Marvel’s Avengers Review: Blink And You’ll Ms. It

 

 
Overview
 

Genre: Action Adventure
 
Rating: M15+
 
Release Date: 4th September, 2020
 
Overall
 
 
 
 
 
3.5/5


User Rating
no ratings yet

 

Positives


- A proper AAA Marvel superhero game
- Plenty of side and end-game content
- All future regions and superheroes are free!

Negatives


- Campaign ends just as it starts to get interesting
- Janky controls need some post-launch love
- The graphics are all over the place.


Posted September 9, 2020 by

 
Full Article
 
 

Marvel’s Avengers have been assembling for more than half a century and in that time, we’ve seen our fair share of game developers attempting to create the perfect Avengers game. From Lego to mobile to exclusive SpiderMan games, the Marvel franchise continues to evolve with the video game market, but perhaps now it’s time for the video game market to evolve with Marvel. Square Enix and in-house developer Crystal Dynamics have taken pages out of several other developers’ books to bring what they’re hoping will be the ultimate Marvel’s Avengers game.

Marvel's Avengers Beta Hands-On 07

Avengers media has always featured amazing tales of superheroes, supervillains, and everything in-between, and Marvel’s Avengers is no exception. The only problem is that the main campaign of the game focuses almost entirely on Kamala Khan AKA Ms. Marvel, and how she becomes one of the team. The 16-year-old Pakistani-American inhuman was first featured in 2013 and then quickly given her own series and is also expected to get her own TV show on Disney+. With this incredibly fast rise to fame, Kamala Khan needs an origin story, and regardless of whether this campaign story is canon or not (it’s not), we’re not entirely sure if it should have been called Marvel’s Avengers.

Kamala attends A-Day hoping to win an amateur comic book competition and gets to meet some of her favourite Avengers while she’s there, but also witnesses an almost complete annihilation of the San Francisco bay area, which the Avengers are of course blamed for. From there, Kamala goes on a mission to assemble the gang back together again to defeat criminal organization A.I.M. and the supervillains that lead it. It’s a short and incredibly predictable main story, but that doesn’t make it unenjoyable, and the iconic missions for the other Avengers you pick up along the way are complementary to the overall campaign.

Marvel's Avengers Beta

The campaign is just the beginning in Marvel’s Avengers however, and once you’ve assembled each superhero you’ll have access to their iconic missions via the war table and challenge cards which unlock unique vanity items such as costumes, emotes and nameplates. From there, you can work on leveling up your favourite superhero to use in the end-game content which Square Enix has seemed to stress will be the main feature of the game moving forward. Marvel’s Avengers is a platform similar to Destiny 2 but stops short of being a full game-as-a-service. At this stage, Square Enix has said that all new regions and superheroes will be free (with the first free character being Kate Bishop), though we wouldn’t be surprised if there are larger scale expansions for the game next year.

With only six Avengers at launch (Spidey isn’t quite ready yet for PS4), there are dozens more superheroes that could potentially be added to the game, especially if they’re broadening out to characters like Kate Bishop. Superheroes like Hawk-Eye and Captain Marvel have already been confirmed, but we’d also like to see Black Panther, Dr. Strange, Vision, all the Guardians, and even some more Inhumans. Each new superhero will have their own challenge card with rewards which can also be unlocked by purchasing a battle pass as well as characters, new regions in continents other than North America and Europe (cough Australia cough) would also be most welcome, and perfectly within reason given the war table allows you to rotate around the entire globe.

Marvel's Avengers Beta Hands-On 07

Combat is a mixed bag of jabs, smashes and ranged attacks. Each superhero has their own unique moves and combos which are upgradable as they each level up, but what the combat massively lacks is synergetic attacks between more than one avenger. There are plenty of cut-scenes that feature the Avengers working together to take down A.I.M. robots, but it hasn’t been translated to the gameplay which is surprising and disappointing for fans that expected more teamwork. Some superheroes have special abilities that can benefit nearby Avengers such as cloaking or damage boosts, but apart from that, every Avenger is in it for themselves. When single-player games like Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot can have incredible synergy attacks, we’re left wondering how this gameplay feature wasn’t included.

End-game content is plentiful though repetitive. There are only so many locations within each region, though each location has a range of bases that missions can send you to, then once inside the base, objectives can change once again. This means each map is designed to have many different missions, but we found they tend to all feel the same, whether you’re defending or assaulting a base, rescuing hostages or just destroying everything in sight, there isn’t really anything original when it comes to the end-game strike missions. We finished the campaign with superheroes that were around level 10 of 50 and power level 30 of 150, and we expect power levels to increase as the game evolves.

Marvel's Avengers Beta Hands-On 07

Unfortunately, we came across quite a few bugs such as falling through the world, vendors with no cancel button (needed to restart the game), and the game completely freezing or closing down. Matchmaking was also quite testy, as many other players have also reported similar issues in not being able to find a full strike team, or any strike team. The result is that Marvel’s Avengers currently plays like a poor-man’s Destiny 2 with all-too-familiar comic book characters. Don’t take this the wrong way, the game has huge potential, but at launch it stops short of being a game of the year contender.

Visually, Marvel’s Avengers can often look stunning. Some campaign missions have iconic memorable moments that make for great photos. A lot of the environment is interactive, which is especially fun when making Hulk smash. Some parts of the environment weren’t quite up to scratch however, and it was disappointing that objects like trees, poles and even glass windows were indestructible and didn’t even leave a dint with an Iron Man rocket or a Captain America shield throw. We fiddled around with the 4K mode and performance mode and noticed the game does perform a lot smoother in performance mode, but there are definitely some teething issues such as frame-rates and texture pop-ins for Crystal Dynamics to smooth out post-launch.

Marvel's Avengers Beta

The voice acting in Marvel’s Avengers was exceptional, but we expected nothing less from the stellar cast including Nolan North (Iron Man), Troy Baker (Hulk), Laura Bailey (Black Widow) and Sandra Saad (Ms Marvel). The only character’s voice which was perhaps a bit overcooked was that of Thor, which was disappointing given Travis Willingham has played the role a couple of times before. The soundtrack is exactly as you would expect for a MCU medium, but if you’re hoping for the official Avengers theme, (like in the Lego Avengers game) then you’re going to be disappointed.

Launching this late into a console generation can be risky, but it’s quite evident what Square Enix is going for with this game. It’s a platform. It’s a game as a service. It’s whatever you want to make of it, and while some might just play the campaign and a few side missions, Marvel’s Avengers has the potential to offer hundreds of hours of gameplay to the right fan, all without performing any microtransactions, though the temptation is always there. It’s off to a shaky start, but if the game can survive the next generation launch and assemble a community with a diverse range of superheroes and missions, there’s no reason that this game can’t be great in the not too distant future.

Rocket Chainsaw reviewed Marvel’s Avengers on a PlayStation 4 Pro console with a review copy provided by the publisher, and it is also available on Xbox One and Windows PC. For more information, head to the official website.


David Latham

 
David has a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) from a Group of Eight university, but only uses his very unique set of skills writing about video games. By day he's a stay-at-home dad, by night he's literally Batman. Where does he find the time?