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SYFY WIRE the Avengers

Gaming: Kate Bishop takes aim at Marvel’s Avengers; The Boys play Baby Laser Tag; more

By Benjamin Bullard
Kate Bishop in Marvels Avengers game

Marvel’s Avengers is nearly upon us, and publisher Square Enix already has teased that Spider-Man — in an all-new take on your friendly neighborhood wall crawler — will be part of the game’s post-launch plans. But today, developer Crystal Dynamics also drew the bow to reveal another Marvel character who’ll come shooting out of the gate as a piece of future DLC.

Debuting a new Kate Bishop preview trailer as part of today’s final War Table webcast before the game releases later this week, Marvel’s female Hawkeye was unveiled as its first post-launch playable character. No date for the ace archer’s expansion was revealed, but when she arrives on Marvel's Avengers, Kate (voiced by Ashly Burch) will join the starting six main character cast, which features Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Kamala Khan, and Hulk. She’ll join the hunt to track down Clint Barton (voiced by Giacomo Gianniotti), revealed in July to also be a playable character sometime after the game arrives.

More Marvel heroes are destined to join the Avengers as future DLC add-ons, but the developer said in its digital presentation that, in light of the passing of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, it had “altered what we are showing today,” out of “respect for a fallen true hero” — and did not elaborate on future character corssovers. As for Kate Bishop, she’ll bring her own unique set of lore-specific abilities and weapons, with additional upgrades waiting for players to unlock by completing mission tasks.

In addition to Kate’s debut, the studio also teased more of the game’s larger plan to keep the action going once the solo story campaign is over. The online-based "Avengers Initiative" is a slowly-unfolding campaign designed to “evolve over time for years to come,” according to Crystal Dynamics’ Meagan Marie, expanding alongside freshly-updated content — including new maps areas, new heroes, and new bad guys — “to a much larger series of story arcs” that keep the game going long after the single-player story ends.

The wait’s almost over: Marvel’s Avengers assembles for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, and PC on Sept. 4.

Remember that moment in Season 1 of The Boys when Billy Butcher uses a V-powered superhero baby to mow down Vought’s thugs by having the little Cyclops shoot heat-vision beams from its eyes? Kinda hard to forget, right?

Now that infant’s powers of incineration are coming to the real world, sort of, thanks to Baby Laser Tag, a new AR-based mobile game set in The Boys’ rambunctious story world. While Amazon’s trailer doesn’t show off any gameplay, it definitely piques our interest (and our funny bone) with a riff on a home-shopping infomercial that takes a horrifyingly hilarious turn — as it should, since Vought’s behind it:

Teased by Amazon as “the AR-enabled game that puts the ‘super’ in destroying superheroes with a laser-eyed baby,” Baby Laser Tag appears to be exactly what it sounds like, and comes just ahead of The Boys' Season 2 premiere this weekend. Think of it as a tongue-in-cheek FPS, only one that features a matter-melting baby as your point-and-shoot protector.

Baby Laser Tag is available now for both iOS and Android platforms. As for Season 2 of The Boys, strap in tight: the first three episodes debut Sept. 4 at Amazon Prime.

Ah, it’s good to see (and hear) Dutch stalking the jungle once again. Arnold Schwarzenegger already has done one voiceover turn as an older version of the Predator icon as part of Predator: Hunting Grounds post-launch DLC, but now he’s back — he’s really baaaaack — in his 1980s fighting form as the Dutch who played a violent game of cat-and-mouse with the alien invader in John McTiernan’s original movie.

Yep, that’s Arnold doing the talking, and it’s as if he never left — even though, until this year, Predator marked his only appearance in the franchise. Starting today, Dutch ’87 (as developer IllFonic has dubbed him) arrives as a premium Fireteam character, alongside early access to a new Mercenary weapon set to unlock later this month.

The new DLC includes Schwarzenegger’s “custom voice lines and 8 tints, as well as early access to the Mercenary weapon and 3 weapon tints,” IllFonic teases — but really, they had us at “Dutch ’87.” The Arnold-powered update is available now for Predator: Hunting Grounds for PlayStation 4 and PC.