- The first-ever blockbuster video game starring Marvel’s Avengers is scheduled to arrive on May 15, 2020.
- The game, “Marvel’s Avengers,” is headed to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Google Stadia, and PC. It’s unrelated to the movies.
- We just got a deeper look at the game and spoke with its developers at the biggest game show of the year, E3 – here’s what we found out.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
LOS ANGELES – For years, Marvel movies have dominated the box office. Despite that wild success in theatres, Marvel has barely touched the world of video games.
That’s changing with “Marvel’s Avengers,” a newly-detailed blockbuster video game starring the world-famous superhero squad. You’ll play as Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, The Hulk, or Captain America against the various supervillains attempting nefarious acts.
The game isn’t expected to launch until May 2020, but we got an early look at the game and spoke with its developers at E3 2019 in Los Angeles this week.
1. The new “Avengers” game is similar in format to games like “Destiny,” “The Division,” and “Anthem.” Except it doesn’t require the internet.
If you’re one of the millions of people who watched the trailer for the new “Avengers” game, it’s worth noting that what you saw isn’t representative of the whole game.
“What you’re looking at in terms of the demo is really a campaign-focused story level. You’re playing very specific Avengers, it’s very narratively driven,” the game’s lead producer, Rose Hunt, told me in an interview on Wednesday. “The entire game isn’t built this way,” lead designer Philippe Therien said.
Instead, the new “Avengers” game is a hub-based, third-person action game with optional co-operative components. You’ll take missions in that hub area, and customise your characters, and the other usual stuff you do in hub areas in games of this genre. It has loot, and gear, and you’ll earn that stuff from completing missions.
It’s not exactly like “Destiny 2” and “The Division 2” – so-called “looter shooters” – but it’s not far off.
One notable difference: “You can play the entire campaign single-player offline,” Hunt said.
Also, of course, it’s not a shooter. Much of the combat I saw was melee-focused (even Black Widow).
2. Narrative-driven missions seamlessly transition between superheroes for various sections. Otherwise, you can play as whichever superhero you want.
In one section of the gameplay I watched, the player just controlled Thor and his massive hammer. In another section, the player controlled Iron Man, and yet another as The Hulk.
Each of these transitions were handled by the game – scripted jumps from one character to another.
Though you’ll be able to play a lot of “Marvel’s Avengers” as whichever superhero you choose, there are sections where the game forces you to play as one or another.
“Sometimes certain Avengers are the focal point, and that’s important because if you’re going to tell a story about Hulk, Hulk needs to be there, right? But at other times it’s just The Avengers dealing with something, so then you pick what hero you want to play,” Therien said.
3. “Marvel’s Avengers” is intended as a lasting project, with ongoing updates — including new worlds, new characters, and new story missions.
“Post-launch, we’re gonna have regular content so people can continue to enjoy the story for years to come as it evolves,” lead producer Rose Hunt said in our interview. “More Avengers! We have over 80 years of Avengers to pull from.”
Though “Marvel’s Avengers” can be played through entirely as a single-player, offline experience, it’s also being built for co-operative online play.
“We want to keep people engaged over years,” Hunt said. “So we are going to be releasing on a regular basis new regions, and new characters, and there’ll be chances to customise your costumes. Lots of customisation.”
To that end, just five superheroes have been announced thus far – The Hulk, Black Widow, Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor – and a handful of other Marvel characters showed up in the recent trailer: Ant-Man, Abomination, and Taskmaster.
4. There is no connection between the Avengers game and the Avengers movies.
“We wanted to do something unique,” Therien said in an interview on Tuesday.
Given the vast popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which revolves around the core plot of the Avengers films, it may seem surprising that the Avengers game features an entirely new cast that look and sound nothing like the movie versions. It certainly surprised a large group of fans.
But the game’s developers say it was a choice made long ago with an intent behind it.
“We wanted our own heroes, our own actors, so we could tell our own stories with no expectations,” Therien said. “We totally understand that people are in love with the characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We are too! They’re awesome! They’re great! But their chapter has come to an end, and now we’re gonna have something new that comes after.”
The game isn’t intended as a tie-in or cross-branding opportunity either, as so many licensed superhero games have been in the past.
5. It’s scheduled to launch sooner than anyone expected.
After years in development, the first-ever Avengers game is scheduled to arrive on May 15, 2020.
For now, “Marvel’s Avengers” is only announced for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Google Stadia, and PC – but given its proximity to the expected arrival of new game consoles in holiday 2020, it would be totally unsurprising to see it also show up on the next Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
Check out the first trailer for “Marvel’s Avengers” right here:
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.