Marvel's Avengers

It’s been over three years since Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics gave us the teaser for Marvel’s Avengers, and after E3 2019’s reveal and the open beta, it’s finally time to assemble!

The team behind the fantastic Tomb Raider reboot series have turned their attention to Earth’s mightiest heroes, the Avengers! Marvel’s Avengers is set in an established Marvel universe (not the MCU or the 616 comic universe) where the Avengers are known and loved by all. The story starts on A-Day, where the Avengers are celebrating and unveiling their second headquarters in San Francisco, as well as their new helicarrier, the Chimera.

However, the festivities are cut short when Taskmaster (also the upcoming villain for the Black Widow movie) attacks the Golden Gate bridge. Thor, Iron Man, Hulk and Black Widow set out to stop Taskmaster, but something goes drastically wrong. The Chimera’s reactor, powered by a Terrigen Crystal, explodes and kills Captain America. The aftermath of the explosion spreads Terrigen Mist across San Francisco, turning regular civilians into “Inhumans”. The Avengers are blamed for the Chimera’s explosion, Captain America’s death and the Inhumans, and they disband.

Play kicks off as a young Kamala Kahn (Ms Marvel) attending A-day on the Chimera, before playing as the Avengers going up against Taskmaster and his mercenaries. Play progresses through each of the Avengers, giving a taste of their different play styles. Players start by saving civilians as Thor, chasing mercenaries as Iron Man, smashing everything as The Hulk, defending the Chimera as Captain America and defeating Taskmaster as Black Widow.

“Play progresses through each of the Avengers, giving a taste of their different play styles.”

After the events of A-Day, the game skips ahead five years and play has you stepping into the shoes of Kamala Khan with her Inhuman Polymorph abilities. After smashing everything during A-Day, you traversing rooftops, solve minor puzzles, avoid AIM Inhuman hunters and… well, smash more things. Play continues as Kamala for the first hour or so, as you find out what really happened on A-Day and reassemble and re-recruit the Avengers.

Marvels Avengers is a third person action adventure title with a variety of different combat and gameplay mechanics, depending upon which Avenger you’re playing as. Hulk will work as a tank class dealing a heap of close-range damage, while Iron Man is more of a DPS (damage per second) class with range and anti-air. Thor acts as a mixture of both Iron Man and Hulk, being able to deal a decent amount of damage and also fly. Black Widow plays similarly to a rogue class and works great when alongside fellow Avengers, but struggles when she’s alone.

Besides each member having their own playstyle, each Avenger has certain abilities – support, offensive and ultimate. Black Widow’s support ability, for example, is being able to turn herself and anyone nearby invisible. Thor’s offensive ability is to call down lightning with Mjolnir and direct it towards an enemy. Ultimate abilities deal a load of damage and will never cease to amaze. Hulk will do his iconic thunderclap, dealing damage to anyone in the area, while Iron Man will call down the Hulkbuster.

Marvel's Avengers

Marvel’s Avengers also features four player co-op, and there are two separate ways of playing together. In the campaign, once you unlock the war table, you can play a large amount of the campaign together (there are certain single player only missions). You can also jump straight into multiplayer from the main menu, but doing this can spoil the events of the story. Just like you’ve seen in the movies, you’ll need to call out enemies and strategies to your team. If your friend is playing as Hulk and is surrounded by aerial based enemies they’ll struggle to hit them, so asking for Iron Man or Thor to come in and help is a great team dynamic that no other title captures.

Marvel’s Avengers is also a game as a live service title just like Destiny, and even some of the menu and gear setups are similar. Each Avenger can equip items and upgrades that alter their stats and power level. You can upgrade Iron Man’s gauntlets, Hulk’s bones and equip body armour for Black Widow. It’s worth noting though that equipping these items will not change how your character looks, as this is done on the cosmetics page. You’ll find new gear and equipment from defeated enemies/bosses, mission rewards or purchase it from vendors just like looter shooter titles such as Destiny or The Division. You can also level up your Avenger and unlock new abilities.

There are no loot boxes in Marvel’s Avengers, but there are microtransactions. Thankfully these are only used for cosmetic skins, nameplates and emotes. There’s also a cosmetic vendor on the Chimera (which acts like the tower from Destiny) where you can purchase outfits with the in-game vendor currency (which cannot be purchased). This currency is easily found by completing missions, exploring and opening hidden chests.

DLC characters will also be free in Marvel’s Avengers, but if you want to unlock the character’s challenge card it will cost an additional $10. Challenge cards are like the seasons system in Fortnite, F1 2020 or the Rainbow Six Siege battle pass. By completing daily and weekly challenges you’ll be rewarded with points which go to your challenge pass. By completing challenges and moving through the challenge card, you’ll be rewarded with premium currency, emotes, nameplates and outfits.

Marvel’s Avengers is something that we’ve never seen before. You’ll be incredible as Hulk, mighty as Thor and invincible as Iron Man. The team dynamics and callouts will have you and your friends strategizing just like Captain America giving orders in the battle for New York in the 2012 Avengers movie. The campaign is full of heart and character development, plus reassembling the Avengers is fantastic. We can’t wait to see how Marvel’s Avengers grows and evolves.

Marvel’s Avengers is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC.star-4

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