Tag Archives: Marvels Avengers

Marvel’s Avengers Review

It’s hard to believe that until now there hasn’t been a major Avengers video game. The characters have appeared in fighters, the Marvel Ultimate Alliances, and of course LEGO games; but it’s been decades since there’s been a dedicated Avengers game and there’s never been one this big. That’s why when Crystal Dynamics revealed that they were working on an Avengers game a few years ago, it immediately became one of the most highly-anticipated video games. Now, at the end of a console generation, the game is finally here.

The question of whether or not it’s worth it almost depends on where your opinion lands on one of the bigger debates in modern video games. While Marvel’s Avengers does have a really excellent single-player campaign, that ten-to-twelve hour epic is really just an introduction to the main portion of the game that will keep it going for years to come. Meaning, the biggest part of Marvel’s Avengers is the “Games as a Service” co-op multiplayer mode that is very similar to Destiny.

Some gamers who believe that the definition of “video game” in 2020 is a cinematic over-the-shoulder strictly single-player adventure that’s exclusive to one plastic box are currently waging a war against a multi-platform service-based co-op multi-player game, and in the process they’re spreading a lot of misinformation to try to tear down a game they’ll never play. Let’s just address the microtransactions (or MTX) in the game that some of these people are calling “predatory” or “abusive”.

There’s no “pay to win” here. All of the MTX in the game are cosmetics; costumes, emotes, name plates, etc. There are “season pass” style things for each of the Avengers, but for the six that ship with the game these are free and, again, just unlock cosmetics. Completing these Challenge Cards will also earn you enough in-game currency to pay for the Challenge Cards of any post-launch heroes that are added (and the heroes, along with their story missions, are free). With that “controversy” out of the way, I had a great time playing through Marvel’s Avengers.

The single-player campaign, which will take you ten-to-twelve hours if you only do the campaign missions and don’t bother with any of the countless side-missions, is a fantastic Avengers story with a great voice cast. I actually laughed out loud at some of the banter between Avengers at times. Many people have complained that the characters don’t look like the MCU actors, but this game was never meant to be a movie adaptation any more than the PS4 Spider-Man game was supposed to have Tom Holland as Peter Parker.

Opening with an “Avengers Day” event where young Kamala Khan wins a fan fiction contest to go on the Chimera helicarrier, things quickly go bad with a new Terrigen reactor on the ship. You know this part of the story by now; bad things happen, the Avengers disband, and five years later Kamala is swept into an adventure to reassemble the team and find out the truth about what really happened on A-Day.

Kamala is the perfect choice to be the main character in the story, as she’s a huge Avengers fangirl, and she and Bruce form a nice father-daughter relationship. I hope the MCU’s Kamala is handled as well as the one in this video game. In fact all of the Avengers are handled perfectly, and they even picked some great music for Tony, but naming one of the bands will spoil one of the best moments late in the game. Speaking of late in the game, the ending to the campaign is amazing. You will spend time playing as all of the Avengers throughout the campaign, but the finale gives each member their time to shine and the cast is handled excellently in the final battle.

During the campaign the game will alternate between crafted story missions that continue the epic set-pieces that Crystal put in their last two Tomb Raider games, and some multi-player style missions. Obviously the story missions are the highlight, and including some of the MP style missions in the single-player game is a slight disappointment, but they’re still better than those stealth levels that broke up the action in the PS4’s Spider-Man game. There’s also one part in the campaign where you will need to “grind” a War Table mission or two to complete an assignment quest right before embarking on the final mission.

While you can jump right into the Avengers Initiative multi-player mode before tackling the campaign; playing through the single-player will unlock several costumes you can use in the MP modes and all of your gear and unlocks carry over. You’ll also learn each character by playing through the campaign, so I’d recommend doing that before diving into the multi-player modes.

If you played the beta, you’ve had a small sample of these modes. What the beta didn’t have was the full skill trees (there are now three tabs), and the factions. The factions are, again, similar to Destiny where completing tasks for them will unlock special bonuses. Their assignments work just like the ones in Destiny, where you pick the one you want from the faction vendor and then go and complete the quest in missions.

Playing the beta was just a taste of what the main game would have, such as the beta campaign missions actually being from about an hour into the final game. The beta also wasn’t as optimized as well as the final either. Playing on a PS4 Pro, the High Performance mode in the final game is much smoother than it was in the beta. The game also looks really impressive at times, and even almost next-gen in some parts, which makes sense as the game will be receiving upgrades on the next gen consoles and even PC (modders have already found high-res 4K textures that are too taxing for current graphics cards).

Again, whether or not Marvel’s Avengers will be something you’ll enjoy will really depend on how you feel about online co-op games. The campaign is excellent, and is the cinematic Marvel epic for 2020. Beyond that though is the main “meat” of the game, and it’s best described as Marvel Destiny. If you like Destiny and love Marvel, you’ll definitely like this game. I’m a big MMO player and still play WoW to this day, but I do like the genre on consoles as well. One of the first console MMOs was Phantasy Star Online on the Sega Dreamcast. It took years, but Destiny adapted that model to a FPS, and now Marvel’s Avengers takes it and applies it to a superhero game.

Those who believe they’re fighting a crusade to “save” cinematic single-player games will never play this, and they’ll continue to push outrage narratives to try to attack the game due to the genre its in. Yet, the game is a lot of fun. The campaign is very satisfying, and it’s fun to group up with friends as the Avengers and smash up some levels. The most exciting thing is the future, as there’s a huge list of post-launch heroes on the way that’ll keep the game fresh well into the next generation of consoles.

I really enjoyed my time with Marvel’s Avengers. The campaign was absolutely worth playing through and delivered a great Avengers story (with just enough dangling threads for future expansions), and the multi-player modes will give the game lots to come back for. If you’re a Marvel fan who likes online games that live on past the end of their single-player adventure, it’s pretty easy to recommend this Avengers game.

Game: [usr 4]

A copy of the game was provided by Square Enix for this review. Campaign completed, and multi-player modes played.

The Avengers Beta is Now Live!

The long awaited Avengers game is finally playable by the public right now! Originally going to begin at 9:00pm in your local time zone, the beta has gone live early. I spent last weekend playing the beta, and you can read my impressions here, but tonight kicks off three weekends where everyone can check out Crystal Dynamics’ online co-op Avengers game.

This first beta weekend, August 7th to the 9th, is exclusive to the PlayStation. In order to get a code for the beta you need to pre-order the game. If you pre-order on PSN, the beta should appear in your library to install. If you pre-order the game physically, the retailer you pre-order from should send you a code via email that you need to redeem via PSN and then download the beta client (which is about 18GB in size).

Next weekend, August 14th to 16th, is open beta on the PS4 and it’s when Xbox and PC pre-orders get to join in. Then the final weekend of the month is open beta for everyone before the game launches on September 4th.

The beta gives you a small slice of the full game, allowing you to play through four campaign levels, three HARM challenges, and five War Zone mission. You get to play through the A-Day prologue, with all of the Avengers, and then in the main beta you have access to Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, and Ms. Marvel and can level them up to a Hero level of 15 and and Power level of 45.

Marvel’s Avengers Beta Hands-On

This weekend the long awaited Marvel’s Avengers game has its first beta for those who pre-ordered it on the PlayStation 4. I had the opportunity to spend a few days playing through it, and can bring you some detailed hands-on impressions of what you’ll be able to play this weekend.

Before you get to the meat of the multiplayer co-op portion that’s the focus of the beta, you play through some single-player content. First up is the same demo you saw last year at SDCC in Hall H. It’s all real time and fully playable and it introduces you to how to play each of the Avengers. You start with Thor, then Iron Man, Hulk, Cap, and finally Widow in the boss fight against Taskmaster. Anyone who doubted that demo was real-time will be impressed with how it looks, and on a PS4 Pro it’s pretty impressive (the PS4 Pro version has a high performance mode or 4K mode in the options).

The controls for all of the Avengers are the same, but their abilities, animations, and super moves make them unique and each has their own feel. Iron Man can hover and fire ranged while still get into the fray with melee, Thor can throw (and retrieve) Mjolnir, Black Widow is super agile with her pistols for ranged, Cap is an amazing hand-to-hand fighter, while Hulk will remind some of that great Hulk Ultimate Destruction game where he can grab enemies and use them as a weapon. Following the introduction, the beta features Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Black Widow, and Iron Man as playable characters.

For those of you wondering about the West Coast location in this game and the line in the PS4 Spider-Man about the Avengers being on the West Coast, they’re not in the same universe. I had the chance to ask the developers about that this week and they expressed how awesome Insomniac has been to them by sharing what their Spider-Man game would be, but the two games are set in their own universes. Which means the Spider-Man who will eventually show up in the PS4 version of Avengers will be a unique version of the character separate from Insomniac’s.

You’ve seen the demo many times, but following it you do get to play a little bit of the single-player campaign before the full beta opens up. These scenes have Hulk and Ms. Marvel searching for JARVIS and you alternate between the two. First Hulk, then Ms. Marvel, and the single player part gives you a clue of how the campaign missions will feel. You fight waves of enemies, some stronger than others, while they’ll randomly drop resources and loot.

Speaking of the loot, that’s something I like about Marvel’s Avengers. It’s obvious that some of the devs play games like World of Warcraft or Destiny where when you get a new piece of loot with better stats; it might not match with the rest of your look. In Avengers, loot is really just for stats. They do have specific slots for loot, but the loot only affects your stats and not your appearance. Your appearance is controlled by the cosmetic skin you have equipped. The beta also gives you a preview of some of those cosmetics such as Ms. Marvel’s iconic comic costume and a Black Widow one that’s very similar to her plain clothes look in the upcoming movie.

Once you get through those early introductory missions, you reach the hub where you’ll have access to the War Table. This is where you’ll select your missions and before the beta fully unlocks you’ll do one more campaign mission from the War Table and it gives you a preview of how that will likely work in the final. If you’ve ever played a Strike in Destiny, it’ll be instantly familiar. You select the mission from the map, and then it takes you to a matchmaking screen where you can select your Avenger and be matched up with three other players or go it solo with AI companions. When that mission is out of the way, then the rest of the beta opens and you’ll have access to the HARM Room training missions (it’s the Avengers’ Danger Room) as well as several co-op War Zone missions on the War Table.

These War Zones are side missions with a different game type each. Control has you holding multiple spots until a bar fills, Domination is one large spot, Elimination has you taking out elite enemies, Assault is to pretty direct fights against normal enemies, and Sabotage has you destroying points of interest. There’s also an iconic mission which is a co-op non-campaign level themed around a specific character, and in the beta’s case it’s Hulk. Finally there’s a villain War Zone where you’ll need a high power level to take out a huge boss after fighting through elite squads of AIM troops.

Playing in the War Zone earns you experience and a lot of loot. Much like Destiny, the game very loot driven with color-coded rarity on loot. Enemies can drop loot or resources, and you use the resources to upgrade your gear. You can also find loot in chests scattered or hidden around the maps. Rare gear can be upgraded more times than common gear, and your gear is what your Power level is based on. You level up your Hero (to gain skill points) with experience, while your Power level is how good your gear is. The beta has the Hero level cap at 15 with the Power level capped at 45. However, that barely scratches the surface of what you’ll find in the final game. The beta only has one page of skills to unlock as you level up your Hero level while the final game has three.

Even with it being a small slice of the full game, there’s a surprising amount of content in this beta. You can play through the SDCC 2019 demo, then get a taste of the single-player campaign, before diving into the War Zone and leveling up your Hero. Also, if you complete the HARM Room challenges you’ll unlock a pickaxe for Fortnite (you need to link your Square Enix and Epic accounts for that). Be aware, those HARM Room challenges get very tough, so you’ll want to level up a Hero with a good gear power level and have some friends for the best chance of completing them.

All of this kicks off this weekend on the PS4, and then the following two weekends for the other platforms. I really enjoyed my time with the beta and look forward to completing those HARM challenges over the next few weeks. Expect a full review of Marvel’s Avengers when it launches on September 4th.

More PlayStation Exclusive Content Announced for Marvel’s Avengers

Yesterday, PlayStation officially confirmed that Spider-Man would be coming to Marvel’s Avengers exclusively on the console sometime in 2021. Now there’s been even more exclusive content for the system has been announced.

The official PlayStation Blog revealed what else will be coming for those who buy the PlayStation 4 version of the game:

When it comes to cosmetics, PlayStation players will have 30-day exclusive access to a Legendary Outfit, Legendary Emote, Epic Takedown, and nameplate for each Super Hero as they are released – this is also for the six launch heroes. In addition, we also have rewards for those with a PlayStation Plus subscription. For each Super Hero added to the game post-launch, Hawkeye included, all PS Plus members will receive a free bundle that contains a Rare Outfit, nameplate, and 100 Credits to celebrate the addition of another Avenger to the roster. At launch, we’ll have a free bundle for Ms. Marvel available for PS Plus members to embiggen our love for Kamala!

So a lot of those will be coming to the PC and Xbox, just thirty days after the PlayStation.

MCU Cosmic will have a lot more about Marvel’s Avengers this week before the beta begins for the PlayStation 4 on Friday. Stay tuned…