Now, the world we live in is not, admittedly, one lacking in geek-tastic, over-excitement-inducing, fan-friendly awesomeness. For one thing, we're soon set to see a few hundred or so superhero movies a year (it seems), but that doesn't mean there's not still a special rush of pleasure that arrives whenever the major geek cultural entertainment providers announces something that our 8-year-old selves would have happily traded all (OK, fine, half) of their Lego blocks for.
A perfect case in point?
The Folks At Marvel Just Announced A 'New Era' Of 'Epic' Superhero Games — And It Looks Like They Actually Mean It
Y'see, Sony's E3 2016 announcement slate included something pretty darned exciting from a superhero-ing perspective: An open world Spider-Man game (from the makers of the ridiculously entertaining Sunset Overdrive) that actually looks like it could legitimately replicate the experience of being the Web-Slinger on a next gen console.
Which, even by itself, would be a huge, huge deal — there are a lot of fans who've been waiting since 2004's Spider-Man 2 on the PS2 for a genuinely incredible open world Spider-game — but as it turns out, Spider-Man may just be the tip of the iceberg.
Marvel, It Seems, Has Bigger Plans Than Just Spidey
Indeed, as Marvel's VP of Games, Jay Ong, recently put it in an interview with Polygon:
"When I joined Marvel two years ago, I came in with a mandate to usher in a new era for Marvel Games. We have a treasure trove of the best superhero characters on earth. What can we do with this to create truly epic games?…Is [Spider-Man] a signal of things to come? Oh, yes. Absolutely. And we can’t wait to tell the world about it."
Which, with collaborations with the likes of Insomniac Games (the aforementioned Spider-Man), TT Games (the Lego series, including Lego Marvel Superheroes) and Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, as well as an already confirmed Marvel project) on the horizon, makes a whole lot of sense.
With that excitement in mind, then, let's take a look at...
Five Of The Most Exciting Superhero Games Currently In Development
Including Batmen, moral dilemmas, and...South Park?
Alright then. First up:
Telltale Games' Untitled Marvel Project
Which, as of right now, we know...very little about. We know that it's set to come to PC and consoles in 2017, and that it'll likely tie directly in to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but beyond that, your guess is as good as mine.
With Telltale's impressive track record of "playable storytelling" though, the game's an exciting prospect no matter what.
Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham VR
Yup, that's right. Batman is coming to a virtual reality headset near you (this October), and he's doing so in the hands of the team that created some of the greatest superhero games of all time — the Arkham series' Rocksteady Studios.
If you think that's exciting, though (and you can read more about it right here if so) then just wait till you see what's coming next.
Telltale Games' Batman
Yup, that's right. Telltale Games isn't just working with Marvel, it's tag-teaming the gaming world by teaming up with DC too. Which means that we're soon set to get to hang around with Bruce Wayne (and co.) in Gotham City in pretty much every way possible — bar actually visiting, since it's definitely still fictional.
Meanwhile, there's also...
Ubisoft's South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Which, in it's own, magnificently offensive, South Park-ian way, may well just be absolutely incredible. Plus, since it looks set to skewer pretty much every other superhero game (and movie) out there, it's likely sufficiently meta to allow all the other games to play it straight without cause for concern.
A Whole Bunch Of Other Games We Don't Know Much About Yet
After all, superhero games have long been a surprisingly small part of the overall gaming market, making this current generation a next generation vanguard of sorts — the thin wedge that'll make space for the larger block to come. The likes of Kingdom Hearts 3 may well feature a surprising amount of superhero-ing action (Marvel is owned by by Disney, after all), but for the most part, the future of superhero-themed gaming remains largely clouded in mystery. There's been talk of a Rocksteady-produced Superman game, and we can reasonably expect to see a whole lot more Lego-shaped Marvel and DC adventures from TT Games (Lego Marvel Superheroes 2, perhaps?), but beyond that?
Well, we'll just have to wait and see.