Square Enix Assembles AVENGERS Cast Of Non-Actionable Likenesses

Game looks spectacular; faces don't.

It's been known for quite some time that Crystal Dynamics has been working on a big Avengers game, along with several other Square Enix studios. We're talking years now, and today at E3, the game has finally been formally revealed, letting those developers breathe a sigh of relief at their NDAs loosening ever so slightly.

As unnecessary as it feels to say at this point, the game looks action-packed and slickly-produced:

Looks about right. Like Insomniac's Spider-Man, this Avengers universe is unique to Square Enix's game, although the characters - Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Iron Man - bear more a resemblance to their big-screen counterparts just vague enough to avoid likeness-rights suits. If Square Enix can capture half of the drama that Insomniac did, it'll be a strong campaign indeed. The story, at least initially, revolves around the Avengers reuniting five years after a major disaster (seen in the trailer) ruined their lives, reputations, and helicarrier. That's an interesting hook, if a little reminiscent of a certain recent major motion picture, and it seems as though the story will put our heroes through quite the wringer, pitting them against all manner of villains and dangers. Let's see how it plays out.

Gameplay-wise, the "cinematic and character-driven campaign" will be playable solo and in co-op of up to four players, with each Avenger offering a slightly different playstyle. We don't really know much more than that, but in a breathtaking jump ahead of the curve, the studio also revealed post-release plans for the game before even showing off any gameplay. Like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this will be an ongoing, online game, with regular new (free) content drops, new heroes, cosmetic customisation, and more. This is the reality of AAA video games in 2019: we just have to deal with it.

This raises a question for me: what kind of game even is this? A game designed to be "delivered over multiple years" with a heavy co-operative component doesn't sound like a conventional one-and-done campaign experience. Likewise, the assertion that there won't be "loot boxes or pay-to-win scenarios" smacks heavily of ongoing multiplayer games like Overwatch or Fortnite, and a reference to "new superhero[es] and region[s]" suggests a more open design than, say, Spider-Man. But then, everything we've actually seen of the game looks exactly like "Spider-Man, but with the Avengers". What are you doing, Crystal Dynamics? Tell us more.

The Avengers releases in May 2020 on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia.