There are a lot of things I don’t like Marvel’s Avengers, one of the best comic video games I’ve ever played.
I don’t like grinding missions to earn more powerful gear so that I can take on more difficult missions. I don’t like my heroes’ inventories slowly filling up with garbage until I have to pause the game and spend 30 seconds dismantling unnecessary waste. I don’t like having to collect faction missions in two different social spaces separated by loading minutes. I don’t like spending five minutes traveling to a mission only to completely freeze the game, forcing me to restart. I don̵
But none of this can surpass the feeling of Thor’s hammer hitting a robot’s metal body, Captain America’s shield flying true, Iron Man’s rockets hitting home, Hulk’s rage shaking earth, Black Widow’s sting and Ms. Marvel’s shifting fists and feet. In the heat of battle, even a battle I’ve fought a dozen times, the sheer joy of being one of Earth’s mightiest heroes drowns out all those little irritations. When I play Marvel’s Avengers I am a superhero. This is exactly what I wanted from the Crystal Dynamics third person comic adventure.
It helps that the game’s story campaign is basically a 10-12 hour superhero insertion process led by one of the best new comic book characters of the past decades, Kamala “Ms. Marvel” Khan. The inhuman teenager with her springy powers and boundless optimism is the perfect bridge between fans and heroes, both being herself.
Without Kamala, there would be no Avengers. The game opens in A-Day, a special event celebrating the esteemed super team. A young Kamala Khan is there, hoping to win an award for her Avengers fan-fiction when disaster strikes. While the Avengers are distracted by an attack on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the Terrigen Experimental Reactor that powers S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier that acts as a funfair for the overloads of the day before. The resulting explosion takes up much of the city and apparently causes Captain America’s death. Losing their leader and blamed for the disaster by the public, the Avengers disband. Five years later, teenager Kamala Khan stumbles upon information suggesting the A-Day disaster was a trick. Transformed by the Mists of Terrigen into the shapeshifter Ms. Marvel, Kamala sets out on an adventure to unite her heroes to face the ever-growing threat of the evil scientific organization A.I.M.
Kamala is the heart of Marvel’s Avengers. His enthusiasm and fearless spirit are what drives the player as he slowly reassembles the disassembled super team. I wasn’t as thrilled to unlock Iron Man or Black Widow as playable characters in the campaign as I was to see how Kamala reacted to them. The narrative isn’t quite as glamorous as the focus shifts to the more established heroes towards the latter half of the campaign. As funny as Stark and Banner’s bickering is, I miss having my resilient young hero by my side, providing his novice hero perspective. Fortunately, the main narrative attacks the landing perfectly. I would explain how, but it would be significant.
The campaign is divided into a series of missions. Kamala and the growing roster of Restored Avengers departed from their helicopter base, attempting to thwart A.I.M.’s evil plan. to gather inhuman powers to create an army of super androids. They are sent to the high-tech A.I.M. bases, wilderness areas in the wild dotted with A.I.M. installations, or the strange urban landscape teeming with A.I.M. Thugs. There is generally a main goal, such as infiltrating a specific base, with a number of optional goals achievable along the way. It is up to the player to either head to their objective or wander in search of more powerful gear and other rewards before the main event of each mission. There is a lot of reuse of land and locations going on, but it’s not painful until the grind of the post-campaign mission kicks off.
During the campaign, I was too busy harnessing, destroying, beating, hitting, shooting, swinging, and flying to worry too much about repetitive scenarios. Fight Marvel’s Avengers it is deliciously brutal. Punches and kicks have a tangible impact. You can almost feel the recoil of Iron Man’s missile launchers. Being a third person game and not an overhead affair like the Marvel Ultimate Alliance games, the action here is intimate and immediate. I haven’t felt so good playing Captain America since 2011 Captain America: Super-Soldier, the Sega game that everyone forgets. And although I wish this version of the Hulk had the ability to scale the wall of the brute from 2005 The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, I understand that some sacrifices have been made to balance this team adventure. It wouldn’t be so fun if every mission started with Iron Man flying straight to the target, so he has to fly slowly. It bothers me a little like a comic book nerd, but I understand.
Quote on the back of the box
“Some assembly required”
Team Goal Simulator
Be the Avengers. Fighting like the Avengers. My new best friend, Kamala Khan.
I did not like it
Late game grindy pieces, the odd block.
PlayStation 4 (played), Xbox One, PC, Stadia
September 4, 2020
Campaign played to the end of the main story and beyond, 69% completed. You have played dozens of multiplayer missions. He leveled Thor up because Ari Notis wouldn’t stop talking about that Thor mission.
What I really like are the different play styles within each individual character. In co-op, I teamed up with players charging into battle with Iron Man, waving their fists and strange laser blasts. My Iron Man is rocket ready, so I like to stay behind and rain destruction. If I were more of a team player, I could specify that my Ms. Marvel has more stacks than her heroic healing ability. Not me, so he kicks a lot more instead.
They were Marvel’s Avengers just the campaign with some co-op play and some character-specific side missions thrown in for good measure, I’d be perfectly satisfied. Crystal Dynamics could have stopped right there, maybe put in some story DLC, and I’d be the happiest Avengers fan ever. I’m still damn happy, but I’m not a huge fan of Destiny/Hymnin the ultimate multiplayer style.
Once the campaign is over, you are left with the “Avengers Initiative” post-campaign. This is where I have to start traveling between the two social spaces of the game to collect faction missions, grinding up reputation so that I can earn more powerful gear. Both S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier is the hidden base of Inhuman Resistance host faction coordinators offering daily missions and assignments that players can complete to gain faction reputation. The interface for accepting these missions gives me serious Destiny vibrations. In the meantime, the missions are distributed via the war table. It’s a holographic map table full of mission icons that would feel right at home HymnIt’s Fort Tarsis.
Do you see the icons with checkmarks below them on the map? Those are missions I’ve already completed. They are also missions that the game would like you to repeat at higher difficulty levels for greater rewards. I understand that there are people out there who crave this kind of boring service games, but that’s not me. I’m almost jealous of my most colleagues who love games as a service to get more out of the game than me.
But I got a lot out of it Marvel’s Avengers. I’m still playing regularly, not to level up my characters, but to enjoy the thrill of getting rid of my favorite heroes. I can’t wait to add future characters and the narrative missions they will bring. Some of the game’s character-specific side stories plant seeds that I truly hope will materialize in future downloadable content. I’m also a huge fan of collecting alternative costumes, although not so much that I would pay real money to do it.
Even without his occasional glitches and hiccups, Marvel’s Avengers and no Spiderman PS4. But Spiderman PS4 only offers gamers the experience of playing as a superhero. It is relatively easy. Avengers does a damn good job of bringing to life six wildly different superheroes, somehow making the power of a god literal as satisfying as being a normal human robot shooting in the face with a pair of guns. And there are more heroes on the way, including not one but two Hawkeyes with a bow and arrow. I can’t wait to take down a robotic tank with a piece of wood pushed by a tight rope.
Marvel’s Avengers it’s not the best comic game around, but it’s definitely the best team comic game I’ve ever played. It’s not simply that it brings together iconic heroes and allows me to become them, but that each of them is equally fun. When the first two minutes of a session are spent choosing which character I want to play as, something went wonderfully well, which makes it much easier to overlook all the little things I don’t like.
Our Avengers cover has been assembled