Developer(s): Crystal Dynamics & Eidos-Montréal
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: September 4th 2020
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, XBox One, Stadia
This Review follows an early build of the game (patch 1.05). This is a service game that will likely change as time goes on. A future review might be written in case the game changes too much.
After long last, The Avengers finally receive a game for them. With an interesting campaign introducing Kamala to the video games, and with missions that can be done by yourself or with your friends (or, you know, random people from matchmaking), does this game live up to Earth’s mightiest heroes?
In a big celebration called “Avengers Day”, an attack led by Taskmaster destroys a Helicarrier reactor that was using a new source of clean energy called Terrigen. The Terrigen gas released in the explosion causes some of San Francisco’s population to get super powers, and, being considered a threat, called the Inhumans. The Avengers were blamed for the explosion and were disbanded, while Stark Industries is liquidated and its assets become part of a new company called A.I.M. Can this company created to deal with the whole Inhuman situation be trusted?
Definitely the best part of the game. As of now, you can play as 6 heroes: Ms Marvel, The Hulk, Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor and Captain America, with more heroes to be released as the game goes. Each of them has 3 abilities, a heroic (offensive), support and ultimate, with an extra ability that gives them an unique perk when you hold the button. Each character is quite different though, even with their basic buttons being the same. Natasha is faster than Hulk for example, but her punches don’t have as near as the same impact as his. Kamala feels like a good middle-ground between speed and strength, in comparison.
The amount of maps is decent. They add some variety, but they do get repetitive after playing a lot of multiplayer missions. The same can be said to objectives and enemies, especially bosses. Good quality overall, but little variety, which can have some players getting sick of it too soon. Playing in multiplayer does help though. It’s nice to see how well you can combo your attacks and abilities together. Having Ms. Marvel or Captain America using their ultimates while Thor gives them invulnerability can be very destructive.
The game also offers both a level up system and a gear system. Leveling up will allow you to get new skills and improve the ones you already have, and it’s not too grindy. It took me only a week to get Thor on his maximum level. The gear takes more time though, and they’re responsible for your stats and passive buffs in specific situations. Still, getting all characters to a high level and power could be a nice challenge for some.
For a game whose focus is the multiplayer, the story is a lot better than it has the right to be. It doesn’t have the same impact as other games released as of late, but it has many nice moments throughout it. Kamala works as the protagonist, on her quest to bring the Avengers together. Each version of the Avengers is well written, with the relationship between Kamala and Bruce being pretty nice. Unfortunately, not all characters have a decent time in the spotlight, such as Thor, but the story is too short to give a good portion of development for all characters. Still, it did make me excited with the possibility of a sequel.
MODOK was also a nice highlight. You’d expect that a serious version of a huge head super villain to look silly, but they did manage to pull him off in a very interesting way. The only thing I missed from him is more background story, but I’ll not give away details. The story has a very teen vibe, considering Kamala as a protagonist, being light hearted and with a lot of action.
After the story, the game offers many missions that work as an endgame content. Several missions for you to upgrade your characters and play together. They can offer a lot of challenge in high difficulties, welcoming friends to get better and beat them together.
Enemies can have different stats and variations, forcing you to adapt. Enemies can sometimes poison you, freeze you, or put your abilities on cooldown (watch out for enemies with SPIN on the name). Even though there are not that many enemy types, their variation in stats still make them unique in their own.
The Matchmaking has also improved a lot since the Beta stages, going as far as giving you an option to go to search for people to go on a random mission. The only issue I had with the matchmaking was being thrown into a mission way above my power level, but it doesn’t happen often.
Unfortunately, not everything is perfect in any game, and this game does have issues. Mainly, a lot of glitches happen, and very often. Personally, I don’t usually mind random small glitches because they do make me laugh, but there were so many that it started to bother me.
Some of the issues include: framerate drops when there’s too much going on, enemies getting stuck on walls or simply disappearing (and you need to kill all in some parts, so when they disappear, you have to restart the last checkpoint), NPC companions straight-up refusing to rescue you when you’re down, music or dialogue getting stuck, and so on. My character and my NPC companions even went invisible at one point. Honestly, as good as the game is, maybe a delay on the release date was necessary. They will likely be fixed in future updates, but it does affect the game’s image.
This is a game with a promise of future content. Characters will be released for free, there will be new maps, events, etc. It’s hard to review things that weren’t released yet, so I can’t vouch for them, but, if done correctly, this is a game that will only become bigger and better as time goes on, and I’m very excited to see what the game will turn out to be.
Although it has details that need to be worked on, this game is a fun and entertaining experience, with a nice story and fun game modes to do by yourself or with friends. Each character gives a very distinct game style and changing them can give you a feeling of variety, and thus avoiding getting saturated. Sadly, it lacks a bit on content and polish, but the content promised will likely expand the game into very exciting ways.