For those who keep their fingers on the pulse of the video game industry, the news of Marvel’s intent to rev up its console activity is, well… no longer news. The announcement was made way back in 2016, and we’ve already begun to see some of the fruits of Marvel’s labor. Guardians Of The Galaxy: The Telltale Series has been more or less satisfying, and people are basically frothing at the mouth in anticipation of the Spider-Man PS4 game. As promising as these early examples are, however, something bigger this way comes.
I’m talking of course about the far more recent announcement that Marvel would be working with Squre Enix to create a brand new, console-based Avengers game. This appears to be a sort of flagship effort within Marvel’s determination to design bigger and better games, and the very concept of it could not be more exciting. In case you need a refresher on which developers are behind which games these days, Square Enix has been on a little bit of a roll, mostly with regard to the successful revival of the Tomb Raider series. And as for Marvel – they may be inconsistent in general, but we know what they can do creatively when they’re motivated. You know, like spark the biggest film franchises of all time.
As for what we should actually expect, it’s a little bit difficult to say. Partially, this is thanks to the fact that there have actually been very few games revolving solely around the Avengers. LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is more of a prototypical LEGO game than anything else; Marvel: Avengers Alliance was primarily a social experience. Games using the Avengers as symbolic backdrops for slot reels were shut down when Marvel’s time in slot gaming reached an end. And Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth, a game that was actually built for consoles in 2012, was widely viewed as being a it of a disaster. There are plenty of Marvel games featuring Avengers characters, mind you – but this is pretty much the whole list of games in which the team of the Avengers was the subject. There’s not a lot to go off of.
One thing we know is that this game will probably resemble other Squre Enix titles in its execution. That doesn’t really tell us any specifics, because Square Enix has done well with various types of games. But what it means is that the Avengers title will follow a tried and true development path, rather than suffering from too much Marvel input. The article referred to above with regard to the announcement of this game pointed out that Disney (which of course owns Marvel) is more interested in licensing properties than developing games. That would seem to indicate they’re more or less putting things in Squre Enix’s more than capable hands. I alluded to the Tomb Raider reboot as a recent example of success, but you need only look back on a more comprehensive list of Square Enix’s best games to feel very good about this coming title.
We should also expect an original story, for much the same reason. Marvel seems unlikely to meddle much in this game’s creation, and that’s probably true from a narrative standpoint as well. Gamers are by and large delighted that the coming Spider-Man game is not based on Spider-Man: Homecoming, not because there was any problem with the film, but because games based on movies don’t tend to do so well. Just look at what’s happened with Batman. The Arkham games came out alongside Christopher Nolan’s stellar film trilogy, and were successful with their own narratives anyway. They may have borrowed some aesthetics from Nolan, but the games still felt original.
There are other, smaller details we can make loose predictions about. For instance, we can expect a bigger cast of Avengers than what we see on screen, because the comic book Avengers team involves more characters, and the films will eventually as well. We can also probably say that the game won’t just be called “The Avengers,” because Marvel loves more extensive titles (like currently popular mobile games Marvel: Future Fight or Marvel: Contest Of Champions).
Real details on the game will undoubtedly begin to trickle out the closer we get to its release. But even these vague expectations have to get you excited for what could be a very significant game.