A question that has dogged Marvel’s Avengers since it’s rocky unveiling at E3 2018 has been: What the hell is it exactly? During today’s Avengers War Table broadcast, developer Crystal Dynamics finally began to answer that question in detail.
Earth’s Mightiest Heroes
The short version? Its Spider-Man meets Destiny. If that sounds like an odd combo to you, you may be right to feel that way. The broadcast bounces between cinematics and captured gameplay, showing models that look improved over what we saw at E3. Though CD’s editorial director Casey Lynch’s assures the player that combat is full of depth and customisation, what we actually see appears fairly basic. The combo system recalls that of Marvel Ultimate Alliance, a simple series of light and heavy blows that chain together, with more powerful hero abilities built up over time.
The show breaks down a number of big fan questions, including exactly how its campaign will work. Gameplay is comprised of a single-player campaign and co-operative online multiplayer. Each mission is tied to your level and are launched from the world map. Single-player missions are exactly that, but there are also War Zone missions where four players each control a member of the Avengers in co-operative missions. War Zones see the Avengers rebuilding a downed S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. This is a hub area where you can upgrade your heroes new gear and modifiers. According to CD, all of the War Zone missions can be played alone. Computer AI will fill in for other players.
How the game plans to manage this rather ambitious genre blend remains to be seen. We played a small vertical slice of Marvel’s Avengers’ A-Day content at PAX Australia last year and came away cautiously optimistic.
There is, however, a cloud hanging over all of this new information. Today’s broadcast comes after a week of sexual harassment and abuse allegations against prominent members of the games development industry, including Casey Lynch. To date, Crystal Dynamics has made no public statement regarding the allegations against Lynch. Lynch himself has not been active on social media since the allegations became public. His narrating of this broadcast was likely recorded well before the allegations emerged. That story is still unfolding.
Marvel’s Avengers releases September 4, 2020, on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC.