We’ve been waiting for this game to drop for years now. I’ve been following along looking at the changes, hopped on the beta, and perked my ears up at every potential announcement. I watched my hopes rise and fall. At the last stretch, after playing the beta, I thought this game was going to be cool but “nothing special”. I am here to say that I was wrong, and I am so glad that I was. Marvel’s Avengers is a game that slowly grows on you, but the minute they’ve captured your heart, you’re in it for the long haul. With great storytelling, engaging missions and plentiful gear with power ups, The Avengers knows its audience and it gives fans what they’ve been asking for.
Dynamic Characters Fit For All Fans
Honestly, my favorite part of the game was the story line and the strength of each character. When they introduced Kamala Khan, I was scared they wouldn’t give her the glory she deserves. But through each fan girl moment, her failures and successes, you get to experience her growth and strength not only through battle but through life. Sometimes when we get POC protagonists, creators make the character so hyper focused on their own oppression that they are not able to experience emotions outside of those problems. Seeing Kamala experience both joy and fear running into the Hulk, and being fully into battle sequences while at the same time admiring the heroes she grew to love, made me root for her more than ever.
Another amazing character that was wonderfully developed was Black Widow. I was absolutely floored because they finally captured her bad ass lifestyle in the way she deserves. Of course, they did all the characters well, especially Bruce Banner, but the star of this game outside of Kamala, is honestly Black Widow. The guns, the sly remarks, even the way they got her fighting style: it was superb. I couldn’t keep my eyes away. I admired how the creators infuse their personalities in the way they carry themselves in and out of combat.
When people map out their characters, sometimes intricate details get muddied around in different aspects. Like, “Character A, wouldn’t say that, it feels like Character C would say that” or “Character B wouldn’t fight like that, if anything they would be stealthier or more aggressive.” For The Avengers, I didn’t second guess the fighting styles, because it felt true to them.
Honestly, when I picked up the controller on release day I came in with mid-low expectations. When I played parts of the beta the controls felt annoying to me. It was stuffy, and it switched in between “story” mechanisms and “battle” mechanisms too much to figure out what I should be expecting. By the time the game came around it felt slightly improved, but not as much to leave me satisfied for the first couple of hours.
A Proud Arsenal, Plus Upgrades for Them All
The Avenger’s battle mechanics looks like it was trying something special, but the movement and concentration towards projectiles and enemies felt like it needed fine tuning. A great example of this would be Iron Man’s flying. When we are introduced to it, at first it felt like “Wow, we’re finally getting it,” but then my attention quickly went from trying to shoot my repulsor beams to trying to control him properly. Sure, the most rewarding part of the process is being able to get a direct hit, but the alignment was confusing and it took awhile to get full control. This happens with every character to a certain extent. The great part is, once you know how to get a handle on those mechanics, your experience improves greatly and you’ll see yourself shine through the characters.
The upgrade system makes the fighting so much fun and it offers variations to whoop some baddies. But another issue is that as of right now there is not enough content to enjoy it for a long period of time. The available boards: desert, city, AIM base and space, seem great right now, but going through them so frequently throughout the game feels kind of repetitive. “Oh yes, another trek through the desert with the Hulk, how fun”. Considering that this is the beginning stages of the game and more updates will come, more variety is inevitable. But when it comes to online multiplayer gameplay, it isn’t the most motivating in regards to coming back day after day. Legendary level weapons and armor are a great push, but until more heroes are released and extra boards are introduced, if you bought this game with the intention of playing online, it feels best to purchase this during the holiday season.
Release That Rage, Hulk Out!
The online mechanics are still kind of murky as they are working on more updates. People have reported that they couldn’t even connect to the game, let alone online play (including myself). The sign of online issues started when some people reported that they bought the deluxe edition and they didn’t get early access as promised. If you’re here for the story as I was and don’t care too much about online play, this is a great investment. If you came mostly for the online play, you should wait just a little bit to have more worth to your money so they can get their goals together. I believe the game would have benefited from a couch co-op mode for the campaign. For those who don’t invest money in online play, this would have been a great game for siblings to fight over who gets to be Cap and go all out on AIM robots in the middle of the city.
The Avengers comes with many side missions catered to each character and side quests within each mission. There are also chances to pick up special items, rescue others and find comics that offer small power-ups. If you love a good story, great battle sequences or even want a different introduction to The Avengers, I believe you would love this game. Granted you might feel a bit iffy about the visuals sometimes. Their attempt at realism makes hair really greasy, and they go in and out of beautiful cinematic cut scenes to “is this the product of budget cuts?” But it doesn’t eliminate the experience.
The improvements to online play are happening slowly. You can still buy special outfits for the characters, or slowly rack up enough resources to get them without shelling out real funds. It’s a great investment for a fan, and I am sure the future content will bring online players back for more as time goes on. I can’t wait to see what campaigns will bring in the future.