The Avengers can finally assemble after what feels like a lifetime of waiting and then seemingly endless Beta tests. So, let’s not mess around, if you’ve found this review, you’re here for what I think about the live-service loot-box rooting-tooting-shooter. I’ve played quite a few hours now – but full disclosure, I haven’t finished the game upon writing but I believe I’ve seen most of the meat of the game, so unless it turns into Guitar Hero or PES, I think we’re good to go.
Way back into last year (it seems like this year has been going on forever, doesn’t it?) myself and a select few of the XNVR crew played the Avengers Demo at EGX. The demo at EGX had the A-Day battle as a playthrough and the start of the game sees the start of A-Day, and then works into that battle, and follows the events to how everything went to shit.
The combat is exactly the same as it was in the demo – a series of enemies line up and you can use either a heavy attack, light attack or ranged attack to take them down, while dodging and jumping in between. The system works well because it does feel weighted and cathartic, it’s possible to start chaining attacks and move out the way when you’re in danger, this feels incredibly rewarding. Notice the key words in that sentence – “a series of enemies” this first starts out as generic henchmen, but then later turns into even more generic robots to take down. In some way, it does make sense because there needs to be a large number of enemies to fight through, but my lord, they are extremely dull to battle as it just turns into a mindless button masher.
The story circles around Kamala Khan as she attempts to get the band back together, and that band is the Avengers. It’s not like she’s a terrible character but she might be the most annoying character. Everything is said out loud and usually followed by a “huh” noise, and Kamala is just extremely 2 dimensional in the way that she is an Avenger super-fan and that seems to be her only personality trait. Throughout the journey, she is finding different Avengers bits-and-bobs (which, as a fan of the films is a nice throwback) but then she overreacts and starts shouting about how “cool” it is. At the most eye-brow raising moment, she finds a picture of the Avengers and out-loud says “huh, looking good guys”, which made me cringe so much that I hovered above the uninstall function for at least a few minutes.
Trying to figure out what the Avengers is might be one of the hardest tasks I can set myself, but the game itself has no idea. Sure, it’s a beat-’em up and a button masher, and as the same starts it seems like that’s the only string to its bow, but slowly the game starts introducing gear collecting very much like The Division, then a few hours later, Avengers then introduces HUB maps and matchmaking into the story missions, very much like Destiny. It’s jarring, very jarring, it’s like Avengers wasn’t too sure what its core mechanic should be, so they’ve settled on a few hours of each.
Graphically this game is a masterpiece, from the character design to the scenery design – it’s all incredible and really needs to be seen to be believed. This Avengers title was in a strange place because the design of the characters is close enough to their movie counterparts as they can be, but not enough to start looking like the actors. This jarring middle ground is achieved pretty well and that is down to the fantastic character design. As well as the game being graphically fantastic, the set pieces are a joy to play through. Frequently, there are things chasing your chosen character and you must run away down a set path, it’s extremely simple gameplay but looks incredible.
On the flip side to the fantastic graphics is the bugs, and there are many, many bugs to report at the time of writing – why not list your favourite bugs below in the comments? Mine was attempting to jump up on a rock as the Hulk, getting stuck in a climbing animation and popping out of it in a T-Pose – funny yes, but also very annoying.
Overall, Avengers has a good adventure out and is recommended to any Marvel fans out there. It has a varied and mixed gameplay structure (albeit slightly baffling) to keep players engaged, with the promise of more DLC coming in the future, it’ll only add to the adventuring. The biggest downfall about the game is the game-as-service model, as it takes up far too much time and ends up being quite a grindy adventure.
In my original EGX hands-on, I said “we’ll find out if we love this game 3000”, and the answer to that is no, not 3000 – but maybe 1700 is a lot more realistic.
Avengers is an interesting enough adventure if you can wrap your head around the misplaced gear elements, and the grindy game-as-service model. Fantastic graphics with fun set pieces that are held back by frequent and strange bugs.
- Stunning graphics
- Interesting and long story
- Social and expanding game
- Annoying game-as-service model
- Bugs – many bugs
- Annoying main character
- Graphics 0
- Gameplay 0
- Narrative 0
- Audio 0
- Technical 0