Like the rampaging Hulk and his change into the brainy Bruce Banner, Marvel’s Avengers is a video game of moving personalities and experiences. Developer Crystal Dynamics provides an effective superhero display that take advantage of each Avenger’s special capabilities to illuminate the battleground in thrilling methods, however when the dust settles, it decreases to reveal a softer, human side that is every bit as interesting, putting a character you wouldn’t anticipate in the main function.
Crystal Dynamics makes a big gamble right out of eviction, providing the message that despite the fact that the name Avengers is on package, this is in fact a story about a girl called Kamala Khan – a big fan of the incredibly group.
The opening minutes reveal Kamala at an Avengers convention, geeking out when she satisfies the similarity Captain America and Black Widow. Kamala’s perspective as a youngster is a revitalizing modification of speed, and her enjoyment is most likely in line with the gamer’s, revealing a gratitude for these incredible heroes. It’s an enjoyable method to start this story, however I was surprised by simply how little screen time the Avengers get in early parts of the project. They are barely included within the very first 3 to 4 hours of play, however it strangely works.
The focus this time is rather on Kamala’s origin story and her becoming the function of Ms. Marvel. This coming-of-age tale is perfectly penned with some legally touching minutes along the method. Even as she is learning more about her powers, Kamala reveals us she’s adept in battle, utilizing a wild set of enjoyable shapeshifting relocates to maul enemies. While battle is the main hook, a great part of Kamala’s gameplay stands out and includes frenzied platforming.
Ms. Marvel grabs onto ledges, topples when platforms fall apart under her feet, and hardly endures every huge leap – all components that remember Crystal Dynamics’ previous deal with the Tomb Raider series. Kamala is even pressed to utilize stealth in a couple of series to slip previous GOAL robotics that serve MODOK, another character that is recognized in incredible methods and is established completely from start to end up.
The platforming action is distinguished by a superhuman component, enabling gamers to utilize Ms. Marvel’s extending capabilities to move her country miles and seem like a hero. These series, while impressing with the level damage typically on screen, are repeated in their actions, and stop working to provide a real sense of risk. They do, nevertheless, help the story and assistance Kamala more become the video game’s most vibrant character. It’ a video game about the Avengers, yet the real star isn’t part of their ranks. I enjoy that the story takes opportunities to keep you off-kilter, all with a gratifying quantity of narrative pay-off.
When Ms. Marvel satisfies the Hulk in her effort to reunite the group, the whole video game structure changes. It moves from direct, story-driven series to a center format filled with deep RPG systems and a world map with an excessive range of single-player and cooperative objectives. I didn’t like hoofing it in the center world to speak with numerous suppliers, however the map is well developed and provides you all of the information you require prior to delving into brand-new critical-path objectives or side activities.
At this point in the video game, Kamala Khan’s story stays strong, and is signed up with by mini-arcs for each of the Avengers. Crystal Dynamics did a good task producing situations customized to these heroes’ special capabilities.
The Hulk is the unstoppable monstrosity you’d hope, smashing opponents and environments to bits. Thor’s Mjölnir absolutely wallops opponents, and each swing feels like it is delivered by a god. I also enjoyed the shield antics of Captain America (who doesn’t get much screen time for good narrative reasons), and the acrobatics of Black Widow. All of these heroes have great cinematic moments backed by huge gameplay setpieces. I don’t want to spoil any of them, but one cool sequence has you frantically running as the environment rotates around you. Crystal Dynamics also keeps you on your toes by challenging the norm for many of the heroes, putting them in situations where they may not have their gear or are wounded.
Iron Man is the only character that I didn’t find enthralling. His gameplay isn’t bad, but it’s tedious; his ranged attacks aren’t much fun, and his close-quarters melee isn’t as impressive as the other heroes’. Nolan North’s performance as Tony Stark is good – his voice and delivery work – but the jokes are overdone, sounding like a one-liner machine on the fritz.
All of the characters share similarities in button mapping, but feel distinct when it comes to combat and moves. Light and heavy combos abound for each hero, and are a blast to use. Each character also has a nice solution for ranged or airborne targets. The dodge, block, and parry systems are put to good use against almost every AIM enemy type, though your foes don’t have much variety.
Every encounter and success feeds into an experience point system that allows you to level up and earn new abilities. Avengers offers a surprising amount of depth in this field. You can’t really spec out a hero differently than their base potential, but you can add extra moves to combos, speed up cooldowns on ranged attacks, and make each character more lethal in certain ways. There are over 100 abilities for each character. It’s a rewarding system that will keep you playing for a long time.
Most of the critical-path missions are nicely designed and offer up plenty of rewards, but the same cannot be said of some of the side activities. For example, some assignments consist of destroying a just few things, so the mission is over almost as quickly as it began; I think I spent more time in the pre-match lobby (which can take time to load and find other players) than actually playing. You also get some odd control-point missions, which push you to stand on a spot to claim it, almost like Crystal Dynamics was thinking about competitive multiplayer ideas and just decided to use them here instead. The control missions are easy with other players at your side, but can be maddening with A.I., which rarely try to claim spaces.
The heroes are better when they are united on the battlefield. The cooperative play is exceptionally good. Most environments are wide-open spaces that allow a full team of four to clobber opponents in style, and you can likewise up the difficulty with your friends to get better rewards and make the battles more dynamic.
You are pushed to earn better gear to raise each of the heroes’ overall power ratings, which you need to tackle harder missions. You may have a power rating of 12, yet need 50 to stand a chance in a particular side mission. Crystal Dynamics clearly has played some Destiny, since the loot system, various currencies, factions, and hub world are nearly identical in concept.
Most of the gear you gain isn’t shown cosmetically, and the influx of items makes the experience drag. Getting a +1 spinal cord for Hulk is just weird, and does +1 really make a difference? Sure, the loot makes heroes more potent, but it just isn’t fun to collect.
Outside of legendary items, the one category of loot that is instantly satisfying is costumes. Crystal Dynamics loaded up on different outfits for each hero, and a lot of them are great nods to Marvel’s comic books. Getting the costumes either requires grinding to earn currency (of which there is an unnecessarily confusing variety), making progress on the Challenge Card (Avengers’ equivalent of a battle pass system), or getting a blueprint to fabricate.
Nothing really comes quick in Avengers. I wouldn’t call the process a slog, as I had a great time playing missions with friends. However, it goes slowly, making it seem like the structure is designed for you to spend real money to progress faster.
Crystal Dynamics wants you to play this game for years to come, and Avengers has plenty of content to keep you engaged at launch, but replaying missions on higher difficulties to get better gear won’t be enough down the road. It doesn’t have the competitive hooks of similarly designed games like Destiny. A steady drip of new stories and missions will be needed along with the announced heroes. Avengers is in excellent shape right now, dazzling with its story and action. I’m hooked on the end-game content that is available now, and I wish to see simply how powerful these heroes can become after leveling them completely.
Avengers, assemble! You have a excellent video game to play!