Marvel’s Avengers is an action-adventure game developed by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, and published by Square Enix.
Marvel’s Avengers was first teased as “The Avengers Project” when a teaser trailer of the game was uploaded by Marvel, confirming it to be in development at Square Enix owned studio Crystal Dynamics. Information on the game wasn’t shared for over two years afterwards. In June 2019, the game was officially unveiled by Square Enix at their E3 press event.
At their press conference, alongside a reveal trailer for the game confirming Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal as co-developers, a 14 minute gameplay presentation was also shown off, showing gameplay footage from the game’s A-Day prologue section. It was announced that Marvel’s Avengers would release on May 15, 2020 for the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia.
A playable demo of the game was also made available on the show floor to attendees behind closed doors, while Square Enix also unveiled the voice cast for various major characters in the game. Tony Stark / Iron Man is played by Nolan North, Bruce Banner / Hulk is played by Troy Baker, Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow is played by Laura Bailey, Steve Rogers / Captain America is played by Jeff Schine, and Thor is played by Travis Willingham.
It was confirmed that the in addition to its single player campaign, the game would also emphasize a co-op component, and that new playable characters and story content would continue being added to the game following its launch, and would be available for free for all owners of the game. The designs of the central characters were criticized upon the game’s reveal, with many feeling that they compared unfavourably to the characters’ portrayals in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Character designs – such as with Thor and Black Widow – received some tweaks and adjustments in the following months.
In October 2019, it was revealed that Kamala Khan, also known as Ms. Marvel (played by Sandra Saad) would also be one of the playable characters in the game, and would feature as the central protagonist of the story.
In January 2020, Marvel’s Avengers was delayed from its May release date to a new launch date of September 15, 2020, with Crystal Dynamics citing needing more time to polish the game as the reason for the delay. It was also confirmed later in the year that Marvel’s Avengers would launch for the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and that free upgrades to next-gen versions would be available for those who purchased the game on PS4 or Xbox One.
In May, Crystal Dynamics announced a new monthly series of live streams – called “War Table” – through which they would reveal new details on the game in the lead-up to its launch, with the first War Table stream being confirmed for the following month. During the first War Table stream in June, new gameplay footage was shown, while Advanced Idea Mechanics (or AIM) and MODOK were confirmed as antagonists in the game. Information on co-op was also released.
In July 2020, it was announced that betas for the game would kick off in August. Later that month, during their second War Table stream, Crystal Dynamics announced the contents of the beta, while also confirming that Clint Barton / Hawkeye would be the first playable character that would be added to the game as post-launch DLC, along with new story content and missions.
Marvel’s Avengers’ story begins on A-Day, a day meant to celebrate the Avengers. The Avengers are celebrating the opening of a new headquarters in San Francisco, as well as the unveiling of their hellicarrier, which is powered by a Terrigen crystal. During the ceremony, Taskmaster leads an a terrorist attack on the city. During the attack, the Terrigen crystal causes the destruction of the hellicarrier, resulting in a huge portion of the city being destroyed, as well as the death of Captain America. The Avengers are blamed for the incident and are disbanded.
Five years later, the city has been rebuilt, and is under the control of the organization known as Advanced Idea Mechanics (or AIM), led by the scientist known as George Tarleton. Following the A-Day incident, superheroes and people with superhero abilities – known as Inhumans – have been made unlawful. A Young Inhuman named Kamala Khan discovers her powers, but also uncovers evidence suggesting AIM’s involvement in the A-Day incident, leading her to embark on a quest to reunite the Avengers and uncover who the true culprit for the A-Day incident was.
In addition to the playable characters, Marvel’s Avengers includes various well known Marvel characters such as Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and Hank Pym, as well as various antagonists and supervillains, including the aforementioned George Tarleton (also known as MODOK), the Abomination, and Taskmaster.
Marvel’s Avengers is an action-adventure game played through a mission-based structure. It features six playable characters – Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, and Captain America – each of whom has their own unique combat abilities and specialities, as well as unique traversal mechanics. Each character has separate progression, gear, and ultimate attacks as well.
Black Widow is a fast and agile character specializing in melee attacks and combos, while also being able to use her baton, gadgets, and pistols. She can also become invisible during combat, or use her grapple ability to quickly move between targets. Iron Man can fly around combat arenas, use repulsor beams, missiles, and various other ranged and melee attacks.
Thor can use his hammer for melee attacks and to fly around arenas, and can also summon lightning to strike foes. Captain America specializes in melee attacks and can also use and throw his shield during combat. Hulk specializes in brute strength and berserker attacks, or weaponize the environment, such as picking up boulders and throwing them at enemies. Ms Marvel can use her extended arms to attack enemies from afar.
Marvel’s Avengers features a gear system, with gear being divided based on rarities, and each playable character having unique gear. All gear pieces can also be customized with unique perks. A total Gear Power score represents the characters’ current power level based on what gear they have equipped. Each characters’ skills and abilities can also be upgraded via individual skill trees. Each character can be customized visually with various different skins, with various skins inspired by several comics throughout Marvel history being included in the game. Cosmetic items can be unlocked in-game or purchased with real money through an in-game store.
The game features a single player campaign which can be played through entirely solo. Story missions from the campaign are called Hero Missions, with Crystal Dynamics having confirmed that the main campaign takes about 10-12 hours to complete. In addition, it also features various co-op missions known as War Zones, in which upto players – each controlling a different character – play together. War Zones missions can also be played through solo with AI teammates.
A decommissioned helicarrier serves as the base of operations for the reassembled Avengers. Hero Missions and War Zones are accessed through the War Table in this hub location, while the helicarrier is also upgraded throughout the game. Players can also access HARM Rooms, which are holographic wave-based combat training challenges with escalating difficulties that yield rewards.