Superhero films currently dominate Hollywood. Nearly all of the biggest blockbusters of the past several years have starred Batman, Spider-Man or the Avengers.
Marvel and DC continue to pump out movies as part of their respective cinematic universes, and so far, it appears that they can do no wrong. While some films are certainly better than others, they all make huge amounts of money.
It's more than a little surprising, then, that superheroes in video games haven't found similar success. With the exception of the Batman: Arkham series, superhero video games have not only been few and far between, but also haven't lived up to the high standards of quality many gamers expect.
However, that might finally be changing now. For the first time in a long time, superheroes took center stage at E3, the video game industry's biggest show. Injustice 2, Telltale's Batman and Insomniac's Spider-Man all look to deliver the spandex-clad action that gamers have been yearning for all these years.
Injustice 2 looks to be everything fans fell in love with in the first Injustice, only even more beautiful. That being said, developer NetherRealm isn't content to just toss on a new coat of paint and call it good. The team looks to be innovating as usual, as Injustice 2 will allow players to fully customize the game's roster of DC superheroes like Batman, Supergirl, Aquaman and more with stat-changing gear that will dramatically affect the tide of battle. Of course, the franchise's signature over-the-top finishing moves are back, and they've never looked better.
Also looking great is Telltale's Batman. Revealed last year but with little to show for it, the developer's latest story-driven title is finally stepping into the light. So far, it looks great. Telltale's engine has never been more visually-striking, and the game is already standing out from other Batman titles thanks to its focus on both Bruce Wayne and the Dark Knight. Players can even choose to tackle certain situations in costume or as the millionaire playboy, giving Telltale's Batman a unique angle that players and even many comic fans haven't seen before.
With the Batman: Arkham series, Injustice and Telltale's Batman, it looked like DC had firmly established its dominance in the realm of video games. The reveal of a new PlayStation 4-exclusive Spider-Man game at Sony's press conference, however, changed that. It served as one of the show's biggest reveals, and while rumors floated around in the weeks prior to the show that the web slinger might make an appearance, the fact that legendary developer Insomniac Games was developing the title served as the real surprise for fans. The developer has proven it knows how to make a great open-world game where traversing the environment is part of the fun with Sunset Overdrive, so Spider-Man seems like a perfect fit. There has been no shortage of lackluster Spider-Man games in the last decade, but unfortunately, most have left more than a little to be desired. While it's safe to assume that the footage of Insomniac's Spider-Man wasn't true gameplay, it already has fans salivating in anticipation (terrible costume aside).
It's hard to remember an E3 that had this strong of a superhero presence. DC still looks to have the advantage in the game industry, but an upcoming (and still unrevealed) Marvel game coming from Telltale could even the tide. As the war between the big two escalates in the realm of interactive entertainment, it can only mean victory for gamers who have longed to see some of their favorite superheroes brought to life like never before. E3 2016 was a huge year for superhero games, and with any luck, it's just a preview of bigger things to come.