Batman: Arkham City was just one of many comic book inspired video games released in 2011, but its depth in story and gameplay, and respect toward the 70-plus year source material stood out more than any other comic book game not just this year, but ever. Rocksteady has created a fresh, yet familiar, Batman adventure that will be remembered for as long as the character exists. Combining as authentic a Batman experience as technology will allow, an emotional narrative, and an amazing cast giving each character their own roaring flame of life, Arkham City is as near a perfect comic book video game any fan could ask for. The brilliant interactive and visual storytelling in Batman: Arkham City is to be remembered in the same light as Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.
But Batman: Arkham City‘s win for ComicAttack.net’s Video Game of the Year was by no means a squash. DC Universe Online and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 are both amazing comic book video games and are more than worthy of honorable mentions.
Every year I say what a great year it’s been for comic book games, and every year that statement grows more and more true. Comic book games are now among the year’s best titles, but we still aren’t without our usual red-headed stepchild movie tie-in games. Activision took a step back with Thor: God of Thunder, and though Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters was a solid effort, it’s not a game even the hardcore Green Lantern faithful are likely to return to.
Taking an upturn in 2011 into 2012 is the quality of comics we’re seeing based on video games. Paul Dini and Carlos D’Anda set the example for what comic book adaptations of video games should look like with their Batman: Arkham City tie-in series, and even comic adaptations of top video games like InFamous and Uncharted are becoming great companions to their video game counterparts.
I will remember 2011 as a year filled with great moments and memories. Detailing my own superhero in DC Universe Online and landing that first punch on the jaw of a supervillain, side-by-side with Superman. Taking down Galactus with Hulk, Wolverine, and Amaterasu in Mvc3. Altering history and sculpting the future in Spider-Man: Edge of Time. And my personal favorite, Mark Hamill’s moving performance as the Joker in Batman: Arkham City.
Just like every new year, 2012 is looking to be even bigger and brighter than the last. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, Amazing Spider-Man, and Lego Batman 2 are just a few of the games scheduled for release next year, and they all look awesome. And half the fun is always seeing what games get announced throughout the year for the future. The Avengers and Man of Steel are expected to have game adaptations, and there’s always the annual Spider-Man game to look forward to in 2013, maybe another X-Men game from Activision, and hopefully the highly anticipated announcement of Batman 3 from Rocksteady.
Here’s to having more Game of the Year quality comic book games in 2012 and beyond!
For more of The Comics Console, click here!