Thor lays down the thunder in "Marvel's Avengers."
  • Players can try "Marvel's Avengers" weeks before it releases on September 4 with the ongoing beta program.
  • From August 14 to August 16 PlayStation 4 owners can try the game for free, while PC and Xbox One players can join the closed beta by preordering or applying for beta access.
  • Between August 21 and August 23 the beta will be open to all players on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Fans will get to try "Marvel's Avengers" — the upcoming video game adaptation of the blockbuster comic book and movie franchise — weeks before the game officially launches thanks to an ongoing beta program through the month of August.

Announced in 2017, "Avengers" is an online action game set in an alternate version of Marvel's universe, allowing players to form their own team of four heroes to take on the forces of a nefarious organisation called A.I.M. The beta gives players a snippet of the game's story mode, but focuses primarily on the countless multiplayer missions that allow players to team up, improve their characters, and unlock new costumes and powerups.

Players spend time as Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, and Ms. Marvel (not to be confused with Captain Marvel) during the beta, but only the latter four can be selected for online missions. Each character has a unique playstyle to match their superpowers, ranging from Iron Man's free flight and arsenal of weapons, to Black Widow's grappling hook and hand to hand combat abilities.

The game is developed by Crystal Dynamics, the studio behind the recent reboot of the "Tomb Raider" franchise. In an interview with Business Insider, Crystal Dynamics studio head Scott Atmos said that the combat team tried to design each character as though they were starring in their own action game. Game systems designer Lauryn Ash said the team collaborated closely with Marvel to incorporate the kinds of iconic costumes, personalities, and overall atmosphere that diehard fans expect for their heroes.

"Marvel's Avengers" will continue receiving playable updates after release, including new heroes and story missions. Crystal Dynamics says new heroes will be free for all players, though there is an in-game credit system for unlocking specific costumes.

How to play the "Marvel's Avengers" beta before release

Marvel's Avengers beta will take place between August 14 to 16, then continue from August 21 to 23. According to the game's social media accounts, beta access will typically run from 9 p.m. on Friday in your time zone, until 9 p.m. on Sunday, but exact hours may vary.

August 14 to 16

  • Free open beta for PlayStation 4: Access by downloading the game from the PlayStation Network store.
  • Preorder/closed beta for Xbox One: Players who preorder "Marvel's Avengers" will automatically gain access
  • Preorder/closed beta for Steam/PC: Players who preorder "Marvel's Avengers" will automatically gain access

August 21 to 23

  • Free open beta for PS4, Xbox One, and Steam/PC: Access by downloading the game from your respective digital store front and applying for a Square Enix member account (required to play online).

"Marvel's Avengers" preorder benefits

There are several versions of Marvel's Avengers" available for sale. Preordering any version will get you access to the beta, while the Deluxe Edition will also let you play the game three days early on September 1, instead of its listed release date of September 4.

The Deluxe Edition also includes an exclusive set of outfits for the seven playable Avengers, while the "Earth's Mightiest Edition" includes a SteelBook case an a full set of Marvel collectibles. PlayStation 4 owners can access a special digital version of the game that offers 1,000 in-game credits as well.

You can preorder "Marvel's Avengers" on your console or at any video game retailer.