Marvel’s Avengers, or simply “the Avengers game”, in short, it is among us. I’ve been enjoying the game since September 1st, when it was released to those who received the review code from Square Enix, until the day before publishing this text. Released on September 4, for PS4, Xbox One and PC, the game has its ups and downs, but a positive final balance, with a promising future.
Who follows the Tecnoblog he regularly knows that I also played a preview of the title, in its beta phase, in early August. At that time, I liked what I saw. Opinion has not changed, but there are caveats that came with the launch of the full game, with servers on and receiving users from all over the world to enjoy the new electronic adventure of the Avengers. Follow my reasoning and better understand what I found about it.
Out of time
The year was 2017, at the very beginning, and Marvel teamed up with Square Enix to announce something new on their YouTube channel. Thus was born The Avengers Project, as the game was called, with a brief trailer that showed almost nothing, except for environments and equipment of the destroyed heroes. We only had 50 seconds of this and Crystal Dynamics, the responsible producer, was already warning: “this game will take time to come out!”.
At that time, Marvel Studios, the cinema was about to start Phase Three. Movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 or Thor Ragnarok were not yet in theaters. Avengers: Infinity War it was still an extremely distant dream.
It is important to note that the quote to cinema is necessary because of the extreme importance and influence that this media has for other products that Marvel launched inside and outside the comics. Given the success of the “MCU”, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, games, comic books and even cartoons started to have specific formatting for what was seen on the big screen.
And with Marvel’s Avengers it was no different. It’s true that it hit the market more than a year after the completion of Phase Three, after we went through Avengers: Endgame, but everything here “breathes” the cinema. Going through graphic style, presentations, cast of characters and the narrative style. But there is an important part of cinema, and the background of Marvel as a company, that is stamped in the game.
Introducing Kamala Khan
Marvel’s Avengers tells the story of Kamala Khan, a young Pakistani girl who is a fan of the Avengers and dreams of meeting them one day. For that, she participates in a fanfiction contest that takes her directly to SHIELD organization’s “Airports” during the so-called “V Day”, a celebration for the greatest heroes on Earth.
In the meantime, Kamala not only knows the Avengers, but also witnesses their downfall. In a terrorist attack orchestrated by IMA, Advanced Mechanical Ideas, the young woman inhales the Terrigêne Mist, the result of experiments conducted internally by SHIELD with IMA spies, which turns her into something more, an Inhuman.
From there the story develops. The Avengers split up, but throughout the storyline Kamala goes on a quest to find them and reform the team. Later the young woman herself would become Ms. Marvel, a heroine capable of stretching her arms, legs and her own size, thanks to inhuman powers
Everything is very close to the comics, including Kamala’s origin as a fanfiction writer and her powers linked to the Inhumans. Even his fascination with Captain Marvel is mentioned in the very introduction of the story, and that is a beautiful positive point.
The focus of Kamala’s story is also on rescuing other Inhumans with special powers who were kidnapped by the IMA and his henchmen. People capable of breathing fire, generating ice with their hands, opening portals, having monster skin … Well, that definitely reminds you of someone, right?
Yes, mutants. The same ones that form groups of the X-Men.
Inhumans Versus X-Men
For many years the X-Men franchise was owned by Fox, not Marvel or Disney, its “umbrella company”. The purchase of Fox by Disney, which started in 2018 and ended in 2019, was still a distant dream and the target of many rumors, but nothing materialized or even imagined in concrete.
So, while it didn’t have the rights to the characters, what Marvel did was “undermine” the X-Men in some ways, starting with the comics. It was invented that mutant characters were no longer … Mutants, but Inhumans. In this way, a range of opportunities was opened to use these figures in theaters, without necessarily having to buy Fox or run into copyright.
Even classic figures, such as Scarlet Witch and Mercury, who have been mutants since its conception, have been considered Inhumans for some time – and do not try to understand this scroll, I am citing it more as a form of exemplification. The idea was that Inhumans were a legal way out of a multi-layered problem.
Why did I travel until I explained these details between Fox, Disney, Marvel and mutants?
It turns out that Marvel’s Avengers is the fruit of this time, and it seems to have been released too late. The game began to be developed in 2016, in much of its development, the guideline was that Inhumans were the Marvel mutants and end of story. Now, when it finally launched in 2020, this is no longer an issue. We have the X-Men back in the comics in full force, Fox is totally part of Disney and films with these characters will be released over the next few years.
Launch the game with a focus where the story shows inhumans how the comic book mutants look like an outdated scenario.
And this reveals a major problem of Marvel’s Avengers. In addition to looking like a conceptually dated game, it also opens up how Marvel has been treating some of its intellectual properties outside of cinemas.
Everything is propaganda
For a while now, games co-produced by Marvel have been nothing more than an advertising pamphlet for their movie plans. An extremely pertinent example is Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, launched by Capcom in 2017, also at the height of everything I mentioned in the text so far. The game was so poorly received by fans that its extra content plans were canceled and was buried in the memory of players in love with fighting games.
It turns out that Infinite it was basically a big movie advertisement. A very strong indication of this is that the game did not feature any X-Men characters – again due to the imbroglio that I explained a few paragraphs ago. One of Capcom’s producers went so far as to express public statements that “younger fans don’t know who the X-Men are”, to justify the decision.
Keep in mind that this was a game in the series Marvel vs. Capcom, who was born out of a crossover between X-Men and Street Fighter and who, for years, brought countless mutant fighters. Among them we had some of the most famous characters in all of Marvel, like Wolverine, just to name one.
With Marvel’s Avengers this is repeated a little. And it is a nuisance, in a way, because it leaves everything “pasteurized”. Almost all of the central characters are part of the same original lineup of the Avengers in the cinema, except Gavião Arqueiro, who was left out of the game, but will arrive via DLC.
The other exception may be Kamala Khan, but only until you remember that the character will star in a series on Disney + and will be a key part in Marvel cinemas for years to come. Soon, the game prepares its ground.
You need to explain this, and have written these huge paragraphs about backstage fights between giant companies, as a game goes far beyond gameplay and graphics. There are sensations, contexts, scenarios and sensations. And the feeling of playing Marvel’s Avengers is the same as paying to watch a huge Marvel movie advertisement.
And the comics?
If you read my preview published here, on Tecnoblog, you should remember that I praised the beta for seeming to show many elements in common with the comics and celebrate more comics than cinema. Therefore, my statements in this text, so far, may seem contradictory in relation to what was said there.
It’s not the case.
When playing the complete game, I remained satisfied in this sense, but one thing does not cancel the other. Despite being a huge piece of cinematographic advertising, Marvel’s Avengers has a great appeal for comic book fans, whether for small references that only readers will catch or extra and collectible content.
This, in fact, remains. There are dozens of comic books that you collect throughout the adventure, which grant bonuses to your heroes. In addition, several missions refer to events in the comic books, names, obscure characters, starting with the plot’s own villain, MODOK, which was not used on the big screens.
In fact, the beginning of the game, showing Kamala as a legitimate reader of comics, conveys the exact feeling of those who are also readers, being able to participate in a convention about their favorite heroes and characters. In spite of everything, the nature of what the Avengers are and what Marvel represents is very present in this sense.
But it’s alright. Cinema, comics, controversies explained … What about the rest? Is the game good? Here we go.
Onward, or not so much
Marvel’s Avengers is a third-person game, with gameplay geared towards beating and exploring maps and missions. Behind this layer, it is a “Game-service”. But what is this?
A “game-service” is the name given to games that are intended to work in the long term. With constant updates, eliminating the need to launch annual sequences as with, for example, FIFA or Call of Duty.
In fact, as also mentioned in the preview, the main inspiration of Avengers is Destiny, by Bungie. If that was a strong impression in the beta, in the final game it becomes even clearer than you can imagine.
Everything here refers to Destiny. The Phantom robot that accompanies the player in the shooting game here is replaced by Jarvis, Tony Stark’s artificial intelligence-butler. The items that are found on the mission map have the same color variations, the equipment works exactly. Even the Chimera, the flying aircraft carrier of the Avengers, functions as the Tower of Destiny. It is all the same, in the literal sense.
This works well when passing a certain similarity to those who are already used to the whole scheme of Destiny. Whoever is “arriving now”, however, will find everything super confusing.
Thousand menus, items of different names, stores that do not have clear differences between them. Marvel’s Avengers the campaign lasts 15 hours, but it can increase to 50 if the player has to stop to read and understand everything, menu by menu, salesman character or mission character, among other texts that appear on the screen, always in a confused way .
In this sense, Avengers was not happy when trying to imitate Destiny. While all of this is also present in the Bungie game, there it is much more natural and organized, even for being mixed with the futuristic environment. Here it seems forced. Confused. Truncated.
But calm down, all is not lost. Marvel’s Avengers really shines on two important points: gameplay and multiplayer.
Now, go ahead!
Marvel’s Avengers it’s a fun game. Its third-person gameplay works well, the explorable environments favor various styles and each character fights differently from the other, although there are similarities.
During my adventure, I particularly liked to control Black Widow and Captain America, who have faster “fighting” styles and are more suited to the type of game I like to play the most. Anyone who prefers something brighter can enjoy the Hulk or Kamala Khan. Who likes to play flying and aiming for things to shoot, Iron Man is an excellent option.
The greatness of the gameplay lies in the variety of combos and abilities that the characters can use in their combats. Skill trees are available for improvement and they have many options. In the so-called “endgame”, When we are well advanced in the game, the blows are complete, fitting beautifully between one attack and another, without giving many chances to the enemies.
Opponents are not as varied as they should be, but each new phase of the campaign features different types of villains, all in favor of IMA, of course. There are enemies with shields, who shoot, who paralyze, who stun the characters … And everything works very well. The difficulty on the Normal level is quite high and it will not be uncommon for you to have to return part of the stage or combat, when you eventually lose in a fight.
Multiplayer is also another positive point, as I mentioned. Of course, it is much better when enjoyed with friends. Playing with strangers is not going to have the best experience possible, since it will be common for a player to leave the game in the middle and leave his character in the hand – and there doesn’t seem to be any kind of punishment for that.
It is also a pity that multiplayer is not cross-play. As it is cooperative, it would be a great option. Still, it works. Connections between players are fast and enjoying the stages with the full group of characters – up to four at most – is much more fun than alone, even though the difficulty remains the same.
But Marvel’s Avengers it also has other problems that, added to the problems already mentioned, makes it impossible to rate this game as “Must See”, especially in view of other launch offers that we will have at the end of 2020.
Unfortunately, in this early launch, the game came extremely buggy. There are visible and constant problems. Dolls that get stuck on the stage. Characters that become invisible when changing skin. Bugs that prevent us from advancing a stage and need to go back to recover the “savegame“, among others.
It is very complicated to talk about bugs because it is a completely online game that will be updated constantly. It is possible that, days after this analysis is published, these problems no longer exist. But, still, it is necessary to register that the game arrived in stores with this type of obstacle, the type that no player likes, by the way.
I will not go into the merit of monetization, which is, yes, open to criticism, but the truth is that Marvel’s Avengers does not force anyone to spend anything to finish the main adventure or to play multiplayer. Just the common price of the game. The extra characters will also be free, although their additional items are not, so the monetary issue ends up balancing.
Graphically there are also some bugs here or there. Hair that doesn’t behave well in some environments, scenarios that keep flashing while the characters talk. But Marvel’s Avengers it is not an ugly game. It is consistent with a Destiny, for example, even though it is not comparable to any The Last of Us.
We live in Brazil, right?
My review of the game during the beta also works for the final game. The official location of Marvel’s Avengers chose not to translate character and team names, which is absurd.
So Iron Man is Iron Man. Avengers is Avengers. Black Widow is Black Widow. And so on.
On social media, some people mention a kind of “standardization” that Marvel intends to follow. This information is not confirmed and it doesn’t even make that much sense. After all, we have films with the names translated. Comics with more than 40 years in publication in the country and also with names in Portuguese.
Not only is it disrespectful to our language, but it also leaves gambling with a very strange feeling. It is unnatural to hear a character saying “let’s help the Avengers” or “I am Iron Man”. It is out of reality, it goes against accessibility and it is also out of any context that is not a mere artistic preference of those who ordered it to be so.
Marvel, Disney or whoever is responsible for this: we live in Brazil. These characters have had localized names in Portuguese for years. Let’s make an effort to improve in this respect, how about that?
Despite the regrets, the voice acting is at a good level. Most characters use the same voice that is seen in theaters, like Marco Ribeiro in the role of Tony Stark / Iron Man. Fans who prefer to play in Portuguese will be satisfied at least in this respect.
Marvel’s Avengers it’s a cool game. A little out of time, it’s true. Quite influenced by the marketing machine in favor of cinema, in fact. With some gameplay problems and many initial bugs, for sure. But it amuses.
What really matters, which is during the phases, multiplayer and gameplay at the time of heroic beating, works well. It is cool to control these iconic characters and form teams with other people via the Internet, although it is better to play with friends.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of extra content Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics will bring into the game, but at the same time, I also ask that these problems be fixed as soon as possible, via updates that the game should receive.
It is a game with a lot of potential and with enough content to last a long time. With some polishing it can be a lot of fun for the next few months. Whether you are uncertain or uncertain about buying now at launch is fully understandable. But keep an eye and see how Marvel’s Avengers will evolve. Going forward this can be a totally different game.
- Good cast of characters
- Dubbing with good voice actors
- Multiplayer has a lot of fun
- Gameplay is accurate
- Many bugs
- Graphics also with bugs
- Names of heroes in English
- Everything too commercial