Thanks to Marvel Games head TQ Jefferson and Wideload Games lead game designer Patrick Moran, now we know why Hulk smash puny iOS and Android. Green guy puns aside, publisher Marvel Games and developer Wideload Games have released Avengers Initiative to the App Store and Google Play, a "gestured-based combat" action game starring The Hulk.
Priced at $6.99, Avengers Initiative is most certainly a premium-priced mobile game. And with Unity-developed, full 3D graphics and one-on-one melee combat through swiping furiously at the screen, it's also certainly inspired by gems like Infinity Blade. Upon first glance (and first play), the similarities are undeniable. But Moran can explain.
"Obviously, everything that's coming out, especially gesture-based games, are influenced by those titles. When Infinity Blade came out, it sort of opened up this whole new genre to play in and we've seen a lot of new takes on that," Moran tells us. "When we started work on this in June, we asked ourselves, 'Okay. What is Marvel's version of a gesture-based action game and how do we differentiate?'"
When Marvel decided to give a mobile game a go and sign on Wideload Games, the duo seemingly addressed that question early on. Their answer is threefold, according to Jefferson:
"The conversations we arrived at, what we're calling our three core pillars, are what's going to hopefully net us a successful Marvel gameplay experience. First and foremost is fun gameplay. Fun comes before everything else. Second is a compelling story. Story is critical to Marvel's DNA--it's what we do. It's in everything that we do, from film to animation to comic books to board games and especially to video games. And then finally there are true character experiences, so it needs to be faithful to the character. If we're hitting those three notes, then we are on the road to success for a triple-A Marvel gameplay experience."
Wideload promises to have built the first pillar through play that has feedback to it, has feeling. When you swipe the screen, The Hulk follows suit in a dramatic, powerful punch that sends the camera shaking. Swipe in the same direction three times, and the green guy will lash out with a devastating combo attack ending in a ground pound or thunderclap. The second pillar?
In addition to the game's 36 concurrent developers over the course of a long 14 months, Wideload has the full force of Marvel's creative teams behind them. Marvel editors and writers have penned a story that follows the events of hit Marvel Facebook game Avengers Alliance by Playdom. Going forward, the two games will communicate through Marvel's new Marvel XP cross-game service. Now, on to that third pillar...
"In this game we want multiple shades of green, if you will. If you are a more offensive character, or you're a more tactful player, we want to support that, but all within the true-to-character experience of being the Hulk," Moran tells us. "We found a way to change the gameplay and provide different paths and strategies."
It's in building up these three figurative pillars that Marvel and Wideload Games are confident that they've built a unique, core-game-player-focused experience that expands upon what they call the new "Marvel game universe." It starts with a three-to-four-hour romp with The Hulk pummeling evil in the Rocky Mountains and will continue with massive character and story content updates featuring the rest of the Avengers cast. Talk about a massive undertaking (in more ways than one).