Here are the hottest video games to test drive at Comic-Con
Whether you’re a die-hard fan of “The Walking Dead,” a self-proclaimed Whovian, or an old-school gamer with your own ocarina, there is a video game for you at this year’s Comic-Con.
Players cruising the convention will have the chance to test drive some of the year’s most anticipated titles. Here are five that you won’t want to miss.
The Walking Dead: Onslaught
Release date: Fall 2019
Platforms: PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, PC
Are you a) a huge “Walking Dead” fan or b) the most likely of your friends to survive the zombie apocalypse? If so, then The Walking Dead: Onslaught demo is for you.
This virtual reality game allows players to navigate a zombie-infested wasteland as their favorite characters from AMC’s hit show “The Walking Dead.” It is an immersive, visceral experience for a number of reasons.
First, a walking mechanic that requires players to use their arms to move significantly diminishes the nausea that sometimes accompanies virtual gaming experiences.
Second, thoughtful developers programmed something called gore mesh into each undead enemy, which essentially ensures every zombie death is explosively violent.
Third, walkers come with a progressive dismemberment mechanic, which is a fancy way of saying that players can wreck enemies at any joint.
The game is at AMC’s DeadQuarters on the Martin Luther King Promenade, which houses a ton of other fun attractions.
In fact, one of the demo’s coolest features has nothing to do with the actual game play. The best way to get to the VR stations is by surviving the Winter Escape walk-through, an amazingly realistic — and frightening — recreation of the Season 9 finale. The experience spills directly into the demo space.
Talk about scene-setting.
Doctor Who: The Edge of Time
Release date: September 2019
Platforms: PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift
If you’re a fan of “Doctor Who,” the long-running British science-fiction show, then you’ve likely daydreamed of teaming up with the Doctor and hopefully getting your hands on a sonic screwdriver while you’re at it.
I’ve got good news. The BBC America’s booth on the convention floor is home to a demo of Doctor Who: The Edge of Time, the virtual-reality game that allows you to do just that.
(Insert delighted Whovian squees here.)
The game transports players into a three-dimensional world that unfolds like an episode of the time-traveling series. Taking on the role of helpful companion to Jodie Whittaker, the 13th Doctor, gamers will use the sonic screwdriver to problem-solve their way into the Tardis.
The demo is about four minutes long. And don’t worry, if you get turned around, Whittaker’s actual voice will guide you to the next objective.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
Release date: Sept. 6, 2019 (consoles), winter 2019 (PC)
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Monster hunters, rejoice! And then ready your weapons.
A chilly expansion packed with arctic beasts and fresh gear is being released for Monster Hunter World, and you can try it out at the Capcom booth on the convention floor.
The new arctic ecosystem essentially doubles the Monster Hunter world and is situated in a new locale, the Hoarfrost Region. Spoiler alert: There will be ice dragons.
Players will have to wait in line to explore the new world, but the demo quest is meaty with about 15 minutes of content. Don’t forget to snap a photo in a snowy recreation of the game’s new home base, Seliana.
Interesting side note: No actual ice dragons were available during production (bummer,) so sound engineers took turns bashing ice slabs with a hammer to create some of the frigid monster noises.
Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Release date: Sept. 20, 2019
The newest Zelda game is almost here, and it’s as beautiful as we all hoped. No, not the Breath of the Wild sequel, you rumormonger. We’re talking about Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.
The game is a remake of the beloved 1993 Game Boy release of the same name, and it feels like it in all the right ways. Tilt-shift visuals and toy-like characters hearken back to the source material, but developers packed in plenty of new features.
Enemies move more freely now and characters can create customization dungeons that offer special rewards.
There are plenty of play stations at the Nintendo Lounge, which is in the Marriott Marquis & Marina hotel. The line to get in is long, but there’s no time limit once you get inside, making the wait feel like a worthwhile investment.
The lounge is arguably the best gaming location at the Con and there are tons of other titles to play, including Pokémon Sword, Pokémon Shield, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and Super Mario Maker 2.
The space is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Get your game on.
Man of Medan
Release date: Aug. 30, 2019
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
In Man of Medan, a party-fueled search for an old World War II vessel goes awry when an unexpected storm sends players hurtling into a haunted ship. Think the Black Pearl, but with guns instead of pirate swords.
The truly unique thing about the game isn’t the sinister story line, although that feels fresh enough — it’s the ability to play side-by-side with friends.
The video game world is seriously short on couch co-ops, which are titles designed to be played among friends in the same room, and the horror genre really maximizes that bonding experience. Nothing says friendship like screaming together.
Medan’s 15-minute demo, on the far side of the convention floor, gives you a taste of what it would be like to get your scare on with buddies by housing some play space in a pop-up living room, complete with a couch and a whole lot of darkness.
If you’d rather not wait for that homey touch (there’s a line to get in), consider picking up a ticket with a return time on it. The space is also outfitted with more traditional, and more accessible, “TV and controller” demo set-ups.
Did we mention swag is involved? The space is doling out free shirts and pins to those brave enough to take on the ghost ship.
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