We finally know when Marvel’s Avengers will receive its next major expansion after a long period of uncertainty: War for Wakanda launches for free on August 17.
As the name suggests, this update introduces Black Panther—voiced by the inimitable Chris Judge—to the game’s extensive cast of Marvel superheroes. He’s the third post-launch character to join Marvel’s Avengers after Hawkeye duo Kate Bishop and Clint Barton were added in previous expansions, which also makes him the first to arrive without wielding a bow. Spider-Man is set to drop on PlayStation consoles at some point, but details on his debut are still being kept under wraps.
War for Wakanda, in addition to the big cat in the room, adds a new chapter to the Marvel’s Avengers story concerning T’Challa’s efforts to defend his hidden kingdom. Of course, a new superhero calls for a new supervillain, which means perennial Black Panther foe Klaw will also skulk about in search of the nation’s vibranium stockpile. Evan Narcisse, former Kotaku staffer and now super-famous comic book author, is consulting on the narrative.
“I want to double down on the idea that this is its own iteration of the Black Panther mythos,” Narcisse told Entertainment Weekly last month. “Even if you know the comics and can quote the movie by heart, there are still going to be some surprises.”
Marvel’s Avengers itself entered a free-to-play period on PlayStation, PC, and Stadia today that allows those who haven’t yet had a chance to check out the game play for free through August 1. The developers at Crystal Dynamics have boosted experience gains by 400 percent for all players, and progress will carry over to the full game once the promotion ends. Xbox players were left in the cold this time around but will eventually get their own all-access pass “in the coming months.”
More information on War for Wakanda is planned for an August 16 update to the game’s War Table blog, so stay tuned.