuals, and fast-forward mode. The game has no specified release date, but is slated to release in 2017 for the PS4.

{The BGB, psu.com}

 

Fans of Gears of War 4 also got a chance to play at the Xbox booth. A seven-minute gameplay video was released prior to the event, and it gives fans a hint of what’s coming in the game:

{gematsu.com}

Square Enix is also working up a CG feature film based on Final Fantasy XV, the latest release coming out September 30. The film, Kingsglaive, will be released digitally on August 30th and on Blu-Ray/DVD October 4th subsequent to the game’s release.

From the press release:

Experience the global phenomenon when the action-packed, feature-length epic,KINGSGLAIVE: FINAL FANTASY XV, debuts on digital August 30 and on Blu-ray and DVD October 4 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film will be released in select movie theaters nationwide August 19 by Stage 6 Films with Vertical Entertainment and Square Enix. Highlighted by beautiful, state-of-the-art CG technology, the revolutionary new movie goes beyond the game franchise to deliver an experience that action fans, both familiar and unfamiliar with FINAL FANTASY, will enjoy. Featuring the voice talent of Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”), Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”) and Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings franchise), KINGSGLAIVE: FINAL FANTASY XV finds King Regis (Bean) attempting to the save the city of Insomnia from the menacing empire of Niflheim with the help of an elite force of soldiers called the KINGSGLAIVE, led by Nyx Ulric (Aaron Paul).

 

Also announced at SDCC: Red Sonja is getting a video game.

F84 Games, Dynamite Entertainment, and Red Sonja, LLC are pleased to announce an exciting new partnership that will see Red Sonja, the She-Devil with a Sword, brought to life as a playable character in a dedicated, action-packed, and narrative-driven game. Sharing the news in lead up to Comic-Con International expo, Red Sonja fans will be happy to hear that the multi-format game will be ready for release this upcoming winter 2016/2017.

Favored comic book writer Gail Simone, who has been writing the Dynamite comic, will be handling plot and storylines for the game. She’ll collaborate with F84 Games to develop a continuation of her stories in the new medium.

“There’re two things I love in this world without question, and those things are video games and Red Sonja,” says  Simone. “Gaming is such a huge part of my life, it’s what I do for relaxation, socialization, and inspiration, and my game and console collection is a terrifying sight to behold. Mixing my favorite character, the She-Devil With A Sword, with my life-long love of games is a dream come true. We plan on making this a bloody, sexy, funny good time, full of brutal swordplay, cackling villains, and horrendous monsters, all seen through Sonja’s trademark wit. I cannot wait.”

“Red Sonja is the kind of character you want to walk a mile in her boots; it is the perfect franchise to turn into a video game,” said Luke Lieberman, President of Red Sonja, LLC. “We’ve waited for the perfect partnership and believe Jeff Hardy and F84 Games have a phenomenal vision for the game. Once Gail agreed to be the dungeon master for this adventure, I knew we had something special on our hands.”

{toonzone}

 

Daedalic Entertainment released screenshots from their upcoming 3d Dystopian Adventure game, State of Mind. With an art style referred to as “Realistic low-poly visuals”, the game takes an extremely unique look at Berlin in 2048. The game is slated to release sometime early in 2017.

A wide shot of Berlin, shown here rendered in State of Mind's unique style.
A wide shot of Berlin, shown here rendered in State of Mind’s unique style.

 

The low-polygon animation is on full display here, using a blend of old and new art style to create a game that looks like little else.
The low-polygon animation is on full display here, using a blend of old and new art style to create a game that looks like little else.

 

In addition to a stark look at future Dystopias, Daedalic also showed off screenshots from their upcoming game Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun. Set in the Edo period of ancient Japan, you control a Ninja, Samurai, Geisha, Trapper and Sniper as you try to reclaim the realm from the ruling Shogun.

Depicted from an isometric viewpoint, players will have full control over the camera.
Depicted from an isometric viewpoint, players will have full control over the camera.

{trueachievements.com}

 

New footage was released of Battlefield 1, the newest installment in DICE’s critically acclaimed Battlefield series, with the setting of the game being moved all the way back to World War 1. Based on what they showed, the gameplay seems to be sticking with tradition, featuring large PvP matches with up to what will be 32 players on each side and with several playable classes, each with their own weapons and abilities. Where the game stands out is with its visuals and setting. While graphics have never been a struggle for the Battlefield series, the engine looks better than ever, and the fairly unique WWI setting gives it a look not seen in many other modern FPS games.

{Nerd Reactor}

 

SEGA has announced its latest installment in the Sonic franchise, unveiling the trailer for Project Sonic 2017. The “Fastest Thing Alive” has had a bit of a patchy track record lately, but once the trailer gets to the breakneck platforming the games are known for, it’s enough to at least buy the game the benefit of the doubt.

 

Additionally, in news that will make classic Sonic fans extremely happy, SEGA has announced a new game with a very old style: Sonic Mania, a 25th anniversary release which returns to the original game’s art style and gameplay, with retro 8-bit maps and all the 2D, high-speed platforming you could want.

{Nerdist}

 

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LEGO Dimensions will have a new product release November 18, 2016: Wave 7, led by packs for both Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Sonic the Hedgehog, allowing players to broaden their selection from the entertainment brands.

Other expansion packs include Gremlins and E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial.

{Comics Beat}

 

In a bit of fun news, Nintendo held a tournament for their popular brawler, Super Smash Bros. The catch? It was for kids 12 and under. The decision to hold eSport events especially meant to include younger kids and get them excited about playing games is one that seems so obvious, you wonder why nobody had thought of it yet. While the gameplay might not be up to the scratch of top-level players, it’s still entertaining to watch the pint-sized competitors going head-to-head in a game designed from the ground up to be as fun as possible.

You can watch the results here.

{pvplive.net}

 

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