Marvel has already released multiple video games in 2021, and based on upcoming titles it is clear the company has no signs of slowing down.
Video games based on Marvel Comics characters have a nearly 40-year history, and at least two more Marvel-based games are scheduled for release this year. The structure of Marvel game launches has changed considerably as the gaming market evolves. The days of every comic book film adaptation receiving a tie-in video game are in the past, as are the frequent releases of simple side-scrolling games featuring Marvel characters that were produced during the 16-bit era. More Marvel titles are being released for mobile devices today, with console games taking a more selective approach.
The past few years have seen a variety of approaches to Marvel-licensed games. Telltale Games produced a Guardians of the Galaxy game in their signature branching story style. The Marvel vs Capcom and Marvel Ultimate Alliance franchises received sequels after several years of dormancy. The Spider-Man titles from Insomniac Games received critical acclaim, and Iron Man VR became the first virtual reality Marvel game. The Marvel universe MMORPG Marvel Heroes was shut down, and the live-service title Marvel’s Avengers, from publisher Square Enix, stepped in to fill the gap, supported by extensive expansions like War For Wakanda. A number of Lego games based on Marvel characters have been released as well, offering simple, child-friendly takes on the beloved characters.
2021 has also seen the release of Marvel Future Revolution, a mobile game developed by Netmarble, creators of the ongoing Marvel mobile game Marvel: Future Fight as well as other licensed mobile games like The King of Fighters All Star and Star Wars: Force Arena. Looking forward to the end of this year and beyond, however, there are action games, card-based strategy titles, and open world adventures to get excited about.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (2021)
One officially confirmed Marvel game is Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which is being developed by Eidos-Montreal and published by Square Enix. The game will feature third-person action like Marvel’s Avengers, but has been described as a single-player experience much more in line with the Mass Effect series.
A quality Marvel action game without excessive DLC or microtransactions is a welcome proposition for fans, and many are likely hopeful Guardians of the Galaxy’s single-player focus will allow for a strong narrative, highlighting the strengths of Avengers’ campaign while sidestepping its gameplay flaws. Guardians of the Galaxy is slated for release on October 26, 2021, for PC, PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and Nintendo Switch.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns (2022)
2K Games and Firaxis is producing an XCOM-style Marvel game titled Marvel’s Midnight Suns, a project which was announced at Gamescom 2021 Opening Night Live. The game will feature squad-centric action with characters like Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider, Captain Marvel, Wolverine, and Blade, among others.
Recent comments and gameplay reveals by the developer have indicated the game will be roughly 40-50 hours long and that Marvel’s Midnight Suns will feature a turn-based card system for combat. Marvel’s Midnight Suns is scheduled to release on the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC in March 2022.
Marvel’s Wolverine (Release Date TBA)
A completely new game from Insomniac, Marvel’s Wolverine, was revealed at the PlayStation 2021 September Showcase. This game will take place in the same universe as the Marvel’s Spider-Man series and, so far, has only shown a short teaser trailer acknowledging its existence. In the Wolverine game trailer, however, there are hints that other Marvel characters such as The Hulk could appear in Marvel’s Wolverine. Currently no release date is set.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (2023)
Also during the September 2021 PlayStation Showcase, Insomniac Games revealed Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, a sequel to both Marvel’s Spider-Man and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Both Peter Parker and Miles appear in the brief trailer for Spider-Man 2, as well as the Venom symbiote and what appears to be the voice of Kraven the Hunter. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is a PlayStation 5 exclusive game and is currently scheduled to release in 2023.
It is a given that there will be many more Marvel games in years to come, as Marvel remains one of the most recognizable comic book universes, alongside DC. The ongoing Marvel films and related streaming series are now bringing lesser known characters into the spotlight, opening the door for new Marvel video games alongside them.
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