Marvel's Avengers: How the Marvel Cinematic Universe Inspired the Game's Thor

It is not long now until the Marvel's Avengers video game releases as it is set to drop on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia this coming Friday, September 4th. At that point, folks will be able to run through the whole thing themselves and be able to piece together what inspirations the developers took and from what, and it should come as no surprise that Thor, specifically, took a significant chunk of inspiration from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thanks, it seems in large part, to his hammer, Mjolnir.

"Early on, we focused intensely on what Mjolnir does when it hits the enemy," states Vince Napoli, Lead Combat Designer on Marvel's Avengers at Crystal Dynamics, in an official post from the development team about the character. "We all know what it should do - when Thor swings his hammer at someone, it should essentially carry them off into the sunset! We wanted to capture that fantastical feel and make the weapon worthy of the name. So we invested a lot of time, energy and technology into developing this core system that lets you ‘pin’ things to the hammer. And it works! We can literally pin anything to it. So at a basic level, you can throw it at an enemy and stick them to the wall!"

“We took direct inspiration from the first Thor movie - particularly the scene when he uses Mjolnir to pin Loki to the ground," continues Napoli. "That simple moment sparked ideas for all sorts of crazy combat moves. For example, it’s also dynamic so if you line it up correctly, you can pin an enemy with Mjolnir, and if it hits another enemy it’ll bring them into the group too. You can basically create a little pile of enemies, with the hammer sticking them to the ground. That was really the starting point for us. Mjolnir acted exactly as you expect it to, and it felt authentically ‘Thor.’ It gave us a target to strive for - from that point everything the character did had to feel just as good."

This is far from the first time the developers have cited MCU influences, of course. And with Thor, specifically, the team previously referred to the movie Thor: Ragnarok as a big inspiration for the character. Given the presence of the films in the pop culture lexicon, it should really come as no surprise to see some aspects of them rub off on the video game.

In case you missed it, Marvel's Avengers recently announced a third War Table stream is set to premiere on September 1st at 1PM ET/10AM PT. This is, of course, just before the actual release on September 4th. The new War Table is expected to focus on post-launch content and even reveal a new playable hero, though there is no telling exactly which character it might be at this point as there are still several rumored characters coming that have yet to be officially confirmed.


Marvel's Avengers, from publisher Square Enix and developer Crystal Dynamics, is scheduled to release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia on September 4th. It is also set to release on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X later this year. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the Marvel-branded title right here.

Are you looking forward to the game's release? Did you get a chance to play in the beta? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things gaming!