Our Marvel’s Avengers Game review found the highly anticipated title to be a fun and true to Marvel game but it’s not without its issues.
Developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by games industry veterans Square Enix, the game has been released to very mixed reactions.
Currently, the game’s Metacritic score sits at 70%, and I would say that this is fair.
Perhaps one of the most hyped games ever made, Marvel’s Avengers was officially released on Friday, September 04.
However, customers who pre-ordered the game have been playing since Tuesday thanks to a 72-hour early access condition.
This game did, however, have an abnormally large amount of open BETA testing in order to iron out bugs before the game’s official release.
Because of this, we got to sample much of the game and its features long before its scheduled date.
Hot on the heels of PlayStation exclusive Marvel’s Spider-Man, a Marvel title was needed for all gamers.
Avengers is that game.
Creating an Avengers game is an excellent and obvious choice, especially if you want to develop a multiplayer and co-op aspect of the game.
Upon the conclusion of the main story campaign, it is clearly obvious that the rest of the game is focused on co-op.
However, thankfully, you do not have to choose co-op and you can play with up to three other AI-controlled heroes to fight at your side.
The game starts out well as we control a young Kamala Khan who has been invited to attend A-Day because of her submission of Avengers fan fiction.
A-Day is an event held in San Francisco where members of the public get to meet the real Avengers.
The event has also been scheduled to show off Stark’s new Terrigen device that can provide clean and consistent energy for the world’s cities.
In the Marvel comics, some Avengers team members have come and gone, but for the game, the team consists of the core heroes.
Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Thor and Hulk are featured in the game and they are all playable.
For the beginning though, you must guide Kamala Khan as a child around the A-Day event.
This opening mission is extremely fun as Kamala bumps into her favorite superheroes one by one.
This serves both as an introduction to the heroes, as there are tents with information on each character, and an opener for the story.
The prologue is also an introduction to Kamala Khan, a character from Marvel comics that perhaps most people may not be aware of.
Kamala Khan eventually becomes known as Ms. Marvel and her portrayal in this game is excellent.
A young Muslim girl and an Avengers super fan, Kamala has all of the cuteness, humor, and naivety of a teenage girl.
As you progress Kamala through the prologue and set to take your place in the V.I.P section of the event, an explosion rocks the Golden Gate Bridge.
Following that, a full-on attack takes place that requires you to use all of the Avengers.
This serves to introduce you to all of the game mechanics and different play styles of each hero.
I have to say, this is one of the best openers for a game I have ever played as it has different heroes, mad intensity, and excellent gameplay.
As you switch between heroes with different objectives, you get a real sense of the Avengers working as a team.
Explosive set pieces and large-scale battles have the urgency and excitement worthy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies that we all know.
Unfortunately, the game never gets better than this.
Needless to say, during the attack, the Terrigen device explodes.
Furthermore, the Terrigen device explosion caused some people to develop abilities and have been dubbed as “Inhumans“.
The Inhuman angle is a prominent feature in Marvel comics, similar to D.C’s Metahuman concept.
As I understand it, Terrigen has awakened dormant genetically engineered alien DNA from Kree genetic experimentation on humans.
However, the story doesn’t go into detail on this but collectibles can be found that shed some more light on the game’s events.
Five years later, the Avengers have been blamed for the disaster and subsequently disbanded, and Stark Industries has been overtaken by a shadowy organization known as Advanced Ideas Mechanics or AIM.
Kamala has also grown up a little and has been researching the events of A-Day.
It appears that Inhumans have been disappearing and she believes AIM to be responsible.
Following communication with a hacker known as Tiny Dancer, Kamala accesses an encrypted video that casts doubt on the official story.
The video may also explain the fate of Captain America, who has been missing presumed dead since A-Day.
Soon after viewing the video, AIM operatives bust down Kamala’s door, and this is where the adventure really begins.
As Kamala runs to evade the authorities, it is evident that she was also affected by the Terrigen explosion.
Kamala has become what is known as a “Polymorph“, an ability that allows her to morph parts of her body.
Kamala can literally stretch her legs, arms and appendages, and also enlargen her entire body to giant size.
This first mission for Kamala is a good intro to her abilities as you run across the rooftops of downtown Jersey City.
As well as utilizing some of her very fun powers, we also get to see some of the enemies we can expect throughout the game.
There are typical weapon clad soldiers, brutes and airborne drones, all of which require a different approach to dispatch.
For example, Kamala’s light attack can swing her stretchy arms to punch a soldier from a few feet away while her ranged attack can knock down drones.
Combat in this game is well done and typical of brawler type games.
Anyone familiar with the Batman Arkham games or indeed Marvel’s Spider-Man will feel right at home.
On PS4, Square is used for light attacks, Triangle for heavy attacks, Circle to dodge, and Cross to jump and/or fly with flight-capable heroes such as Thor and Iron Man.
The game’s combat mechanics also include a parry feature utilized by pressing the right trigger.
The game will signify an incoming attack that can be parried with a glowing yellow circle, while a red circle must be dodged.
Each hero has a unique parry move that is extremely useful and can be powerful if timed properly.
For example, Kamala’s parry makes her bend away from incoming attacks while Iron Man throws up an energy shield.
However, the parry system can become somewhat confused due to the amount of effects on screen, especially when surrounded by enemies.
Fortunately, the game’s combat can be as complex or as simple as you like, as you can draw enemies away from groups to dispatch them, or you can go in with confidence and execute combos, parries and dodges like Captain America himself.
As you get more comfortable with the game, you will earn skill points that can be used to upgrade each character’s skills.
The expansive Skill Tree makes your special attacks more powerful, upgrades combos, or unlocks new weapons.
Shoulder buttons are used for the mentioned Special attacks known as Heroics and these are extremely powerful.
Each hero has three unique Heroics with different effects and awesome stopping power.
Ultimate Heroics are the most powerful and can turn the tide of a battle when used properly.
Thor can call the Bifrost for an extremely powerful area attack, Kamala can become a giant while Iron Man can transform into Hulk Buster.
As the game’s story unfolds, new heroes will become available with each unlocked character progressing the next chapter.
While the story is well done and interesting, it is extremely short and can be finished in around five hours.
Of course, there are more chapters and story branches upon the conclusion of the game as well as the online multiplayer aspect.
The game comes in two variants, Reassemble and Avengers Initiative.
Reassemble is the main story aspect while the Avengers Initiative is focused more on multiplayer War Zones.
However, they both play out almost exactly the same and co-op can be used in Reassemble while Avengers Initiative can be played solo.
The game’s presentation is that of an online game with loot chests and resource crates littering each level.
Because of this, a lot of focus is taken away from the main objective as you scout the current level for resources in order to upgrade your character’s gear, guided by JARVIS.
Gear is upgraded in almost exactly the same way as most games of this type as loot boxes and enemy drops will provide gear while collected resources can be used to increase their power.
While this is an over used system, it works well in the game and is easy enough to understand.
On top of gear power level, some gear has benefits and perks such as dealing elemental damage or providing defense buffs.
Associated attributes such as Might, Precision or Valor can increase melee attack damage, ranged attack damage or Heroic abilities respectively.
Back to game levels, while they are fun and well-designed, there is a lot of repetitive action and even cloned areas for different levels.
AIM facilities, for example, are largely the same no matter which version you play.
The exterior and interior layouts are almost exactly the same across the board except for specialized mission types where the final area will differ.
I understand that this is a common concept in online gaming but to use this technique for the main story campaign is plain lazy.
That being said, there are some stand out missions in the main campaign with features and environments not found anywhere else.
Avengers Initiative provides more gameplay and much more opportunity to increase character levels.
These missions tend to drop better loot than in the main game and bonuses can be earned from two factions, SHIELD and The Inhuman Resistance.
Each of these provides daily challenges known as Assignments that can easily be completed just by virtue of playing the game.
Each faction also has a unique vendor with specific gear for each hero that can be unlocked by increasing faction rank, however, most of the items worth purchasing aren’t available until a much higher faction level.
Owing to the fact that there is a lot more, yet repetitive gameplay following the main story means that you can get some satisfying combat from this title.
Even though some elements are repetitive, you will find yourself still playing and wanting to get more out of your characters.
This game can be difficult but just like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order or Ghost of Tsushima, you are only as good as how much you practice.
Learning each hero’s unique combos is essential for successful boss battles and the game’s repetition isn’t enough to put you off.
To be fair, this can be forgiven since most games of this type do begin life in this way and become bigger and better as new content is added.
Elder Scrolls Online was mediocre at best when it was first released and it has now grown into one of the best online gaming experiences available.
That being said, some of the in-game bugs are laughable.
I have been subject to camera glitches, audio issues, lost cosmetic items and even full-on crashes and given the amount of BETA testing that has occurred over the past months, this is unforgivable.
I have honestly never seen so many bugs in a console game before.
While Marvel’s Avengers isn’t perfect, it isn’t awful either.
Crystal Dynamics has done a great job of capturing each hero’s unique personality and the story, though short, is entertaining.
The innocence of Kamala Khan through to her strength becoming Ms. Marvel is excellently done, and having a strong female minority lead character is more important than ever.
This isn’t the game you might think it is, but that’s OK.
The developers have already confirmed plans to develop it further for years with more planned content such as stories and heroes, which I personally can’t wait to see.
Some of the game’s unforgivable bugs and glitches will be eventually ironed out and I am confident that Marvel’s Avengers will become an online success.
Until then, my advice would be to maybe wait a month or two before purchasing this game while some of the issues are rectified.
But if you want to play now then just be aware that there are still some serious issues with this game.
Should you decide to pick up and play right now then you will be making your way through one of the most enjoyable games of 2020, despite its problems.
Marvel’s Avengers is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
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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.