Marvel’s Avengers has a playoff game and that’s not what you’re thinking. There will be no Infinity Gauntlet shenanigans or Black Widow throwing themselves off a cliff – and instead of Iron Man sacrificing himself for the best, we can get Captain America to return from the dead.
The final game for Marvel’s Avengers is technically non-existent, as it’s a live service game with a content and patch pipeline that extends for years to come, promising the addition of superheroes in addition to Hawkeye and the PS4-exclusive Spider-Man. But according to Crystal Dynamics, if you play Marvel’s Avengers beta, you only get a tasting menu on the smorgasbord that awaits you in the fat game.
I sat down with creative director Shaun Escayg and war director Vince Napoli to chat about beta and the future of Crystal Dynamics̵
System for a beta
It’s not easy to encapsulate a game like Marvel’s Avengers in a consumable beta that spans a short period of time. For one thing, there are equipment and upgrade systems, which seem to be as rolled up and multifaceted as Destiny 2’s, with skill trees that look like the old, knotted oak tree in your garden and items that have detailed divisions designed to let you min / max yourself in the negative zone. Because beta is strongly focused on multiplayer PvE experiences, these systems are back and forth from hope, which can gossip for people like me who prefer to lay their heads down and grasp through it.
And those systems are not necessarily the ones you need to interact with throughout the game – not least through much of the campaign. “In the main game, the gear is a real slow burn in the sense that we do not require or even expect you to get fully involved during the campaign,” explains Napoli. “We want it to be there as a luxury, but if you do not really want to get involved in it, or if you want,” This is not this is not my style of play, I just want to go to the story and explore the story, “then the game is designed not to require it.”
However, Crystal Dynamics expects (or wants) you to eventually start working with these systems. The longer you dig into Marvel’s Avengers, the more challenging it will be, and drive you to start exploring and investing in the details of the game’s underlying loot and upgrade system.
“The middle game is where we expect players to engage with it about 60%, or we expect them to configure some of the skills but not really my maxing things or care about attributes yet – so that’s how we will cancel, “Napoli assures me, and it’s worth noting that parts of the progression have been artificially accelerated for beta to help players through all content in a short amount of time. “Then, of course, we expect you to get involved in the playoffs so that we will design the enemies accordingly. It’s a much slower strategy in the real game.”
According to Escayg, the dual game styles available in Marvel’s Avengers are a deliberate merger. “There are players who just want to learn about Kamala, and feel strong, get the experience of the playable movie version,” he explains, adding, “Then there is the player who is a complement who wants to go through everything, collect the collector’s item, switch up, develop skill trees, perform and compete. ”
Plant a seed, grow a skill tree
Speaking of skill trees, those in Marvel’s Avengers are designed to allow players to create different versions of the same heroes. That’s why they’s so exciting and concise, because your version of Thor might end up completely different from my version of Thor – which in my mind is definitely wearing change of shorts.
These complicated skill trees and locks are also the reason why many of the characters feel a bit the same in the beginning. “We went back and forth a lot, especially when you play the campaign and realize that you’re actually jumping from characters fast and fast,” explains Napoli. “We needed to strike the balance where the starting point is similar enough so you can pick it up and play, and if you’re the player who wants to skip tutorials and not read them again, if you’re like” I’m tired of knowing what to do, I just want to go and crush things, “you can come by.”
I ask if the skill trees mean that these characters will develop more as you go. “Definitely. There is no way we can create a game with so much depth that we wanted it not to happen,” Napoli assures me. “That’s what the skill tree allows us to do. As you go further and further you will start to get into some pretty crazy trade-offs – even in terms of control … you will be” How I use this button is completely different and it does not resemble the way I use this second character now. Now I fly and do flight maneuvers and shoot, and all this other stuff that is not even close to how Thor can fly and do things. “
So even if you feel that Black Widow, Kamala Khan and even Iron Man feel a bit the same-after the beta, that limited available skills unlock to the first page of what appears to be three, you may not feel that way after threw himself several hours throughout the game. Cleary beta is a piece of a game, and Crystal Dynamics has deliberately held back forces and abilities to surprise us at launch.
The aforementioned skill trees will also open the floor for you to create some incredible moments of collaboration between heroes – moments that may not be obvious from the beginning. During the beta, there were not many opportunities to trigger multi-hero movements reminiscent of Marvel movie moments that Black Widow / Okoye / Scarlet Witch Wakanda fight from Avengers: Infinity War. But those moments will be there in the game, just wait for you to trigger them.
“So there is the cooperative enemy’s stuff that is very, let’s say that it’s strong in the sense that it’s a mandatory group action and that there are button messages,” Napoli explains. “And to be honest, I’m not sure if you’ll encounter those enemies in the beta. But that’s one aspect of the team’s stuff.” I’m asking if there’s more organic multiplayer moments that allow you to fire Iron Man’s repulsors from Thor’s hammer or, you know, Cap’s shield (because he definitely is not death).
“There are more subtle sandbox moments like using a heroic and hitting another character who happens to be overloaded by lightning,” Napoli assures me. “We decided to let the mechanics work in a way that is much more sandbox-y and much more fluid, rather than trying to deliver them all as these kinds of bombastic, but more limited, cinematic – because we have enough of those for the campaign.”
According to Naples, how you choose to go through each hero’s skill tree will affect these organic interactions, giving you more chances to make Marvel magic happen … “There are a bunch of moves that are actually hidden in the skill trees,” he explains. Napoli. “You’ll see, ‘Oh, actually, if I get this skill and then I fire this one and I have this ability on my non-dead character’s shield tree, I can mirror a beam around and hit enemies with it. “”
And keep in mind that the possibilities of launching some cool ripple effects will grow with Marvel’s Avengers program list, which will continue to add heroes after launch. When we discuss confirmed the introduction of Spider-Man at the last minute, Naples reminds me that Crystal Dynamics had “a complete list of programs for all the heroes we were going to release, plans for years in advance, and certainly all the ones we’ve been working on right now” before the web sling was added to the middle development.
Well, there you have it, people. Marvel’s Avengers beta is just the game equivalent of a brewery’s tasting flight, and Captain America is definitely not dead.