This weekend gamers were allowed to get their hands on the latest Marvel’s Avengers PS4 version where I was able to get an excellent hands-on preview.
Those who pre-ordered the game were able to play last week however this week made the BETA available for all on PS4 and PC.
Marvel’s Avengers is an upcoming action game from Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics based on the comics and movies.
Following a tragic event known as “A Day” which sees the apparent loss of Captain America and that is blamed on the Avengers themselves, the group of heroes is outlawed, as are superpowers in general.
Subsequently, the Avengers go their separate ways, but a young superfan named Kamala Khan knows that they are innocent and makes it her mission to reunite the group of heroes.
As the game opens, the action kicks off almost right away as we take control of Thor who is busy helping to rescue civilians after the A Day event.
It is soon apparent that terrorist forces are set to target the heroes and Thor has to battle a few waves of enemies.
The action for Thor is very beat’em up and the use of powerful light and heavy attacks easily dispatches enemies.
As well as being able to fly around, another cool feature is being able to throw Mjolnir.
The legendary hammer can be launched to quickly cut down multiple enemies or it can be smashed into the ground when enough special move meter has been earned.
Each hero has their own unique special moves and these are awesome.
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For example, Hulk can utilize the powerful Thunder Clap to quickly rid himself of a large group of enemies.
Following Thor, the action shifts to an air-based battle across the Golden Gate Bridge with Iron Man.
This has you trying to shoot down enemies in a quick dash across the bridge.
There is also a ground battle where Iron Man’s other weapons can be used.
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Alternating between aerial and ground-based attacks is the best approach here as Iron-Man is flanked from all around.
To be honest, I didn’t enjoy Thor and Iron Man as much as I thought I would, but when playing as Hulk, Captain America and Black Widow, the game is really satisfying.
As Captain America, I played an amazing battle on the Chimera.
With Cap, the combat is very familiar and feels a lot like the Arkham games although not just a rip-off.
With the circle button, you can dodge or vault over an enemy and then hit them with a satisfyingly animated combo.
Also, blocking an attack with R2 makes a satisfying “KLANG” as enemies are bounced off of Rogers’ vibranium and adamantium shield.
The animation in the game is superb and feels very Marvel when you are hit with something powerful and then slide across the floor before jumping straight back in for more.
Black Widow’s combat is equally as satisfying and a lengthy fight with Taskmaster is very reminiscent of the excellent boss battles from Marvel’s Spider-Man.
This first battle is an excellent tutorial and works well, even if it is to serve as the fall of the heroes and wanton destruction all around.
Following the intro battle, the game jumps five years where a young Kamala Khan and Bruce Banner are working to reunite the Avengers.
Following A Day, a group known as “A.I.M” stepped in to usher in a post-Avengers world protected by A.I machines.
The A Day event allegedly left a lot of humans with dangerous powers who are now hunted and dubbed “Inhuman“.
A.I.M is secretly an oppressive regime and Kamala believes that A.I.M was behind A Day and sets out to prove it.
Together with Dr. Banner, Kamala ventures to a remote location in order to retrieve J.A.R.V.I.S and locate Tony Stark.
I got to play this massive mission both as The Incredible Hulk and as Kamala Khan, and both characters are amazing.
Gameplay for Hulk is not as simple as you may think, since he just smashes everything.
However, it should be noted that Hulk is not invincible, especially when up against deadly robots with advanced weaponry.
Even playing as Hulk, you will still need to dodge and counter in order to survive the game’s relentless wave of enemies.
Hulk utilizes punching light attacks and smashing heavy attacks, but you will need to time the latter properly so as not to leave yourself open.
However, holding R2 can burn some of Hulk’s “Rage” meter that will reduce the amount of damage taken.
Another excellent feature is Hulk’s throwing capabilities.
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Pressing L2 will rip up chunks of the ground which Hulk can then throw with R2, excellent for dispatching ranged enemies such as Peacekeeper snipers.
Each hero’s capabilities and gear can be upgraded with the game’s R.P.G style upgrade system.
Equipping gear can improve some abilities and give a hero new ones.
One much talked about downside to this however is that equipped gear does not change the character’s appearance.
Rather, Crystal Dynamics has chosen to create alternate costumes should you wish to vary a hero’s appearance.
The boss battle with Abomination at the end of Hulk’s sequence is just epic and one worthy of the superhero games we have come to love over the past few years.
Playing as Kamala is also great fun as her abilities allow her to stretch like Reed Richards from Fantastic 4.
As with the other heroes, the gameplay and style are drastically altered when playing as Kamala.
While Kamala obviously isn’t going to be as strong as Hulk or as experienced as Captain America, she is capable of some extremely talented moves.
For one thing, she doesn’t need to get up close and personal as she can use a ranged light attack combo that ends in a powerful clap if it isn’t interrupted with an enemy attack.
Kamala is also capable of using her stretchy arms to grab distant ledges and swing across pipes in order to avoid enemies and get some space.
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While I only played up until Hulk’s first boss battle, I got a clear sense of what the game is trying to achieve.
Kamala’s sense of loss at the disbanding of the Avengers as well as her own sadness about having powers and therefore being an outcast and ultimately an outlaw is excellently and delicately handled.
Kamala is a young girl struggling to find her place in the world, let alone embrace her new abilities with the possibility of being hunted down by A.I.M.
At the beginning at least, this means that Kamala is unwilling to accept her powers and actually wants to be rid of them, not really believing herself to be a hero.
I get the sense that when the full game arrives and we get to play through it, that we will see more of the development of a new hero rather than focusing on established ones.
Kamala Khan is a lesser-known hero from 2013 and is Marvel’s first Muslim character to get her own comic.
I for one cannot wait to enjoy Kamala’s journey when the game launches soon.
Marvel’s Avengers’ release date is scheduled for September 4 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Michael is the sole writer and owner at chartxgames.com.
Many thought that his youth (and adulthood) playing video games was a waste of time but here he is writing about them for a living.
Michael has a background in IT and enjoys (apart from video games) building and repairing PC’s, digital artwork (Photoshop, 3DS Max) and has interests in too many subjects to mention.