Before my copy of Marvel’s Avengers arrived I’d seen a LOT of comments online about the grinding aspect of the game as well as the micro-transactions.
I had not seen a lot of comments about the campaign, which is good as I wanted to go in spoiler-free but it also had me worried that there wasn’t much too it (or that it wasn’t very good)…but that’s not the case.
I received the game on Friday and by Sunday evening I’d finished it. Purely because I could not put it down.
What I played in the beta (of the campaign) didn’t cover how gripping the story would actually be. I was enthralled from the very start, especially with the level of depth the world seemingly has.
I won’t go into any story details here because it is best experienced first-hand but it is definitely worth playing through.
So sticking to the gameplay, I found most of the characters to be pretty enjoyable to play as – and more get added as you go through the campaign.
You play as all of the ‘big five’ Avengers in the opening mission so you get a feel as to how each one plays straight away.
Overall my favourites were Iron Man and Captain America, they seemed to have the perfect balance between melee and ranged attacks and seemed to be pretty strong if you invested time in leveling up.
It also helps that the voice actors for those characters (Nolan North and Jeff Schine) do such an amazing job of bringing the personality and history of the characters through their performances.
But, probably the only character I didn’t enjoy playing as very much was Hulk. I did enjoy Bruce Banner (and Troy Baker’s performance) but the Hulk just felt a bit slow and clunky to play, where as I preferred the quick combat.
The sound design was fantastic, the sound of Iron Man’s repulsor shots and Captain America’s shield bouncing off enemies was spot on, and even the music really helped make you feel like you were an Avengers (as cliche as that sounds).
Despite my enjoyment of the campaign, I can see the concerns people have over microtransactions.
I’ve not had the chance to buy a new costume for any character yet, purely because I’m yet to earn enough ‘units’ to be able to purchase one.
The other option to buy some cosmetics is by purchasing ‘gears’ from the PlayStation Store, these cannot be earned in the store.
Unfortunately it’s pretty clear they want you to buy these gears rather than earn the units – even though you can earn them in the game.
There’s also a battle pass type system for each character which does give you the opportunity to get gears and units but there are issues here too – for example, you only get the chance to earn points for this battle pass four times a day (two per day and a further two per week).
These challenges can range from opening loot crates (that you find while playing missions) to taking out a certain type of enemy a certain number of times.
If you have plenty of time to sink into this game then it’s probably pretty easy to do this, but as someone who has to work during the week it is tempting to just buy gears (which can also advance the battle pass) in order to get different cosmetics.
While most of my playthrough was flawless, there were some standout bugs that led me to restart the game a couple of times.
One was during a pretty big gameplay and story moment towards the end of the campaign where the music just cut-out entirely. I thought I could go on and ignore it but it ended up being so obvious and took away a lot from the experience that I needed to restart.
A similar issue happened during one of the final missions where my playable character (and some enemies) started to disappear during gameplay. Part of me thought it was part of the game – maybe some new type of enemy making me invisible – but I soon realised this wasn’t the case and again had to restart.
Luckily both of these issues came just after a checkpoint so I didn’t have to replay anything, but without the generous checkpoint system I might have had to play a lot more and it could have really put me off the game.
As I’m sure most people are aware, there will be future characters (and stories) coming to the game.
The most high profile of those being Spider-Man, exclusive to the PS4, coming in 2021. But the first one looks set to be Kate Bishop (and maybe Clint Barton).
So far all the developers have said is that the pair are coming ‘soon after launch’. It will be very interesting to see how they slot these characters, and others, into the current universe.
Captain Marvel has already been confirmed to exist in the universe and some surprise characters in the campaign hint at a much much bigger universe.
So while there are concerns over some bugs and some micro-transactions, there is plenty of time for the developers to patch in fixes for all of these.
The first thing to change, I would think, would be to lower the price of cosmetics in the store – if only to get the majority of the gaming community off their backs.
Marvel’s Avengers was developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. I played on a standard PS4 with the standard edition of the game