At the PlayStation Showcase 2023, Bungie unveiled their announcement trailer for Marathon, featuring neon colors and futuristic visuals that brought some brightness to our dimly-lit rooms.
Marathon hasn’t seen an addition to its franchise in over twenty-six (!) years, fading into obscurity after the release of Marathon Infinity in 1996. With this new entry adopting the original game’s name, players across social media have been curious whether Marathon is a reboot, sequel, or possibly even a remake.
Is Marathon a Reboot, Sequel, or a Remake?
While its trailer left more questions than answers, general manager Scott Taylor and game director Christopher Barrett revealed more information about Bungie’s exciting new project in an interview with PlayStation Blog.
When asked about Marathon’s link to the 1994 title, Barret explained, “[Marathon is] 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.“
Barret claimed that Marathon will be easily accessible to new players but provide “references and deep cuts [Marathon fans] will recognize.” This places Marathon into the soft reboot category, similar to Santa Monica’s God of War.
Unlike previous Marathon titles, which all featured a single-player campaign, Marathon will focus entirely on Player-versus-Player combat. Bungie’s vision is to tell Marathon’s narrative primarily through “player-based storytelling.”
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“We’re building a world full of persistent, evolving zones, where players create their own journey with every run they take,” Barrett explains when discussing Marathon’s identity as a Bungie game.
“That might mean an unforgettable firefight against another crew vying for the same loot, or a last-second extraction while beset on all sides.”
While the absence of a single-player campaign may be disappointing to some, especially with their recent rise in popularity, I have high hopes for Bungie’s revival of the franchise. It’s clear that the development team is passionate about crafting their first major project since the introduction of Destiny in 2014.
With almost a decade of narrative told through a constantly evolving world, our hope is that Marathon will learn from Destiny’s mishaps and adopt its successes. The fan reception to Cayde-6’s return in the latest Final Shape trailer is precisely what we’d love to see with Marathon in the future.
Alongside Bungie’s two big reveals, PlayStation Showcase 2023 also unveiled Project QSony’s latest handheld device able to stream PlayStation 5 games in 1080p, 60 frames per second. Have them call me when they release another PlayStation Vita.
– This article was updated on May 24th, 2023