Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment really went all out this year with their advertising at New York Comic Con. There is a lot riding on the success of Justice League, which is set to come out this November. There were two main areas of attraction for this movie at NYCC. The first was an exhibition area for a virtual reality game, located immediately at the Blue Entrance of the convention. The second was a costume exhibit on the far end of the Javits Center.
The wait time for the Justice League Virtual Reality game reached 6 hours at one point. Fortunately, as a Press Badge holder, I was able to get on line fairly early in the morning.
Once inside, the first thing you see is a replica set up of Batman’s computer setup.
After signing a waiver and getting a quick explanation of Virtual Reality, it was onto the game.
The game itself was a whole lot of fun. You were given the choice of playing as any of the six members of the Justice League. Each character offered a different gameplay experience, but the objective was getting a high score. Cyborg’s involved shooting. Wonder Woman’s was a hack-and-slash with her sword and shield. Batman was mostly driving and some shooting in the Batmobile. The Flash involved moving the controllers really fast and running in place (aka, cardio). I believe the Aquaman option was exploration, though don’t quote me on this. As for Superman, the representative I asked told me that the Superman gameplay was “dying,” though I couldn’t for the life of me figure out if he was being serious or joking around.
I ended up going with Wonder Woman because her game seemed the most fun, and after asking my colleagues about their experiences, I think I chose correctly. In this hack-and-slash, you were tasked with fighting off Parademons. The left controller was used to control her shield, while the right one was used to control her sword. Both could be swung around freely. Pressing two buttons simultaneously let you dash to another point on the map. The entire experience was extremely realistic. While I have my own Samsung Gear VR headset at home, I have never tried a virtual reality game with controllers.
There were around five or six, 7-by-7 booths inside the exhibit that served as the VR playing areas. I consciously made an effort to remember not to accidentally punch or walk into a wall, but the same couldn’t be said about a participant in the booth next to mine. I heard the wall get punched or kicked several times. This is an issue that VR developers will have to figure out as VR games become more and more common in homes. How do we stay tethered to the game system, but also move around without breaking furniture? My friend who played as the Flash did not have this problem, because all he did was basically move his arms really fast in running-in-place motion.
After finishing the game, you have the option of having a video of your own gaming experience emailed to you. Then on the way out, you receive some promotional papers, including one shaped as a Batarang, and a pretty sweet looking black T-shirt.
On the far south end of the Javits Center was the costume showcase. Enclosed in all glass were the exact replicas of the costumes used in the new Justice League movie, lined up perfectly under a Justice League banner.
This area was also packed, as people came in droves to get a close-up look at some of their favorite superheroes and pose for photos. This was the exact same area of the Javits Center where just two years ago, Batman v Superman held a similar exhibit with costumes from that movie. They even gave out LexCorp phone energy banks that year, which I still use to this day. However, I do hope that this new Justice League movie will be superior to its flawed predecessor.
The last bit of noteworthy New York Comic Con and Justice League news was the release of a brand new trailer during the event. So far, the movie looks incredibly promising. I was extremely relieved that nothing major was spoiled during the trailer (ie: Doomsday reveal in Batman v Superman). Check out the trailer if you haven’t.
Overall, DC and WB really outdid themselves at New York Comic Con 2017. The exhibits served their purpose of amping fans up for the new movie. If they can manage to deliver on the high expectations, and be as successful as the Wonder Woman movie, then things will finally come together for the greatest comic book heroes of all time.