Five big questions about Marvel's Avengers, answered
We've been seeing drips and drops about the apparently massive Marvel's Avengers game from Crystal Dynamics for some time now. However, there are still so many questions about the experience left unanswered. The team took to the web earlier this week with a look at more of the gameplay and story, most of which seems like a great addition to the content teased out so far. You start as Kamala Khan herself in a wholly new adventure that has never taken place on page or screen in the comic book universe before, and it only gets more interesting from there.
But there's still plenty we don't know, so we sat down with the folks at Crystal Dynamics, and they were gracious enough to answer five big questions for us. Well, four answers and a very classy dodge of a question, anyway.
Why was Marvel's Avengers delayed?
This is never an easy question for any game studio to answer. But in this COVID-19 world where it seems like everything is being delayed left and right, creative director and writer Shaun Escayg was not at all shy in addressing why Marvel's Avengers was postponed from May 15, 2020, to Sept. 4, 2020.
Put simply, according to Escayg, this game was delayed to make sure it was a better experience for fans. After early tests of Marvel's Avengers, comic book fans both inside and outside Crystal Dynamics had a lot of feedback on what could be done to make the game better. These changes included behaviors from these iconic characters and gameplay mechanics to make each hero feel more unique and complete.
It couldn't be more clear the folks at Crystal Dynamics feel they've listened to their fans and made changes that will not only make everyone much happier but also make the game feel more complete and compelling.
Why did you choose Kamala Khan as the main character?
Don't get me wrong, Ms. Marvel is a badass in every sense of the word and absolutely deserves to be the main character in this game. However, I wanted to know how and why that decision came to be, and Escayg was ready to answer with a massive grin on his face.
The events of Marvel's Avengers start with a fracturing of the team most people know and love, after a tragic accident you will be more than familiar with if you watch the trailers (like the one above) and this week's gameplay video. When "A-Day" happens, two seemingly normal people are irreparably altered. One of them is Kamala Khan, and the other is George Tarleton. Marvel's Avengers tells the story of how Kamala becomes Ms. Marvel and unites the Avengers after this devastation. In contrast, Tarleton becomes the supervillain known as MODOK and tries to bring it all down.
Why Kamala? According to Escayg, she and Tarleton were chosen for the same reason. They're uncommon, having not appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and aren't nearly as popular in the comics, but each one is incredible and dynamic with incredible stories to tell. It all sounds great, and honestly, with the gameplay of Kamala doing her thing, I can't imagine anyone else being the primary for this story.
How hard was it to make every Marvel's Avengers character look and feel unique?
Building a massive game for a single comic book hero is hard. These superhuman beings move and fight in incredible ways, and making that feel good while avoiding repetition in gameplay is a real challenge. Marvel's Avengers has many heroes, and none of them do anything the same way. How to make each of these characters feel unique and fun was the task of Lead Combat Designer Vince Napoli. He says it was impossibly tough to get right, but he thinks they nailed it.
Little is reused from one hero to the next, which makes sense — how could you? Thor and Iron Man both "fly," but they way they do so is just about as different as it gets. Knowing this, and knowing how much everyone is going to want to choose their hero and feel like it's special, Vince and his team basically had to build many unique games and put them into the same title. Playing every hero will not only feel good but feel very different from the other characters in the game.
Can we expect a lot of post-launch DLC for Marvel's Avengers?
While we already know Crystal Dynamics has planned some post-launch content, including unannounced heroes and some additional missions, the scope of how much people can expect has yet to be spelled out in a roadmap. Can we expect a Battle Pass or a DLC bundle for extended universe content after the game has launched?
Crystal Dynamics Head of Studio Scot Amos was not at all shy about the company's plans for what happens with this game after launch. According to Amos, there are entire teams dedicated to post-launch content, with the intent to release a significant amount of content well after the launch of the game.
This extra content is not expected to cost players a thing, either. According to Amos, the cost of admission is the only cost you can expect to pay when playing any part of Marvel's Avengers.
As for a proper roadmap of all planned post-launch content, the Crystal Dynamics crew told us to stay tuned.
Will Marvel's Avengers have any Xbox Series X enhancements like the ones promised for PlayStation 5?
While Crystal Dynamics is excited to talk about the story and gameplay right now, this question didn't get as detailed an answer as Xbox fans would have hoped.
According to Amos, Crystal Dynamics is working hard to make sure Marvel's Avengers looks and plays its best on every platform, with plans to take full advantage of the features available on each platform the game is released on. There aren't any specifics beyond that, only that this game will be optimized for the upcoming Xbox just like it will for the upcoming PlayStation. We'll need to wait a little longer to find out exactly what that means, however.
The big takeaway for now? Marvel's Avengers isn't a comic book game, and it isn't a movie game, either. This game exists within the comic book lore, but it's not going to strictly follow any story you've already seen. Instead, this will be your story, your comic book adventure.
Crystal Dynamics seems to genuinely hope when you fire this game up on Sept. 4, you'll enjoy making it your own.
Save the planet
An ever-expanding online game
After a horrific event leaves San Francisco in ruins, the Avengers have been disbanded. However, an even bigger evil threatens the planet five years later, and it's up to you to assemble the crew and save the world once again. Play on PS4, then get a free upgrade when you play on PS5.
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Is there going to be a co-op multiplayer mode on the same console? Or is it one console per player?