Marvel’s Avengers is the biggest superhero game since Spider-Man on PS4, but it’s a very different beast: this is multi-superhero spectacular with a mix of solo play, online co-op, and loads of unlockables and replayability.
Developed by Crystal Dynamics, the devs behind the rebooted Tomb Raider games, it’s a sort of third-person, superhero-based take on Destiny. The game will let you play as any of the Avengers either solo or in online co-op, across an expansive original story.
It’s enough to make it one of our most highly anticipated games of 2020 – read on to find out everything we know so far.
When is the Marvel’s Avengers release date?
Marvel’s Avengers will release on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia on 4 September 2020. It’ll also come to the PS5 and Xbox Series X, but a little later – only after those consoles have launched, which won’t be until later in the year.
The good news is that if you buy the game for either PS4 or Xbox One you’ll be eligible for a free upgrade to the equivalent next-gen version of the game. You’ll even be able to transfer your game save and progression, and even play multiplayer between generations – though it sounds like this is limited to cross-play between PS4 and PS5, or Xbox One and Xbox Series X, and not cross-play between the different companies’ platforms.
Pre-orders for the game have started now, and Square has said that those who pre-order will get beta access to the game before release along with an exclusive nameplate and a Marvel Legacy Outfit pack.
There are also two special editions. The Deluxe Edition of the game includes an exclusive Obsidian outfit pack with six hero costumes, six exclusive Obsidian nameplates, and early access to the game – meaning you get to play 3 days before anyone else.
The Earth’s Mightiest Edition includes all that, along with a 12in PVC statue of Captain America designed by Gentle Giant, an exclusive steelbook case, Hulk bobblehead, Mjolnir keychain, Black Widow’s belt buckle (!?), Iron Man’s prototype armour blueprints, Kamala Khan’s Honorary Avenger pin, and an Avengers group photo.
PS4 players will get earlier access to the beta than those on other platforms, and if you pre-order from the PlayStation Store you’ll also get additional pre-order bonuses, including a Ms. Marvel “Talk to the Hand” emote and a ‘Hex Pattern Logo’ dynamic theme for your console. The pricier exclusive digital edition on the PlayStation Store also includes an exclusive Ms. Marvel nameplate and 1,000 in-game credits.
When does the Avengers beta start?
The beta for the game kicks off in several phases, as follows:
August 7-9: PS4 pre-orders
August 14-16: All PS4 owners; Xbox & PC pre-orders
August 21-23: Open to everyone
We don’t yet know what will be accessible during the beta, but the devs will apparently reveal this during the next War Table stream on 29 July.
If you want to take part on any platform you’ll need a free Square Enix account – create one here if you haven’t already. Everyone who signs up for an account will receive a Thor nameplate in the final game.
Watch the Marvel’s Avengers trailers
Here’s the full Marvel’s Avengers reveal trailer, complete with snippets of gameplay from the upcoming title.
At Gamescom 2019 we were also treated to footage of the A-Day Prologue, an opening tutorial in which you get to grips with the unique powers of key Avengers as they battle Taskmaster.
Then at New York Comic-Con we got yet more footage introducing a long-requested new Avenger: Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel.
June’s War Table stream gave us loads of new details, but the main trailer is the MODOK Threat story trailer, which finally reveals the game’s big-headed big bad:
What will the gameplay be like?
Following years of teasers, at E3 2019 Square Enix finally revealed Marvel’s Avengers, formerly known as The Avengers Project. While the launch trailer is mostly comprised of cinematics, the company eventually released some gameplay footage from the beginning of the game, and let us play it for ourselves at Gamescom 2019 – read our full preview to find out what we thought and more about how the game will play.
Marvel’s Avengers is a third-person action-adventure game set in a world where the Avengers have been set up, killing hundreds of innocent civilians in the process. Following a catastrophic event in San Fransisco, the Avengers disband, with the game picking up the trail five years later.
For a quick summary of how gameplay works, watch the dev team’s game overview video, which sums up the story setup and the core systems in the game:
The game can be played alone, but there’s also online co-op with up to four players on some missions. The whole game will be playable single-player, with every mission driving the narrative forward to some degree, but while some missions let you team up with friends and pick any heroes you please, other ‘Hero Missions’ are solo-only and lock you into specific heroes to drive the core story forwards.
You can get a better look at Hero Missions in this gameplay video following Thor through one of his early Hero Missions up against AIM enemies:
Marvel’s Avengers will have an “ever-expanding universe” with a growing number of customisable heroes and locations. The key point is that, unlike other service-based games, all future heroes and locations will be free to download, and there won’t be any loot crates either – though cosmetics like new costumes will be available to purchase.
In addition to costumes there will be gear drops (with no cosmetic effect), with both rarity and power levels to each piece of gear, in addition to a crafting system for new gear. There are also multiple skill trees for each hero, letting you build them out and optimise them to play the way you prefer – making Thor a tanky melee combatant or a hovering AoE ranged assault platform.
The Co-Op War Zones trailer shows some of this customisability and flexibility off through footage of some of the game’s biggest co-op multiplayer missions. You’ll see appearances from the likes of Nick Fury, and a look at a few characters’ various outfits and gear options, like the Widow’s Bite or some new lightning powers from Thor:
While the full list of heroes is currently unknown, the following characters are confirmed to be playable:
One more hero has been teased so far, and we expect to get to step into their spandex too:
In February the game’s achievement list leaked, which gives an extra glimpse into what to expect – though didn’t reveal any new playable heroes. It *does* reveal a so-far unannounced villain though, so only read the full achievement list if you don’t mind being spoiled a little.
We also know that it won’t tie directly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe – Marvel Games is run separately from Marvel Studios, which handles the films. The company has already announced that its games, including Spider-Man on the PS4 and Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy series, don’t exist in the same shared universe.
That theme continues with the characters themselves, who don’t share the likenesses and voices of their big-screen counterparts.
What’s more interesting than the game itself are the developers working on the project. The partnership consists of Rise of the Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided developer Eidos Montreal. The two developers have created impressive games of late, in terms of both graphics and gameplay, so it seems like the pairing should lead to an impressive roster of Marvel-themed games.
We also know that industry veterans including Naughty Dog’s Shaun Escayg and EA/Visceral Games’ Stephen Barry are now working on the project, along with fifteen other developers that have worked on titles including Batman: Arkham Origins, Deep Space, Star Wars: Battlefront and more.