GN Unplugged is a weekly article series here at Gaming Nexus which takes a look at the world of gaming outside of consoles and PC’s; this is meant to highlight those offerings within the gaming culture that don’t require a joystick or mouse / keyboard. We will look at various toys, movies, and comics tied to the video game industry as well as various table top and card games. If you have any recommendations for products that we should look into please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
Just like peanut butter and chocolate or cold milk and chocolate chip cookies, few things go together as well as video games and comic books. The two almost seem as though they were, as Robert Barone would say, “meant to be” (“Everybody Loves Raymond” reference for those who didn’t get it). The cultures and the fan-bases practically go hand in hand. A lot of companies in both industries are starting to realize that, including DC Comics and developer 3000AD.
The two companies have teamed up to promote 3000AD’s latest free-to-play game, Line of Defense. If you aren’t familiar with the title, Line of Defense is a MMOFPS set in the far reaches of space. The game is currently undergoing a massive beta test; Travis got to take a brief look at the game back at E3
and although he didn’t get to play the game, everything he learned about the game has him anticipating the chance to go hands on with it. Chuck was equally as excited after interviewing 3000AD’s president and lead developer
back in March.
We aren’t here to talk about the actual game though, you can check out the articles I linked to above for that; Unplugged is looking at the comic book that spawned from the game: Line of Defense, Issue #1. The collaborative effort of DC and 3000AD was created and featured at DC Entertainment’s booth back at the San Diego Comic-Con. Free copies of the comic were also shipped out to 100 of the top comic book shops in America and offered through DC Comics’ mobile application. I received a couple of issues of the comic recently and have to admit, it was an enjoyable read and one that got me excited for the game as well.
The one-shot comic (meaning designed to be a single issue run) was written by DC’s Ricardo Sanchez. He is no stranger to video game-related comics as he worked previously on comic installments for both End of Nations and Resident Evil. The issue tells the tale of a direct action team in active duty within the Line of Defense universe. The tale plays out almost like an actual game of the MMO, or better yet, a narrated depiction of a game.
The story follows Razor Team, a squad of four insurgents, on a mission to take down one of GALCOM’s defense shields. Taking down the shield installation is vital to the insurgency’s pending ground campaign. There are four members of the team, each representing a character class from the game:
: Team Leader who specializes in melee combat, rifles, and the use of light-class vehicles.
:The Medic and Pilot of the team, also serves as a combat engineer.
: The weapons and armor specialist of the crew; trained in the use of explosives and heavy artillery as well as the resident tank expert.
: The Scout and long range specialist of the crew; he is also the go-to person when it comes to silent infiltrations.
As I said, it plays out just like you would expect a game to; each member of the team plays a specific role in the attack. It almost seems as if this is a tutorial reference of sorts; their abilities to do their specific job(s) is vital to the mission’s success and you witness, close up, everything that they do to carry out their role(s). The scout has to create an opening for for the rest of the team; then the heavy armory can move in and clear the path for the detailed and clean up work. It is fast
paced, hard hitting, and full of character.
The artwork of the comic has a very Halo-like vibe to it, which fits the setting well. The primary artist on the project is Brian Ching, also someone who is familiar with bringing video games to life in the comic book world.Brian did a lot of work on DC’s Gears of War series. There are a lot of dark, bland browns and grays that bleed into one another, highlighted by yellow and blue neon accenting on the weapons and armor. This highlighting really makes it pop, which creates an interesting dynamic.
Sadly, being a one shot, not much time is given to building the individual characters over the course of the tale. That is really too bad as the natural appeal of the main crew is strong; as a reader you want to learn and see more, but before you know it, the tale is through. I think it is a shame; there is potential here for a great series set in the Line of Defense universe and some strong characters. The characters featured in this issue have some natural charisma and appeal which could easily be built upon in an extended series.
If you have even the slightest interest in the actual Line of Defense game, this is definitely a comic worth checking out. It serves its purpose on multiple levels: explaining the premise of the game, outlining the stages of a battle, and showing you how interesting and exciting the universe can be. If you can get a hold of a copy, I strongly encourage you to do so. As a matter of fact, we would like to help you get a hold of your own copy. Thanks to the fine folks at 3000AD, we have a couple of copies of the Line of Defense #1 comic to give away to our readers. The first 3 readers who leave a comment below as well as like and post a shout-out on our Facebook page
, will receive their own copy of the comic (and we’re talking paper, not digital). The winners will be contacted directly for their shipping address.