NYCC 2012

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    Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth Interview

    17 October 2012 | Written by Maxxum & Ally

    Years ago, when I was in martial arts, the coolest fighting tool I knew of was an outrageously expensive padded robot on tracks. The pads were pressure sensitive and could record, and report on the strength of a punch or kick. The most significant feature though was that the robot could be programmed to constantly move so that a practitioner was forced to use better footwork - that memory was the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the 'Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth' booth.

    Of course, being a video game, it wouldn't have the same effect as punching a robot, but in real-life I can't be Spider-Man, and here at least I could be. After several sessions with the game, I spoke with Dan Vargas, Art Director for MA:BFE, and Sarah Irvin, PR Specialist at Ubisoft.

    When did you start development for the game?

    It started in 2011, late 2011.

    Was it your idea to approach Marvel or did Marvel approach you?

    Dan: Marvel happened to have seen some of the games we were working on at the previous E3, and they really liked a lot of the game design that was in the original fighter that we did, they thought it would fit well with their universe.

    So, they must have given you a lot of source material to use so the battle scenes looked more realistic.

    Dan: For sure, yeah - once we entered into full production we presented them with the idea of using the "Secret Invasion" as the premise for the game, once we had that, Marvel was very gracious about giving us hi-res versions of all the assets that we needed.

    How much of the game are we seeing here that's going to actually be in the production and what's going to be DLC?

    Dan: A small portion [laughs]. [In the demo] You've got the solo fighting mode and the versus fighting mode, two modes out of seven. Campaign mode which of course follows the premise of the Secret Invasion, we've got online, co-op, we've got challenge, we've got tournament, all sorts of different ways.

    Some players are more physically adept than others, are they going to have a serious advantage in the game?

    Dan: We've made the game really easy to play, easy to pick-up. While you guys were watching here, you saw the range of different people and the types of motions that they had; our game is fairly forgiving in that matter ... we're looking for general poses.

    One of the things you didn't get to see in the demo, we have voice controls in there as well. So, not only can you control the menus with your voice, we've got an added bonus so that when you do some of the ultra-moves, if you yell a specific phrase it adds on to the bonus.

    So, let's say I were a paraplegic, I could still play this game?

    Dan: Well, there's a jumping part in the game.

    Sarah: There's some movements you might not be able to do, but if you can move your arms, you can pretty much do most anything.

    Comments:

    It may have been the awfully large screens and the specially fenced off area, but playing Marvel's Avengers: Battle For Earth was fun. We played this game each day of the convention, some days twice. It was a small workout, and the next best thing to sparring. There were many classic characters from the Marvel world that we were able to take for a spin. One could easily prefer to spend hours battling to save Earth, over hitting the gym. The demo showed that the game was fairly generous with mapping the player's real-life movements to the actions in the game, which would make it great for a wide range of players. Definitely a fun game on Xbox Kinect, especially for Marvel fans.