Despite what its name suggests, Comic-Con has grown into a massive event for all facets of the entertainment industry. Of course, comic book characters, movies, and TV shows are still an integral part of one of the biggest fan-attended events of the year, but video games have become an increasingly common sight at the show, with publishers commandeering show and panel space to expound on franchises that typically have strong fan followings. This year's show is no different; there are several gaming panels and special events to entertain the throngs of showgoers. We've put together a brief guide about what to look forward to on the gaming front and have attached a helpful anticipation rating for no particular reason whatsoever other than to show some funny pictures from last year's Comic-Con.
Wednesday, July 20
It's preview night, and typically there aren't any gaming-specific events going on at this time. For that reason, Wednesday earns the scary pirate and even scarier wench award.
Thursday, July 21
It's the first official day of the show, and things get off to an early start.
11:00 a.m.: There is a panel for Deus Ex: Human Revolution that will speak about integrating science (or more accurately, SCIENCE!) into games, while at the very same time there is a panel for actors and directors from The Guild and their involvement in the upcoming Dragon Age Web series.
12:00 p.m.: Fans looking forward to the sequel to The Darkness will get some info on how the comic book made the transition into the interactive medium. At that same time, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane will take to the stage to discuss his involvement in EA's upcoming role-playing game Kingdoms of Amalur.
1:00 p.m.: As BlizzCon has so wonderfully illustrated year after year, people like Blizzard merchandise. In fact, they like it so much that they're willing to wait in massive lines just for a chance to buy that new plush murloc. At this year's Comic-Con, Blizzard's Chris Metzen and various contributors to Blizzard's properties will be on hand to give a sneak peek at some fanciful products for purchase.
2:15 p.m.: A Street Fighter X Tekken panel will be going into greater detail about the new fighting game from Capcom and will likely include some character announcements. Capcom's Ono and Namco's Harada (producers on the Street Fighter and Tekken series, respectively) are likely to offer some banter as well.
3:30 p.m.: It wouldn't be Comic-Con without something Star Wars-related going down. Thankfully, members of BioWare will be on hand to discuss the making of the new massively multiplayer online game The Old Republic and will show off some new footage.
5:00 p.m.: There are two pretty cool panels going on at the same time. First, Sony will be showing off Resistance 3 at a panel where members of Insomniac will talk about creating the Resistance universe. The next panel will feature Batman: Arkham City and some of its notable voice talent, including Mark Hamill (Joker) and Kevin Conroy (Batman), but there will also be some surprises in the form of additional character reveals.
6:00 p.m.: Closing out the day is a Gears of War 3 panel that will have members of Epic's development team as well as some announcements.
As you can see, Thursday is absolutely packed, and for that it receives the casual '70s lounge Vader and Boba Fett acknowledgment.
Friday, July 22
10:00 a.m.: Kicking things off in the morning is a Lego Star Wars panel, because if anything sums up Comic-Con, it is both Legos and Star Wars. If that's not your thing, a different panel featuring writers from notable games like BioShock, Dragon Age, and Halo will be speaking about their craft and building side stories to the main property.
11:30 a.m.: Members of 343 Industries will drop some knowledge on the Halo universe, how it has evolved over 10 years, and what's coming next for humanity and the covenant.
4:00 p.m.: Ever wonder how much work actually goes into motion capture? Naughty Dog's Amy Hennig will be joined by cast members of Uncharted to talk about what goes into creating believable characters, all the way down to how they move while playing the game.
5:00 p.m.: If you're a Capcom fan, you'll definitely be into the World of Capcom panel. Producers from various games, like Asura's Wrath, will be giving updates on their respective games. And if you're really into Resident Evil, then stick around for the next panel…
If none of these panels interest you, then perhaps this picture of Captain America waiting to use the bathroom will change your mind. Also, GameSpot readers take note: We'll be having a special Comic-Con meetup on Friday. Details can be found here.
Saturday, July 23
10:00 a.m.: Activision has a big panel featuring none other than Stan Lee discussing how his creations for Marvel comics have evolved into games like the upcoming Spider-Man: Edge of Time. Also, expect some more information on the upcoming X-Men game from Silicon Knights, X-Men: Destiny.
11:00 a.m.: Character reveals for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 were a big hit at Comic-Con last year, and while we don't know what exactly Capcom has in store for this panel, we wouldn't mind hearing about some new DLC characters. And speaking of characters, Konami will be holding its own cosplay contest at the very same time. Fans are being encouraged to show up in their best Metal Gear and Frogger costumes, but personally, we're hoping someone shows up dressed as Jehuty from Zone of the Enders.
12:30 p.m.: The Marvel Interactive panel offers a look at the numerous Marvel-inspired games in development, and it sounds like there will be a special announcement regarding Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Much like with the Capcom panel, we hope some new characters are revealed.
2:00 p.m.: Craving some more Guild Wars 2 info? Members from the development team will take to the stage to illustrate how Guild Wars 2 takes a different approach to social gaming.
3:00 p.m.: Assassin's Creed fans have a special panel to look forward to. Various contributors to the Assassin's Creed universe will be discussing how they brought it to life by highlighting Ezio and his journey through three games in the series. Additionally, some footage of the upcoming animated short film will also be shown and the latest game, Assassin's Creed: Revelations will be discussed.
4:00 p.m.: Namco Bandai is scheduled to hold a panel that focuses on its upcoming lineup, so if you're a fan of Tekken, Soulcalibur, or Naruto, this event will be of interest to you.
6: 00 p.m.: Do you like Twisted Metal? Do you like Twisted Metal creator David Jaffe? You're in luck. Both the new game and the man behind it will be appearing at a panel to discuss the car combat franchise.
With that, we give Saturday the triumphant toilet Spartan award.
Sunday, July 24
10:00 a.m.: Unfortunately, there's only one game-specific panel to check out on Sunday, but it's a good one. The Evolution From Warhawk to Starhawk highlights the latest game in the franchise that got its start on the original PlayStation and how the series has evolved over the years.
With that, we give you headless Chewbacca. See you next week!