Crystal Dynamics showed an updated demo of the upcoming game Marvel’s Avengers at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, giving a better sense of what the game will be like for players–and revealing a little more about its story.
Creative director Shaun Escayg ran down the entire game with a quick elevator pitch. “In Marvel’s Avengers, you get to play an original Avengers story, you get to customize your hero as you want, and you get to assemble online with your friends and play,” he said. The gameplay footage made that a little bit clearer, dividing the game between a story campaign in which you’ll play as all the Avengers, and a cooperative portion where you’ll customize your Avengers character and play with friends.
The footage Crystal Dynamics showed at E3 is the prologue of the story campaign, in which San Francisco is attacked on A-Day, a celebration in which the Avengers are preparing to open up a West Coast branch. An explosion during the battle ravages the city and kills Captain America, leading to a disbanding of the Avengers as they struggle with picking up the pieces in the aftermath.
The story sees players taking on the roles of each of the Avengers–in the prologue, a battle across the Golden Gate Bridge starts with brawling as Thor, before transitioning into flying and shooting as Iron Man, smashing as Hulk, and a boss fight against Task Master as Black Widow. The demo also featured Kamala Khan, also known as Ms. Marvel, appearing in a cameo, but it’s not clear how much a role she’ll play in the story or if she’ll be playable.
Kamala’s brief moment on screen teased a major potential plot point, however. The explosion is the result of a reaction in an experimental Terrigen generator which caused the entire A-Day celebrator to be bathed in Terrigen mists, including Kamala herself who was prominently featured knocked out and bathed in the swirling green gas. In Marvel comics, the Terrigen mist is the catalyst needed to create Inhumans, triggering the activation of hidden Inhuman genes in select people. The process tends to be traumatic, involving a monstrous cacoon-based metamorphosis that usually results in some very confused, very scared, newly empowered Inhumans coping with powers they can’t control or understand.
It’s unclear whether or not Marvel’s Avengers will play up the Inhuman angle in the game’s story at large, but it certainly seems likely given the catastrophic events of A-Day and the growing distrust of superheroes that seems to be brewing in the world of the game. A sudden boom in the metahuman population would definitely cause some major unrest and tension, and an unavoidable conflict for the remaining Avengers to handle, regardless of public opinion.
In the cooperative portion, you can customize your own roster of Avengers. The panel included footage of skill trees for characters like Iron Man and Thor, allowing you to change their abilities and stats to fit your playstyle. You’ll also to be able to customize their appearances with a number of skins. Escayg said you’ll customize your own roster of Avengers, and then take those versions of the characters into a co-op version of the game with friends. He didn’t detail what exactly the co-op portion will entail, but brief footage showed Iron Man and Thor, controlled by different people, brawling against enemies.
This story is developing.