Marvel’s Avengers Review

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Posted September 22, 2020 by Kyle Simcox in Video Games

Marvel’s Avengers starts off in San Francisco on “A-Day”, a celebration focused on honoring the Avengers. Like any comic book story line, things almost immediately go south and the Avengers spring into action. Captain America supposedly loses his life in the attack as an experimental terrigan engine for SHIELD’s latest helicarrier, christened the Chimera, malfunctions causing a mysterious mist to seep out from the monolithic ship, awakening inhumans across the globe. Inhumans are seen as an unknown threat and the Avengers ultimately take the blame and are disassembled as Advanced Idea Mechanics rises to the challenge in order to deal with the Inhuman’s increasing numbers. The story is mostly told from the perspective of Kamala Khan, an Avengers fangirl who more importantly comes in direct contact with the terrigan mist and discovered she was an Inhuman polymorph(think Mr. Fantastic with a splash of Ant-Man). After guessing Tony Stark’s laughable password, she happens across some shady information and learn that AIM is on to her and she’s forced to go on the run where she eventually happens across the Hulk. The two(or three) of them hit it off and team up in order to seek out Tony Stark and find a way to take down AIM. While I did find the story to be a little generic and predictable, I still managed to find it rather enjoyable. There are some really great moments between the characters and I loved the climax of the game when the team comes together. Kamala is honestly the best way to tell this kind of story as she ends up being the bandage that mends this broken team she once idolized while she learns and comes into her own abilities at the same time.

I actually really enjoy the RPG mechanics featured in Avengers a lot as they provide a few ways to help players build there heroes to their needs. You can choose between six playable characters and if there is one thing Avengers manages to do well, it’s making each of them feel unique between all the punching, kicking and repulsor blasts. For instance, both Iron Man and Black Widow have multiple ranged options. Iron Man gets access to lasers and missiles while Widow has automatic weapons and a high caliber pistol. On paper, both characters have similar options but it’s how these characters use their abilities that really set them apart. Iron Man can use his lasers to cover a wider area while Widow’s high caliber pistol can dole out more damage over Iron Man’s missiles due to their high energy cost. Kamala can grab foes and slam them into their comrades using her ranged attacks while Hulk can just flat out weaponize his enemies. Throwing Mjolnir while playing as Thor to stick an enemy to the wall only to turn around and beat down your next target with his fists and finally call back the hammer back to clip a third enemy in the back of the head is probably one of the most satisfying things to do in the game, period. Each character has the ability to break through walls or hack doors to access chests that have been squirreled away but some reason, Captain America doesn’t have either. In multiplayer, it’s a non-issue but in single player, it’s frustrating when you’re barred from accessing loot in a loot based game.

With all that being said, the game is an action adventure beat em up and repetition does start to set in. The single player is great and has some great action packed moments but the end game, which is focused wholly on the multiplayer component, lacks the same pizzazz. The multiplayer and the single player are also completely separate. While you can dabble in the multiplayer during your campaign run, jumping straight into the “Avenger’s Initiative” will spoil the ending of the story and players still have to play through the story regardless to unlock all 6 characters. Level design is rather bland across the board and the multiplayer missions don’t have those same epic moments and just end when the final objective is complete. There doesn’t really feel like there’s a driving force behind anything after the story content is finished aside from just getting your characters to level 50 and gear score to 150 while you mop up left over iconic missions and side quests. However, Crystal Dynamics does plan to release more content including new heroes to play as like the already announced Kate Bishop, Clint Barton and the PS4’s exclusive addition being Spider-Man so there is at least a reason to check in on things from time to time in the future.

Gear doesn’t offer any visual changes but players can customize their heroes with iconic costumes that can be earned in various ways. There’s a handful that can be unlocked through playing the story, a piece loot that offers a random costume as a reward and completing quests but there’s also an in-game store where players can purchase cosmetic items and finisher animations using real money. Each character comes with their own battle pass known as a “Challenge Card”. Players have access to the first 6 heroes’ Challenge Cards at no cost but future additions will cost 10 dollars but all new playable characters will still be free. Players can earn currency from the challenge cards so you won’t always have to spend money to unlock new costumes or challenge cards but there’s only so many of those you can earn so you’ll have to choose wisely.

Avengers also sports a very clumsy UI and gear system. Navigating between the games menus is a pain and I feel like there could have been less tabs. For instance, the collectibles and challenge card tabs don’t justify their existence and could have been tucked elsewhere to erase some of the the clutter. What could have also helped is the ability to organize the tabs myself but that doesn’t exist. I’m also just not a fan of how the gear system works on a functional level. The game throws loot at you like it’s Borderlands but almost all of it is picked up and used to be dismantled to salvage parts from. When navigating between gear, the cursor will occasionally just flat out ignore gear you want to look at or drop out of the gear inventory window entirely. You can use the D-Pad to navigate the menus but even then, that only lessen clumsiness a little.

The game’s biggest challenge lies in the copious amount of bugs and issues that are strewn across the game. While I experienced a lot less of an issue on my PS4 copy, the Xbox version barely worked before the game’s official launch on the 4th. I experienced multiple crashes within an hour and a boss literally vanished from the map when pushed into walls or objects during the battle, forcing me to reload my checkpoint three times. As of finalizing this review, the 1.06 patch for a short amount of time, actually prevented me from accessing the game entirely on my Xbox One due to an infinite loading issue. However, the time tucked in between the 1.06 patch and 3 Day early access, the game ran well on the Xbox One and provides a much more stable framerate when the game is actually working. There were a few occasions on the PS4 where the game played like a literal slideshow.

It’s certainly not Marvel’s Spider-Man but I feel like it’s definitely a step in the right direction for Marvel if they want to get a stronger foothold in the market. Despite all of the issues, when the game works, it works well and is quite a fun game to play although it’s end game gives me strong Anthem vibes due to it’s lack of content. However, if Crystal Dynamics can deliver some solid support and push out new missions and characters as they’ve previously stated, Marvel’s Avengers is a game worth returning to every so often.

WeTheNerdy give Marvel’s Avengers 7 terrigan crystals out of 10.

Pros:
• Decent storytelling with a well developed cast.
• Fun gameplay.
• Characters feel unique amongst each other.
• The RPG mechanics.

Cons:
• So many bugs.
• The gear system.
• Bland level design.
• Abysmal end game centered around multiplayer.
• Clumsy UI and cluttered menus.


About the Author

Kyle Simcox