Exclusive – Bungie’s Marathon gameplay episode, features, progression, and more

Late last year, Insider Gaming exclusively reported early details on Bungie’s new Marathon game and now we’re approaching our sources for more in-depth details.

If you weren’t aware, Bungie’s next shooter dubbed “Marathon” was officially revealed at this year’s PlayStation Show with a short CGI trailer. Bungie’s Brian Ekberg went in-depth on what Marathon entails, including confirming all the details we reported on previously.

So what exactly is a marathon? Marathon is a 3-person shooter with features that you might find familiar if you’ve played games like Escape From Tarkov. However, if you’re not a fan of playing as a team, it’s understandable that you can hop onto the server as a duo or solo if you wish, but you’ll still encounter larger teams. It seems that extraction without your team is also an advantage.

One of the biggest and controversial features within the game is the oxygen system. All players have a limited oxygen supply that basically works like a countdown timer for a match – once a player runs out of oxygen, you start to lose health. The goal is to extract before they run out of oxygen and health, but players can also find O2 canisters in a match, or buy them later at an outrageous market price before heading into battle.

The oxygen system is also somewhat related to the marathon injury system, with some injuries causing the player to experience various effects. Shooting in the waist, for example, can damage your oxygen supply, causing it to be depleted more quickly. Another example given is being hit by a concussion, which causes the player’s screen to flicker periodically.

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If your oxygen supply becomes too much of a constraint, a marathon endurance and benefit system can solve that. We’re all familiar with perks and abilities in shooter games now, so I won’t bore you, but yeah, perks include the likes of faster revives, less O2 usage, faster movement in water, etc. Abilities are more game – variable and powerful, allowing the likes of night vision to pinpoint the outlines of an enemy. The further the player progresses, the more perks and abilities they unlock.

Several interesting details mentioned several times by sources is that Bungie intended it to be the “ultimate live service” marathon. To achieve this, the team is aiming to reduce load times, with one source saying the team is aiming to get single-digit load times from “standby” to server play. For the reboot, it was said that the Marathon maps will contain plenty of secrets for players to explore – presumably new secrets will appear on the maps throughout the games’ seasons.

The basic gameplay loop in Marathon is as follows:

  • Choose your missions (to complete in the game)
  • Buy/choose your gear/perks/abilities/gear
  • fell into the server
  • Hunt for loot / complete quests / explore and find secrets
  • Extracts
  • Spend XP on updates
  • repeats

The game features three different types of items, loot, implants, and perks. In the current game, permadeath is an advantage, but it is understood that players will only lose their loot (weapons, artifacts, coins, etc.) while implants are sometimes lost and perks are never lost.

It’s understood that Bungie is currently developing three different Marathon maps, but if they release at launch remains to be seen.

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No release date for Marathon is currently set, but it will launch on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S and PC.


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