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E3 2019 Spotlight: Marvel’s Avengers Gameplay Finally Revealed!

Check out how Square Enix is tackling the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

Jun 11, 2019

By: Noah Friscopp

During Square Enix's E3 2019 press conference, the show closed out with our first real look at Crystal Dynamic's Avengers game. Crystal Dynamics is known most recently for their work on the recent Tomb Raider games, and with those action-adventures under their belt, they are primed and ready to tackle some of Marvel Comic's most iconic heroes in this new single-player and cooperative game. A few details about how the game will play were confirmed as well as something we speculated a couple weeks back.

Marvel’s Avengers: 'A-Day' - Official Reveal Trailer


Tony Stark defending the Golden Gate Bridge from TaskmasterTony Stark defending the Golden Gate Bridge from Taskmaster

The Story So Far

Marvel's Avengers lets you take control of one of the five Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, and the Incredible Hulk alongside three other friends. The game contains both solo and coop missions, with your progression staying consistent no matter if you're playing with friends or not similar to Destiny. The game promises to have a ton of story driven gameplay when the game releases, in addition to new heroes and storylines to be added afterward all for free. There will be no random loot boxes or microtranscations in the game, so no need to worry about some players getting an unfair advantage. The first part of the story, as seen in the trailer is one such single player only mission where you are swapping in between different characters along with the story. Eventually, the game will open up and allow you to choose a more solo focused path or missions where you can enjoy the action with your friends. This is a totally original story that isn't tied with the MCU or the comics but instead takes inspiration from every corner of Marvel Comics' world throughout the years.

"Marvel's Avengers begins at A-Day, where Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Black Widow, and Thor are unveiling a hi-tech Avengers Headquarters in San Francisco — including the reveal of their own helicarrier powered by an experimental energy source. The celebration turns deadly when a catastrophic accident results in massive devastation. Blamed for the tragedy, the Avengers disband. Five years later, with all Super Heroes outlawed and the world in peril, the only hope is to reassemble Earth's Mightiest Heroes." -The official game description

The game is an original story, and isn't set in the comics or movies' timelineThe game is an original story, and isn't set in the comics or movies' timeline

How to be a Hero

The premise of the story is something we haven't seen before, especially on the big screen (even though it reminds me an awful lot of The Incredibles). It took 10 years for the Avengers to lose in the MCU, but in this game, the heroes start at rock bottom and have to work their way back up to full strength in order to protect the world from whatever threats may try to endanger it. Extraordinary people of different backgrounds coming together to focus their strengths toward the greater good has always been a central theme of The Avengers, and the harder that uphill climb is, the more satisfying it will be to eventually see the heroes back at full strength. The types of missions available range from linear levels where you are put in the shoes of each character throughout, as well as ones made specifically tailored to the strengths of a particular character in addition to the 4-player co-op missions. From Game Informer's behind closed doors impressions from E3, there are quick time events that require you to mash a certain button such as Thor smashing his hammer or saving a civilian caught underneath a steel container. In the linear, story structured moments the gameplay ranges from more open, arena-style combat and in the case of Iron Man's introduction, an on-rails flying section that feels very similar to Nintendo's Star Fox. Ranged attacks are executed with the R1 button in the cases of Captain America's shield throws and Thor's hammer and lightning attacks. Black Widow's gun moves are performed by fairly standard third-person shooting controls, but with her electric wrist moves also thrown in the mix. You'll get a chance to mess with each hero's abilities throughout the story even if one of your friends picks a character you really want to play as in the co-op missions. When you're playing in co-op with your friends, only one person can play as each hero at a time, so teams of four Hulks (as fun as that would be) or group of Iron Men. Out of everyone shown in the behind the closed door demo, the fan favorite so far is definitely The Hulk. Grabbing and throwing enemies, jumping, and smashing is always fun, and I can't help remember back fondly to the PS2 classic Hulk: Ultimate Destruction.  The villains you face in the game will also come from every nook and cranny of Marvel Comics, with Taskmaster being shown in the trailer and the Hulk's nemesis The Abomination making a quick appearance. As the roster of heroes grows, so too will the threats they must face. 

The Hulk takes on AbominationThe Hulk takes on Abomination

Choose Your Look

Something I had hoped to happen when the first details of the game were revealed is the idea of being able to customize your favorite hero with different pieces of armor, and you can! Just like Marvel's Spider-Man that released for PS4 last year, Crystal Dynamics has created their own unique costumes for the Avengers as well as including many iconic looks from Marvel's past for all heroes. This means that you and your friends' group of Avengers will look much different from mine. The ability to customize your team should keep the game fresh for a long time, and with new heroes constantly being added, there will be all new challenges and skills to master along with the new stories to experience and regions to explore. Nothing is confirmed, but the storylines added after the initial campaign will most likely be geared more to the open and free play of the co-op missions except for ones introducing a new character. It would be best to give a tight, focused experience for the first time new heroes are added into the game rather than just throwing them out into the thick of it and having to learn a whole new set of abilities on the fly.

Crystal Dynamics teases the future of the gameCrystal Dynamics teases the future of the game

Building a Team

Crystal Dynamics didn't confirm specifically which heroes are going to be added into the game, but Clint Barton AKA Hawkeye was suspiciously absent from the game's first trailer. Marvel Games' creative director, Bill Rosemann mentioned in interviews with both IGN and Gamespot that the added heroes won't merely be the ones you expect, and will pull from all corners and eras of Marvel's past. When asked about whether or not everyone's favorite Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man will make an appearance in the game, Rosemann replied he thinks "'the roof would fall on his head" if he shared that particular secret. That wasn't a no, so there is still hope for any webheads hoping to swing into action alongside the main Avengers.

Iron Man and Thor from the new gameIron Man and Thor from the new game

I must admit it is a little odd to see fairly realistic takes on the main cast of Avengers after spending so much time with their live-action counterparts in the films, but with the inclusion of different costumes and customization, everyone will be able to decide what their ideal group of heroes will look like. For a more stylized and comic book looking Marvel game, we got another installment in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series with The Black Order on Switch coming this year to fill that void. I am excited to get hands-on with Avengers to see just how it feels to take control of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but we'll have to wait until May 15th for that. Marvel's Avengers is superhero landing onto PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Brief gameplay snippet of Iron Man in actionBrief gameplay snippet of Iron Man in action
Share Your Thoughts?

What do you think of Marvel's Avengers? Which hero do you want to play as most, and which should be added to the game in the future? Let us know below!