I finished the highly anticipated Marvel’s Avengers single player campaign yesterday and I’m honestly not sure how to feel. When the game was initially announced, I was full of excitement and like many people, that excitement vanished once the official gameplay reveal occurred last year. It’s a game I did not think about until the Spider-Man exclusivity deal was announced prior to the beta. I gave the beta a shot and I enjoyed it but I was not in love with it. It was fun but was it great? What is this game trying to achieve? This is still something I’m asking myself.
I’m sure you know by now that when the game starts, there is a catastrophic event on A-Day which gives Kamala Khan AKA Ms. Marvel superpowers and leaves our beloved super soldier, Captain American, dead. Kamala is charming and a delight to play as. She reminds me a lot of Peter Parker and as someone who does not read comic books, this version of her is my first time meeting her.
Before too long, you’re on your own trying to find the surviving Avengers as you try to avoid AIM who is determined to capture all Inhumans. You’re quickly reunited with Bruce Banner and Tony Stark. Some of these missions are fun and cinematic and provide some really great storytelling. Some not so much. Some, like the Alone with AIM mission almost led to me throwing my controller in the garbage. This game struggles to find its identity and maybe that’s a metaphor for something, but I’m going to assume it was just poor game design. When the game provides you with an excellent mission, it is incredible and you don’t want it to end. When it provides you with a generic mission that you would find in the multiplayer portion of the game, it feels like a chore.
Eventually, you get the whole gang back together to take down Monica and MODOK. The final mission sequence was one of the coolest video game moments I’ve played in recent memory. Similar to the A-Day mission at the beginning of the game, you swap back and forth from hero to hero as you try to take down the villain. This entire sequence was fun and challenging and provided some incredible visuals. Like I said before, what the game does right, it does really well. I felt like once Black Widow joined the team, the entire game shifted and the mission structure saw an improvement.
This game has struggled from serious frame rate issues when the action is plentiful. One thing I suggest if you’re playing on PlayStation 4 Pro is to prioritize performance over resolution. I saw minimal frame rate drops after making this change.
The visuals are, for the most part, great. Some of the facial expressions are very lifelike while their hair looks like a plastic cap. The game has apparently had some graphical bugs like a bald Ms. Marvel but I have not experienced this. At one point, Iron Man phased through the map but I was able to restart the checkpoint and fix it. The voice acting features the greats like Nolan North, Troy Baker, and Laura Bailey. The game features other strong performances especially from Usman Ally and Sandra Saad. Any complaints here come from the actual writing and not performances.
One thing that does need to be addressed are the excessive microtransaction prices. To obtain legendary emotes or costumes, it can set you back $15 each. While the Challenge Cards for our initial six heroes are free, future characters will charge $10 to unlock their Challenge Cards. The campaign is also very short. I have seen reports that it is around 10-15 hours. I would guess I finished closer to the ten hour mark.
I have yet to jump into the multiplayer portion of this game and I’m not sure if or when I will. I’m content with what the single player campaign has provided. From a storytelling perspective, it has its cheesy moments but it was very enjoyable. Perhaps I will try multiplayer soon.
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