It’s been 3 years since the announcement of a Marvel Avengers Project led by SquareEnix and it was only last year where we got our first look at the game. Finally, on September 4th the full game will be out and I am excited about it.
Marvel Avengers, is a game which allows you to play as the popular marvel characters: Captain America, Thor and the usual lineup of super-powered heroes. It also promises to add more characters and more content at no additional cost as the years go on. There is plenty of content already of people playing the beta of the game, so if you want to have a sneak peek you can. I will be talking about the story elements that they have already added and what they may add in future updates.
Right off the bat, I think it’s great that the Avengers we see in this game looks a lot different than the ones from the films. Although this has been criticised, I think it’s a great idea to separate the games from the films and make the game a story separate to the films (like the Spider-man PS4 game). Looking at the main avengers that we’ve seen so far, they look a lot older, more grounded and relatable than the Hollywood-perfect cast we have in the films. That is not to say I hate seeing the picture-perfect cast of the films, it’s just good that there something a little different.
After last week’s announcement of Hawkeye joining the roster when the game is released, all the original six Avengers from the 2012 Marvel film will be available at launch. Hank Pym (AntMan) and Nick Fury have both appeared in trailers but neither has been announced as playable characters as of yet. In addition, a new character will be joining the crew, or at least new to those who only follow Marvel films. The popular Pakistani hero, Kamala Khan, is joining the Avengers for this game and I couldn’t be more excited for this. For one, it is great to use a character who hasn’t already appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but there are rumours she might appear in the near future. She is the first Muslim character to headline her own comic book in 2013, she will be inspirational to add.
In the comics, Kamala Khan is one of the main Inhumans. If you haven’t heard of the Inhumans, I can excuse you for missing the incredibly disappointing Inhuman series a couple of years ago. Inhumans are a bit like the Xmen, a bunch of heroes who develop abilities but the two have their differences. Inhumans have to go through a process called Terrigenesis to get their abilities where they breathe in a Terrigen mist which catalyses their transformation. The original Inhumans separated themselves from humans long ago but a special group of Inhumans called Nuhumans live on earth because in the comics events lead to an outbreak of the mist in public spaces affecting humans with dormant Inhuman genes. Kamala Khan is one of those Nuhumans and uses her abilities to become a real-life superhero using Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) as her inspiration to become Ms Marvel.
Some of these story elements are actually being used in the game. An explosion the Avengers fail to stop causes humans to develop abilities and become Inhumans. When a nefarious individual running A.I.M (Advanced Idea Mechanics which we see a version of in Iron Man 3 under the villain Aldrich Killian) starts to try to cull these Inhumans, Kamala brings the Avengers back together to stop him.
I think it is good that they used an Inhuman story set up as it is a great way to introduce new heroes and villains instead of characters we’ve already seen before. That ideal starts with the main boss of the first story, M.O.D.O.K aka Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing. M.O.D.O.K in the comics was a giant cyborg possessing superhuman intelligence and extraordinary psionic powers created through a harsh experiment by A.I.M. However, it seems in the game, he is the head of A.I.M, and potentially an Inhuman himself, who wishes to get rid of everyone with abilities. He probably won’t be the only boss in the game. In the trailer, we also see Abomination and Taskmaster but there is bound to be more than they are SquareEnix is keeping to themselves from now.
A main feature of this game is that it will be an ever-expanding story which will add more characters as the series goes on. With each character getting their own side missions, the possibilities for storylines and villains are endless. While I would love to have every single character in the game, I think there are a few characters which have to be in the game. One obvious character would be Carol Danvers’ Captain Marvel. She is a big part of the motivation for Kamala to become a hero and is kind of like a mentor.
In the trailers, we see Kamala wear a T-Shirt with the Ms Marvel symbol on it, a symbol which Carol Danvers wore when she was Ms Marvel which may apply that she already exists in this universe. Personally, I don’t think we need Carol Danvers in this game though because I feel the Avengers as a group might be motivation enough for Kamala to want to become a hero and without the existence of Carol, Ms Marvel will forever be Kamala’s hero name, not one she adopted.
I feel like the developers will probably try to add more characters that we haven’t seen yet, or haven’t seen much of yet alongside well known Marvel heroes. If Kamala is meant to represent the next wave of heroes, maybe we will have some more young heroes to join her. We may get a version of the Young Avengers or bring characters from recent TV series like the Runaways and Cloak and Dagger. With Captain America seemingly dead after the beginning of the game, we could have Patriot or Falcon take on that mantle. Plus as the main story is about the Inhumans, we may see new Inhuman characters or even the Inhuman Royal Family; the Inhumans have a royal family led by Black Bolt, an Inhuman who could destroy a city with a word. There are also rumours that Spider-man might be coming to the game exclusively for Playstation gamers.
A villain that would be cool to see is Doctor Doom, which may be a way to introduce some of the Fantastic Four characters. Doctor Vincent Von Doom is, arguably, one of the best villains Marvel has because he is powerful, incredibly smart and also owns his whole country, Latveria, which would be a great open field for missions. Another great avenger level threat that I would like to see is Ultron who was incredibly underused in the MCU. SquareEnix could give the robotic villain some justice, making him a sort of recurring villain as he is so hard to kill because he is essentially a supervirus. As a side mission, they may even go up against lesser-known villains such as Arcade, a villain with no powers but creates death traps for heroes for his own amusement.
Finally, and this may be controversial, but I think the X-men could be a worthy villain. I am basing this on the knowledge that both the Inhumans and the Avengers have battled the X-men in the comics in the past. Of course, it all resolves itself at the end but it would be interesting being forced to go up against characters like Wolverine, Jean Grey and Cyclops. Characters you normally would root for, you now are forced to go up against. Additionally, it would fit the story because the X-men and other mutants may feel under threat by the new heroes on the block, the Inhumans causing conflict. It wouldn’t be a traditional hero fight but would make for some great fight scenes.
A Beta version of the game comes out this month for those who have pre-ordered the game. With less than a month until the game’s release, here’s to hoping it is worth every penny. Who am I kidding? This game had me at Avengers Assemble.