Here was the biggest surprise of tonight’s PlayStation Showcase: Bungie are rebooting Marathon, their first-person shooter series that first launched on Apple Macintosh in 1994. You can watch the first trailer below.
It sounds as if this reboot isn’t hewing too closely to the original, going by an interview with game director Christopher Barrett on the PlayStation blog.
“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,” says Barrett. “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.”
The changes extend as far as Marathon not having a singleplayer campaign. Instead, it’s “designed from the start as a PvP-focused game,” says Barrett. They’re aiming to create player-driven stories in “persistent, evolving zones” in which players are “vying for the same loot.” So more Destiny than Halo – or Marathon – I guess.
Marathon was a technologically marvel back in 1994, featuring a 3D-rendered world with texture mapped surfaces. It also had some of the hallmarks of Bungie’s later, more mainstream successes such as Halo and Destiny. You played a security officer aboard a colony ship trying to stop an alien invasion, and the plot was more detailed and present than in most shooters from the era.
It also sounds like it’s relatively early days in development, with no release date and talk of hiring more folks to help with development.
Sony bought Bungie last year for $3.6 billion.