Bungie revealed its newest title, Marathon, at the 2023 PlayStation May Showcase. However, this is not a new game (sort of). Rather, it's a revival of one of their oldest sci-fi trilogies, which dates back to 1994-1996, before the likes of Halo and Destiny. The original game takes place in space, and see's the player playing as a security officer attempting to stop an alien invasion aboard the colony ship “Marathon”. After 27 years, Bungie is resurrecting the title, but this time as a PvP extraction shooter.
As you could guess, the announcement has left the gaming community in shock. And, while it is unlikely to appear on our screens for some time, fans are eager to learn everything they can about the game. That's exactly where we come in. So, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Bungie's latest project, Marathon.
What is Marathon?
Marathon is the latest title in development by Bungie, and although not a direct sequel to the original Marathon series from 1994-1996, it is set in the same universe. The re-imagined vision of Marathon in today's age is an extraction PvP shooter, most akin to Escape From Tarkov. Where you load into a map, with 1-3 other players in Marathon's case, and fight to acquire valuable gear with the goal of eventually extracting your assets. Your valuables can then be re-invested in your character and armory.
Extraction shooters offer a more tactical type of PvP compared to that of a battle royale. Without the circle chocking players in close proximity to each other, you and your squad have to be aware of all angles across the map, as any team could be anywhere. However, you will have to be concerned about more than just other players, “We're building a rich, immersive world with plenty of opportunities for exploration and conflict — both against other players and AI-controlled enemies,” says Game Director Christopher Barrett.
Since Marathon is a PvP-focused game that won't feature a single-player campaign, there's no direct story arch to work off of. However, that doesn't mean there's no plot or lore to work with.
“The heart of Marathon’s gameplay experience is PvP but it isn’t the entire story. We’re building a rich, immersive world that will have ample opportunities for exploration and conflict – both against other players and AI-controlled enemies. Combine that with the different objectives and motivations that players will have for each run, as well as the narrative doors that can be unlocked as players discover things and accomplish tasks, and it creates this really rich palette of gameplay possibilities that will only continue to grow and evolve.” says Barrett.
Marathon will take place on the planet of Tau Ceti IV. The world itself is a desolate wasteland abandoned by 30,000 souls. As a “Runner,” you'll be able to explore the world's secrets, mysteries, and threats while developing “player-driven stories.”
“we’re creating opportunities for player-driven stories to unfold, stories that are integrated with the overarching game narrative. We’re building a world full of persistent, evolving zones, where players create their own journey with every run they take.” Say's Barret. Who goes on to explain, “For example, imagine a crew discovering a previously undiscovered artifact that, when activated, opens a new area of the map for all players to explore.”
We already know that Marathon is a 1-3 extraction-based PvP game with AI enemy PvE elements. Where players compete to acquire weapons, aliens, artifacts, and other equipment in the hopes of eventually extracting with it. However, Barret teased that there are multiple ways to “win” in Marathon, and “only some of them require getting out alive”. However, the game's director couldn't go into specifics about how that works just yet.
Barret did go on to say that they want the game's survival and extraction gameplay to be “fun, clear, and easy to understand. We want people to quickly understand fundamentals like healing, or oxygen, or how to organize their gear.”
Given Bungie's previous title, Destiny 2, players are also wondering if the “Runners” will have hero abilities, as well as what weapons and gear they'll have at their disposal. We can confirm that Marathon is not a hero shooter, however, we can't say if there will be in-game items that will grant us abilities to help us in the fight, or not. Furthermore, no information has been released regarding the type of weaponry or armor at our disposal. But we're still far out from release, so news on that should come in due time.
From what we can tell, Marathon is still early in its development. The games General Manager Scott Taylor says “There’s still a lot of work to do before launch or even before we’re ready to talk about the game in more detail. ” After all, this is Bungies “first completely new project in more than a decade.”
Taylor goes on to say “I know that fans are interested in learning more about Marathon. Believe me, we can’t wait to show you more. And while I can’t give a timeline on when that information will be coming what I can say is this: The next time you hear from us about Marathon, we’ll be able to show you the gameplay and will be much closer to launch.”
Marathon was unveiled during the 2023 PlayStation May Showcase with a CGI trailer. Though it doesn't reveal much, it does pique our interest in what's to come.
Release Date, Platforms, Editions
Since Marathon is still in the early stages of its development, Bungie has yet to share a release date or window. However, what we do know is that Marathon will release for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X. Moreover, the game will feature full cross-play and cross-save support. All of which sounds like music to our ears.