Why Avengers' Combat Designer Started With Black Widow

Marvel’s Avengers just got a fresh look during Crystal Dynamics’ debut War Table event, but studio head Scot Amos shared more details with GameSpot during an interview for Play For All. Amos said that his combat director’s experience on the recent God of War would have made Thor a natural fit to tackle first, but instead he started with the hardest of all: Black Widow.

“We actually went out and pulled in some amazing talent like Vince Napoli, our combat director. Vince was on God of War, the most recent one. Looking at how certain games play, it’s like, that weapon looks a lot like what Thor’s hammer should be like, that would be cool. The idea of having him come on-board and say, ‘great, I’m going to start attacking this, which one should I do first?’ Do Black Widow first. And he’s like, ‘What? But this is the hardest one to make her feel super.'”

But Amos says that Napoli’s Player Enemy Traversal (or “PET”) team tackled the challenge and planned Black Widow from the core of what makes her an Avenger. That started with the skill trees, then branched out into the perks and gear that fit those skill trees, and on from there. This made the heroes differentiated from each other. Widow controls like a third-person shooter with melee abilities, while Iron Man is akin to a jet fighter. The protagonist Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, uses her Embiggen ability to snatch enemies with her enormous hands.

“They built from that center core outward with each of these heroes,” Amos said. “And as they did them, each time a new hero came online from that team, that became the team’s new favorite. They were just so good at coming down to, what’s the core of this hero? … That’s just the core heroes at launch. As we have new heroes coming out, that same philosophy applies post-launch.”

The interview also touched on topics like the importance of Kamala Khan, and how each villain will have their time in the limelight as part of the larger narrative. Marvel’s Avengers is coming on September 4 to PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Meanwhile, Black Widow is preparing to take center stage in the cinema as well, as Black Widow is slated to release from Marvel Studios.

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