Marvel are currently dominating the box office when it comes to comic book movies and they’re not doing too bad when it comes to comics and some of their TV shows — especially the Netflix stuff. Character development, story, easter eggs, and continuity, it’s all there. They might not be perfect by everyone’s standards, but they sure are close. The one medium Marvel have been noticeably absent from is the realm of video games, which is not by mistake either. When Disney saw a loss of profit, they decided to cut their Disney Infinity line, killing any possibility for franchises being developed directly from Disney. That doesn’t rule out licensing, though, which Disney have been all about since May of 2016.
Despite the Telltale Guardians of the Galaxy game and Battlefront series by EA, Disney seem determined to branch out even more with their new Avengers game. Dubbed The Avengers Project for now, this seems to signify a new initiative for Marvel games which will separate themselves from their previous licensing adventures. We gathered what we could about this “Avengers Initiative” into one list so you wouldn’t have to. In no particular order, this is what we were able to find.
15. FACT: NOT CONNECTED TO THE MCU
First things first, this series will not be connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that is currently gracing the big screen. This is important to clarify because connectivity is important to the fans, and if we’re promised a connection, we want to see that connection — we’re talking about more than a throwaway line. We’re looking at you Marvel TV.
It’s good that this series isn’t going to be connected because it can potentially do so much more with the characters than if the development team was restrained to cinematic continuity. It makes the video game series a much easier starting point, too, if one doesn’t have to know what happened in Doctor Strange or Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Not to mention how nice it will be nice knowing that there is actually a villainous Mandarin out there somewhere and not an actor pretending to be The Mandarin.
14. RUMOR: IT WILL BE AN MMO
What fans really want to know is, what kind of game is it going to be? We’re used to previous Avengers games like Ultimate Alliance or Ultimate Alliance 2, but Marvel are promising something much bigger. There has been mention of “social” and “shared” online features which makes one think that it is going to be some kind of Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), maybe in an attempt to capture what Blizzard have done with World of Warcraft or other similarly successful MMO games like Guild Wars.
While they haven’t directly come out to say it’s going to be an MMO — they actually haven’t said much of anything about the game — it’s doubtful this game will be a first-person shooter. For starters, that might handle rather oddly.
13. FACT: THIRD-PERSON PERSPECTIVE
Another reason we know it’s not going to be a first-person shooter is because we have evidence that it’s going to be in third-person perspective, over-the-shoulder kind of thing. Okay, maybe not exactly over-the-shoulder, but the players will be able to see their characters. Certain outlets discovered a couple job postings from Crystal Dynamics, one of which was a “Combat Designer”.
The position had to have the ability to “plan, prototype and build combat systems that directly apply to a 3rd person cover based action adventure game”. From that we can also discern that the players will have the ability to take cover from incoming attacks. Sounds like it will be a blast. Maybe even a repulsor blast. Okay, that’s our only pun for this list.
12. RUMOR: HULK IS A VILLAIN
One has to wonder what kind of enemies The Avengers will face in a third-person game that will have social and shared online features. It could be Ultron, Thanos, Hydra, or someone very close to the team. The teaser video shows a pair of broken glasses laying in front of a busted open door that can only be used to contain someone or something rather large.
Coupled with a familiar roar from our favorite giant, green rage monster, it’s curious why Banner was locked away to begin with. No, it wouldn’t be the first time in Hulk’s expansive history that he would be locked up, but that is a very deliberate image to tease the fans with. It could just be a simple mission to retrieve Banner for the team, or it can be an emotionally fueled mission where he has to be taken out.
11. FACT: IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL
There are more than a few games that have been around for what seems like an abnormally long time. When the casual gamer or average Joe thinks about video games, they think about a new sequel every year or two with a bunch of DLC (downloadable content) and microtransactions to drain their wallet — and it’s usually just the same game.
With this game, however, Marvel seem to want to make it last, and there are a few AAA games out there that successfully do this. Video games like League of Legends, Overwatch and World of Warcraft try to make their current iteration as good as it can be. This benefits the consumers on many levels, but primarily saves them from having to open up that wallet too often.
10. RUMOR: VOICED BY THE MCU ACTORS
Yes, it was previously mentioned that there is no connection between this video game and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but does that mean they can’t bring in Robert Downey Jr. or Chris Evans for some voice acting? Bringing in Evans or Hemsworth to voice their corresponding characters could be a huge selling point for the fans and would maintain some familiarity with them, making it easier for the game to sell.
However, it would probably take a lot to get the MCU Avengers into the sound studio to read some lines, like renegotiating their contracts. It’s not even certain that Disney have the rights to use the likeness of those actors in a video game, so the character models might look less like the actors from the big screen and more like the original comic book designs.
9. FACT: AN ORIGINAL STORY
Marvel’s original description for this project was a promise for a completely original story, which would mean no “Civil War” or “Secret Wars” storyline — not even a “Secret Empire” storyline. What kind of story could they have planned then? Details are pretty scarce and all we have to go on is a brief announcement and the released teaser. We should be excited for this detail because by definition we’re going to see something fresh that hasn’t been in the comics or on the silver screen.
The Avengers have been around since 1963. That doesn’t seem to leave a lot of new, original material to cover. Based on the teaser it could be set in some kind of dystopian time period, but that’s not entirely new to The Avengers. More on that later.
8. RUMOR: THE RELEASE DATE
There has not been an announcement for the release date or even the platform it will be coming to. A lot of outlets have cited 2018 as the year for release, but Marvel Entertainment’s YouTube simply states that more details will be announced in 2018. So that leaves us in the dark with our anxiety and Captain America flashlight searching for more details, but it looks like we’re going to have to wait a while.
After a little more digging we can say that there will probably be more announcements along with the release of this game in 2018. Disney stopped publishing their own games in May of 2016. If the higher-ups put the wheels in motion for licensing out their properties shortly after May, 2018 — two years later — it seems like the right amount of time for a video game to be developed and released.
7. FACT: AVENGERS DISBANDED
The voiceover from an unknown woman in the teaser starts off with “They say the time of heroes is over”. This brings up a lot of questions. What happened? Why are there no more heroes? She ends with “We just need to reassemble”. Fade to black and we see the tagline or hashtag, #Reassemble, as it fades back in.
This is a part of that “original” story Marvel were talking about in their announcement. Is part of the game going to be about getting the band back together? What happened that caused them to disband in the first place? Did they do their job and save the world for good, put that suit of armor around the world? Judging from the imagery we see throughout the teaser, we’re going to have to say that the team’s split wasn’t amicable.
6. RUMOR: DYSTOPIAN TIMELINE
Going back to the visuals we get in the teaser, we can say that the ending to the team wasn’t peaceful. When the narrator says, “That if you’re different, you’re dangerous” we get the sense that the developers might be borrowing either from the comic book version of “Civil War” or from some X-Men storyline. Perhaps a “Days of Future Past” future timeline?
Mutants have always been a kind of metaphor for bigotry and persecution whereas the Avengers have typically been welcomed with open arms by the citizens of the Marvel Universe. To hear it be said that they are feared and their time as heroes have moved on is more reminiscent of an X-Men plot, unless we’re talking about Mark Millar’s “Civil War”. If they were to blend a storyline from the two flagship titles, it would still be in-line with their original story claim.
5. FACT: THE FIRST OF MULTIPLE GAMES
The announcement for The Avengers Project back in January called it the “first product”. The announcement went on to mention a multi-year and, more importantly, a multi-game partnership. Yes, we just got done talking about Marvel being in it for the long haul and not making a plethora of sequels for fans to waste their money. We don’t necessarily know that the mention of multiple games means sequels.
All it means is that we will be getting various games, some that could be from different properties and they will all be connected to each other in some capacity. This is good news because we can be looking forward to many, many years of playing in a Marvel Universe sandbox. Something a lot of fans have wanted for a long time.
4. RUMOR: TEAMING WITH THE X-MEN
Did we mention the X-Men? It hasn’t been officially announced in any way, but it is a definite possibility for them to show up in The Avengers Project because Marvel retains the video game licenses for all of its characters, unlike like their movie rights where Marvel are limited to which characters they can use.
This can be great because while we’re stuck getting the underwhelming Inhumans as a proxy for the X-Men on Marvel TV, we might actually get to see actual mutants interact with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Afterall, Wolverine was at one point an Avenger and while he might not be a playable character, it could be fun to see him play a role. Especially if they are in some kind of barren future where anyone with powers of any kind aren’t welcome.
3. FACT: QUALITY IS IMPORTANT
When a video game developer is making an active attempt to keep their game in play for multiple years, a side effect is quality. Ubisoft has recently decided to do this with their first-person shooter Rainbow Six: Siege when they decided against making a sequel and instead pushing their game into a second year with new content every three months and a constant strive to fix any bugs that ail the game.
Marvel can do this with The Avengers Project. In fact, Jay Ong, Marvel’s Vice President of games, says he came in “with a mandate to usher in a new era for Marvel games”. He says he wants to create truly epic games with their treasure trove of superheroes. The start of this initiative was the Spider-Man Playstation 4 exclusive, and we can look forward to this method being continued with The Avengers Project.
2. RUMOR: AN APPEARANCE BY THE FANTASTIC FOUR
We mentioned that there is the possibility of seeing the X-Men or mutant characters in The Avengers Project. Knowing that Marvel still holds the video game rights to all of their characters, that also means the possibility of seeing Marvel’s First Family is likely.
We can’t get too excited because Marvel might decide that they want to feature only characters that they do have the movie rights to in their video games, but they would only be doing a disservice to their fans if they didn’t utilize The Fantastic Four in some way with this video game. They can succeed where Fox has failed, and if we’re not getting a Marvel Fantastic Four movie anytime soon, this would be the next best thing. Especially since we’re still being deprived of a Fantastic Four comic book.
1. FACT: SQUARE ENIX
We have mentioned Marvel licensing out their properties to video game developers and a partnership, but have yet to mention who that partnership is with. While the rest of this list is in no particular order, we felt it best to save the best piece of info for last.
Square Enix will be developing The Avengers Project and future related video game titles. This is amazing news for anyone that plays video games. Square Enix is most notably known for their Final Fantasy series which is a franchise of high quality and highly immersive role-playing games. The two studios owned by Square Enix that will be developing this game are Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics, both with a reputation of developing top-notch games such as Tomb Raider and Deus Ex:Mankind Divided. If you’ve ever wanted a game as good as Rocksteady’s Arkham series but from Marvel, here you go.
What are you hoping for the most with this new Avengers video game? Let us know in the comments!
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