Back in 2017, Square Enix and Marvel announced their collaboration on a game based on Earth's Mightiest Heroes, The Avengers. After over two years of total silence, E3 2019 saw the debut of Marvel's Avengers, an online multiplayer co-op action game with a narrative focus and a unique take on the world of Marvel's comic book universe.
Although Square Enix's presentation on Marvel's Avengers failed to show off any actual gameplay, the trailer was built using the in-game engine. The visuals look spectacular, with a realistic style clearly inspired by the MCU, but with its own unique takes on the signature heroes which will surely cause discussions within the fandom; for example, Captain America wears a tactical outfit complete with a bulky flak jacket, giving him a more brutish appearance than the Chris Evans version of the character.
Marvel's Avengers tells an intriguing story which looks to set up a brand new status quo for these iconic characters. The first trailer for the game (seen below) shows the events of "A-Day," which sees the destruction of the team's custom helicarrier, causing the death of numerous civilians and – apparently – Captain America himself. Five years later, The Avengers have long since disbanded, but are forced to reassemble when a new threat presents itself. One notable mystery teased in the presentation regards the origin of the helicarrier's destruction; was it doomed by a miscalculation from Tony Stark, or sabotaged by an outside force?
Despite the apparent death of Captain America, there must be more to this part of the story, since the star-spangled man remains one of five playable characters confirmed by developers Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, who had previously collaborated on 2018's Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Alongside Cap, Iron Man, Black Widow, The Hulk, and Thor round out the main cast revealed during the presentation, though a teaser at the end did suggest Hank Pym (Ant-Man) plays a role in the game, though it remains unclear if he will be a playable Avenger. As for future content updates, the team promised that playable Avengers will be free, and there will be no lootboxes or pay-to-win microtransactions. They also teased early beta access for PlayStation 4 players and further exclusive "surprises" to be revealed at a later date. Could this include a potential crossover with Marvel's Spider-Man? We can only speculate.
While it's easy to get excited for Marvel's Avengers, the E3 presentation left more questions than answers. We still haven't seen gameplay, how multiplayer works compared to playing solo, and how much content will be available at launch; while the absence of lootboxes is much appreciated, the promise of an "ever-expanding" experience can't help but call to mind the veritable graveyard of "live service" titles which were lambasted for a dearth of content in the early part of their life cycles.
No matter what, the promise of a big-budget Avengers video game is simply too good to ignore. More information about the ambitious title will surely trickle out as E3 2019 progresses, but perhaps the biggest and most exciting announcement regarding this mysterious game came in the form of a release date: Marvel's Avengers hits PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia on May 15, 2020.
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Edited by Zak Wojnar