Let’s rap for a little bit about video games based on super hero movies. What we’re actually talking about is games based on movies based on comic books, meaning they’re already two degrees removed from their source material.
I think we can all agree that some of these games haven’t been very good, even when the movies they spin off from are good. But think about the position the developers who work on these games are in: they’ve got to make something that’s close enough to the film to cash in on its popularity, yet deep enough that it isn’t just a rehash of what people have seen on the big screen. That’s an unenviable task.
In the past, I’ve been pretty fascinated by the way these games come up with movie universe versions of characters who never even make it into the film series. That shows some creativity and effort.
The point is that even when the games turn out to not be so good, it’s not because people aren’t trying. At least most of the time. This is relevant because one of this week’s new video game releases is just such a game, and I’m approaching it with an open mind. If it stinks, it’ll be on its own accord, not because of what came before.
And with that, let’s see what’s new over the next seven days:
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (PS4, Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, PC, 3DS) – April 29
You got me: this is the game that inspired my little soliloquy up there. The developer, Beenox, has some experience in this area, having made the game based on the first Andrew Garfield outing as Spidey. It certainly seems like the studio is pulling out all the stops, incorporating more open world elements (including some you play as Peter Parker), throwing in all kinds of suits and upgraded webbing, and even making the web-swinging mechanics more realistic. You know, if people could actually swing from webs.
Alas, I’ll miss the idea that Spider-Man could be above every building in New York and still be merrily swinging away. What were those web-lines attached to anyway? Clouds? Conveniently passing UFOs? Mark my words, decades from now, this will go down as one of the great video game mysteries of our time. Maybe.
Daylight (PS4, PC) – April 29
Uh-oh. I sense survival horror approaching. I’m not a huge fan of the genre myself. Too squeamish, you see, and I don’t care if that makes me a wuss. Which it does, I’m sure.
Built on Unreal Engine 4, Daylight has a cool mechanic going for it where your character needs to use the light from a cell phone to navigate around the creepy old building you find yourself in to start. It was written at least in part by Jessica Chobot, and she’s alright in my book. And there simply aren’t that many games out right now developed specifically for the PS4, so it may be worth a look for that reason alone. Just know that I’ll probably be looking between the cracks in-between my fingers as they cover my eyes.
Child of Light (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
Now this is something more up my alley: a game with both platforming and RPG elements. It’s got a female protagonist, which is always nice to see. And she can carry a big sword, and no right-minded gamer can have a problem with that.
One thing I can already tell you is that this game looks beautiful, with multi-layered environments and backgrounds that look like they were hand-drawn or painted. The UbiArt Framework is pretty great, it must be said. I’m not usually one to be drawn into games specifically by their visuals, but this game looks like it might do that to me.
Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS) – May 2
Hey, we already reviewed this game! Our own Michael Straw liked the graphics, simple and effective controls and the cool course designs. He’s going to revisit the online features after it releases, as they weren’t fully available when he took it for an early spin.
Nothing against golf, but I’d like to see Mario and friends in more sports. Maybe Mario Hockey. Yeah, I’d pay money for that. Nintendo, are you listening?
Also releasing this week: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle (PS3) – April 29; BloodRayne: Betrayal (PC) – April 30; Kirby: Triple Deluxe (3DS) – May 2