When the initial roster for Square Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers was first announced, Kamala Khan immediately stood out, because the rest of the squad consisted entirely of heroes who’ve been core parts of Marvel’s cinematic universe up to this point. Since then, we’ve learned that both Hawkeye and Spider-Man are making their way to the game eventually, establishing that Marvel’s Avengers is going to grow over time.
One of the biggest questions concerning the game has been just who’s going to join the party down the line — whether the game would embrace the comic books’ vast rosters of Earth’s mightiest or try to hew as close as possible to the mainstays of the MCU — something that would, hopefully, lead to the story becoming more expansive and complex in order to accommodate new characters. While developer Crystal Dynamics has been mum about potential new playable characters, IGN reports that dataminers who got their hands on the Marvel’s Avengers beta this past weekend were able to sift through the game’s code and identify at least 15 more Avengers that could be stepping onto the scene, with Kamala Khan and her amazing friends following the game’s launch.
Each playable character within Marvel’s Avengers is coded with a “challenge card” that keeps track of a player’s progression through different specialised missions that unlock special rewards like alternate costumes that can be equipped while playing. Challenge card code doesn’t necessarily confirm that any given character is certain to be included in future DLC or updates — they could be cut, shuffled about, or just early ideas that never made it far beyond these mentions in the code. But with their existence in the beta build, it stands to reason that the developers wouldn’t just toss in the code for no reason, suggesting that people will end up being able to play as them. The list found by dataminers includes Ant-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Falcon, Kate Bishop, Mar-Vell (the original Captain Marvel, although whether or not this will be inspired by the film’s take on the character is unknown), Mockingbird, Quake (a.k.a. Agents of SHIELD’s Daisy Johnson), Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk, Vision, War Machine, Wasp, and the Winter Soldier.
What’s interesting is that, should the datamine turn out to be indicative of Marvel’s Avengers’ future, the game has the potential to really become the expansive, cinematic experience that Marvel’s big foray back into gaming in recent years has been hoping to be since the release of Marvel’s Spider-Man — and something that would make Avengers feel like something more than just a grittier take on the Marvel Ultimate Alliance franchise.
That being said, the additional Avengers could end up being dropped into the game with nothing but a few helpful cutscenes that establish who they are without making them integral parts of Marvel’s Avengers’ plot. That wouldn’t necessarily be the worst thing in the world, but it’s almost certainly not what people are going to want when the game drops on September 4.