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Marvel Dies, Wolfenstein Lives

Well, hello. I've just gone six days without the internet. Cursed steam-age parents. Remind me to never, ever leave my house again.

Clearly, I've a lot of news to catch up on, once I've finished staring in fascinated horror at some of the angry reader comments on the Eurogamer Top 50 Games of 2007 feature, which all four of us RPSites contributed to enthusiastically. My prediction: by 2009, Halo and Mario fans will have reached such numbers and ferocity that they'll have formed their own nation, constantly at war with the rest of the Earth.

One story that has caught my haggard post-Christmas eye is another suggestion that Cryptic's Marvel Universe Online MMO is dead, as originally rumoured back in November.

Chatting speculatively with my fellows on the matter had resulted in a general "bollocks it is" sentiment, given its license-to-print-money nature, and what surely must haven been a stupidly large injection of pure cash from both the Microsoft and Marvel camps in the first place.

Then time passed, and there no was denial. And that was odd. Now, this was always going to be a game bound up in mile upon mile of red tape, thanks to the infamously defensive and bureaucratic nature of the two Ms. So full disclosure of exactly where the game was at and what form it would take was unlikely. A simple "nah, we're doing fine" shouldn't have been any problem, however. Two months on, there hasn't been one. Uh-oh.

Now, generally reliable super-secret games industry mole Surfer Girl's making a similar claim. She/he/them/Yog-Sothoth is generally on the money, so it seems likely that my secret geeky anticipation for Marvel Universe Online will never be met. Bah. 2008's already slightly less interesting. No word on the why, though I wonder if it was a result of disagreement on whether/how to let players be yer actual proper Marvel characters, as opposed to lame original creations that rabid Marvel lawyers won't allow to look or behave anything like Wolverine.

Fortunately, Surfer Girl has some happier news, though on another matter entirely:

Next fall's Wolfenstein takes place in some large, open hub city where you select missions and go about them. And there are side quests too!

Which is both promising and a little odd, as I'm struggling to imagine that feeling natural in a World War II-with-zombies setting. Between that and Rage though, it does rather seem that id are entirely set to break with their corridor-pounding tradition. (Yes, I know id aren't developing the new Wolfenstein, but you can damn well bet they'll stamp their name on the title screen in giant letters).

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