Marvel just had its gaming panel at San Diego Comic-Con, giving fans and press alike a more comprehensive look at the actual gameplay of Marvel's Avengers. The Square Enix-published game was revealed to cries of "meh" during E3, so this showing had to pack something of a punch to resuscitate the game's hype. Now that it's over, we can say it didn't exactly deliver a mind-blowing experience, but it did show how each character plays and teased a new addition to the cast.
A Little Arkham, A Little Ultimate Alliance, A Lot Of Smashing
The demo shown at SDCC lasted around 20 minutes, according to Kotaku and GameSpot. The story was the same as the "A-Day" trailer we saw at E3. The Avengers are celebrating the opening of a west coast branch when terrorists attack the Golden Gate Bridge. Captain America sends Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Black Widow (still no Hawkeye) to fight them off while he defends the Helicarrier.
The four each got a few minutes of spotlight to show off their varying gameplay styles. Iron Man spends his time flying and shooting, occasionally letting loose a Uni-Beam to take out groups of foes or even vehicles. Thor's gameplay looks to be sort of like Ultimate Alliance, with him beating foes individually with his hammer and unleashing several flashy moves to clear mobs. Hulk, surprisingly, is aerial focused. He jumps around a lot, delivering powerful smashes on the way down. Finally, Black Widow took on the boss fight. She went one-on-one with none other than Taskmaster in a melee fight that takes its cues from the Batman Arkham games.
Multiplayer Is Where The Fun Begins
The story mode is quite dramatic, depicting the day the Avengers failed. It turns out the whole Taskmaster fight was a distraction, and the Helicarrier explodes with Cap inside, releasing Terrigen into the city (more on that in a bit). The Avengers disassemble, Cap is seemingly dead, and all hope seems lost. Fortunately, we have multiplayer to let us control a zoot suit-wearing Hulk and smash alongside friends.
That's right, multiplayer will feature character customization. The panel only showed a trailer, so we can't say exactly what it will entail. The reports say online multiplayer will allow for several players to each control an Avenger and beat on foes together. There will be skill trees to let you tailor the characters to your preferred fighting style. You can also change Iron Man's armor colors, or put on entirely different costumes like Hulk's Sakaar outfit. Overall it seems to offer more of the wild comic book-style fun fans would expect of the Marvel brand.
The original trailer had a female narrator, a young voice who talks about meeting her heroes. She returns, only now we got to see who see is. She appears to be Kamala Khan, known to comics fans as Ms. Marvel. She attends the A-Day event and gets caught up in the Terrigen explosion. In the comics, that awakens her superpowers as an Inhuman, and we imagine that will be the case here. With the Avengers breaking up, the will would need more heroes. So does that mean Ms. Marvel will be playable? Time will tell...