This month’s War Table live stream for Marvel’s Avengers shed some light on what to expect before September’s launch. Crystal Dynamics gave us some insight on the scope of August’s Beta, player progression at launch, plus a look at the first post-launch hero.
You Beta Believe It
As we discussed earlier in the month, Avengers will have staggered launches on different weekends in August. Playstation 4 pre-order holders will have their first crack starting on August 7th. With all the timing out of the way, we can take a closer look at what content to expect.
Crystal Dynamics is trying to give players the biggest slice of what to look forward to at launch with this Beta. First off, we’re going to see the entirety of the Golden Gate Demo. Golden Gate is essentially the prologue of the game and sets up the events of the A-Day catastrophe. This will be showcasing most of the Avengers as well as their general moves, abilities, and traversal while being capped off with a boss fight against Taskmaster.
After this, we will be able to play two solo campaign missions featuring The Hulk and Ms. Marvel in their pursuit to reassemble the Avengers. These missions will send us to different parts of the world within the game that show off just how diverse the environments are. From how they described them, it seems like these missions are specifically to recruit Black Widow and Iron Man, which will round out the four playable characters available in the Beta.
On top of all that, we’ll be able to jump into a few different types of cooperative modes: HARM Rooms, War Zones, and Drop Zones. These modes can be played solo with a team of custom AI heroes, which we’ll discuss later, or multiplayer with friends. War Zones and Drop Zones are very similar in design but different in form. While War Zones give you several objectives and areas to traverse, Drop Zones are a bit more focused on a single objective. HARM Rooms are a bit different from the other two. While conceptually designed as a training area, you can go into a single room and test your strengths against waves of enemies that increase in power. I guess we can call this a “horde” mode for all intents and purposes.
A Test of Progression
While we have seen a bit of how progression works in Avengers, we’ll finally be able to put a little bit of our imagination to the test. Like most RPG-style games, you’ll earn one skill point per level gained that can help you build your hero to fit your specific play-style. In the Beta, we’ll have access to one page of abilities to slot these points into, but that will open up at launch to its full three page arsenal.
Next up is companion AI, which I think what they’re doing here is pretty incredible. If you want to play solo, you can play multiplayer missions with your own personalized heroes as companions. No longer will we have basic or generic loadouts for companions, however, you spec your alternative heroes is how they will play to assist you. Personally, I think this adds to the depth of customization and incentive to play other heroes beyond their hero missions.
As far as I can tell, they have not made it clear whether Beta progress will carry over to launch, but I do find it doubtful at this point. If you’re looking for something to commemorate your time in the beta, there will be player emblems to unlock based on the challenges and feats you’ve accomplished.
An ‘Eye on Post-Launch
One of the questions Crystal Dynamics has gotten most was “Where is Hawkeye?”, which I completely understand. Hawkeye is arguably more an Avenger than Ms. Marvel. During the stream, it was revealed that Hawkeye would be the game’s first post-launch hero. It was really cool to see, as it was with the other heroes, how they went through several iterations of Clint Barton to choose the right one for the overall feel and aesthetic of the game and I think they nailed it!
This reveal opened the door for their other teases of future content for the game. As the life-cycle of the game goes on, new heroes and narratives will be added. In a continuing trend of building consumer trust, all future updates will be included in the game’s base price.
As I said after the last War Table stream: the more I see of this game, the more excited I get to have it in my hands. As someone who is already sold on which hero I’m planning to main, it was awesome to see the Iron Man Hulkbuster Ultimate in action! I’m hoping we can see multiple loadouts and builds for one hero because I’d love to have multiple Iron Men in my arsenal! Either way, Marvel’s Avengers seems to be primed for a successful launch and life-cycle in the fall
We should have more coverage on Marvel’s Avengers with our Beta First Impressions coming mid-August.