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Gaming: Marvel’s Avengers embrace their powers; Stadia shows off new titles; more

By Benjamin Bullard
The characters of the Marvel's Avengers video game

Marvel and Square Enix might be making us wait a little longer to suit up with the Avengers, but at least we’re getting our first true gameplay glimpses at how Thor will look while he’s wielding his hammer against the bad guys (and how Hulk will look while he’s smashing stuff). 

Square Enix and developer Crystal Dynamics showed off a new “Embrace Your Powers” gameplay trailer today for its upcoming Marvel’s Avengers, and in addition to some previously-seen cinematics, the clip delivers an all-new, in-game peek at how each of its core five playable characters can deploy their unique abilities in battle. 

Kamala Khan, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, and Iron Man — they’re all assembled here, and it’s pretty easy to see how each character’s gameplay and fighting style will stand apart from the others (just contrast Kamala’s big-handed smack action against Cap’s time-tested shield-bouncing moves.) 

Check it out below:

The trailer marks the first new footage to land since the publisher announced Avengers would be pushed nearly four months from its originally-scheduled May 15 release date — a delay the studio made sure to promise would be “worth the wait.” Earth’s mightiest heroes put the power in your hands when Marvel’s Avengers assemble on Sept. 4.

Google just unveiled a quintet of upcoming Stadia games — three of which will be arriving on the platform before they show up anywhere else. The list includes a pair of modern-day updates to sci-fi favorites, including a graphics-enhanced refresh of Sega Saturn classic Panzer Dragoon

The new, remade version of Panzer Dragoon, says Google, is “true to the original, with improved graphics and controls, that suit modern gaming standards.” Which is great — but then again, any game that successfully managed on its first attempt to combine retro-tech, dragon-mounted combat, and a story that unfolds in another world’s post-apocalypse is more than due for a refresh.

Stadia will also be home to an updated version of the Serious Sam Collection bundle, which includes three games in the cocky sci-fi shooter series: Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter, Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter, and Serious Sam 3: BFE. Check out the trailer:

Heading the trio of Stadia-first timed exclusives is a new 2D fantasy puzzle game called Lost Words: Beyond the Page, which you can glimpse in the clip below:

In addition, Stadia will also be the first platform to host Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks), which Google describes as “a zany 3D tower builder,” as well as Spitlings, a multiplayer “action arcade chaos game” that combines old-school head-to-head gameplay with “modern design sensibility.”

Finally, the next generation of gaming consoles is getting one of its earliest game previews with the reveal trailer for Outriders, a sci-fi shooter from Square Enix and developer People Can Fly. The upcoming game leans heavily into the dystopian side of science fiction as a way to amp up its characters’ abilities, with your multiplayer band of namesake “outriders” awakening from a 30-year cryo-sleep on an alien planet with mysterious new superhero-like powers. 

That means you’ll be doing plenty of fire-conjuring and enemy-freezing in addition to the typical running and gunning, as you can see for yourself in the reveal trailer below:

Described as a co-op RPG shooter for 1-3 players with “rich storytelling spanning a diverse world,” Outriders combines “intense gunplay with violent powers and an arsenal of increasingly twisted weaponry and gear-sets,” and the trailer gives off a futuristic-yet-gritty vibe that recalls the feel of spacey sci-fi forerunners like Destiny and Mass Effect.

There’s an official reveal streaming event today at 3 p.m. ET for the world gameplay premiere of Outriders, which you can follow on Twitch. As for the game itself, Outriders is targeting a “holiday 2020” release for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 ,Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC.