Marvel’s Avengers – Is It Worth the $40?

It would be an understatement if I said I wasn’t excited about the Avengers game. Announced a little after we all saw Tony Stark lay down his life to save the universe, any MCU fan would get antsy to play this game. But it would also be an understatement to say that the game wasn’t even nearly as good as expected.

A more accurate description would be some good stuff sprinkled across a ridiculous amount of mediocre bad. Before you buy the game, here is everything you need to know about it.

Characters

Actor Models

There’s a lot to say about the characters and most of it is bad. The very first thing is the modeling of the characters. On the first thought of an Avenger’s game, I imagined flying around as Robert Downey Jr. or smashing stuff with Mark Ruffalo.

Unfortunately, none of that came true. When asked about why the original actors in the MCU weren’t cast in the game, Square Enix replied that they didn’t want to recreate the MCU, they wanted to create something different; “a spin on the Avengers”. This seems like a good enough explanation until you play the game and see that you’re playing as the MCU Avengers with different faces.

A more reasonable explanation would be that the studio definitely couldn’t afford A-list actors of the same caliber as Marvel can. I’m more reliant on the latter reasoning. Even just voice acting from the actors would have cost a fortune.

Suits

The next thing that the developers couldn’t do well were the suits. Thor looks like he has frying pans stuck to his chest. Captain America looks like someone painted the armor on the CT side in CSGO. Iron Man looks like a Transformer more than a suit. Black Widow looks really good and there’s not much to do with Hulk. The suits could very well have been a way to make up for the lacking character models, but sadly, they were disappointing.

Abilities

The first fun aspect of this game would be playing Thor. He’s incredibly fun to play with and has a decent set of moves you can randomize between. However, every other character is just like you’re playing a lite version of Thor. Hulk is just a Thor that tosses rocks instead of his hammer. Captain America tosses his shield instead of a hammer.

Black Widow is decent, though it does have a lot of similarities to the Spiderman 2018 game. The aerial combat with Iron Man is pretty fun. Ms. Marvel, aka Kamala Khan, was also a joy to play with. It was fun to experience this new edition to Marvel especially since she has yet to debut in the MCU. The ultimates of all characters are really well done though. Huge props to Square Enix for that.

Gameplay

Combat

The combat is… well, bad. If this game was released 15 years ago, it would be game of the year. But, unfortunately, in 2020, this game isn’t even close to being considered a AAA game.

Consider this situation; Iron Man, the billionaire scientist who created the most advanced war machine known to man. He’s in a mission and he’s killing… lab technicians. And not only that, the characters look so weak that they take several hits to even kill regular humans.

That just doesn’t add up. Sure, if the devs wanted to add difficult enemies, they could’ve done that by adding Monty from R6 Siege or throw in enemies with mini Iron Man suits. It just looks really weird when the God of Thunder has to hit a simple enemy four times to kill them.

The only word to define how the enemies are in this game would be, static. There’s no order to how the enemies are spawning. They just pop out right in front of you and every single mission seems like you walk into a room, a couple of dozen enemies spawn, kill them and you move to the next room.

Also, there’s no place for the enemies to spawn, they just spawn right behind you if you stand still for a few seconds. This completely eliminates playing the game with some technique. All you can do is keep fighting until the room is empty.

The combat was created by the same people who did the old God of War games and the similarity between the two is obvious.

Missions

There are only two types of missions; walk into a room, protect the area, or destroy something. The same objective in every single round. This makes the game feel bland, repetitive, and not fun at all. You’ll grow tired of the gameplay soon and the only reason you might play it is that you’ve spent the money and want to do something worthwhile with it.

Microtransactions

So, milking a game for money with cosmetics has sort of become a mainstream thing ever since Fortnite made it popular. But this game does it in a pretty weird way. Most cosmetics cost over a 1000 of the in-game currency which converts to $10. You’re paying $10, which costs 25% of the game’s actual price, for a regular emote… This isn’t just insanely expensive. It just makes them not even worth the purchase.

Boss Fights

So, back in the old days, we had the “hit the boss in a specific place and it’ll take more damage” rule. Marvel’s Avengers wanted to revive that rule for some weird reason. So many similarities to what games did a decade ago made the experience of playing this game feel like a remaster of some nostalgic franchise as opposed to a game of its own.

Graphics

Visually speaking, the graphics are amazing. The lighting, the visuals, the scenery, it’s all very futuristic. But even the graphics aren’t without a caveat.

The first problem, bad optimization. The game couldn’t run properly even on a 2080ti, i9-9900k system. There were stutters and severe frame drops leaving the game at a mere 3 fps. Not something you’d expect from a AAA-game.

Second major problem would be loading times. I’m not referring to long loading times, I’m just referring to old ones. Back in the day when we didn’t have the technology, more specifically, RAMs to load more than a few scenes into the computer’s memory, developers used a neat trick.

Your characters would stand in an elevator as they ascend or descend in the game. This may seem like a way to transition between levels, but it actually bought time for the game to load the newer scenes into RAM. Marvel’s Avengers takes us a decade back to these boring screens and not just once, but several times during the same mission.

This is particularly weird since we now have the tech to load several GBs worth of scenes into the memory at once, developers now opt to have whole missions loaded into RAM or have them disguised neatly behind a cutscene or some sort of activity that wouldn’t even feel like a loading screen.

Sitting in an elevator, waiting as the Earth’s mightiest heroes traveled to their next round of enemies is a huge hassle – A hassle we didn’t have to deal with in AAA-games for over a decade.

The Final Verdict

What Marvel’s Avengers made me realize is that there is a “right thing, wrong time” scenario in games too. If this Avengers game was released a decade ago, it would be game of the year, easily. However, with the evolution of time, the way developers make games and how people play them has changed significantly.

The Avengers feels more a lot like a trip down memory lane. Square Enix had the right idea but their execution was absolutely terrible. Marvel’s Avengers just doesn’t cut it.

Omer Nadeem Awan

A university student that makes games during the day and plays them during the night. I've been a gamer from the day I got a PS2 and have stayed loyal to the habit ever since.

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