Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Let us assemble!
What’s up squad, FrostyPhenix here! Well...here it is...the review we have all been waiting for…my review of the Square Enix title “Marvel’s Avengers”! Let me note that I am an avid and growing Marvel Fan so I may be a tad biased, but I am also a trained journalist and critic and understanding of both sides of an opinion. This game has, in my opinion, received the most positive and negative critique commentary for a game pre-launch and first week that I have seen in a long time. Here is my review and I hope to add a healthy middle ground and create a realm for discussion. Let’s get started!!
What is Marvel’s Avengers?
Marvel’s Avengers, Developed by Crystal Dynamics, Nixxes Software, Crystal Northwest and Eidos-Montreal and Published by Square-Enix, is a third person, action adventure role-playing “brawler” video game that presents the newest age of gaming graphics and interaction with an in-depth and developing story line. This game is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia and Microsoft Windows with plans to also be available on the coming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles. It was released official world wide on September 4th of 2020 with an early release access on September 1st of the same year as a pre-order bonus for the Physical and Digital Deluxe, PlayStation Exclusive and “Earth’s Mightiest” editions. For those that are not familiar with Marvel or its Mightiest Heroes (or have missed any of the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the past decade), then you’re in for an immersive world of a superhero action. While it is not the first release of a Marvel Based Action/Adventure Multiplayer Game (see Marvel: Ultimate Alliance), it is the first Marvel Game with customize able character statistics within the online interaction capacity. First announced in 2017 at Square Enix’s E3 presentation, the game was highly anticipated due to Square Enix’s reputation for delivering and/or being involved in popular titles such as Kingdom Hearts, all of the Final Fantasy games and other titles. (ALL IMAGES BELOW ARE FROM MY PERSONAL SCREEN SHOT COLLECTION...ENJOY)
Game Play: Become Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!
Let’s get into the game play here!
It is almost nonstop action during battles as you and your team take on minor enemies and mini bosses throughout the levels using your abilities with your AI companions (and hopefully carrying your weight if you are teamed up with actual players) to the mission’s end. I will say the waves of enemies are a bit overwhelming as you get further in the game and utilizing your personal reaction time for the block and dodge abilities to execute them at their absolute limit is an understatement. There may even be times when you think you pressed the reaction with enough time (too early or too late) and it might not have been your fault (this doesn’t happen often but keep that in mind).
The control setup is fairly simple with your standard low hit button for light combos, high hit button for heavy attacks and light combo to heavy combo finishers. Standard jump button/vertical action and dodge assignments along with each character, who each have a unique block or reaction action. From Ms Marvel’s Elastic Punches and Kicks to Captain America’s Well Known Close Combat Style to Hulk’s wide low strength and high strength swings, each character’s combos are something to master. Along with the standard melee attacks, each character has a decent ranged attack, an iconic heroic attack, a support attack and an ultimate attack. All the characters have stat trees that can be customized to either specialize in attack or support. Anyone can pick up this game and feel like an avenger but mastering the combinations and taking down the swarms of enemies takes focus.
From the “War Table” on the Chimera, AKA Avengers Flying Headquarters, you select various missions to participate in. There are bunker invasion missions, hero specific story line missions, training room missions (also known as the H.A.R.M. Room) and boss raid missions. Once you choose a mission, depending on the number of participants allowed, you can enable or disable matchmaking to team up with other random players to participate in the mission. As you progress your level, other missions and difficulty levels open up and increase. After the game’s main story you are logging into the “Avengers Initiative”, which is the online multiplayer continuation of the story. Squad up with your friends, Match-make with other players or ride solo in this continued gameplay experience and growing story line.
As of this article, 4 DLC characters have been revealed, along with the first expansion to the main story line of the game. Earliest DLC character is Spider-Man (Free to PlayStation owners), set to release early 2021, followed by the “Hawkeyes” Clint Barton and Kate Bishop with the new story missions, and wrapping up the first batch of DLC characters with T’Challa, AKA the Black Panther (his teaser was set to be shown with the others around opening week, however due to the passing of Chadwick Boseman, the devs decided to hold that reveal back).
Story: A World Without Avengers
By this point, some of you may have looked up the story due to disinterest based on all the reviews, while the rest of you don’t have it and like a surprise. I’m here to tell you this base story gets a good job from me.
The main protagonist is Kamala Khan, a young teen at the beginning of the game who then becomes a teenager through the game's time skip. Before the skip however, she was one of a few children to board SHIELD and the Avengers New Heli-Carrier as a contestant in a contest of “who could write the best Avengers Scenario” as a short story. Well from the demo most of you might have seen by now (or haven’t seen) things go very wrong, so wrong that the new heli-carrier explodes, taking out thousands of resident of San Francisco, turning others into what are labeled “In Humans” and scattering the Avengers, who took the fall for this disaster known...as A-Day. With the populace scattered between those who believe in the Avengers and those who despise them and see them as a threat, Kamala knows in her gut that things didn’t go the way they seemed and took it upon herself and her “In Human” powers to find the truth and reassemble the Avengers.
The way the story rolls out for me is fantastic and unexpected. If you are expecting the story to be similar at all to the MCU films, you are sadly mistaken. This world is more parallel to the comic book material and yet is its own original world and content. The banter between the avengers during combat makes you feel immersed in the action as how only the avengers would interact and “beat the bad guys”. What gives me life is each character’s finisher action!
Graphics: How’s the view?
While not the most BEAUTIFUL GAME you’ve ever seen, the graphics pass enough to display the action of saving the world the avengers way. I’m playing on a PS4 with an HDMI cable on a smart tv. If you have played Spider-Man for the PS4 (same developer by the way) and loved those graphics, then you’re in for a treat! Interacting with the off mission environment is quite fun for Marvel heads and fans of character interactions with said environments (although walking and running to them aren’t too fun...feels a little clunky). Cutscenes are mediocre, saved by the life and intrigue of the story (for me at least). A few graphic issues such as being stuck in a portion of the map you can’t get out of, sound glitches and loading screens make for a little of an annoying experience. We’ll have to see how it fairs on the other systems it is available for, but for PS4 in my opinion it is passable.
Sounds: Turn Up My Stereo, JARVIS!
The sound of the game is quite good. Repulsor Blasts, Mjolnir Slams and Vibranium shields crashing into enemies sound exactly as they should sound. Once you get over not hearing the MCU Actors speaking their roles in the movie, the voice cast for the characters of this game did a stellar job depicting their assigned roles. A1 here in my book!
Difficultly: I can do this all day...can I?
While you may be an Avenger, Earth’s MIGHTIEST HERO, don’t think this game is a walk in the park. Leveling your character up and adding the modifications for effects make the difference between an all out Avengers Assault and a not so enjoyable Avengers Beatdown with you on the receiving end. In the beginning Of Course there is some forgiveness with fewer enemy numbers, however as you get towards the end of the main story it truly encourages you to level up your team, gain certain skills and modifications from side missions to make your way through the story mode more enjoyable.
Conclusion: We’ll do this together...
For all of the back and forth the game has received since BETA, I will say everything can always be improved. If you walk into this game expecting perfection, you will be disappointed, but if you walk into it expecting a video game with growth possibilities and see if nothing more than a chance to play as your favorite avenger with explosions and action and witty banter, then you will have a GREAT time alone...or preferably with friends.
8 Out of 10!
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