Saturday 17 October 2020

Marvel's Avengers ★★★☆☆

There’s a joke in here somewhere about how we all wear masks of our own (because of the pandemic and superheroes wear masks) but I’m going to leave you to marinate those choice comedy ingredients and just dive right into the review. Coming off the back of the most successful Beta in Playstation history, Marvel’s Avengers had a lot of hype to live up to. Now that the complete game has been released for all of us to get our hands-on, how does it measure up?

Marvel’s Avengers is a beat-em-up RPG that has both a story campaign and online multiplayer modes. This game is built entirely on the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and although they don’t seem to share the same canon this game has definitely inherited the visual style of the movies. The look of the helicarriers, Iron Man armour, team costumes - at least for as long as it takes you to unlock new cosmetics. Nearly everything except the movie actors themselves has been lifted - they’ve been replaced by a cast of voice actors that are pretty A-list as far as voice actors go.

The least well-known of the main roster is the game’s insert character and main protagonist Ms Marvel, Kamala Khan, who I’ll start by saying is an absolute hoot. She’s super likeable, her powers are fun to play, and it’s great to play as someone who we don’t know inside and out from the movies. She’s a huge superhero fan and her exaggerated reactions and funny quips act as good punctuation to the games more serious and awe-inspiring moments. You’ve got plenty of chances to play as all of the Avengers but spoiler-free, the crux of the plot is a coming of age story for Kamala. 

So the story is a lot of fun, but is the game? Mostly. And I say mostly because there are features of this game that start out incredibly fun and exciting but don’t always stay that way. It’s satisfying if you love perk tree level-up systems and stuff, everyone’s powers and abilities are fun to use and feel pretty different from one another. But the unique enjoyable factors of each character seem to kind of melt away when you’re button mashing through wave after wave of hundreds of monotonous characterless robot enemies.

The multiplayer elements seem like they’d be fun if you had the right people to play them with, but kind of boil down into a similarly monotonous gameplay cycle of just mashing your powers into endless waves of drones until they’re gone. But how many multiplayer games don’t have a repetitive gameplay cycle? Just look at the likes of Destiny 2, Overwatch and Borderlands. It’s the camaraderie that makes it special. I think the multiplayer in Marvel’s Avengers is probably a lot more fun than I had with the short, friendless time I spent playing it. 

I really can’t be too harsh on a game that Square Enix is planning to release a steady stream of free content for, this could be a totally different gaming experience a year from now. But my advice? If you’re a Marvel fan you’re going to love it and it’s absolutely worth your time and money. If you’ve never seen a Marvel movie and have no friends to play with? The gameplay might start to get old pretty fast. 

Jake James

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