Image via Craig Mullins

Bungie’s classic Marathon is coming to Steam, for those who don’t enjoy extraction shooters

See you starside.

Depending on how big of a classic Bungie enjoyer you are, you may or may not have been horrified upon learning that the revival of Marathon would be… a live-service extraction shooter. Regardless of whether that turns out well, though, there’s good news, classic Marathon coming to Steam!

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Do note, however, that this is not an official Bungie effort. Indeed, the Destiny developer isn’t using this as an opportunity to regain community goodwill ahead of The Final Shape‘s release. Instead, we’re looking at an honest-to-goodness community effort to modernize the original Marathon, as per its Aleph One rendition, and everything points to the game being available completely for free, which would be a huge boon for the franchise as a whole.

Image via Aleph One

Classic Marathon is coming to Steam soon, should be free-to-play

Even though Bungie appears to have been totally uninterested in bringing classic Marathon games back into the limelight in a playable state, the same cannot be said about the team behind Aleph One: the open-source continuation of Bungie’s Marathon 2 game engine. All three of the mainline Marathon games (Marathon proper, Marathon 2: Durandal, and Marathon: Infinity) have been ported over into Aleph One over the years, and it now seems that the original is about to launch on Steam at long last.

Classic Marathon already has a Steam page up on the site, and the really curious bit is that on top of the game’s usual suite of single and multi-player features, it also seems to support Cross-Platform Multiplayer, as per its Steam listing. No telling yet what that’s about, but the possibilities are very exciting indeed.

According to people who are in the know on the Marathon subreddit, Classic Marathon will support Steam Achievements, and even though only the first game is currently being discussed on Steam, the two sequels should be dropping onto the platform in due time as well.

Everything related to Aleph One will, of course, be totally free due to the project’s open-source licensing agreement, but this is incredibly exciting for Marathon fans regardless. Heck, it’s possible we might finally be able to play the games on our Steam Decks without fussing about at long last, which is a big deal all on its own.

We do not yet have an actual release date for Classic Marathon, mind, but as this is supposed to be just an Aleph One re-release for Steam, we do know what its feature set will look like. If you’re unfamiliar with the project, the Aleph One version of Marathon games grants you:

  • Widescreen support
  • (Slightly) modernized UI and UX
  • Lua scripting support
  • Third-party modding
  • Online multiplayer
  • OpenGL render support, albeit optional

And more. It’s a great way of experiencing the classic Marathon games without totally succumbing to ancient design choices of the yesteryear, and it’d be easy to argue that Aleph One Marathon stands toe-to-toe with Doom or, perhaps, even beats it in many regards. For one, Marathon has got a truly wild narrative that is tangled up with Destiny in ways you would never expect, so it’s worth experiencing in that regard at the very least.


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Filip Galekovic
A lifetime gamer and writer, Filip has successfully made a career out of combining the two just in time for the bot-driven AI revolution to come into its own.