Everything We’ve Learned From Bungie About Marathon

    One of the biggest surprises from PlayStation’s recent May 2023 Showcase was the announcement of Bungie’s next game, Marathon. Before Halo and Destiny, Marathon was their first major IP-turned-franchise. Originally released for the Apple Macintosh in 1994, Marathon focused on a security officer attempting to stop an invasion onboard the titular colony ship. Many aspects of the game would be borrowed as Bungie moved on to work on both Halo and Destiny. But today, they are finally bringing back one of their oldest franchises.

    Here is everything that Bungie has said so far about Marathon.

    Extraction Shooter

    Marathon Key Art

    The official press release for Marathon unveiled many new details about the upcoming release. Marathon is “a PvP-focused extraction shooter set on the mysterious planet of Tau Ceti IV; Marathon will see players inhabit the bodies of Runners, cybernetic mercenaries who have been designed to survive the planet’s harsh environments, exploring the lost colony that once inhabited Tau Ceti’s surface. Players will engage solo or in crews of three, searching for mysterious alien artifacts, as well as for valuable loot and new weapons and gear that they can add to their collection.”

    This press release indicates that Marathon would follow a similar gameplay style as Destiny. Much like Bungie’s biggest game, Marathon would have fireteams of up to three people and involve players having to hunt down loot and new weapons. Where Marathon differs in Destiny, however, is in the genre. Marathon will be an “extraction shooter.”

    An extraction shooter is sort of similar to a battle royale. Both games are contingent on the players trying to survive against other players. However, where extraction shooters differ from battle royales is in the execution of that goal. Whereas battle royales are about killing the opposition, extraction shooters are about obtaining loot. Games like The Division or Escape from Tarkov incentivize the player to adopt a more careful playstyle so that they can get as much loot as possible before escaping.

    It’ll be interesting to see how Bungie adapts this style for Marathon and how they expand on an untraditional PvP genre.

    You Are a Runner

    Screenshot from the Marathon trailer

    The official Bungie website gives some story information as well. “A massive ghost ship hangs in low orbit over a lost colony. The 30,000 souls who called this world home have disappeared without a trace. Strange signals hint at rumors of mysterious artifacts, long-dormant AI, and troves of untold riches. You are a cybernetic mercenary – a Runner – and your destination is Tau Ceti IV. You are one of many, working solo or with a crew, venturing into the unknown and facing the unimaginable in a fight for survival, riches, fame… and infamy. Who among you will write their names across the stars?”

    The website also links to Bungie’s first official behind-the-scenes video for Marathon. The development team talks about how they are looking to build off of Bungie’s past work with Destiny and Halo and how they intend to carry that passion into Marathon.

    The ViDoc unveils a lot of major information that was left out of both the press releases and the website. For one, they talk a bit about the Runners. They are intended to be a combination of “fashion, sci-fi, and cyberpunk.” They mention how the customization options allow for freedom of not just expression but also gameplay styles.

    The World of Marathon

    The trailer also shows some intriguing concept art that coincides with both the atmosphere and “graphic realism” that the new title seems to be going for. One piece of art showcases the treacherous environments of Tau Ceti IV and the many interior environments that the player can explore.


    The game appears to be incredibly ambitious, and the ViDoc highlights the different gameplay and multiplayer possibilities. One Bungie dev talks about how they’ve “had a run where I’ve got all the pieces to get a prime artifact. I could get out. I could win. And then I hear gunfire in a building nearby. And I know I just need one more piece to get that prime. …That’s a decision that we want players to have to make.”

    Release Window

    Marathon Title Card

    The ViDoc ends with details on what Bungie plans to do next with Marathon. They say that they will “go dark for a while…while we focus on developing and playtesting the game. The next time you hear from us, we’re going to be much closer to release, and we will be ready to reveal gameplay.”

    It remains to be seen when the game will come out, but seeing as how they mention in the Behind-the-Scenes clip that they are approaching their first alpha, it won’t be anytime soon.

    Marathon will release on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. It will support cross-platform and cross-saves.

    Stay tuned to Final Weapon for more information on Marathon!

    Saras Rajpal
    Saras Rajpal
    Saras is a passionate creative writer, with a love for immersive sims, superhero games, and Persona. He is currently writing a thesis about Persona 5 and is pursuing a career as a full-time writer.

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