Today Square-Enix showed off more of their upcoming Marvel’s Avengers, and shed additional light on the story and co-op experience with an extended gameplay preview. The War Table livestream kicked off with a new trailer that revealed more of Ms. Marvel’s backstory, and the repercussions of the Avenger’s failure on A-Day. Kamala Khan will play a far larger roll than initially thought, as it will be her who brings the original Avengers back together to combat A.I.M. and M.O.D.O.K.
Casey Lynch, Editorial Director for Square-Enix, then kicked off the show proper with a story trailer about the aftermath of A-Day, when the Avengers failed to save San Francisco. A virus – The Inhuman Disease – is wrecking havoc on the fallen city, so the A.I.M. corporation has stepped up to control the new superhumans. M.O.D.O.K., who is running A.I.M. with the goal to convince the world superhumans need to be eradicated, will be the main antagonist for players to overcome.
The trailer confirmed Kamala will be the primary character of the campaign, and we were able to see the mission map where Kamala will take on both story and co-op missions to find and reunite the Avengers in her attempt to stop A.I.M. and M.O.D.O.K. The War Table then transitioned to a full story Hero mission – Once An Avenger – featuring the player as Thor, who started pummeling A.I.M.’s murderbots into scrap to stop an attack on the Avengers hellicarrier.
What we saw was set in a single, linear arena, and the segment seemed focused on highlighting the game’s action combat (though the UI was oddly absent). Hulk and Iron Man appeared to assist Thor with taking A.I.M.’s grunts apart, though they were controlled by the computer. Fans who were unhappy with the last few gameplay trailers won’t find anything here that’ll change their minds, but at least the combat looked snappy.
After, Casey further broke down combat using Thor’s skillset with a sample of the UI and skill-tree. You can manually target enemies at range with Mjolnir, get up close and personal on the ground, or use one of his three special heroic moves to decimate your foes. All heroes will have three heroic moves available to them: an Assault, Support, and Ultimate.
Assault moves are quick to use attacks that combo well, and are charged via basic attacks. Support abilities will provide helpful benefits for the whole team, such as invulnerability. Ultimates are exactly what you think they are: supers that can turn a battle in your favor. Heroes can be tailored to fit a variety of playstyles thanks to their extensive skilltrees, various items, and perks that will allow players to further differentiate from each other.
Cosmetics will also be available for every hero based on designs from across Marvel’s storied history. They will work separately from gear, so players can pick the right equipment for their builds without worrying about their appearance. Outfits can be earned in game, though there will be some sold for real money.
All of these systems were then expanded on in the co-op Warzones segment of the Marvel’s Avengers War Table. Players will be able to tackle a variety of missions together, and crafting a build that synergizes with your teams’ will prove crucial to success. Warzones can be played with up to four friends or four computer controlled characters (who will earn progress for your heroes). Whether playing a solo Hero mission or co-op Warzone you’ll gain progress in your fight against A.I.M., and players will be able to tweak their builds while matchmaking. Warzones appear larger and more varied than the story Hero missions we’ve seen thus far, with both open-ended segments, interior brawls, and more.
As you progress the campaign you’ll rebuild the Avenger’s hellicarrier, the Chimera. You’ll recruit Inhumans, Shield Agents, and more to assist in the fight against A.I.M. There will be various factions to rank up that will unlock additional missions and vendors. Pretty everything a live-service game needs to operate as an effective treadmill was given room to shine, but Casey did emphasis the entire game can be played solo, and that additional story missions will be added at no cost.
The War Table then came to a close, and Casey signed off by reminding everyone to keep an eye out for future War Tables leading up to launch, such as one for the first post-launch here and another for the beta. It’ll be interesting to see how Marvel’s Avengers fits into the live-service market when it launches September 4th, 2020, but I’m feeling a touch more optimistic after today’s War Table. Keep an eye here for any future updates, and eventually our review come September.
*Update* A full article went live over on the PlayStation Blog that provides more insight over what we saw today. I recommend giving it a read: it sounds like there’ll be plenty to grind in Marvel’s Avengers, and Warzones should prove the meatiest part of the experience.
- This article was updated on:June 24th, 2020