A recent interview between IGN and Crystal Dynamics reveals a lot of information about the upcoming Avengers game not shared during the title’s Worldwide Debut. Here are seven reveals from Crystal Dynamics about Square Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers.
1. The developers can’t (or won’t) define the genre.
Not really, anyways. Joshua Yehl asked creative director Shaun Escayg and lead combat designer Vincent Napoli what kind of game Marvel’s Avengers is. Doesn’t seem like a tough question, right? But the Crystal Dynamics developers stumbled over their words, almost like they didn’t want to reveal the genre. They referred to the Avengers game as a story-driven action-adventure where you go off and unlock abilities and come back to the campaign if you want to. I don’t totally understand how a game can be story driven if it’s designed for players who never complete the story, but okay.
The developers probably don’t want to scare players off by comparing the game to Destiny, even if it’s the most accurate comparison.
2. The campaign is single-player only.
A large percentage of gamers not interested in multiplayer can breathe a sigh of relief. Players progress through the entire campaign solo, as they did in Spider-Man for PlayStation 4. As you advance through the campaign you unlock side missions playable with friends. But you play through the actual narrative on your own.
3. The characters weren’t chosen because they’re featured in the movies. (?)
Escayg and Napoli strangely claimed that the five Avengers in the game are also major characters in the movies sheerly by coincidence. The duo said they selected characters solely based on what combination results in a compelling story. Reminder: the game features the Avengers reuniting after disbanding for five years following a cataclysmic event. And no, I didn’t accidentally describe the plot of Avengers: Endgame.
4. Gameplay focuses on unlocking abilities.
Marvel’s Avengers largely centers on unlocking new abilities for your heroes. If Destiny is any indication, that requires a lot of grinding.
If you’re not familiar with the term, Wikipedia defines grinding as “performing repetitive tasks, usually for gameplay advantage but in some cases for purely aesthetic or cosmetic benefits.” Grinding can be worthwhile or even fun, despite that definition. But it carries a heavy risk of turning the game into, well, a grind.
5. Customization breaks down into three categories.
Crystal Dynamics explained that customization fits into one of these three categories.
Skills: Through a “pretty in-depth” skill tree, players can customize abilities, upgrade abilities, and gain new moves. Each skill differs since each hero has different strengths and abilities.
Gear: Gear provides “active abilities, passive abilities, and attributes,” but doesn’t impact the characters’ appearances.
Cosmetics: Change your appearance, including with costume changes that allow become one of the hundreds of variations of Iron Man, Captain America, etc.
6. The game includes micro-transactions.
Certain cosmetics and “player cards” can only be obtained by spending real-world money. Micro-transactions populate almost every AAA video game not made by a first party. They’re largely accepted as long as games don’t sell items that impact gameplay.
7. Marvel’s Avengers potentially involves the multiverse.
Square Enix quickly spoiled the death of Captain America, explaining that it’s a major reason the Avengers disbanded. That’s very peculiar given you can play as Captain America.
Escayg, however, mentioned that the game can pull from the Multiverse if the developers want. Escayg didn’t confirm anything, but he might as well have. That response indicates that the Multiverse plays a major role in the game. It makes a lot of sense to utilize the Multiverse. The existence of multiple realities certainly makes running into other versions of the Avengers less distracting.
I still don’t know how I feel about the upcoming Avengers title, and most gamers are equally skeptical. The new information about the Avengers game from the Crystal Dynamics interview is a mixed bag. But more information is rarely a bad thing, and The Beat will continue updating as we learn more!