Everything We Know About ‘Marathon,’ Bungie’s Mystery Game Revealed At Last

by 24USATVMay 25, 2023, 7 p.m. 13
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For months, years even, there has been a slate of veteran Destiny developers and new hires at Bungie with “working on REDACTED” in their profiles. As of this Wednesday, that is now over. One of the (few) highlights of PlayStation’s showcase yesterday was the reveal of Marathon, Bungie’s mystery PvP game that will be their next non-Destiny game, out some time in the next few years.

Marathon, of course, is a classic pre-Halo Bungie title, but now it’s been transformed into a PvP extraction shooter, chasing Sony’s live service dreams, drawing on Bungie’s long history of tight gunplay and fun combat. There was actually a surprising amount of information revealed yesterday about the game, albeit we only had concept art and a cinematic trailer to go on, to get its overall vibe which is a hyper-stylized techno-thriller, if I had to make up a phrase for it.

So, here’s what we know about Marathon:
• Marathon is a PvP extraction shooter where you can either play solo or in a squad of three. Extraction shooters, like Escape from Tarkov, the most prominent example, have players doing “runs” to acquire gear and make it to an extraction point with as much as they can take with them, fighting other players in the process.
• Marathon will have cross-save and crossplay between PS5, Xbox Series X and PC, as it is not Sony-exclusive, despite its new ownership of Bungie. It is indeed next-gen only.
• While Marathon will have some sort of narrative, it does not have a PvE campaign or content. It is a wholly PvP experience. While Marathon will “pay tribute” to the original game and use some elements from the lore, it is not a remake or sequel in any capacity.
• Marathon is not a hero-based game, it will feature customizable player characters, “Runners,” that can be built up as you play. In addition to fighting other players, there are at least some amount of AI enemies populating the map. An example was given of players exploring a flooded underground character and encountering some Big Bad from the original Marathon.
• Marathon is repeatedly described as featuring “player-driven stories” which usually means that the action in each game will be unique and dictate a “story” of each run. But in Marathon there appears to be a more literal meaning, as it’s been described that players can change the shape of the game by unlocking new areas. A single team may be the first ones to figure out how to use an alien artifact to open a new zone for everyone, was the example given.
• Marathon is going hard on PvP stability and security. It will be a rare modern game to have dedicated servers. It will have disconnect protection. It will have a dedicated security team.
• Marathon is in fact where a number of high profile Bungie developers have gone, including much of Destiny 2’s old PvP team. Christopher Barrett is the game director, and this is indeed “Matter,” the IP that has been gestating and Bungie for a long while (but not the only one).
• Marathon, like most modern PvP games will have seasons, and those seasons will have some sort of theme/story component to them.
• Marathon does not have a release date, nor really a release window, past Bungie saying a long while ago that the plan was to have a new IP out by 2025. This is that IP. Bungie has specifically said that from here, they will be going dark about Marathon until it’s much closer to release, and there will be alphas, betas and such for the game before launch. Again, no timetable, though I’d expect more in early/mid 2024, if I had to guess.

I think that’s most of the major stuff. There may not be too much more to come for a while now, given what they’ve said. It’s nice to see this revealed at last, and there will be a lot more to say down the road.

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