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Bungie reveals more about Marathon after fans solve ARG hidden in trailer

Seasonal storytelling, dedicated servers, and more

Oli Welsh is senior editor, U.K., providing news, analysis, and criticism of film, TV, and games. He has been covering the business & culture of video games for two decades.

Bungie has released a ViDoc video detailing a little more of its mysterious extraction shooter Marathon after a puzzle hidden in the game’s teaser trailer was solved by the Destiny community in a matter of hours.

Adding to the trailer, website, and PlayStation Blog interview revealed as part of Wednesday’s PlayStation Showcase, the ViDoc features members of the Marathon development team talking about the game, plus some unseen concept art.

Marathon will be a player-versus-player, team-based extraction shooter in which squads of cybernetic Runners compete to retrieve mysterious artifacts, implants, and weapons from a hostile environment on Tau Ceti IV. Players will be able to make a wide range of aesthetic and gameplay modifications to their Runners.

There’ll be a narrative, divided into seasons, that will be furthered by the actions of players in persistent gameplay zones. In the video, game director Christopher Barrett gives the example of one crew being the first to find an alien key that opens up the next zone. They’re memorialized for the feat in the game — and they have to figure out how to unlock that zone for other players.

Artifact pieces will combine into bigger and more powerful artifacts, so there’ll be a continuous risk/reward balance in choosing to stay longer and risk one last battle to try to improve your haul.

Bungie is committing to dedicated servers, disconnect recovery, and tight security to guarantee the integrity and fairness of Marathon. There’ll also be fog of war implemented in the game. “Without those elements, none of this matters,” said general manager Scott Taylor.

Marathon is just about to begin internal alpha testing at Bungie. Taylor said that now the game is revealed, the development team will go dark “for an extended period.” When it resurfaces, the game will be much closer to launch, and the studio will be ready to share gameplay.

The ViDoc was unlocked in short order after Bungie fans noticed a QR code hidden in the teaser trailer and scanned it to reveal an in-universe website, sekiguchigenetics.jp.

This led to an alternate reality game puzzle, which was solved by a team of members of the Destiny community, including Destiny 2 streamer Skarrow9. If you’re interested in how it all went down, Skarrow9 has posted a video about how they solved the puzzle to YouTube.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.