Marvel's Avengers Reveals Kamala Khan as the Game's Secret Protagonist
During NYCC 2019, Marvel Games announced that Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, will be the sixth playable character in Marvel's Avengers.
By the time Marvel’s Avengers from Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics releases, the film Avengers: Endgame will be over a year old. That movie was a farewell to some of the characters made famous by the 2012 original film, with a sense of closure. But this upcoming and long-hyped video game is asking us to get excited for Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, and Natasha Romanoff yet again, leading me to believe that this new game was in need of new blood. Square Enix and Marvel Games responded to that worry today at New York Comic-Con 2019, announcing that Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, would be the sixth playable character in the game.
Not only is she playable, but the developers have stated that Khan is essentially the protagonist of the game.
Khan is portrayed by actress Sandra Saad, who appeared in Rage 2 and Fallout 76. If you recall in the initial trailers showcasing the “A-Day” disaster, there was a young girl providing narration; she was presented as a fan of the Avengers, and when all went awry, she barely escaped the Helicarrier with her life after it crashed from a Terrigen crystal-related explosion. For those in the know of Marvel lore, those crystals are what lead to Terrigenesis, a process in which Inhumans unlock their genetically-inherited powers.
As a result, Khan becomes a polymorph, gaining the ability to stretch her limbs and change her size and shape. Within the narrative of the game, Khan keeps her powers a secret for the most part during the long time gap after A-Day; she springs into action, however, when she discovers a possible conspiracy involving the true nature of A-Day and Advanced Idea Mechanics, A.I.M., the anti-superhero science organization. Still believing in the Avengers, she sets out to reunite the scattered team members, starting with Bruce Banner and Tony Stark.
Kamala Khan is depicted as a bit of a fangirl, and as such, she acts as a surrogate character for comic book and movie fans playing this 2020 game for the love of the Avengers. But at the same time, she’ll be learning the ropes of becoming a superheroine and a team player, as unrefined as she is.
That lack of refinement appeared to reflect in her gameplay; Square Enix gave members of the press (myself included) time with Khan, playing as the character in her full Ms. Marvel garbs in a Danger Room-like virtual training room. I fought waves of enemies, using her abilities to slap with a gigantic hand or to “Embiggen” herself to take out the larger A.I.M. enemies. The big hits provided a lot of good audio feedback, and satisfaction set in when those hits really connected.
I’m trying to think of a better term than “sluggish” to describe her fighting style; the word may have too negative connotations. But there was something deliberately slow about how she attacked, and a Crystal Dynamics developer explained that she’s had significantly less polish and training than the veteran Avengers. Still, she had a helpful mobility mechanic, being able to grab ledges from afar and sling her way across.
The embedded (but not embiggened, unfortunately) video of the reveal is above. In the meantime, you can read my larger impressions of the game from NYCC 2019 on the site right now. Marvel’s Avengers will hit PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia on May 15, 2020.