Marvel's Avengers videogame is already hugely controversial
The Avengers are assembling again.
Earth's Mightiest Heroes have appeared in various video games over the years, most notably coming together for the Marvel vs. Capcom series that captivated players for decades, and the classic Marvel Ultimate Alliance series, which gave us a glimpse of what a narrative-driven Marvel team-up game could look like. But aside from some fondly remembered retro titles, we haven't really seen a great action/adventure game that tells the full Avengers story.
So when it was announced that Marvel would partner with Square Enix to make a new Avengers game, comic book fans were absolutely stoked. And after seeing teaser footage released this week at the E3 gaming conference, it looks like Square Enix's Marvel's Avengers is exactly what fans have long been hoping for: a narrative-based, third-person Avengers action game that allows players to feel the full might of their favorite Marvel heroes. But not everyone is on board with it just yet.
Here's everything we know about Marvel's Avengers (so far).
When is the release date?
Marvel's Avengers is scheduled for a May 15, 2020 release date on PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One, and Google Stadia. So, it will be out a little less than a year away, if everything goes according to plan. It is available to pre-order for PC, PS4, and Xbox on the Square Enix website, as well as on Amazon.
Who's making it?
Marvel's Avengers is being developed by Marvel Entertainment, Square Enix, Eidos Montreal, and Crystal Dynamics. Gamers recognize Square Enix as one of the most significant development studios in the history of the industry, with beloved RPGs like Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts coming from the Japanese company. Eidos Montreal is the studio behind the Deus Ex games, and Crystal Dynamics is notable for developing the highly-praised Tomb Raider reboot from 2013.
What's it about?
The narrative world showcased in the trailer for Marvel's Avengers feels familiar. While celebrating a holiday called "A-Day" in San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge is attacked. The Avengers go to do their superhero stuff, only to find that the real terror event is happening back at the celebration thrown in their own name.
The game then undergoes a time jump, skipping ahead to events sometime later as the Avengers reckon with the harsh consequences of their own ignorance. It appears as if the squad has hung up their sparkly underwear for good, but, as the narrator says, "That's not how this story ends..."
The game does not explicitly take place in Marvel's Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Who's in the Avengers lineup this time?
It looks like Square Enix is taking a lot of inspiration from the MCU for this iteration of the superhero gang. Headlining Marvel's Avengers are the Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and Black Widow. But unlike the MCU, the game will feature its own cast of additional heroes for the team—and it looks like Hawkeye didn't make the cut.
Square Enix's cast also looks quite different from the MCU lineup, drawing some ire online.
Is it single-player or multiplayer?
Square Enix announced at E3 that the game will allow up to four-player online co-op gameplay. This is where things get a bit complicated, though. The Marvel's Avengers narrative will be released over the span of years, with new content being dropped in an ongoing fashion. This isn't anything new for gaming—publishers have been carrying out these so-called "games as service" titles for a while now—but this may be the most significant title to feature a storyline that is presented in chapters. It's not clear as to how the narrative progression will function, or whether you'll need to play online to continue the story.
Fans online seem split about this idea, and time will tell if the studios will be able to pull it off, or if they would have been better off making an old-fashioned, one-and-done story mode. Either way, it seems like Marvel Entertainment plans to be a staying force in gaming for years to come.