Bungie is best known as the studio behind Halo and Destiny, but before it did any of that, it made Marathon, a groundbreaking FPS released in 1994 for the Apple Macintosh. During today’s PlayStation Showcawe, the studio made the surprise announcement that Marathon is coming back, but it won’t be quite the game it was 30 years ago.
“A massive ghost ship hangs in low orbit over a lost colony on Tau Ceti IV,” the Marathon website says, setting the stage for the game’s narrative backdrop. “The 30,000 souls who call this place home have disappeared without a trace. Strange signals hint at mysterious artifacts, long-dormant AI, and troves of untold riches. You are a Runner, venturing into the unknown in a fight for fame… and infamy. Who among you will write their names across the stars?”
That’s right, Marathon is now an extraction shooter, in which players will “compete for survival, riches, and renown in a world of evolving, persistent zones, where any run can lead to greatness.”
To be honest, I’m a little disappointed to see the new Marathon go in that direction. The original is a complex, narrative-based singleplayer FPS, and I can’t help but feel like a sequel, even this many years down the road, should follow in those footsteps. A proper new Marathon game is an exciting prospect—an extraction shooter take on the game is, well, another extraction shooter.
Still, Bungie knows a thing or two about multiplayer shooters, and this is its first non-Destiny game since 2014—that’s almost 10 years. Bungie said way back in 2019 that it wanted to release a non-Destiny game at some point before 2025, and began hiring for a new “multiplayer action game” in 2021. This is the first real evidence of action on that front, and even if it’s not quite the game I was hoping for, that makes it exciting.
Marathon is being developed for PC, Xbox Series X-S, and PlayStation 5, and will feature full crossplay and cross-save functionality. There’s no release date yet, but you can sign up to stay posted at marathonthegame.com.