Last month, Crystal Dynamics announced a stream for their upcoming Action-RPG/looter hybrid, Marvel’s Avengers. On June 24th, we finally got the opportunity to see some new things out of the game.
The stream started off with a new story trailer featuring Kamala Khan as well as an introduction to Crystal Dynamics’ Editorial Director, Casey Lynch, who served as our narrator. The trailer showed us some pre-beta gameplay as well as our main antagonist, M.O.D.O.K., and the threat posed to the Inhumans by his organization, Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM). Inhumans came to be after the events of A-Day, where a disastrous event transformed many humans and gave them super-human abilities. The events of A-Day are also what lead to the disbanding of the Avengers. AIM has deemed these Inhumans unsafe to humanity and is conducting harmful testing on them in order to find a cure. Teenage Inhuman, Kamala Khan, finds out about these nefarious intentions as well as a cover-up that has defamed the Avengers and sets out in hopes of bringing them back to stop AIM.
Two new trailers lead us into new Hero mission gameplay with Thor as the main focus. A hero mission is a single-player campaign experience used to showcase a Hero’s combat abilities. Each hero comes with three heroic moves, many of which are taken directly from comics and movies featuring said hero. These heroic moves are broken down into categories: Assault, Support, and Ultimate. Based on what I saw in the video, it appears these can be mixed, matched, and leveled up based on how you want to play the game or team composition. It also seemed that each Hero will have many diverse builds utilizing melee, ranged, air, and ground combat.
They later showed some of how multiplayer will work. From what I could gather, it looks like a hub-based system where you could select a mission, queue up in your Chimera Air Ship for matchmaking, select your load-out, and be on your way. These areas are called Warzones and can be queued as a group of four or solo with a group of AI heroes from the ones you have leveled and geared. These missions include objective-based activities, boss takedowns, and other activities and are drawn from previously played story content.
Speaking of gear and load-outs, we saw a little more insight into the weapons and how they’re tiered and earned. What was shown today was a rarity system similar to other looter-shooters and ARPGs, but gear had its own perks with Marvel’s signature flare. From shrinking to gamma rays, I really look forward to whatever crazy things they can cook up.
Can we talk about a game to play with your friends without discussing showing off some fashion? Impossible! Later in the video, they showed many available cosmetics including skins, emotes, and nameplates. Many of these will be available through in-game achievements, but some will be available for direct purchase, which comes as zero surprise in a licensed IP. What I did find really cool was the fact of having a quest-like objective to earn a hero’s “iconic” look. This will really drive players to go out and do what they have to for their favorite hero’s gear.
Crystal Dynamics has made it very apparent that there is a lot to do in this game and this is what they have planned for launch. They also have plans to evolve how the game is played by adding new heroes, areas to play, new story missions, and it’s all included with the game’s initial cost.
No date has been announced for the next stream if there is one, but they did emphasize they want to discuss the first add-on hero and Beta before launch on September 4, 2020.
Every time I see more of this game, my excitement and anxiousness increases. One thing that really impressed me while watching was their attention to hero legacy. Marvel has an extensive history of comics and films and Crystal Dynamics appears to have really gone above and beyond to showcase that across all of the launch day heroes.
The other thing that I’d like to see more of is cleaner gameplay. I think flying around as Iron Man, blasting enemies, and using cool abilities looks incredible. From what I’ve seen in videos so far, the visual fidelity while in motion is not indicative of other games you’d see in 2020. I will hold reservations on my final thoughts until after I have the game in my hands. Until then, we’ll just have to wait for the next War Table.