Connect with us
Square Enix Marvel's Avengers Square Enix Marvel's Avengers

E3 2019

Will Marvel’s Avengers Win Over Single-Player Fans?

Published

 on

Every year, developers from around the world gather in June to showcase their most secret and anticipated projects. In the months leading up to E3, gamers witness the spectacle of influencers and industry veterans discussing the rumors of what might be, further fueling their desired announcements come to life. In the spirit of fun and excitement, E3 allows for the passion of gaming to be broadcast on a world stage and recognized for its influence on the entertainment industry.

Now that the industry is approaching the eve of E3, OnlySP is counting down the days remaining in a segment we like to call ‘12 Days of E3’. Please join OnlySP in celebrating an event that can be described as Christmas for Gamers, as we come together in anticipation for E3 2019!


Square Enix’s Avengers project was revealed with whispers and rumours, getting a teaser trailer back in 2017, and little more than a parade of implied delays since. However, after having its official reveal delayed into 2019, the project—known as Marvel’s Avengers—is finally set to be revealed at this year’s E3.

How important will this reveal be to the wider Marvel Games initiative? What kind of game even is it? And perhaps most importantly, will single player gamers care, or is this the next PUBG or Fortnite, a massive online-only hit where multiplayer is the content?

First off, both the known facts and marketing language around the game has always walked the line between developer Crystal Dynamics’s single player experience with Tomb Raider, and the more exploitative language of online pseudo-MMOs such as Destiny or Anthem. Cooperative missions, microtransactions, a ‘living game’: the sort of Games As A Service trends that most often prevent single players from enjoying their purchases without an Internet connection.

The Avengers Project Announcement Trailer 0-14 screenshot

With pre-E3 conferences cresting the horizon, leaked programme details support this language of a Game As A Service, but maintain the “cinematic action-adventure” descriptor shared with Tomb Raider. Obviously, the best possible interpretation of this duality would be something like recent Rockstar games: a fully featured single player experience with a companion MMO experience on the same disc.

What is more likely, at the very least, is a Monster Hunter influenced single-player/co-op hybrid game. Between the promise of character ‘customisation’ and the inclusion of fan-favourites Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and Black Widow, whether this co-op would be based around a core Avengers team or player-created characters is unknown.

The least desirable, but most likely version is a fully online-only experience that supports single player (check here for Daniel’s single player thoughts on the recent online-only release The Division 2) while prioritising cooperative missions and parcelling out content (the proverbial “road map”) over the course of a year or more.

The Avengers Project Announcement Trailer 0-22 screenshot

So the pessimistic view is that Marvel‘s Avengers will be all but hostile to single-player fans of God of War, Spider-Man, and even Crystal Dynamics’s own Tomb Raider games, despite sharing the cinematic action-adventure genre. The optimistic view, and why we can still be excited to tune into Square Enix’s E3 showcase, is quite a bit more important. Marvel Games has a lot riding on the Avengers IP and will not suffer a debacle of the kind that BioWare and Bethesda have seen with Anthem or Fallout 76.

Way back in 2014, TQ Jefferson, then VP of Production at Marvel Games, made very clear that the poor quality of Phase One game adaptations (Thor, Iron Man etc.) changed Marvel’s direction overall. The same stewardship that led to last year’s superlative Marvel’s Spider-Man oversees Square’s Avengers project, and the same ethos of prioritising original storylines, rather than movie tie-ins, means that the developers have had many years to forge their own path ahead.

The Avengers Project Announcement Trailer 0-3 screenshot

Even more than in 2018, when Marvel’s Avengers was originally scheduled for its official reveal, the Avengers Project tease means a lot to comic book and video game fans. Endgame brought the journey of the original cinematic Avengers to a close—in 2020, players will relish the opportunity to return to the core team with a fresh storyline and the polish that Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal have demonstrated with their earlier titles.

At E3 2019, this theoretically rebooted Avengers team can debut without the hindrances of being a movie tie-in, and without competition from DC (after all, the Batman: Arkham team are once again sitting the event out). The game will almost certainly boast amazing production values and oodles of content for players, with the aforementioned road-map set to deliver more content, perhaps for years to come.

Single-player fans need to curb their expectations, however. The biggest uphill battle that Square will face when revealing its Avengers project will be to convince us that an exciting adventure awaits despite the inevitable cooperative and online focus. Standard cooperative modes will have, by the time of its release, already been explored with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, so even multiplayer gamers will need more than just “play with your friends” to be convinced.

The Avengers Project Announcement Trailer 0-31 screenshot

Most importantly, after more than two years of whispers, the presentation must be more than a CG cutscene and DLC details. Will Square be able to demonstrate multiple Avengers characters to the same excitement and awe of Insomniac’s Spider-Man? Or will the game be a slightly more colourful The Division 2, with the Avengers brand doing all the heavy lifting?

We do not have to wait long now. Square Enix’s press conference takes place on Monday, June 10 at 1:00pm PT / 4:00pm ET / 9:00pm BST.

Stay tuned for more of our 12 Days of E3 by following OnlySP on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube. Also, be sure to join the discussion in the community Discord server.

Mitchell is a writer from Currawang, Australia, where his metaphorical sword-pen cleaves fiction from reality daily. When he's not writing, he plays video games and watches movies. While thinking about writing.

Continue Reading
Comments

E3 2019

Biomutant is Vibrant, Unique, and a Hell of a Lot of Fun

Published

 on

biomutant

THQ Nordic had a bevy of games available to play on the show floor at this year’s E3. While some attendees eagerly lined up to play Darksiders Genesis (as our own Michael Cripe did), others sought to finally get their hands on Experiment 101’s highly unique Biomutant for a hands-on, 30-minute demo. Thankfully, Biomutant’s E3 demo is more than enough proof that the will end up being something truly special.

After selecting their preferred language, players were given the option to recode their mutant’s DNA, serving as Biomutant’s version of a character customizer. The customization options were satisfying. A circle graph appears on the screen with five key skills the player must find their preferred balance between: strength, agility, intellect, charisma, and vitality. A sixth skill, luck, was also present, but it was not one that the player could influence from the circle graph. This graph not only influences the player’s mutant’s skills but it also directly changes the mutant’s appearance.

Other customization options included determining the mutant’s fur length and primary and secondary colors. Once these options were set, the demo thrusts the player into a mission that begins with riding a hot air balloon  while the narrator speaks of the excitement of an adventure. Enemies begin firing to bring down the hot air balloon and the player is dropped into the action.

Biomutant

The world of Biomutant immediately pops, as the colors were sharp and invoked thoughts of Ratchet &Clank with a slightly more comic-book style. The visuals reflected the conditions of the area, too, with vibrant reds representing intense heat being a memorable example. The first thing that stood out about this sequence was how great the combat felt. Similarly to Insomniac’s Spider-Man and Rocksteady’s Arkham series, sliding through an enemy’s legs while kicking, punching, and shooting felt tight and familiar. In some instances, the game slowed down when a knockout blow was dealt, which was a nice cinematic touch.

Progressing forward saw the player in an area with additional enemies with a larger, more intimidating foe acting as the main objective. This section introduced the Super Wushu attack, which varies depending on the equipped weapon. The most rewarding of these attacks was with the Klonk Fist which was obtained later in the demo. The Klonk Fist offered huge gauntlets that could pummel multiple enemies by mashing the action button.

The key to unlocking the Super Wushu attack involves stringing together combos which felt fairly easy to do. I do not recall ever losing my combo to an enemy attack, as I obtained the special attack fairly often. The combat allowed for those who wished to mash the melee or firing button but also rewards the players who are more tactical in their combos while mixing in shooting with melee attacks.

Biomutant

With the tutorial for the demo out the way, the game continues by having the player go to a different part of the planet. This new area showcased the vibrant greens and life that contrasted the overheated reds from the previous area. After some platforming, the demo descends the player down into the world where Gizmo the Greasemonkey resides.

Biomutant NPC dialogue is spoken by the narrator from the beginning of the demo while the player’s character makes vague sounds during the conversation. This exchange felt a bit underwhelming for the action-RPG as options did not hold any consequences for how the next section plays out and can be skipped without missing out on much of the story or mission objective.

After descending down and exiting an elevator shaft, the player enters a dark, oil-spilt area. The color palette here reflected the same pop to its visuals as the other sections. A mech suit, which was required to clean up the oil, controlled fine, though combat definitely felt better out of the mech suit than in it.

A final enemy awaited which served as the boss fight for the mission. This fight contained three phases with the enemy adding a new attack method from in the second. The third phase, however, took place inside the creature. After taking him down from the inside, the planet’s Tree of Life becomes more alive as indicating a reversal of destitute for the planet.

The demo confirmed the anticipation OnlySP had for Biomutant. The combat felt great and the visuals really popped. THQ Nordic and Experiment 101 may something special on their hands if the rest of the game plays as the demo did.

Continue Reading