A game based on Avengers will always be tackled with scepticism, such is the dominance of Avengers on the big screen. And even after its beta stages, this Square Enix title’s post-campaign gameplay made little to no impact on us to return for a second serving.
That said, we stuck to the controller for the full review and it’s as we expected. The Marvel’s Avengers is not half as good as the big-screen counterparts, worse, it’s probably an insult to superhero videogames. Trading a meaningful and story-driven experience for a tedious loot grind is a perfect example of how some videogames that could potentially be one of the best, are being stripped of creativity and sculpted into a money-first service.
Trumping Thanos’ galactic mischiefs for some down to earth (literally) troubles is a good way to initiate a new story. Told directly from Kamala Khan’s (Ms Marvel) perspective, the campaign story offers an exciting welcome for eager players.
The teenager is undoubtedly an Avengers fan and her character stays fresh and enticing throughout the 12 or so hours of the campaign. It puts forward a unique perspective of the story that would’ve otherwise been a run-of-the-mill one.
Albeit, it’s not going to make you scratch your head. Even with fantastic voice acting and cinematics, it still feels like a b-grade take on Avengers.
It’s a pretty straightforward story. One that has you assembling the Avengers after a tragic day which destroyed an entire city and blessed/cursed a few people with Avengers-like powers.
The new and improved nation's kicked Avengers out of duty and gave all the power to AIM. A corporation that loves robots. So you’ll be spending all of your time fighting off robots, people enhanced with robotic weaponry and fancy pants gadgets that make Hulk smash twice.
In all fairness, every spandex-loving superhero has some unique detail in combat. All of them have their own move sets and abilities to smash bad folks. However, the crux of the combat stays the same. Light and heavy attacks, a couple of combos and special abilities. The novelty quickly wears out simply because of the missions themselves. A tedious repetition of tasks and familiar territories make the game feel more like a household chore than a planet-saving crusade.
Enemies too are the same robots in different paint jobs and sizes.
Honestly, there’s something about fighting robots that just sits well. After all, a superhero is only deemed worthy if they fight a formidable opponent. One that really twists your thoughts and kills half the planet. If Thanos wasn’t an all-conquering twisted evil dude, Avengers would be napping.
Looter but not shooter
After your main campaign, the story flips sideways for a massive loot grind. Once your Avengers have assembled, there are more robots and facilities to clear out with buds. Each likely to control their favourite superhero. Which is fun and tedious in equal measure.
But that moment of satisfaction with friends masquerading as Avengers falls short after a few missions. Almost, every mission feels similar to the other, and enemies just come in hordes, much like Destiny without the satisfactory and final loot drop.
Gear changing loot is hella confusing, not to mention the font and text are small when playing on a 50in 4K telly. There are some types of resources and materials needed for levelling up your gear, all of which went above my head. It feels pointless. Even the loot that you get after grinding isn’t as mesmerizing or carrot-chasing as other games.
Cosmetic loot can be forgiving. It’s funny to watch Hulk dressed in suit and tie but those things come as a snail’s pace. And if you don’t want to grind, you’ll have to cough up some extra cash.
Marvel’s Avengers Verdict
You’d want to stop after the main story missions. It’s got enough flavour to keep you through those 12 hours but sadly, we did find ourselves getting bored with fighting robots and button smashing our way through it.
If you stick through it, the post-story missions are where the game wants to shine but fall short of a spectacle and drop into a pit of repetitiveness. Loot isn’t half as rewarding for the hours you put in and even when you tweak your game style through the skill tree, it doesn’t have enough of mission variety to keep us coming back.
Square Enix says there is more content and new heroes coming in the future for free. We’ll have to wait and see but for now, the missions are shallow, loot is boring and the game is very buggy.