Star-Lord and company pitch in against a cosmic threat!

As Nick Fury donned the Infinity Gauntlet in the most recent “Marvel Avengers Academy” event, the major players throughout the galaxy felt its power. With the Gauntlet’s location revealed, many will inevitably try to take it for themselves.

The first of those comes in Ayesha, bringing her Priestesses to the Academy to make a bid for the Gauntlet. The Guardians of the Galaxy being particularly familiar with cosmic threats like Ayesha will lead the charge against her while new faces from their previous galactic adventures will come to lend a hand.

We grabbed a few minutes from Lead Narrative Designer Allen Warner’s busy schedule to get the lowdown on everything we’ll see in this new event.

Marvel.com: Ayesha and her Priestesses are adding a new burst of intergalactic flair to Avengers Academy. What brings them to Earth?

Allen Warner: During our “Legends Assemble!” event, it was revealed that Nick Fury was in possession of an Infinity Gauntlet.  Using the Gauntlet drew the attention of beings from across the cosmos who’ve come into contact with it before, and they all rocket toward Avengers Academy to claim it for themselves. Ayesha and her Priestesses of the Sovereign arrive like a crew of golden, cold-blooded, intergalactic mean girls to cast judgment on the Avengers, remake Earth to fit their “perfect” standards, and get their hands on the Gauntlet.

Marvel.com: What threats aside from Ayesha and her crew will the Avengers Academy students face?

Allen Warner: Ayesha and the Priestesses have used their awesome powers and catty insults to bend powerful cosmic beings to their will, including Abelisk and Tiamut the Dreaming Celestial. These behemoths will protect the Priestesses and attack the campus while Ayesha searches for the Gauntlet. The Collector is also here to do battle, but he’s more concerned with adding an Infinity Gauntlet to his collection than going along with Ayesha’s plans.

We’re also introducing a new battle map feature that adds an element of choice and strategy to combat, allowing players to travel to different destinations around the universe to do battle with cosmic characters like the Chitauri.

Marvel.com: This event ties in heavily with the previous Guardians event; will new players miss out if they don’t have the previously released heroes?

Allen Warner: No, everyone will have a chance to get all of the Guardians characters from the first event, including Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Nebula, and Yondu.

Marvel.com: What will players who do already have the previous Guardians be able to do in that first week?

Allen Warner: Nova will be available for the first time in week one of the event. I’m really excited to get him into the game because I’ve always been a fan of the Nova Corps, he’s one of the last remaining Champions members from the current comic team to enter our game, and he adds a lot of cool powers and personality to the cosmic mix.

Players will also be able to get an awesome Thor Groot outfit in week one. This is a riff off of the Thor Groot from [THORS during Secret Wars], but our amazing art team took the idea to the next level, and it’s really fun to see how Loki and Thor and some of the other Asgardians react to him having Thor’s outfit and powers.

We’ll also be releasing all of the buildings and some decos from the original event, along with items to upgrade the Guardians from the first event, and to help in the coming weeks.

Marvel.com: Beyond the returning Guardians, what new faces will be joining the Academy throughout this event?

Allen Warner: Nova, Mantis, Collector, Cosmo the Spacedog, Adam Warlock, and Lil’ Groot.  I think it’s an awesome mix of Guardian-centric cosmic characters, and they all turned out looking incredible.

Cosmo is a personal favorite of mind, as anyone who plays the game probably knows, and while he’s been around as a decoration before, he will now be a fully playable character with unique animations, his own storyline, voiceover lines, visual upgrade levels, and more. He’s only the second animal recruit we’ve ever had in the game, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him cross paths with Lucky.

Mantis turned out amazing, and her visual levels are some of my favorite designs in the game. Adam Warlock’s are great too, as we reimagined him as a sort of golden, cosmic rock-god. Lil’ Groot is as adorable as you’d expect, and The Collector might be the best of them all. I really can’t wait for everyone to see what our art and animation teams created for these characters.

That’s not even mentioning the awesome outfits for Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket, Drax, Falcon, Enchantress, Iron Man, and Captain America. They’re all great, but the Captain America is my personal favorite. I don’t want to spoil it yet, but I’ll just say that you’ve never seen Cap like this before.

Marvel.com: How will Ayesha shape her event district? What new structures will players add to their campus?

Allen Warner: The event district is Ayesha’s palace inspired by the film [Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2″], flanked by the giant golden Celestial, and the Collector’s hovering spaceship. The event building this time around will be the Collector’s Museum filled with incredible creatures, characters, and objects from across the galaxy. It’s one of the coolest and most intricate buildings we’ve ever made, filled with Easter eggs for future content, and events from the past.

Marvel.com: What’s next on the horizon for Avengers Academy?

Allen Warner: Thanos is closer than anyone thought, so it’s time for the Avengers to pursue every option possible to find their new recruits.

Start playing “Marvel Avengers Academy” today!

Read More

Learn more about what went into the biggest video game release of 2018!

Eric Monacelli, Senior Producer, Marvel Games:

Deciding to team with Insomniac Games and PlayStation to develop “Marvel’s Spider-Man” was a no-brainer. What came next, well, that took some mental gymnastics. When you have the power and responsibility to work with a beloved character whose history is so rich and so layered–a character that many feel is the world’s greatest hero, and maybe even the greatest character in fiction itself–we knew we had to thwip up something original yet familiar, and, of course, amazing and spectacular.

First, our creative teams instantly bonded when we realized we all shared a similar childhood memory of fighting pretend villains while slinging imaginary webs in Spider-Man underwear. Next, we recognized that collaborating with some of the tremendous talent working on Spider-Man comic books today would be essential. That’s when writers Dan Slott and Christos Gage swung into our Spidey Web of Trust. The teams at Insomniac Games, PlayStation, and Marvel Games have been hard at work on making the game great since then. Here’s a glimpse into our shared vision from some of our biggest Web Heads:

If you want to hear more from the Marvel writers contributing to the project, head over to the This Week in Marvel podcast to listen to Dan Slott and Christos Gage talk more in-depth about what’s it been like to write and collaborate on the game of our (and hopefully your) dreams.

“Marvel’s Spider-Man” launches in 2018. Mark your calendars and get ready for greatness!

Read More

The prodigious savant of mnemonic talents tears up the Battlerealm.

Taskmaster brings both swords, a shield, and a whole lot of photographic reflexes to Battlrealm ready to kick hero butt. Ol’ Tasky’s not worried about being on Battlerealm, his skills let him go up against the toughest heroes the Contest has to offer. We talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Character Designer Simon Cameron about Taskmaster and what he brings to “Marvel Contest of Champions.” Read on to learn more!

Marvel.com: Firstly, let’s talk a little about what the Taskmaster is doing in the contest. He’s not really a go getter unless there’s money involved. Is someone else behind his appearance?

Gabriel Frizzera: Not that the Taskmaster had any choice. Like all of M.O.D.O.K.’s associates, he was once captured in a crystal by the Collector, but forgotten in a backroom somewhere in the Battlerealm. When M.O.D.O.K. freed him, he promised lots of units and gold, but also a regular job in a top-notch Hotel/Spa/Boot Camp for Champions. It beats being forced to fight in The Contest, he thought.

Marvel.com: Tasky looks really cool here in the white, blue, and orange. He’s always had a fairly consistent costume, what did the team do to set him up for “Contest of Champions”?

Gabriel Frizzera: We looked at different inspirations. His costume is definitely one the most iconic in the Marvel Universe, with the skull mask, hood and the orange-white-blue colour scheme. But there has been some pretty cool updates in recent years, especially from animated shows that made him more tactical and armored. We wanted to keep him as classic as possible but add some of the modernized elements, so we kept the cool palette, but removed the “pirate boots” and the cape, which in our opinion would just get in the way of some of his acrobatic moves. His mask is also more angular and less of a literal skull.

Marvel.com: Taskmaster is, in a lot of cases, defined by his foes. He can mimic their moves, allowing him to pick them to pieces at his leisure. Did you guy give any extra thought to the kind of animations Taskmaster would have at his disposal?

Gabriel Frizzera: For sure! This was a chance to pay homage to some of the other Champion’s favorite moves. We lifted some of the coolest animations in the game and blended them together, so when you see him use weapons, he’s mimicking the Punisher, or Moon Knight, for example. When he’s using martial arts, it’s most likely from Black Panther or Iron Fist, or other iconic fighters in the game. It was a lot of fun to make a “collage” of moves and see them come together in a seamless moveset.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk a little about his key abilities like Exploit Weakness, and Intuitive Pattern Recognition. What does he do?

Simon Cameron: Exploit Weakness is one of Taskmaster’s main abilities. Every few seconds the last unique attack Taskmaster’s opponent attempted is set as his target (the attack doesn’t have to have hit, just been attempted). Then to trigger Exploit Weakness, you need to land that same attack back on the opponent within a short window. Triggering Exploit Weakness does Direct Damage to the target, as well as giving Taskmaster a short window to safely trigger his Heavy Attack, instantly resetting his Exploit Weakness target. If his Signature Ability, Intuitive Pattern Recognition, is unlocked he also places Concussions Debuffs on his target when triggering Exploit Weakness.

Marvel.com: And what about Photographic Reflexes and Learn the Foe? Those sound perfectly built for Taskmaster.

Simon Cameron:  Photographic Reflexes gives Taskmaster the ability to reduce his opponent’s Offensive Ability Accuracy as he observes them performing different attacks, and reduce their Defensive Ability Accuracy by performing different attacks. While Learn the Foe gives him increasing resistance to Debuffs for each one that triggers on him in a fight

Marvel.com: What kind of characters do we want on his team?

Simon Cameron: Taskmaster loves to team up with other skill Champions. He has synergies with the likes of Crossbones, Moon Knight, Winter Soldier, and Hawkeye.

Marvel.com: And lastly, when do we get to pick him up for ourselves?

Simon Cameron: Taskmaster’s already in the game! Grab him now!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews and follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

Read More

Marvel’s mightiest animals take on Tiger Shark in the mobile game!

Our favorite batch of lovable critters come to “Marvel Avengers Academy”!

The villainous Tiger Shark has teamed up with Fin Fang Foom and the Lemurians to launch an attack against the school. The Pet Avengers and their human—or humanoid—counterparts need to band together if they’ll have any chance of defeating this terrifying trio.

We grabbed some time with Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to find out who’s joining the Academy, which heroes will see some surprising changes, and just how our team will bring the fight to Tiger Shark.

Marvel.com: The Pet Avengers are invading campus! What brings our heroes’ lovable companions to Avengers Academy?

Allen Warner: The classic villain Tiger Shark is angry about not getting accepted to Pet Avengers Academy, so he turns his frustration and rage into a revenge plot against both the Pet Avengers and Avengers. His fellow underwater villains the Lemurians have been without a leader since [the Avengers captured Attuma], so they decide to join Tiger Shark’s cause to get revenge and free their former leader. Tiger Shark knows that they’re outmatched, but he evens the odds by waking Fin Fang Foom, who is eager for his own revenge against the Avengers.

Marvel.com: Which fan-favorite animal heroes—both familiar and new—will we see as Tiger Shark wages his war against the Avengers?

Allen Warner: So many amazing animals and animal-themed heroes. New characters will include Hairball, Throg, Redwing, Firebird, Zabu, and Howard the Duck. For those counting at home, that’s a kinetic-powered cat, a frog with the powers of Thor, a telepathic bird, a sabertooth tiger, a surly alien duck, and a classic hero who was tutoring students at Pet Avengers Academy when Tiger Shark and the Lemurians attacked. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing all of these characters look, and how fun their stories and unique animations are. This was a huge task for our animation team in particular because of all of the unique and varied body types these animal heroes have, and they absolutely knocked it out of the park. It’s such a fun lineup, and I think it’s a really great fit for a holiday event.

In addition to these new characters, we’ll be bringing back an array of awesome animal and animal-themed heroes, including Lucky, Cosmo, Lockjaw, Black Panther, Squirrel Girl, Devil Dinosaur, and many, many more.

Marvel.com: Meanwhile, the Avengers currently attending the Academy will need to gear up like their pet friends if they hope to win this battle. What new suits will we see throughout this fight?

Allen Warner: We did something a little different this time to celebrate the Pet Avengers theme. There will still be some really fun winter-themed outfits for Wasp and Loki, but there will also be some outfits that are unlike anything we’ve ever done before. For both helpful and mischievous reasons, Loki uses his sorcery to transform some of our heroes into actual animals. I can promise that no one has ever seen these heroes like this before, and our concept artists created some amazing designs. These animal “outfits” will be for Black Widow, Loki, Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Panther. There will be new stories about their adventures in their animal incarnations, and fun new animations that celebrate their classic traits and powers combined with their new animal forms.

Marvel Avengers Academy

You can also expect the return of some of our coolest animal-themed outfits from the past, including Cap-Wolf, Cat Loki, and the always awesome Penguin Falcon.

Marvel.com: Where will Tiger Shark, Fin Fang Foom, and the Lemurians set up to bring the fight to our heroes?

Allen Warner: The villains will be hanging out around the conquered Pet Avengers Academy, which is of course, designed for our animal heroes. It’s a really cool design, and feels appropriately fun and festive for the holidays. We’ll also be covering the entire playspace in snow like we did for last year’s winter A-Force event.

Marvel.com: This event will wrap up 2017 for “Marvel Avengers Academy.” Can you give us any hints as to what 2018 has to offer?

Allen Warner: As always, you can expect us to celebrate the major Marvel movie releases, including “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” along with plans to showcase some of the major events and characters from the comics, and other big surprises. By the end of the Pet Avengers event, it will be clear who’s coming to Avengers Academy, and it will change everything…

For all the latest news and updates on “Marvel Avengers Academy,” visit Marvel.com and follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

Read More

The Runaways’ resident magic user makes her mark on the mobile game!

Can’t get enough Runaways? The new TV series on “Hulu” and the new comic series by Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka not enough to scratch your itch? Have no fear friends, “Marvel Puzzle Quest” has got you covered! Nico Minoru, the original orphaned gothic sorceress, makes her “Puzzle Quest” debut and we talked to D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin about all her awesome abilities.

Marvel.com: Nico’s showing off her Staff of One in “MPQ.” Why was she the right Runaway for the game?

Josh Austin: We are super excited about “Marvel’s Runaways” [on Hulu]! Each of the Runaways have something interesting to offer, but Nico Minoru’s abilities are really intriguing for “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” She’s a fun 4-star character that will add some depth and was fun to design for the team. For this character, we had to get a list of powers approved by Marvel since her power changes names throughout the course of the match if she receives damage, which is something new for an “MPQ” character.

Marvel.com: Sister Grimm’s staff lends her some seriously sorcerous abilities that allow her to do just about anything. How did you make those powers make sense for the game?

Josh Austin: We made a special tile called the Staff of One that’s a Countdown tile; when it’s on the board the tile alters her powers. What this means for the player is Nico’s powers get more powerful whenever she uses her Staff of One and the name of each power changes. Then each power has variations and name changes but it mostly focuses on a freeze ability that stuns, a Try not to Die ability that brings out Protect tiles, and a Heal ability that’s a true heal for each Protect tile on the board [with a] max of six protect tiles. There is a Passive Purple ability that increases the power of the Attack, Strike, and Protect tiles and finally a Trifecta power that creates Attack, Strike, and Protect tiles.

Marvel.com: And just how will Nico be shaking up the board?

Josh Austin: This is going to be a little tricky, so I’m going to write it out under each color:

Her first ability is called When Blood is Shed and it’s a Passive Blue ability. Nico creates a Countdown tile when she takes damage. While the Countdown tile is active it replaces all of Nico’s powers with a new set of powers. Her second Blue ability stuns enemies, removes Countdown tiles, and also increases the stun for each Countdown tile removed.

Her Yellow ability creates Protect tiles and contains a Passive ability that increases the strength of friendly Protect tiles, but Protect tiles have no effect on Nico. Her other Yellow ability is a True Heal for each Protect tile on the board to a maximum of six.

Her first purple ability increases the power of Attack, Strike, or Protect tiles if you have more than the enemy. Her second Purple ability creates a Strike, Protect, and Attack tile. The power also has a passive component that increases the power of your Attack, Strike, or Protect tiles if you have more than the enemy.

Marvel.com: Nico feels like a true support character. From what you told us, it doesn’t appear that she does any direct damage at all.

Josh Austin: She is a great support character; the player should add anyone that creates Special tiles and she’s strong with characters that increase the strength of special tiles.

Marvel.com: And it seems she might be tricky to get the most out of; you need to hurt her so the Staff of One emerges, but she’s a little more vulnerable as Protect tiles don’t mitigate damage for her. What’s her general play pattern?

Josh Austin: She is a bit of a glass cannon, so you will want a protector to help stop her from getting damage as she boosts the team. That and adding someone that can heal with her is a good idea—someone like Medusa (Inhuman Queen) for example!

Marvel.com: Let’s talk teammates. Who does Nico fight best with?

Josh Austin: The team suggests characters that create Special tiles like Thor (Gladiator), Carnage (Cletus Kasady), and War Machine (James Rhodes). She’s also strong with characters that increase the strength of Special tiles like Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) and Medusa (Inhuman Queen).

Marvel.com: And when does she enter the game?

Josh Austin: Nico Minoru enters the game on November 30 via rewards in S.H.I.E.L.D. Training and Honor Among Thieves. Her featured event will be Simulator starting on December 4 and you can play her Versus Tournament, Staff Appreciation Day, starting on December 3. Or you can find her in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Training Store Available on November 30 or Nico and Friends Store available on December 3.

Try out Nico’s sorcerous abilities here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews, plus follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

Read More

The Asgardian Goddess of Death cuts a swath across the hit mobile game!

Slicing her way straight from the big screen’s “Thor: Ragnarok” and into “Marvel Contest of Champions” comes Hela, the Goddess of Death, and she’s got an axe to grind with her brothers and everyone else on Battlrealm. We talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Character Designer Simon Cameron to get a feel for how she fights, how much trouble the Collector’s in, and more.

Marvel.com: Hela, huh? Well that definitely doesn’t bode well for Battlerealm does it?

Gabriel Frizzera: No it doesn’t. The Goddess of Death feeds on massacre and mayhem, and The Contest has plenty of both. The Grandmaster is oblivious to the danger, and carries on with The Contest like is business as usual, but Champions who have dealt with Hela before know what she is capable of. It’s up to Loki, of all people, to warn his brother Thor and the others of her coming.

Marvel.com: She looks slick as all get out here. What did the team focus on to help players feel like they’re really unleashing the Goddess of Death?

Gabriel Frizzera: Antlers! We made sure the antlers were as intimidating as the ones in the comics and in “Thor: Ragnarok.” As usual we got really good reference ahead of time from the [Marvel Cinematic Universe] team to make sure we got every detail of her costume right. She’s also capable of creating mystical blades and other weapons from thin air, so the animation and FX teams had their hands full to create special moves that reproduce the incredible moments [where] she fills the screen with a whirlwind of sharp objects.

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about Hela’s kit? Please tell me we actually get to create the aforementioned whirlwind of sharp objects!

Simon Cameron: Hela’s kit is built primarily around building and maintaining Fury Buffs, with her Spirits of the Dead. She gains Spirits each time she lands a hit with her Summon Swords, and she drains them over time based on the number of Fury Buffs she has active. She also has abilities which scale based on the number of Fury Buffs she has active, for example her Special 3 Attack which deals bonus damage based on the amount of health her opponent has already lost. This makes Hela an excellent closer, stepping in to finish off even the toughest bosses once they’ve been weakened by her teammates. She also builds Physical Resistance against attacks that do high damage with a single hit.


Marvel.com: And it turns out her Signature Ability is Goddess of Death, how apropos. What does that do for her?

Simon Cameron: Her Signature Ability has two parts. The first grants her Spirits of the Dead at the start of the fight, based on the number of her teammates who have already been knocked out. The second part makes her Indestructible the first time she would be knocked out each fight.

Marvel.com: What kind of opponents should we be playing her against? And with what teammates at her side?

Simon Cameron: Hela has some strong synergies with the likes of Angela, Loki, Mephisto, and Dormammu, while the Missing Health Damage on her Special 3 Attack makes her great for finishing off high health opponents.

Marvel.com: And when do we get to unleash Hel ourselves?

Simon Cameron: She’s just joined The Contest so come on in and check her out!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews and follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

Read More

New Funkos of Howard the Duck, Venompool, King Groot and more coming in February!

The mobile fighting game “Marvel Contest of Champions:” is coming to Pop! As you assemble your ultimate team of champions look for the Funko Pop! versions of some of your favorite characters.

This series includes Cosmic Champion King Groot, the mystical Guillotine, Tech Champion Civil Warrior, and Venompool. Rounding out the series comes a 6” version of Tech Champion Howard the Duck!

Exclusives include a glow version of Civil Warrior at Hot Topic, a glow version of King Groot at Target, Venompool holding a phone at GameStop, and Punisher 2099 at Walgreens.

Check out the gallery above to see them all!

The Funko Pop! “Marvel Contest of Champions” figures will be released in February.

Read More

A new mobile game brings the threat of Ultimus and the Kree to Earth!

Coming in 2018, Marvel and FoxNext Games team up to bring you “MARVEL Strike Force”! Heroes and villains alike will need to forget their differences and battle side-by-side against one of the biggest threats the world has ever seen: Ultimus. With the Kree Warlord’s sights set on Earth, players will take control of S.T.R.I.K.E.—our primary line of defense against threats like him—put a squad together, and take the fight to Ultimus and his armies.

We sat down with Jason Bender, Creative Director at FoxNext Games, to learn everything we could about this thrilling new adventure, including which of your favorite Marvel heroes and villains we’ll see as things get underway.

Marvel.com: What brings about the crisis at the heart of “MARVEL Strike Force?”

Jason Bender: In “MARVEL Strike Force,” war has come to Earth as Ultimus, a Kree warlord, has jumped from one dimension to another, conquering every version of Earth along the way. He has finally arrived at our doorstep, and it’s up to us to stop him. The player commands S.T.R.I.K.E., the Strategic Tactical Reserve for Interdimensional Key Events; the only line of defense against threats like Ultimus.

Marvel.com: Can you tell us more about Ultimus’ plan for world domination?

Jason Bender: “Strike Force” marks the triumphant return of the long-lost Kree Eternal, Ultimus.

Ultimus is a powerful warlord, obsessed with the survival of the interstellar Kree Empire. We’ve seen other Kree warriors, such as the zealot Ronan the Accuser and Korath the Pursuer, in comics and the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” film, but none as powerful as Ultimus. As an Eternal, he shares the same source of power as Thanos, who we’ll see a lot in the upcoming “Avengers: Infinity War.” In “Strike Force,” the Kree Empire has realized that Earth will always be a threat to their existence, and have devised a plan to deal with Earth once and for all.

Now a general of the Kree Empire, Ultimus has set out to conquer Earth, but he doesn’t stop there. He has the technology to mind control the heroes of Earth so he uses them to build a more powerful army and sets about conquering the Earths of every dimension he can reach. It doesn’t take long before he has an army of Hulks, Thors, and Groots, and finally ends up at our Earth.

That’s where S.T.R.I.K.E. comes in.

Marvel.com: What heroes and villains will players be able to add to their squads at the beta’s launch?

Jason Bender: The list is extensive. We have characters from across the board. Players can collect Defenders like Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, Guardians like Groot and Drax, and many of the Avengers. A variety of wildcards will make an appearance, such as Night Nurse, Doctor Strange, Quake, and Spider-Man.

Marvel.com: How will we manage the members of our team in battle? Is the combat system more active or turn-based?

Jason Bender: Combat controls are turn-based so players can play at their own pace. The action moves as fast as you do. In addition to their trademark super powers, characters will leap into battle with highly choreographed martial arts moves and a variety of team based combo attacks.

Marvel.com: Will our heroes be able to combine their powers or give each other a boost in any way?

Jason Bender: Team composition is crucial in “MARVEL Strike Force.” There is immense depth of strategy across characters and squads, which typically have [five] characters on the field at a time. Players will build a force of around 70 characters, with even more to be revealed, so that’s a lot of combinations! Squads can be built around iconic characters, such as Nick Fury leading a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, or built for ideal gameplay combinations for the most competitive teams. Characters like Rocket Raccoon and Groot have unique and powerful abilities when fielded together—a vital component of making the most powerful team.

Marvel.com: In what ways will players be able to upgrade and change their squad’s abilities?

Jason Bender: Every character has to collect a variety of gear in order to grow stronger, and they have [three to four] unique abilities each. As abilities improve, new mechanics will unlock and reveal new tactical options. For example, Daredevil might start out attacking a single target at a time, but will quickly grow to chain his martial arts maneuvers to multiple enemies in a single attack. This expands your combat options quite a bit as your characters improve, leading to more and more depth of strategy over time.

Marvel.com: The game’s player-vs-enemy content is clear from the announcement trailer. Are there any plans for player-vs-player you can share with us?

Jason Bender: We want to be sure that players can put each other to the test and see who dominates, so we’re launching with player-vs-player included from the start. This is an arena that starts out friendly but can get highly competitive as you work your way to the top of the ladder. Naturally, there are some pretty excellent rewards to be earned at the top of the heap. We have plans for a wide variety of additional player-vs-player modes in the future.

Marvel.com: Outside of potential PVP, what social and multiplayer features will players be able to utilize?

Jason Bender: It’s a blast to play this with friends, so Alliances will allow people to team up and battle Ultimus together. Alliances can coordinate to conquer Raids, a cooperative game mode that provides some of the most powerful rewards in the game. The Alliances that work together most effectively will be able to conquer the toughest Raids, but the mode is tuned to be fun for more casual players, as well. Bring your friends!

Marvel.com: The announcement trailer also mentioned a bonus for players who pre-register for the beta; what rewards can we expect to receive?

Jason Bender: Players who pre-register will unlock a super-powered Daredevil and additional resources, so they will have a major advantage in the fight against Ultimus.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and follow @MarvelGames on Twitter for the latest news and info on “MARVEL Strike Force,” debuting worldwide in 2018!

Read More

The Main Event makes his way from ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ to the game!

Ready to smash things up and prove you’re the strongest one there is? Or at the very least, prove you’re the strongest Avenger? You’ll get your chance this week when the mean green fighting machine from the Sakaar arena, the one and only Hulk, garbed in all his gladiatorial gear, crashes into “Marvel Puzzle Quest.”

We talked to D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin about the new Hulk and all the beautiful destruction he promises to bring to the game.

Marvel.com: We’re getting our very own Bruce Banner Hulk 4-Star! I’m geeked! He was awesome in “Thor: Ragnarok,” and I’m assuming the team is translating that awesome to “MPQ”?

Josh Austin: That is correct! Hulk (The Main Event) 4-Star is inspired by the Hulk in the “Thor: Ragnarok” film. Along with his Sakaar Arena look from the movie, his power set focuses on dealing lots of damage and shaking up the board.

Marvel.com: We now have a grand total of five different Hulk variations in the game. How does Hulk (The Main Event) keep things fresh?

Josh Austin: Our Hulk definitely stands out! He has the Sakaar Arena helmet and all his gladiatorial garb on. Plus, this version of The Hulk is a major show-off. He starts the fight with a Grand Entrance, kicking off the fight in style, and with The Crowd Goes Wild, he roars at the crowd and the crowd roars back!

Marvel.com: All right, you’ve teased the moves a bit here so let’s talk about the strongest Avenger’s abilities. What can this Hulk do?

Josh Austin: Hulk (The Main Event)’s first ability is called Grand Entrance and it’s a Green Passive. For this power, Hulk smashes his way into the Arena and wreaks havoc. At level five he destroys seven random tiles that do not deal or gain AP. Of course any cascades do damage and gain AP. At the start of the turn, he swaps two random pairs of tiles.

The next power is called Gamma Bomb and it costs 14 Purple AP. Hulk channels his inner wrestling superstar, grabs his opponent, and slams them to the ground dealing damage and creating Critical tiles.

The last power Hulk (The Main Event) has is called The Crowd Goes Wild and it costs 12 Yellow AP. For this ability, Hulk roars at the crowd, and they roar back cheering on the champ. This translates to creating Fortified Countdown tiles that each turn [do] one of the following: deal damage to the enemy team, give Hulk a burst of health or gain AP.

Marvel.com: Grand Entrance is interesting. If he swaps random tiles at the beginning of the turn, can he create Match 5s and will that lead to extra turns for the player? Or is it more like Rocket and Groot’s I Am Groot ability?

Josh Austin: There is a possibility this could happen, especially if the player gets any type of cascade from the swap or the destruction of the tiles due to Grand Entrance.

Marvel.com: How were you building the big guy cover-wise? I was thinking 3/5/5 would be a pretty solid load out. 

Josh Austin: 3/5/5 is what I would focus on to maximize on the damage from Hulk. The Grand Entrance is a fun ability to have, but the damage from the others is better than the chance at cascades and possible damage, depending on the outcome of the tiles being destroyed or swapped.

Marvel.com: And because this is a team game, whom do we want to force into the arena with him?

Josh Austin: Makes sense to have anyone that can give him some Purple. Scarlet Witch is a good addition to his team for the purple generation, also Star-Lord (Legendary Outlaw).  He’s strong with characters that react to Countdown Tiles like Carol Danvers, Agent Coulson, and Star-Lord (Legendary Outlaw).

Marvel.com: When can we pick him up for ourselves?

Josh Austin: He will be live starting tomorrow, November 16. Both the S.H.I.E.L.D training event and the Hearts of Darkness—Hulk is a placement reward in this event—starts tomorrow. The Hulk and Friends store will run November 19 through November 24. Hulk (The Main Event)’s featured event will be Webbed Wonder. His Versus Tournament is Raging Fire and it will start on November 19.

There will be a third Sakaar Arena that features Hulk and this runs November 17-23. Hulk (The Main Event) will be included in the store along with a 5-Star Thor (Gladiator).

Pick up Hulk (The Main Event) here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews, and follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

Read More

'LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2' now available!

“LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” is officially available today from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, The LEGO Group and Marvel Entertainment! Tucker tracked down LEGO designer Justin Ramsden to talk about how Justin got his dream job, creating Marvel LEGO, and the launch of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2.

Download episode #311.5 of This Week in Marvel from Marvel.com, check out Marvel Podcast Central, grab the TWiM RSS feed and subscribe to This Week in Marvel on iTunes or Soundcloud! Head over now to our new hub to listen to the full run of This Week in Marvel including our latest episode!

This Week in Marvel focuses on delivering all the Marvel info on news and new releases–from comics to video games to toys to TV to film and beyond! New episodes will be released every Tuesday and Thursday (or so) and TWiM is co-hosted by Marvel VP Executive Editor of Digital Media Ryan “Agent M” Penagos and Editorial Director of Marvel Digital Media Ben Morse with Manager, Video & Content Production: Blake Garris, Editor Marc Strom, and Assistant Editor Christine Dinh. We also want your feedback, as well as questions for us to answer on future episodes! Tweet your questions, comments and thoughts about TWiM to @AgentM@BenJMorse@blakegarris or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!

Read More