Crystal Dynamics, Crystal Northwest, Nixxes Software BV, Eidos-Montréal have come together with Marvel and Square Enix to bring us one of 2020’s most anticipated games, Marvel’s Avengers. Of course, with all these companies coming together, the game is about as blockbuster as it gets. But does it live up to its hype? We played its PC version to find out!

Did the Beta’s Frame Rate problems carry over?

Now, before I even started playing the game, I was a little apprehensive as the beta version had quite the number of bugs. We saw a lot of people complain about the game dropping in frame rate with the simplest bit of movement as well. Fortunately, the finished version of the game has fixed that… a little. While the beta’s infamous frame rate problems are not as widespread anymore, we still managed to encounter a few of them. Fortunately, adjusting the game’s settings can fix that.

Oh yes, the bugs 

Well, saying that the game has bugs would be quite the understatement. First, there’s the myriad of bugs for Captain America alone. If you were to choose his old World War II classic outfit, his lips would be moving very awkwardly whenever he tries to talk. And when a teammate kills the final opponent while he’s doing one of his combos, he tends to bug out and hang in mid air.

But that’s not all, because there’s also the infinite loading screen. There’s a bug that causes the single player loading screen to stay there infinitely and not let you play the game. Of course, this can be fixed by going to  multiplayer and spoiling the story, which is especially bad if you haven’t finished the game yet. I encountered this just before the final mission, but managed to continue the story through multiplayer. Then there’s also the camera problems, which is all over the place. It can make things confusing, but lowering the camera’s sensitivity can fix this… sometimes.

The Campaign: A Love Letter to Marvel fans

Now, let’s go to the game itself, and let’s start with the campaign. Simply put, it was a great story with plenty of ups and downs for our heroes. We follow Kamala Khan (Miss Marvel) as she tries to reassemble the scattered members of the Avengers, who have since broken up following an incident in San Francisco. It’s a coming of age story of sorts as we follow Kamala from a starstruck fan girl to a super hero of her own. Of course, there are the heroes we are more familiar with, and they’re the Hulk, Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, and Captain America. Individually, each hero is unique gameplay-wise, though there are some overlaps in how they play, such as Black Widow and Kamala having similar movement, as is Iron Man and Thor… as both of them fly around.

As for the story itself, any Marvel fan would be very happy with it. Its quality seems to fit that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and it certainly feels like one big interactive Marvel movie. They present the characters the same way too! The “Reassemble” campaign is quite good and fun to play, and one can’t help but be drawn to its story. And don’t worry, we’re not spoiling what happened.

Now, let’s talk about the characters, and let’s start off with Kamala Khan, AKA Miss Marvel. In the game, she starts off as a kid who won an Avengers story contest. And because she won that contest, she meets her heroes in real life. She also gets to show off how much of a fan she is as she quotes one of Captain America’s most iconic lines  from the comics word for word. Unfortunately, that event is also when the incident that led to the Avengers break up happens, and also when she accidentally gets her powers. Think of Kamala being a cross of the stretchy powers of One Piece’s Luffy and the body-size changing powers of Chouji from Naruto. And this helps a lot in battle, as her melee attacks have a longer reach than her counterparts. In the game, she serves as the main protagonist of sorts, as it is her actions that lead the Avengers to get back together. But while she shows that she can hang in there with the heroes she idolizes, the game made it felt like she deserves more. As the story progresses, it feels as if they’re relegating her more to the background as the veteran Avengers slowly begin rejoining the team.

And then there’s the Hulk. He’s the most in-your-face character gameplay-wise, and he’s also the most fun personally. It’s just so satisfying wrecking stuff, as his heavy attacks tend to cause AOE damage, therefore also creating the most collateral damage. Hulk ain’t a one-trick-pony either, as he can pick up debris and throw it right at you! He can also grab opponents and slam them to the ground, much like what he did to Loki in The Avengers movie. And yes, when he picks up an enemy, he can also use that enemy as a weapon and hit other enemies with him. Yeah, he literally can take a bad guy and beat another bad guy with him, and that’s what makes Hulk so fun to play as. Unfortunately, as a big Hulk fan, I also felt that there were some downsides. Sure, Hulk could tank more damage than everyone else, though it feels that they could make him a lot tankier and deal more damage. After all, the big green guy has literally destroyed an asteroid larger than Earth with a single punch and tanked a supernova in the comics… but gets taken out by a random bad guy throwing a punch in the game. Yes, I understand that the devs need to balance the game and not make him too overpowered, but having Hulk go on a rampage and destroying things without fear of getting much damage is kinda his thing and why people might want to play as him.

Of course, it won’t be an Avengers game without one of its founding and most iconic members, Tony Stark. Of course, we know him simply as Iron Man. Now, he’s the “Zoner” of the group, specializing in keeping opponents at arms’ length with his ranged Repulsor attacks, Laser Beams, and missiles… lots of missiles. With a team, he can fly up, hang back, and take out opponents from range while his teammates like Cap, Kamala, and Hulk take out enemies up close. He can be in-your-face if you want to, but I think he’s best kept in the back line providing fire support. In the game, he still has a big ego, though he can surely back it up. His solo missions in the campaign are quite fun too, flying around in a mini game of sorts.

Then there’s Black Widow. As expected, she is really sneaky and can turn herself and her allies invisible. Like Iron Man, she can rain devastating ranged attacks, but she is also good at mixing it up in melee combat too. Unfortunately, the game has her as a jack-of-all-traits, master of none. As for how she does in the campaign, make sure you’re ready when her single player solo mission comes up, as it was a lot harder than I expected.

Next up is a god that needs no introduction, the Norse God of Thunder himself, Thor! Now, Thor is kinda like Hulk as he’s a bruiser in melee. But he also overlaps with Iron Man a bit, as he is also good at ranged, and also likes to fly a lot. Like Widow, he’s also a bit of a jack-of-all-traits, as he rains down lightning from a far one time, and then smacking enemies up close with Mjolnir the next.

Finally, we have the one and only Captain America. He is great at mixing it up, and is also good at counterattacks, using that iconic Vibranium shield to its fullest. Like the comics and movies, that shield factors in a lot at how Cap fights, so don’t be afraid to use it offensively and defensively. Use it to block, then smack your opponent it it after your counterattack, then throw it like a frisbee to that enemy shooting you from afar. Movement-wise, he is a bit more challenging than those that can fly, stretch their arms, have grapple hooks, or can keap great distances with a single bound. However, his wall runs are fun. He’s still very much the paragon of virtue as he was in the movies and comics too!

The Multiplayer and post-campaign game

While the game’s story campaign is very strong, it’s not really the main part of the game. Unfortunately, said main part is the post-campaign game, and it rather falls flat. After completing the story campaign, players get to go on more missions throughout the world. However, the game tends to reuse locations, activities, and gimmicks in these missions, therefore making them repetitive. Sure, there are a variety of enemies to fight, and dealing with each type of opponent can be varied, but doing the same objectives over and over again in different missions can be quite taxing. All of these post-story missions are rehashes of the missions from the story campaign, and doing them over and over again is where the game falls flat. The same can be said for multiplayer missions. Sure, having an actual player be there makes things easier, but it doesn’t stop that feeling of repetitiveness all around.

Players take on A.I.M. in these missions, much like the story. And one of these mission chains include the HIVE Missions, which are supposedly more “important” in the game. Unfortunately, it’s just five floors of rehashes from previous levels. They can get challenging sometimes, but it’s still pretty much the same thing, only longer. Then there are the elite versions of the missions, but again, these are basically the same missions with stronger opponents.

There’s also the Loot system that’s pretty much like Destiny’s. Loot is quite important to the game, and gathering them and getting good gear has become quite a chore once we get to the post-story campaign. As for the paid content, it’s mostly cosmetic and won’t affect the gameplay at all. Though it’s a nice feeling playing in Tony’s Bleeding Edge armour or as classic Grey Hulk AKA Joe Fixit.

VERDICT:

While the game has a very strong and engaging story movie worthy of the Marvel franchise, everything else falls flat. It is a love letter to Marvel fans, with plenty of nods to both the comics and the MCU movies. However, the story itself isn’t perfect either, and they could have done more with Kamala Khan by not making her fall to obscurity in the later portions of the story once the other heroes join in.

Its supposed meat and bones lie in the post-story missions, but they are essentially repetitive. There are also a few bugs they haven’t fixed as well. If you’re a die-hard Marvel fan, this game is a must-play for the story campaign alone. But if you just want to enjoy and play a game, or hate doing the same thing over and over and over again on “different” missions, this one might not be for you. However, we did have fun playing, despite all the bugs that we encountered.

Final Score: 6/10

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