On Sept. 4, Square Enix launched their new game Marvel’s Avengers. Released for Xbox, PlayStation, Stadia and PC, the game follows everyone’s favorite superheroes on their adventures.
SPOILERS BELOW FOR STORYLINE CONTENT OF MARVEL’S AVENGERS!
The game begins on A-Day, a day celebrating the Avengers and the opening of their new headquarters in San Francisco. We are introduced to Kamala Khan, a young girl who participated in a fanfiction contest and is on her way to A-Day to be part of the celebration and find out if she won the contest. Once at A-Day, we get to play various carnival games themed around the Avengers to win comics in order to secure a VIP seat.
The festivities begin and, as often happens with the Avengers, things suddenly go wrong. The Chimera, which is the new airship that all of A-Day takes place on, is powered by a new element called Terrigen which was to be revealed at A-Day. The crystal becomes unstable thanks to a strange force in the Bay, and everything explodes. We get the chance to play as each of the Avengers available in the game, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow and Hulk. After a rather harrowing mission, Captain America, Dr. Tarleton and the Chimera perish, leaving everyone shocked.
We’re left with a cutscene of Kamala crying in her father’s arms before the game jumps a few years. Kamala is now a teenager, roughly 16 or so, and has been affected by the Terrigen released during the A-Day incident. We learn that many people were affected and now have powers. These people are referred to as ‘Inhumans’. Kamala, now on the run, travels to Utah where she finds the Chimera and eventually, the Hulk who has spent the majority of the years since the incident trapped in big green form.
We also learn that Dr. Tarleton, who was presumed dead at the time of the incident survived thanks to his assistant Monica using her formula to make him Inhuman. He is now M.O.D.O.K.
The two set off to attempt to find JARVIS, and by proxy, Tony himself. Eventually, we come to learn that Natasha aka Black Widow had infiltrated the new agency known as AIM, who took over in an attempt to ‘eliminate and cure’ the Inhuman problem and was working on the inside to gain information. She joins the team again, as well as Thor, and now all that’s missing is Captain America. However he’s dead. Or is he?
Kamala deciphers a message the second bad guy, Monica, had left in an interrogation and remembers something about a satellite she saw during her time as an AIM captive. Tony pulls his spacesuit out of storage and heads for the satellite. What he finds aboard the satellite is a game-changer.
Gameplay and Mechanics
Overall, the game feels finished in terms of graphics and mechanics, but it’s not free from issues. Many players have reported graphical issues such as framerate stuttering, textures not loading and other generalized issues. I noticed a few of these when I was playing. Enemies would get stuck on walls, sometimes the game would fail to load an event or in one instance, the attack mechanic for an enemy never triggered and I was forced to restart the checkpoint in an attempt to get it working again.
Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix released a patch on release day, as well as another in the past couple of days that addressed some of these issues. In my game, I would often find certain elements not loading correctly, such as hair textures would be on the ground or a few feet away from a character, just floating. Another major issue came from the cosmetics that are unlockable or buyable in game. Many players reported that skins would suddenly go missing after crafting them, or that they wouldn’t show up at all.
The fighting mechanics are fluid, and despite the characters having similar fight styles – Thor and Iron Man are the aerial fighters, Black Widow and Captain America are the long range fighters and Hulk and Ms. Marvel are the long range fighters – their movesets and heroic abilities feel different enough that each character feels like its own unit.
Some enemy types are more difficult than others, with a range of abilities that can deplete your health in addition to several heavy enemies that can take a while to defeat. There are several missions that are specific to each character, and some can’t be played until you’ve reached a certain level. Leveling works in two ways, first, your character gains levels with each mission they complete, and depending on how much you use each character, it can take a while to get leveled up.
The second way that leveling works is with power levels, which are different from your character’s regular level. Power levels can be increased by acquiring higher level gear, and boosting it with resources. The game can be played single player or multiplayer, with the ability to change both the amount of players and the level difficulty at any time.
Notably, the game also faced controversy after it was announced by the game’s developer that Spider-Man would be console locked to PlayStation only. This is part of an ongoing deal with Sony, who is the main holder of the Spider-man name and title. However, the game is worth playing and while some of the current bugs might seem problematic, the storyline and repeat playability make the game worth the price point.
It’s a fun game for any Marvel fan, and will leave you excited for the DLC to come.
‘Marvel’s Avengers’ is now available on a platform near you.