I like taking my superheroes in small dosages. I’m one of those people of the opinion that the superhero genre is being pumped out a little too hard these days, and I’m feeling that “superhero fatigue” everyone keeps talking about.
Don’t get me wrong; the Marvel Cinematic Universe is fun and I love Batman just as much as the next guy. But it just feels like the area has been milked dry in the film industry.
However, one area where there has been a considerable lack of superheroes is the video game industry. So, this past weekend, I was extremely excited to try out the new Marvel’s Avengers open beta.
After hearing nothing but bad things about it, I had to see for myself what all the complaining was about.
This game isn’t mind-blowing. but it looks good. I was impressed by how colourful the game is as well as the character designs.
Although a lot of people voiced complaints about some facial animations, I was impressed. The game held its own when things exploded all around the room. It was very flashy, but it looked good to me.
Some movements suffered from the odd motion blur but other than that it is a pretty game. (Not beautiful, but at least pretty.)
This is where Marvel’s Avengers really shines. At first, it is very simple and ‘button mashy,’ but once you start investing skill points into each character, you really start fleshing them out.
I tried to button mash my way through the harder difficulties but I ended up failing. The combos you can pull off made me feel like I was actually the superhero I was playing as.
Hulk can grab an enemy and smash them to the ground like in the iconic ‘Puny God’ scene from The Avengers film. Iron Man can switch to laser beams and rockets and that changes his heavy attack.
The characters move exactly how you’d expect them to move. Hulk is big and clumsy, Iron Man does a lot of twirls and spins while firing off his ‘repulsors’, and Black Widow is agile and fast.
Fun With People
This game was designed to be played with people and it shows. The matchmaking was finicky for me, but when I did match with others I had a lot of fun performing duel takedowns and beating up baddies.
The story is surprisingly very dark and gloomy, which I liked. Out of everything I saw in the beta, the story intrigued me the most.
I was a little sad when after the last story mission I completed a notice popped up saying that I had finished the story content in the beta.
Not much to say here other than a photo mode (no matter how basic it is) is always nice. I have not played a game with a photo mode that outshines the more recent Assassin’s Creed titles but this one at least is an option.
It would have been nice if Square Enix had added some comic book filters and borders though.
This is where things get a bit tricky as this was a beta and so the content was limited. But after a few hours, there was a growing sense of rinse repeat gnawing on me.
A lot of the missions were very closed-off; taking place in a lab and after knocking some bad guys and activating an objective, it was over.
There were other missions that started with a more open space, which lead to a hidden area where I had to complete an objective but I couldn’t help but feel that familiar feeling I got while playing Destiny.
You know the feeling; where you play the same levels and content over and over to have a chance of getting something good.
I’m not even going to sugar coat it: this game has the most crappy gear system I have ever seen in a game.
The gear we unlock doesn’t change how our characters’ look. Iron Man’s gauntlets, for example, show up as some sort of hologram around his arm and that is apparently an upgraded piece of gear.
It’s boring and after a while, I just didn’t care about gear anymore. For a game that feels like it falls in the ‘grind to get good gear’ genre, a boring gear system is a huge turnoff and might hurt the longevity of the game.
We can change the characters’ looks via skins that can be earned or bought but this feels like a quick fix and it stumps what the gear system could have been…
Marvels’ Avengers has good aspects for the short-term fun but for the long-term, I don’t see much hope for it. Although the pros are higher in number than the cons, the cons have some serious weight to them.
Hopefully, Marvel’s Avengers has a good post-launch roadmap because without that I think the future of this game is at risk. It is becoming too frequent that ‘live service’ games have a formula that caters more for short-term fun than longevity.