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Avengers assemble in games storm

Two new Avengers gaming experiences announced in the past week include Kamala Khan reuniting with the team as Captain Marvel in the Marvel Avengers game, and a Wakanda-based virtual reality experience called Avengers: Damage Control.

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At New York Comic Con 2019 last week, Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics revealed that fan-favourite Kamala Khan is the latest playable Super Hero to be featured in Marvel’s Avengers. Co-created by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Sana Amanat, and Stephen Wacker, in the comics, Kamala is an enthusiastic teenager who defends her hometown Jersey City as the costumed Ms. Marvel. First appearing in Captain Marvel #14 in August 2013, Kamala quickly captured the imagination of generations of True Believers, leading to her own monthly comic series in February 2014.

A self-avowed Avengers fan, Kamala Khan must apply her intellect, optimism, and unique abilities to the task of unravelling a global conspiracy and reassembling her personal heroes in time to stop a new secretive organization, Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM), before they unleash one of the greatest threats Earth has ever faced.

Players first encounter a young Kamala during A-Day, where Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, and Thor are unveiling a hi-tech Avengers Headquarters in San Francisco — including the reveal of their own helicarrier powered by an experimental energy source. The celebration turns deadly when a catastrophic accident results in massive devastation.

Kamala is exposed to the mysterious Terrigen Mist, and finds herself developing extraordinary polymorphic powers, which she subsequently hides for years. Blamed for the tragedy, the Avengers disband. Five years later, with all Super Heroes outlawed and the world in peril, Kamala uncovers a shocking conspiracy and embarks on a quest to reassemble the heroes she believes in and to become the hero she was destined to be.

Players begin the journey as Kamala Khan and learn the origins of her extraordinary powers. As the story expands, Kamala plays an essential role in bringing the disbanded Avengers back together. As each Super Hero is added to the roster, players must master all of their unique abilities, rebuild and customize the Avengers team to face increasingly growing threats only the Avengers together can defeat.

“An optimistic fan girl of the Avengers, Kamala Khan is the perfect character for the story we’re telling in Marvel’s Avengers,” says Shaun Escayg, Creative Director and Writer at Crystal Dynamics. “Telling our story of Kamala’s coming-of-age brings a fresh, hopeful perspective to the gameplay experience and her unique abilities as Ms. Marvel make her a character every person can relate to and will want to play. Kamala Khan is one of the unique characters that makes our game stand apart from any Avengers story experienced before.”

“Kamala is an inspired and perfectly fitting choice to join the ranks of, and reassemble, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” says Bill Rosemann, VP of Creative at Marvel Games. “Perhaps more than any other character invented over the past decade, Ms. Marvel has not only charmed the hearts of longtime True Believers, but her unique mix of classic Marvel heroic elements and modern cultural relevancy has resulted in a headline-generating cultural icon.”

“I think Kamala is a perfect fit for a game like this, since she sees the Marvel world the same way we do as fans and players,” says G. Willow Wilson, co-creator of Ms. Marvel. “Kamala allows us to imagine what we ourselves would do if we suddenly discovered we had superpowers and got to stand alongside our heroes in their time of greatest need.”

Marvel’s Avengers will release simultaneously for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, and PC on 15 May 2020. The game is currently rated RP, rating pending by the ESRB.

Click here to read about the Avengers virtual reality experience, Avengers: Damage Control.

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Get ’90s horror throwback with Song of Horror

Song of Horror is set for an alarming 2020, with the fourth and penultimate chapter, called The Last Concert, launching on 30 January.

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In an era where first-person, jumpscare-based horror games are the norm, Song of Horror brings back the atmosphere of classic horror games like Alone in the Dark, Resident Evil and Silent Hill. While the settings may seem familiar, what players won’t expect is the unfathomable entity known as The Presence, who adapts and reacts to the way they play.

Lose against this unpredictable adversary, and the character will die permanently. As fans progress through each new episode, the tension of potentially losing more characters increases.

The fourth (and biggest) episode of Song of Horror, The Last Concert, continues its nostalgic journey through the classics of the genre. This time, it takes inspiration from Frictional Games’ celebrated modern horror adventure Amnesia: The Dark Descent, bringing players to the most haunted area of the game: St. Cecilia’s Abbey. How many characters will survive this holy place, now tainted by the influence of The Presence?

The intricate design of St. Cecilia’s Abbey, made by real architects, immerse players in a chapter that takes more than 8 hours to finish – for context, three times bigger than the main location of the first episode.

In this part of the story, players can:

  • Discover what happened to the monks of the macabre St. Cecilia’s Abbey after interpreting the cursed song, while facing the diverse manifestations of The Presence, now more powerful than before.
  • Experience a new narrative structure: Explore St Cecilia’s Abbey from different starting points depending on which character is chosen.
  • Experience more than 8 hours of exploration-based play in the biggest episode to date.
  • Say hello to another new character: Ernest Finnegan, a renowned archaeologist past his glory days and a dear friend of Husher. After finding out how dangerous the Abbey is, and haunted by his own guilt for leaving Husher alone, he is now looking to help his close acquaintance to survive his current predicament.
  • Returning characters will join the adventure depending on who you played with and who survived in previous chapters.

“We’re in the final stretch, and Episode 4 ramps the tension up somewhat – just as you might expect,” says Carlos Grupeli, founder of Protocol Games, the studio behind Song of Horror. “It’s an emotional time for the studio. After two cracks at Kickstarter and a fair few more humps in the road along the way, everything is coming together. There’s still so much more to come, too. We have the fifth and final episode coming in just a couple of months, and then PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gamers can take on the entire game in one run when it hits console later in the year.”

The first episode of Song of Horror can be picked up on Steam today for $8/€8/£7, while the second and third and fourth can either be purchased individually for $8/€8/£7, or as part of the Season Pass that will also unlock the final episode at launch for $22/€22/£19.

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SuperEpic to launch limited edition physical edition

The critically-acclaimed indie action game, SuperEpic, will be offering a limited edition physical version of the game with special goodies inside on 20 March.

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Numskull Games has announced that SuperEpic, a Metroidvania-style adventure game from indie developer Undercoders, is coming to retail for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on 20 March.

Taking the helm of a raccoon and a burger-eating llama, players embark on a quest to save video games as we know them by ramming into the headquarters of RegnantCorp – a video game development company that controls an Orwellian society by addicting citizens to their free games.

SuperEpic is a non-linear, fast-paced action adventure game, heavy on exploration and combo-based combat. Uncover a conspiracy as you explore a surreal castle-like office full of enemies, challenges, secrets, and corporate pigs.

The SuperEpic: Badge Collector’s Edition includes a physical copy of the game for either PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Switch, as well as a collector’s display box featuring 6 high quality pin badges, based on characters from the hit indie game.

The game is limited to 5,000 copies on the Nintendo Switch and 3,000 copies on the PS4, so this is sure to be a sought-after collector’s item.

Continuing the satirical theme on microtransactions, levelling and powering up is based on an in-game economy system (there aren’t any real-life microtransactions, of course)

Numskull games provided the following information on features:

  • Two game modes – play a classic single-player story mode with handcrafted levels, or a rogue-like mode which procedurally generates the game map to make each run completely different
  • Cross-media experience – hidden QR codes launch mini-games to play on your mobile when scanned, uncovering secrets in the main game
  • 8 hours of gameplay – a first run on the story mode will take roughly 8 hours, but the procedural mode provides endless fun
  • 16-bit era graphics – super fluid animations and spectacular bosses, all represented in gorgeous ‘Neo-Geo’-esque 16-bit pixel art
  • Original storyline and soundtrack – a story featuring unique, strong characters with plenty of humour and personality, and a soundtrack from SonoTrigger (‘Rise & Shine’, ‘Blue & Bullets’, ‘Supermagical’)
  • Completionists – tons of achievements & secrets to unlock for completionists
  • Micro-transaction satire – satirises modern gaming practices, with a huge enterprise run by greedy business-pigs which has gradually replaced all the fun in video games with adaptative and addictive algorithms to control people’s minds
  • Latest patch on disc/cartridge – the latest update, which includes improvements to the map system, are included on the physical versions for collectors and preservationists

SuperEpic is available digitally on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC now. The Badge Collector’s Edition & standard physical edition for PS4/Switch are available stores including Geek Store, Amazon, and Game UK on 20 March.

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