Marvel’s Avengers is another “games as a service” game except this time with characters we already know and love. Is this game a contender when it comes to the games as a service? Let’s find out.
Marvel’s Avengers is available on all major platforms. Reviewed on Google Stadia.
I had low expectations for this game. So low that when I got my beta code, I didn’t even use it. I didn’t want to be disappointed and couldn’t bring myself to jump in. As the game got closer and closer to release my excitement started to creep up but I still was not too hopeful.
Marvel’s Avengers, to me, took a huge gamble. They called the game Marvel’s Avengers but the first character you control, and the main character of the story, is a lesser known character, Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel. The character progression and development for her was incredible to me; the way the story starts out, she is a fan, and by the end, she is a full blown Avenger. It never got old to me when she would start to fangirl over the details of being with the Avengers.
No spoilers on the story here. I have played a lot of games as service and the story was never really anything that stood out to me. In this game, the story was the highlight. It was a great superhero story and a great human story as you watch everyone grow as not only a hero but as a person.
The big moment that was all over the marketing for this game, “A Day”, that’s how things start out. The Avengers are set up and disband after their failure to save the day. We then go five years later, and we pick up as Kamala, who is trying to get answers and then goes on a mission to get the Avengers back together and save the world.
From a gameplay point of view, it’s a brawler. Brawlers get repetitive and this game is no different. Everyone plays differently but has the same moves: a light attack, a heavy attack, and a ranged attack. You will run around, doing the same combos over and over again, beating down the same looking enemies over and over.
For the most part, the six playable characters feel pretty balanced, despite their unique differences. Everyone has something in their move set to make them feel even.
No problem, you have stretchy arms to grab ledges as Ms. Marvel, or a grappling hook as Black Widow, or even something as basic as a double jump With Captain America. Because of this, I didn’t feel crippled in my choice of character when it came to traversing the world.
Speaking of the world, there are a few different unique regions you go to, but it all started to feel the same by the end of the game. There were a few surprises that change it up but it did all start to feel the same for the most part.
The worlds are big, and when you drop in you see an indicator of where the main objective is, but you can go off the path and find a lot of different objectives and loot chests. Exploring is not required but is encouraged. Jarvis will let you know when you are near an event or a chest.
Loot is one of the major points of this game. I love loot games, but in Avengers the loot is not cosmetic, and it’s mostly not interesting. If you get a new piece of gear and equip it, you will not see it on your character, it will only increase your power. The only way to change your look is to change your entire costume. There is a lot of love put into the costumes but it would have been nice to at least have an option to see my equipped gear, but I do understand the choice. The loot system as a whole is on the confusing side and takes some time to figure it out.
The mission structure for the campaign made some weird decisions too. There were a few where you have to stand in an area and capture it, and then hold it, similar to something like Domination in a Call of Duty game. Playing these missions solo with AI partners was an absolute chore. This was a decision that was purely based on multiplayer and should have been kept to multiplayer only.
Other missions outside of the campaign include character iconic missions which make you play as a certain character for some story missions; most of these were good and added some more solo fun for me to have after completing the campaign.
Multiplayer is a huge focus on this game but most of my fun was had playing solo. Queuing up for a multiplayer mission you can not have multiple of the same character so everyone needs to have their own. Generally, that didn’t make a problem for me, since I liked playing as most of them.
When you have a full team of four running around it was very easy to lose your team and get separated from them. The maps are open, and people just run where they want, which became frustrating. I know getting a squad of non randoms fixes that but this was the majority of my experience. The other issue I had with multiplayer was it got a little too chaotic to the point where I didn’t even know who I was hitting at times. When you have four Avengers fighting away in some of the small corridors its easy to get lost in the confusion. Luckily, matchmaking can be turned off for everything, even the post game.
Something that didn’t click for me at all was the hub worlds of the game. It’s a standard in service type games so I expected it here. You have two different hub worlds that you need to go to for reasons like grabbing different bounties to do while you are in missions to level up your factions. This is also where you have your gear vendors to buy different items with one of the many confusing currencies in this game. For me, I basically ignored all this and just went through the missions to see the story through.
I need to mention that the chatter is that there are a lot of bugs and problems in the game. During my 14 hours with the campaign, and my other 5 or so hours with the multiplayer, I don’t know if it was the platform I used (Stadia) or if I just got lucky but I did not encounter any bugs or issues. The only problem I may have had was matchmaking taking a little long, but that could have also been due to playing on Stadia and having a lower player count. My experience was bug free.
Marvel’s Avengers was a pleasant surprise to me. The story was great and I would rate this higher if I was judging it on the story alone. Repetitive gameplay, maps, and enemies, held this back from being a real masterpiece. Multiplayer was not as fun as I was hoping, but that just may be the kind of gamer I am. This is a story that any fan of comics or Avengers needs to check out and I’m looking forward to more post release story content. I recommend this game, especially if you’re looking for a good Avengers story.
Final Score —7/10–