No Avengers Project Details at SDCC? We Got You Covered
On January 26, 2017, Marvel and Square Enix dropped the teaser trailer for their new Avengers video game, or as it is tentatively titled, the “Avengers Project,” which they further announced was to be worked on by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal. For nearly a year, there was no further news given. However, at the time of writing this article, the upcoming game has made some rounds, especially with news of potential micro-transactions. More recently, Greg Sanders, under his YouTube name, Sciurus, has made extensive video coverage of what he claims is inside-information on the game detailed from his anonymous sources. Although having a fairly small YouTube channel, Sanders has a good track record, especially since he broke the news of the Marvel and Square Enix partnership a day before it was officially announced with a teaser trailer of their Avengers game on January 26, 2017, for the first time. There is also the fact that on May 28, 2018, 2 weeks before the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 for short, he made a video reading an email from his source that talked about possible plans that Marvel and Square Enix had of skipping this year’s E3, which did end up happening.
The Avengers Project will include at least 70 character models (these include DLC, sequels, NPC's/enemies) according to a list given to him by his sources, as evident in a video uploaded on June 3rd. Each character is slated to have 6 to 8 different costumes, including ones from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Also included are interchangeable weapons; Captain America’s shield was cited as an example. The characters themselves, or at least the heroes, include Spiderman (Peter Parker), Captain America (Steve Rogers), Iron Man (Tony Stark), Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), Daredevil, Luke Cage, Hulk (Bruce Banner), Winter Soldier, Thor (Odinson), Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff), Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Ant-Man, Wasp, Goliath, Moon Knight, Falcon, Black Panther, Phil Coulson, Black Bolt, Quake, Medusa, Man-Thing, Ghost Rider, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Hell Cat, Punisher, Cloak and Dagger, Namor the Submariner, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Vision, Valkyrie, She-Hulk, Dr Strange, and Wong. However, in a recent live stream posted on this past June 6th, he also confirmed that the Fantastic Four characters of Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Girl, Human Torch, and the Thing would appear, as well as X-Men characters such as Wolverine (James Logan Howlett), Cyclops, Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), Iceman, Professor. X, Storm, Beast, and Deadpool would also appear, which is apparently attributable to the fan backlash over Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite not including such characters. Though, it is still unclear if the Fantastic Four and X-Men characters will be actually playable or non-playable, unless Sanders’ sources are right that there was gameplay featuring Spiderman, Wolverine, Thing, and the Human Torch; its unsure who will have taken up the mantles of characters, such as Ant-Man and Ghost Rider, who have had multiple personas taking up their mantles, in this universe; there is expected to be at least two dozen characters at launch, although in another recent live stream, Sanders did say that one of his sources claimed to have heard the talks of limiting that number. It might be the case where the X-Men are featured in their own game, rather than this one. Whether these talks have gone anywhere, remains unknown.
As for the villain characters, unfortunately, they will not be playable. Although, there was at one point a heroes vs. villains PvP (player vs player) mode being market tested; some of the villains in the game include Dr. Doom, Ultron, and the Masters of Evil, and there is apparently concept art of characters like Fing Fang Foom and Venom, but as far as Sanders knows, they have not been modeled.
In the case of the story, it will not be directly based on any other specific Marvel story, although will be drawing from different ones; one detail that has been made clear from the announcement trailer was that the Avengers would be disassembled at the beginning of the game. This is made even made clearer during another live stream when Sanders mentioned how locations such as Avengers Mansion, would factor into the game, but will “not be what you think.” This makes me think that the mansion will be disheveled and defunct. The same could also be said for the most recent live stream where he also referenced that one of the other locations would be a destroyed Helicarrier; as for who or what could have caused this, he stayed tight-lipped for the sake of spoilers, but did mention that what had taken place was a “9/11-World Trade Center-like event.” It is possible that the aforementioned Dr.Doom, Ultron, and Masters of Evil had a hand in this, or what he believes could be the main villain based on what he has heard regarding the story, the time-traveling warlord Kang the Conqueror.
There will be a three-act story game available at launch, unlike some games (*cough, cough Destiny, cough) and will be supported for at least 2 years, until the next installment of the game. This, of course, depends on the game’s success; in terms of how the game will be specifically supported, it will be expanded upon with in-game episodic content, daily and weekly missions and stories with strong narratives, which has been frequently compared to issues of a comic book by Sanders, and of course DLC. Some of these DLC titles include possibly “Civil War,” “Within Asteroid M,” “Through the Negative Zone,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Siege of Asgard,” and “A Night at Doom’s Castle.” There is also a desire to expand the story through cross-media tie-in material, such as novels, and comic book one-shots, depending on the success of upcoming prequel novel to Spider-Man PS4.
Speaking of Spider-Man PS4, Sanders said that Marvel will not have a cinematic video game universe, as every game is unique and is set in their own worlds. A prime example of this would be when he stated his source told him that the Spiderman of this game would be inexperienced, which could suggest a younger Spiderman, unlike the Insomniac Spiderman, who is at his prime, having fought crime for eight years. This is of course unless, the Avengers project does take place in the same universe as PS4 Spiderman, but prior to such events. Although, this too is not known at the moment; he also said how Sony plans to have exclusive Spider-Man content on the PS4 port of the Avengers project and theorizes that it could be an exclusive Insomniac Spider-Man skin.
The gameplay has been described from his source as an “open world game with dungeon crawling,” similar to Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance games, allowing the player(s) to create their own 4-6 member team of Avengers, and unlock or switch members in and out in levels designed around “mini-bosses” and “raid bosses.”; each character has their own unique play-styles and abilities, which will allow the player to traverse through the levels in unique ways. For instance, Sanders has referenced in the past that “certain types of physical characters will be able to acquire and unlock or even in some cases reach” (a flying character can reach the same heights as a certain wall-crawler but in a different way). The game consists of single player and multiplayer modes which range from simply creating and controlling your own team of Avengers as mentioned, to four different players being able to choose and control a specific hero but will not be able to pick the same character as another person, respectively. The story-driven campaign components are also locked down at a certain number of characters, which is yet to be determined; in terms of the multiplayer aspect, there is an online world consisting of two main “hubs,” Avengers Tower and the Helicarrier, each having options for missions players can take. Other locations include a Weapon X Facility, Dooms Castle, Wakanda, Asgard, Asteroid M, Genosha, AIM island, London, China, Cairo, Atlantis, Attilan, the Negative Zone, and massive New York locations like Hell’s Kitchen. In the online world, players can connect with their friends and go on adventures through the Marvel universe, and potentially fight against each other in competitive play which from a recent report of his seems to be “on the cards.” This could be the same potential heroes vs. villains player vs. player mode that he has referred to in the past.
As mentioned previously, news broke the internet of the Avengers game possibly including microtransactions, when on April 9th of this year, job descriptions were leaked calling for a monetization specialist with “Minimum 1-2 years of experience paid digital marketing experience in a game e-commerce environment or related field” to “Manage and improve the in-game stores regarding content, experience and pricing strategy.” Microtransactions are a scary thought to gamers, especially after the controversial events that partook when EA implemented them into Star Wars Battlefront II. However, if Sanders’ source is right that Microtransactions are implemented in the game, but will only be there for players who do not have time to play the game and simply want to get various content quickly, then perhaps there is nothing to fear at all.
Could We Have Seen Avengers Earlier?
Besides the game itself, Sanders has stated that the E3 plans for the game might have included a cinematic trailer, with footage of Spiderman, Captain Marvel, and SHIELD taking on an invasion force, and gameplay, as well as a potential pre-E3, reveal.
In regards to Comic-Con, it is not known what plans Marvel might have had for the game if there were plans at all. The question still remains though, why has Marvel and the rest of the team behind the Avengers Project not shown anything more from the game? Me personally, I think it is due to them not wanting to overshadow the soon to be released Spider-Man game on the PS4.
According to Sanders, the Avengers project has been being developed since 2015 and is slated to release in fall of 2019. He did also say that there is a slight chance that the date could be pushed to summer of 2019 to have brand synergy with the currently untitled fourth installment in the Avengers franchise.
Sanders has also mentioned several times in the past that besides the anticipated PS4 exclusive Spiderman game and this Avengers project, other Marvel games include a Guardians of the Galaxy title, separate from Telltale’s game, developed by Eidos Montreal, which may include cosmic Marvel characters like the Skrulls, Kree, Nova, Thanos, and more, as well as a potential Daredevil game. In fact, according to him, a Daredevil game had been offered to Insomniac, who are currently at the helm of Spiderman PS4, so much so, to the point where they are considering a Daredevil DLC. Also discussed was a potential X-Men title, as his source claims to have heard discussions of reserving the X-Men models/characters and locations for a separate game.
Sanders has not spoken much regarding the game, at least since his last video posts on July 1st, 2018, where he highlighted his claims of having seen concept art of the game taken by a source, featuring a war-torn Captain America, Thor, Captain Marvel, Black Bolt, and Exh Nihlo, and most recently, July 16, 2018, where talked about whispers he heard regarding the game appearing during this year’s San Diego Comic-Con by a source which he regards as not being correct most of the time, which is true, since the game never appeared at all. However, this should not negate the fact that as said earlier, Sanders has a good track record, so most likely he is right about everything else. However, like any other rumor, take it with a grain of salt, at least until Marvel and everybody involved with the project reveal more about the game, which could happen during PSX, or simply online in the form of a trailer and coverage.
Whatever the case, Square Enix, and Marvel mentioned that they would reveal more details in 2018, so this summer and fall should be ripe with information! In the meantime, stay tuned to Comic Fade for more news on the Avengers Project, as well as all things video game, movie, TV, and comic books on our YouTube Channel, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Fade out!