Marvel’s Avengers beta starts next week, Hawkeye is first post-launch hero

Everyone will be given a chance to play Marvel’s Avengers for free next month, with a massive beta that also includes Fortnite extras.

According to a recent survey Marvel’s Avengers is the second most anticipated game of 2020, behind Cyberpunk 2077, but thanks to the coronavirus it’s not something that’s seen any hands-on previews since almost a year ago now.

All that will change on 7 August though, when a public beta will start and run across the next three weekends – depending on whether you’ve pre-ordered the game or not.

The beta includes the tutorial style sequence on the Golden Gate bridge, that we played last year, and which lasts around half an hour. There’s also two single-player hero stages and a variety of smaller single-player and co-op missions.

The hero stages start with Ms. Marvel and the Hulk in the American North West, while the second moves to the Russian tundra and features Hulk bad guy Abomination.

The beta doesn’t end then though, as once you’ve beaten those three story segments you’ll then unlock Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, and Ms. Marvel to play in a range of co-op missions for up to four players, including a wave-based survival mode.

You can earn experience and upgrade an abridged version of each hero’s skill tree as you play, just like the real thing, plus there’s a unique beta nameplate you can acquire that can be used in the final version.

Not only that, but if you like your Square Enix Members and Epic Games accounts and beat the three HARM room challenges (essentially VR missions) you’ll get a Hulk Smashers pickaxe and Hulkbuster style in Fortnite.

The news was announced during the latest War Table livestream event, where it was also revealed that Legolas fan Hawkeye will become the first playable post-launch addition to the game.

The idea is that new superheroes will be added for free on a regular basis and since Hank Pym, aka Ant-Man, has already been spotted in trailers there’s likely to be plenty of hints in the full game as to who else is next.

The beta starts on 7 August, but the first weekend is only for those that have pre-ordered the game on PlayStation 4. The second weekend (14 to 16 August) is for those that have pre-ordered on Xbox One and PC, while the third weekend (21 to 23 August) is open to everyone.

Marvel’s Avengers itself is, after a sizeable delay, due to launch on 4 September for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 versions have also been confirmed but will be a free upgrade if you buy the current gen versions first.

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