After a decent Beta release over the month of August, the Square-Enix and Crystal Dynamics developed “Avengers” game has certainly been an anticipated release for players.
“Marvel’s Avengers” released Sept. 4 for PS4, Xbox One and PC, with PS5 and Xbox Series X releases slated for a November release.
“Avengers” main story takes place five years after the events of A-Day and Captain America’s death, events seen at the beginning of the game and the previously released Beta that exposes the San Francisco Bay Area to a toxic gas that transforms people into super-powered Inhumans.
Since the events of A-Day, the Avengers have disbanded, each going their separate was as Advanced Idea Mechanics attempts to regulate and cure the “Inhuman Disease.”
AIM is led by George Tarleton, a former scientist for the Avengers who was also affected by the events of A-Day.
But AIM isn’t as pleasant as they seem under the surface, torturing Inhumans to learn the secrets of their powers to extract them and build super-powered robot adaptoids that would allow Tarleton and AIM to rule with an iron fist.
This is where Kamala Khan comes in.
Another victim of A-Day with the power to embiggen and stretch her limbs, Kamala is part of an underground Inhuman resistance.
Managing to get her hands on a flash drive of old files that belonged to Tony Stark/Iron Man that show what truly happened on the fated day, Kamala races to try and reunite the Avengers and save her fellow Inhumans.
Along the way, Kamala encounters Bruce Banner, stuck semi-permanently as the Hulk.
After convincing the Hulk to revert back to Dr. Banner, the two set on a road trip to find the remaining Avengers who have gone into hiding before finally taking the fight to AIM.
The story structure of the game is split up into missions, with story critical missions and optional side missions. Story missions will obviously progress the story while the optional missions allow players to level up their characters and earn different gear for their heroes.
For more information on the mission system and basic gameplay mechanics, I recommend referring to our previous review of the “Avengers” Beta.
The largest issue with missions is that they are clearly structured around the game’s 4-player online multiplayer. Most missions consist of defending multiple points at once or destroying multiple objectives.
This makes for tedious gameplay for players such as myself that played solo, aided by AI teammates that do little more than interact with enemies sometimes.
Many of the gameplay mechanics and events teased within the Beta are letdowns, as they are no more in depth in the full game than they were in the demo.
One of the features included during gameplay was the ability to rescue Inhumans and send them back to your base on the Chimera.
However, that initial interaction of rescuing the Inhuman is all there is to the mechanic. The rescued Inhuman is never seen or referenced again, and does nothing to build up the quality of your base or help you in any way.
Once the Avengers get the Chimera off the ground, there are no more upgrades that can be made to the base, leaving it as just a bland Hub World to walk around and purchase various items from vendors.
The item and gear system leaves a lot to be desired as resources to upgrade items are usually sparse during missions, leaving players to grind multiple missions back to back in hopes of earning enough upgrade materials.
The items sold by vendors are also highly expensive in terms of resources, so players are usually better off just finding new gear in levels or upgrading the gear they already have rather than purchasing new gear.
In comparison to other games such as “Destiny 2” which use similar gear systems, this is a disappointment, especially since changing gear does not have any physical cosmetic changes for heroes.
The hero combat is a robust as it was in the Beta, but does still have its flaws.
Some heroes such as Kamala/Ms. Marvel and Captain America are a lot more responsive to inputs, with quick and snappy movements that allow for better button input timing to carry out combos. Ms. Marvel and Cap’s attacks also indicate hits on enemies by satisfying sound effects, punching sounds for Kamala and metallic shield hits for Cap.
Conversely, other heroes like Iron Man and Black Widow are nowhere near as satisfying, with hits feeling delayed and floaty, with muted sound effects that make it harder to notice if hits have registered.
A welcomed addition that wasn’t in the Beta is the addition of multiple different skill trees to further level up the Avengers once all their moves are unlocked.
Unfortunately, these extra skill tree menus are tucked away in an area of the level-up screen that makes it difficult to spot. This position could be problematic for players such as myself as I did not notice the menu until I was nearing the end of the game.
Visually, the game doesn’t stand out from any other AAA game that uses a realistic style, with hushed, realistic colors that do nothing to grab player’s attention stylistically.
Even half a month after launch, the game is littered with bugs that were present in the Beta along with new glitches and issues.
Sometimes during combat enemies will just disappear, despawn or glitch across the room or through the floor.
While this may be comedic to look at, it is certainly not advantageous for players who are stuck in a section where they must defeat all the enemies to move on, taunted by one enemy trapped inside the level’s geometry, out of reach.
Two other bugs completely soft-lock the game, requiring the game to be restarted.
The more minor bug is the game freezing during gameplay. However, the more difficult one to surpass is the game getting stuck on the loading screen, never loading into the Chimera hub to allow for level selection. The only way to fix this issue is to select the “Avenger’s Initiative” mission mode on the main menu, which can be difficult for beginning players as this option is only unlocked upon completion of the main story.
“Marvel’s Avengers” is a bug-riddled, bland looking game padded by repetitive missions and lacking in playable characters. Yet, for some reason I can’t help but keep playing.
Perhaps it’s because it is a nice time killer to sit back and level up your heroes while listening to a podcast. Or perhaps it’s to bide the time until new DLC heroes are released.
“Avengers” certainly isn’t for everyone. For fans of the comics and films, it carries the humor and story elements well, but the story mode isn’t much longer than seven or eight hours.
Fans of beat-‘em-ups may enjoy the game with its combo and level-up system, but could still find themselves disappointed with the lack of diverse mission structures that are built strictly around multiplayer.
Ultimately, “Marvel’s Avengers” is a very average, middle of the road game that appeals only to specific players that have an interest in spending a large amount of time grinding missions and are more interested in gameplay than a long story.