Marvel’s Avengers Review
Released yesterday, Marvel’s Avengers is, surprisingly, the first big-budget Avengers game available on PC and current-gen consoles. Despite the overwhelming success of Marvel’s movies and TV shows in the last 12 years (since 2008’s Iron Man re-ignited their franchise), their heroes have been noticeably absent on the gaming scene. Other than some mobile games and the latest installment of the always enjoyable Marvel Ultimate Alliance series, fans have been left waiting for a triple-A Avenger’s title for almost a decade. Now, Marvel’s Avengers is here and it’s pre-launch journey has had its ups and downs, to put it mildly. But all that is behind us now, because we can finally take a look at the game itself – let’s dive right in!
Good Is Not A Thing You Are
…it is a thing you do. And Marvel’s Avengers does a lot of good. Possibly the best kept secret of this game is its protagonist, Ms. Marvel. There was little indication pre-launch that the story of Marvel’s Avengers is really that of Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel). The campaign begins with her as an Avengers-obsessed teenager who is a finalist in a fan-fiction contest, and follows her as her life becomes entwined in that of the Avengers.
There is a good chance that, like myself, this is the first time that many of you are learning about Ms. Marvel, and that is one of the best things about it. Learning from the success of Marvel’s films, this game does not try to either re-tell or re-invent one of the better-known heroes in the Marvel universe, but instead does an amazing job telling the story of a lesser-known one. Prior to 2008, ask a kid who their favourite superhero was and you would likely hear one of 3 things: Batman, Superman or Spiderman. Now, the Avengers are firmly planted in the hearts and minds of superhero fanatics.
Every Hero Has To Start Somewhere
There are two main options for playing Marvel’s Avengers, the Campaign and the Avengers Initiative multiplayer experience. It is possible to begin with the Avengers Initiative, but the game recommends against this, and I have to say that I do as well. Aside from avoiding the story spoilers contained in multiplayer, the Campaign mode will ease you into the games controls and play style, as well as offering a fantastic story.
It is safe to say that the campaign provides the majority of the enjoyment of this game, and those who are solely interested in it will find plenty of value in this title. Conversely, fans of the loot-grinding genre will likely find greater enjoyment in the Avengers Initiative mode, but I would still recommend a quick playthrough of the campaign before diving in to the multiplayer co-op mode.
Regardless of which game mode you start with, or which you have more fun with, you will still get to experience the highlight of any action game: the heroes. The heroes in Marvel’s Avengers to not attempt to emulate their MCU or comic counterparts precisely, but instead land somewhere in the middle. They are all immediately recognizable and their core personality traits remain much the same. Dr. Banner’s timid and self-doubting nature is on full display, and Hulk’s single-focus and (of course) uncontrollable rage are evident from the onset.
Each hero’s gameplay style is wonderfully unique and feels entirely consistent with their character. Whether you are tossing Mjölnir at foes, hovering mid-air and firing repulsors or wall-jumping and smashing your way into groups of baddies, your connection with the heroes becomes so strong that, at times, it can feel like you are in the middle of an Avengers movie. Credit this immersion also with the incredible visuals offered by Marvel’s Avengers, rendering all characters, environments and backgrounds beautifully.
Gearing Up For Success
I was pleasantly surprised by how in-depth each character’s gear and skill progression was. There is nothing revolutionary here, but players will find a familiar equipment system, where each piece of equipment has a power level, base stats, perks and power up crafting options. The resources used to power up your equipment can be collected during missions and can both increase the power of your equipment and unlock additional gear perks.
Leveling up will provide you points to spend on new skills, each of which adds a new way to play that hero, either by adding a new ability entirely or by modifying an existing one. These skills, as well as the character’s type, are instrumental in dictating overall playstyle. As The Hulk, for example, your dodging capabilities are somewhat limited, but your survivability is quite high. This allows you to worry less about taking damage and instead focus more on dealing damage, where he can regenerate health, or as it is called here ‘Willpower’. Finding good synergy between playstyles is crucial to finding success in the co-op Avengers Initiative.
At the end of the day, Marvel’s Avengers is an extremely well-crafted title that opens itself up to little criticism. One could point out that the multiplayer content is somewhat lackluster at the moment, but the devs have already announced plenty of content to be added, so that won’t be an issue for long. The single player campaign itself is more than enough reason to buy this game, and is sure to please Marvel die-hards and casual fans alike!
Learn more here: https://avengers.square-enix-games.com/en-us/