Bungie’s original landmark FPS Marathon is now free on Steam

By admin May10,2024

Halo and Destiny developers Bungie have released their classic shooter Marathon for free on Steam, with sequels Marathon 2 and Marathon Infinity to follow. The Steam ports are the work of the celebrated Aleph One community developers, who’ve kept Bungie’s old Marathon 2 game engine going as an open source project – and who still have PC ports of all three games available on their own site, if you’d rather not truck with Steam.

The original Marathon launched in December 1994 for the Apple Macintosh, loveliest of computing families. While perhaps not as venerated as fellow millennial shooters DOOM and Wolfenstein 3D (no fistfights in the comments, please), it was a technical showcase that has had a huge influence on later FPS games. You can still catch its reflection in the storytelling and combat of the later Halos and even Destiny. The new Steam version is offers optional widescreen HUD support, positional audio and 60+ fps interpolation, amongst other whizbangs, but is otherwise a straight reproduction.

Bungie are currently creating a new version of Marathon, which is rather less faithful to the older games. It’s a PvP-focused looter-shooter with no singleplayer campaign. “It’s not a direct sequel to the originals, but something that certainly belongs in the same universe and that feels like a Bungie game,” game director Christopher Barrett (who joined Bungie in 1999) explained during the announcement festivities last year. “Finding those opportunities to nod to the universe’s lore, while also getting to build something different and new has been one of the best parts of developing this game so far.”

Nu-Marathon appears to be a troubled project – it was pushed back to 2025 last October, with former Valorant director Joe Ziegler replacing Barrett as game director this March. Bungie in general are in a tough spot, with layoffs last year and the reported threat of a full Sony takeover if Destiny 2’s forthcoming Final Shape expansion is a disappointment.

By admin

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