Announced more than two years ago, Square Enix finally unveiled Marvel’s Avengers in full at their E3 2019 showing, with the game being one of two big titles brought by the publisher to the event. It’s been a long time since we’ve been waiting to find out just what this game is, and now we finally know (well, to an extent). Cinematic trailers and gameplay footage have given us plenty of new details about what we can expect from it, and in this feature, we’ll be talking about fifteen such details. Without further ado, let’s jump right in.
Marvel’s Avengers will begin on a day that celebrates the team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes- A-Day. On this day, the Avengers are unveiling their new headquarters in San Francisco, while also doing the same for a new Helicarrier, one that is powered by an experimental energy source. Things, however, go wrong, and that helicarrier is attacked, resulting in an explosion caused by said energy source. Captain America, who’s on board at the time of the attack, is declared dead, while the Avengers are disbanded for the catastrophic incident. The game picks up again five years later, when all superheroes have been outlawed, but to counter new threats, the Avengers assemble once again.
So exactly which of the Avengers can we expect to see in Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal’s adaptation of the property? The cast of characters in the main story is going to be a fairly small one, limited to a core, easily recognizable team of heroes- Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Black Widow. Hawkeye is notably missing, but who knows- maybe he’ll be added as DLC down the road. As far as villains are confirmed, we know, thanks to their appearances in the game’s trailers at E3, that Taskmaster and Abomination are both going to be involved.
Being an original story that is separate from the uber-popular MCU, Marvel’s Avengers is going to have its very own take on all these beloved characters- which means there’s no Robert Downey Jr. or Chris Evans in here to portray their iconic roles. So who exactly is portraying these characters? It’s a pretty impressive lineup. Nolan North is Tony Stark, Laura Bailey is Natasha Romanoff, Troy Baker is Bruce Banner, Jeff Schine is Steve Rogers, while Travis Willingham is Thor. Interesting piece of trivia- Willingham also played Wilson Fisk in last year’s Spider-Man.
So let’s get down to the gameplay- we’ll be controlling each of these characters throughout the game, sure, but what’re they going to play like. To kick things off, let’s speak of genius billionaire philanthropist Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man first. He can, of course, fly around like- well, like Iron Man. Flight controls will see him firing off repulsor blasts and missiles on the like. Meanwhile, on the ground, he’ll be firing off charged melee attacks and shooting blasts at enemies. He also has a super move, called Uni-Beam, which sees him firing a high-powered devastating beam from his chest that can destroy large scores of enemies and even vehicles blocking his path.
Captain America will, as you’d imagine, play very differently from Iron Man, grounded as he is (literally and metaphorically). Cap is more of a close-range fighter, and combat with him centres on brawler abilities and melee attacks. He has his shield though, of course, and it’s definitely going to be part of the equation. One particular move sees him targeting an enemy and throwing his shield at them for a powerful strike- and yes, the shield does come right back to Cap.
And what about the strongest Avenger? Thor’s moveset will be very different to that of Captain America’s and will be more in line with Iron Man’s, because he has flight abilities as well. He attacks enemies with his hammer, which he can also meld with electrical energy. Meanwhile, he can throw Mjolnir at his foes too (and recall it back to his hands, of course). Special abilities see him summoning a bolts of lightning down onto his enemies.
Playing as Hulk is probably going to be a buttload of fun, because- well, because he’s the Hulk. He can swat enemies down like they’re flies and pummel them into the ground like nobody’s business. He can pick them up, throw them, smack them around, and even pick up two enemies and bang them together. One of his special moves, Sonic Clap, is powerful enough to send all nearby enemies flying.
Black Widow is another grounded character, similar to Cap, but it does look like she’ll carve out her own playstyle. She can move in for close-range melee attacks with her batons, or also fire at enemies from long range. Meanwhile, she can also make use of high-tech spy gadgets, one of which even allows her to turn invisible.
SOLO AND CO-OP
The big question everyone’s had in the lead up to the game’s reveal has been- what kind of game is this? Are we looking at a cinematic single player journey, or a game with a long-term live service plan with multiplayer offerings? Well, it’s both. The good news is, the entire campaign can be played solo. In fact, as per the developers, just about everything in the game can be played solo. There’s also multiplayer though. Between missions in the campaign, players will be returning to their base, from where you can take up multiplayer missions that are played co-operatively (and no, you can’t all be Iron Man).
NOT OPEN WORLD
The developers have mentioned that the game’s co-op missions are going to be larger and a bit more open than its single player campaign ones, to account for having multiple players playing in the same arena- but is the game going to be open world? No- no, it isn’t. The developers say that the Avengers are a worldwide force, which means players will be visiting a variety of different locations throughout the game, and having the game be open world just wouldn’t have made sense in light of that.
COSTOMIZATION AND LEVELLING UP
Of course, players will have the opportunity to make these heroes their own. For starters, you can customize the costumes for each of the Avengers- there’s been a lot of ridicule about Thor’s design (understandably enough). Each character will also be upgradable, and have their own levelling system and skill tree, while gear will also be a factor- all of which is to say, there’s going to be plenty of room for customization.
Sadly, thanks to the current state of the industry, monetization is often a big concern for a great many people when thinking about any upcoming game. There’s still a ways to go before Avengers launches, so Square Enix haven’t given out the precise details on how their game will be monetized, but they have given two key assurances- there will be no pay-to-win microtransactions, and there will be no loot boxes. We can probably expect the game to have purchasable skins and costumes, though. In fact, we can pretty much count on it.
Avengers is going to have a dedicated single player component, but Square Enix are still going to adopt a live service model for the title. New content will be released in the form of DLC after launch- there will be new characters and new areas added, while we can also expect new missions and story content (though the latter is unconfirmed). Best of all, all DLC post-launch will be released for free.
Square Enix have also confirmed that there will be a beta for Avengers. When? There’s no date announced yet- but there will be one. While the beta will be available to players on every platform, those playing on PS4 will get access to it early- again, how early is something we don’t know yet.
So when exactly does Marvel’s Avengers release? It’ll be out on May 15, 2020, for the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia.
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