Square Enix and developer Crystal Dynamics' troubled superhero action romp Marvel's Avengers expands next month with the long-awaited arrival of new playable hero Black Panther, coming to PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Stadia on 16th August.
Black Panther is the third new playable hero to be added to the game since its launch last year, and follows the arrival of two distinct Hawkeye incarnations in the form of Kate Bishop and Clint Barton. Just like his predecessors, Black Panther is a free addition to Marvel's Avengers and will be accompanied by his own story campaign.
War for Wakanda, as the campaign is known, focusses on current Black Panther and ruler of Wakanda, King T'Challa. "Blindsided by a betrayal and the resulting tragedy," teases Square Enix, "T'Challa finds it difficult to entrust his duty to anyone else, even his sister Shuri... When arch-villain Klaw's forces threaten Wakanda's safety, T'Challa must take the fight right to them to defend everything and everyone he holds dear."
Players will be able to explore a brand-new environment, the lush jungles of Wakanda, as part of the Black Panther expansion, as well as the Royal Palace, a new Outpost overlooking Birnin Zana. The update also brings two new villains, new enemies, plus new solo and multiplayer Drop Zone and Threat Sector missions - which Square says is the most content added to the game since launch day.
Ahead of Black Panther's arrival on 16th August, Marvel's Avengers is having a free trial weekend on Steam, PlayStation, and Stadia, starting today, 29th July and running until 1st August (Square says a similar event will be held on Xbox "in the coming months").
There's 40% off the game throughout the event - putting the price at around £18 on Steam and £27 on consoles (Xbox is included here) - and Square is holding various other accompanying activities too, including a 400% experience bonus for players, and a 50% discount sale for the in-game Marketplace.
Today's Black Panther news makes no mention of another long-awaited hero, Spider-Man, who was revealed to be coming to Marvel's Avengers as a PlayStation exclusive in "early 2021" prior to the game's launch last August. Crystal Dynamics' studio head Scot Amos moved to address Spider-Man's conspicuous absence earlier this year, making it clear that while the character was "still on [its] roadmap for the future", Black Panther was the studio's priority.
Hopefully with Black Panther now poised for release, it won't be long before Spidey fans finally get an update on his whereabouts.