Bungie revives Marathon for a new sci-fi extraction shooter

Bungie revives Marathon for a new sci-fi extraction shooter

Old name, new game

You might just remember that before Destiny, and before Halo, Bungie had Marathon. Almost two decades later, Marathon is back, as Bungie is reviving the franchise for its new PvP sci-fi extraction shooter.

Revealed during today’s PlayStation Showcase, Marathon is a completely new project for the team. It will pit players against each other as cybernetic mercenaries called Runners, battling for riches and fame.

The question of “how does this relate to the original Marathon” is valid, and a little vague. Over on the PlayStation Blog, game director Christopher Barrett expands on how this relates to the 1994 to 1996 Marathon series.

“We have a tremendous amount of respect for the original Marathon games and, from the very start, we’ve wanted to honor that, especially the mythology, story, and themes of the world,” Barrett said. “At the same time, our vision for this game is something new. It’s not a direct sequel to the originals, but something that certainly belongs in the same universe and that feels like a Bungie game. Finding those opportunities to nod to the universe’s lore, while also getting to build something different and new has been one of the best parts of developing this game so far.”

So it’s new, but old; inspired by the classic, but creating something new with it. As Barrett goes on to say, Bungie is making something for both new players and those that have been waiting years for more stories in the Marathon universe. There will apparently be references and “deep cuts,” too.

It’s a marathon

Barrett and general manager Scott Taylor confirm a few more things about Marathon in the PlayStation Blog. It’s in development for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. It’s a PvP-focused game, and won’t have a single-player campaign. However, Marathon will have a opportunities for “player-driven stories” to unfold. It sounds like these are the sorts of stories that evolve out of tense firefights and extractions, the “share around the water cooler” style of story.

But they also want to have players affect the persistent zones and larger world as a result of their actions. They offer the example of a crew finding an undiscovered artifact, that could open a new area of the map for players to explore. “In essence, we’re creating a game where the actions of players can have ramifications for the world and players with each unfolding season,” Barrett says.

There’s no details in terms of a launch window or anything like that, though Taylor says that the next time we hear about Marathon, Bungie will be able to show gameplay and be “much closer” to launch. We’ll see what Bungie has in store for its old-new shooter around then.

Eric Van Allen

Senior News Reporter – While Eric’s been writing about games since 2014, he’s been playing them for a lot longer. Usually found grinding RPG battles, digging into an indie gem, or hanging out around the Limsa Aethryte.

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