Marvel’s Avengers is a game we had been hyped about since it’s announcement last year, liking the different approach to it’s Avengers, the teased story and the gameplay we had seen so far. The game seemed to be a mainly story driven third person action game with some looter elements thrown in. Unfortunately, we were wrong. Avengers has shown to be more of a Destiny clone, being more of a looter beat-em-up first, and a single player story driven affair second, and that’s turned this game from being what could have been one of the greatest superhero games ever made (a la Spiderman PS4), to being a mixed bag of great potential, an engaging story, and some mostly disappointing execution so far.
Now let’s get the basics outlined first: Avengers is a hybrid between Story driven games like the Batman: Arkham Series and looter shooter/slasher/fighter games like Destiny, essentially aiming to combine the best of both by giving a compelling (and honestly pretty great) story mode for Avengers fans to get into the game while reserving the main part of the game to essentially be the looter-beat-em-up online game based on teaming up with four other players, picking a hero, and essentially going into raid areas and beating up goons and bosses to gain more gear and costumes. It’s a pretty inspired idea for the most part, trying to merge aspects from the best superhero games of the past decade while also embracing the revenue making schemes of the most profitable games as well. The problem is this Frankenstein approach hasn’t been polished yet, as both the reviews we’ve posted here will show. The story as we said is actually pretty great, and with expansions including Hawkeye, Black Panther and Doctor Strange among others, it’s easy for any Marvel fan to get invested in playing this game some more. Unfortunately, it’s the actual act of playing that’s so far, proven to be disappointing. You see the balance with looter shooter games is a) a constant loot grind that gives players worthwhile rewards for continuously playing and b) actual fun missions to play. And so far it seems Avengers is lacking in both of those. The former mainly seems to come from the game’s leveling system, which kind of makes it irrelevant what sort of loot you equip on a character while the latter is a problem of the best set-pieces and missions seemingly being from the story mode and not really lending themselves well to the multiplayer. This is obviously a problem because it means the vast majority of the game is currently, for lack of a better word, boring. Square Enix has to literally double down on producing enjoyable new missions or mission types in order to get players invested again or they’ll lose the currently still growing player base that’s playing this game because Marvel and the avengers are the childhood dream of most people right now. Perhaps taking a page out of the old Ultimate Alliance or X-Men Legends games would help, as those games a re actually quite similar while featuring things like player vs. player modes, specialized side missions (e.g. the mentioned Captain America platforming challenges) and so forth. Maybe even add mission types that revolve around saving and protecting a character (these are superheroes after all) and add some variety beyond just throwing punches and firing weapons at enemies. This is a game about the Avengers, and chances are fans will wish to relive as much of that fantasy as possible.
Hence, Square Enix haven’t hit the ground running here, and Marvel’s Avengers does need some work. That doesn’t mean it will stay an underwhelming game, however. In fact, as games like Destiny and even Star Wars Battlefront 2 have shown, these always online live games tend to come into their own as time goes by and more updates and content are added. We hope that’s the case with Marvel’s Avengers as well. After all, who doesn’t want to have a huge “Avengers Assemble” moments with their friends one day.