Last year, during the studio’s launch edition of the Marvel’s Avengers War Table, Crystal Dynamics mentioned that due to the unfortunate passing of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, it altered one of its announcements that was scheduled for around that time. The screen then faded to a Black Panther emblem, seeming to hint that the announcement was that the king of Wakanda was heading to the hero roster at some point in the future. Today, Crystal Dynamics officially announced that Black Panther is joining Marvel’s Avengers later this year.
Black Panther joins the Avengers as a part of the War for Wakanda expansion. In addition to adding the Wakandan king as a new playable hero, this release also adds new hero outfits, a power level cap increase, new villains (including Black Panther’s longtime adversary Klaw), new Klaw faction enemies, a new story, a new Wakandan Jungle Biome, and a new outpost. The story seems to center around Klaw working with AIM’s Scientist Supreme to stage a full-scale invasion of Wakanda to steal the country’s vibranium. Presumably, Black Panther would work alongside the Avengers to battle the forces led by Klaw to protect the country as well as prevent AIM from retrieving the near-indestructible metal.
Most notably, War for Wakanda is called an expansion, rather than an Operation, as we saw the post-launch stories to this point labeled. “An Operation like Kate Bishop or an Operation with Clint, those are generally much smaller,” Crystal Dynamics studio head Scot Amos says. “When you get to an expansion, this is a whole new area, like, you’ve never been here before; this is walking into an area like, ‘What in the world?’ and you’re in this whole new Wakanda jungle biome that has new architecture, that has new outposts, that has new enemies, that has new NPCs. Just the scope of stuff that’s new and it being a completely new location, for us, when we talk about an expansion, there’s an expectation we’re setting for ourselves and for players that this is bigger than an Operation; this isn’t just a hero drop.”
Despite the difference in nomenclature, don’t worry; it’s still free to all players. “As long as you own the core game, you get Kate, Clint, and Black Panther; you get their Operations and you get the expansion,” Amos says.
For those who are excited for the introduction of Spider-Man into the PlayStation version of Marvel’s Avengers, Amos can’t say much right now. “PR has allowed me to say that we have people working on Spider-Man right now,” he says. “It is a thing and it will be a thing, and we will talk about it sometime in the future.”
Black Panther is set to arrive as a part of the War for Wakanda expansion later this year. For more on Marvel’s Avengers’ 2021, check out the roadmap laid out by the team.