Marvel’s Avengers is a third-person action-adventure developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. This past weekend, Square and Crystal held the second round of Beta testing, this time on multiple platforms. PlayStation 4 had it’s first open beta, while Xbox One and PC had their first closed beta. Square Enix promises to deliver an epic original, cinematic story. With both companies at the helm and from playing their games, they are not aimed to disappoint. Marvel’s Avengers is a 4 Player online co-op, where players can control one of six Avengers. At launch, players will be able to control, gear up, and level up, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Iron Man, Miss Marvel, and Black Widow. It has been announced that post-launch the game will see the likes of Hawkeye and Spider-Man.
What are you most excited for at launch?
Derrick: Since this was developed by Crystal Dynamics, I am excited about the story and action. I’ve been a huge fan of the company since its release/work of the Tomb Raider reboots. I love how over the top cutscenes and action/button sequences were in Tomb Raider, so since this is a Marvel game, I am expecting no less. In the beta, we got a taste of those over the top cutscenes when playing a part of a story mission where A Day goes wrong. The Avengers were unveiling a new power source on top of a Hellicarrier called The Chimera.
Things go horribly wrong when AIM and Taskmaster’s goons show up. You get to play with each Avenger and each of them makes a grand entrance in heroic fashion, like Bruce Banner jumping out of a Quinn Jet, and before touching the ground The Hulk comes out and lets loose an intimidating roar. Or seeing Iron Man fly bob and weave, dodging gunshots and blasts and making a witty remark towards his enemies. Playing Crystal Dynamics games makes you feel like you’re watching a movie at some points and Marvel’s Avengers definitely delivers on that front from what was showcased.
Rashaad: I am most excited for this game to launch so that I can be able to explore the roster. I say that because, to me, the beta roster felt balanced. You have the tanky brute with Hulk because he can pull aggro and beef up his attacks with his Rage meter, you had support with Ms. Marvel as she has an AOE heal that can really come in handy when in a tough fight. Then you have the damage dealers, Ironman is more ranged oriented and had the ability to give allies armor, and Black Widow is more melee oriented and had the ability to make her allies invisible. With just playing with these four heroes, I’m excited to see what the rest of the roster has in store
What does Marvel’s Avengers do well?
Derrick: Gear system works really well, I compare it a bit to Bungie’s Destiny. As you play through missions you’re going to get your hands on pieces of gear for your character slots. Each piece of gear has a score and other information that enhances your gameplay. For example, I notice some pieces allowed you to inflict enemies with Pym Particles the more you hit him. If you’re able to do enough damage, you’ll be able to shrink your opponent for a period of time and deal higher amounts of damage. Another example would be if you parried an attack or performed a perfect parry, a small percentage of your health will restore, or you could get a defense buff or an attack buff. As I got new pieces, I found myself in the Quinjet looking at stats for my favorite character, trying to understand which each did and how to fully bring out my hero.
Rashaad: I have to agree with Derrick and say the gear system is amazing. Though not much changes cosmetically on your hero (unless you change their costume) the gear has perks that really change up the way you play with your heroes. For example, you have a piece of gear or an ISO artifact that gives you a “13.5% chance on dodge to make an enemy float in the air” could be one of the ISO artifacts. Customization is fun because you have the ability to build your hero how you like, you want to focus on dealing a specific damage type, equip the right gear and you could.
Favorite Character and how they differ from others?
Derrick: My Favorite Character is The Hulk. He’s the tank and bruiser class out of the other characters. He’s able to draw attention to himself, run though enemies, dispersing them and then damaging them while pounding the ground. I love tanking enemies and having them focus on me and then hit them with my Thunder Clap and seeing my enemies fly about while my teammates get a little reprieve. Throughout the beta, you get to play with all characters but The Hulk just stuck. He can also pick up debris and throw it at ranged enemies and when you level him up, he can use that debris to damage surrounding enemies, controlling the area, allowing your teammates to work their own magic.
Rashaad: My favorite character is Black Widow. She’s the one you don’t see coming until it’s too late. Black Widow is an agile character, equipped with her batons she is deadly on the battlefield. I loved using her “Widow’s Bite” skill because it allowed me to damage and stun smaller enemies, giving me time to wail on her enemies. I also enjoyed that she has a powerful escape with “Veil of Shadows” which turns her and any allies around invisible. Though I did play everyone else available in the game, Black Widow felt the most comfortable for me.
What can Crystal Dynamics do to improve Marvel’s Avengers?
Derrick: I think the menus could use a little work for easy access. I am the kind of player that likes to reread skills, whether they are primary or passive. I can be forgetful at times and trying to look at a character’s primary skills was a hassle. Not all menus were available and info seemed not to be readily accessible. In order to see what your hero’s primary abilities, you would have to access the hero select screen before a mission. This could be different in the full game, however, I found this as a slight inconvenience when trying to gear up my character to do specific things and wanting to read the primary skills verbatim.
Rashaad: I would have to say that they need to have a large variety of things to do once the story is completed. I want the War Table to be continuously populated with various missions from Control type missions where we have to hold points, to more epic boss fights that will test the player’s mettle.
We both can agree that Marvel’s Avengers will be the co-op game that will bring folks together for a marvelously good time. Rashaad and I had a fantastic time playing together exploring and doling out justice. I also played alone and had just as much fun. If partnering up isn’t your thing, you can use the heroes that you’ve leveled and geared to fight alongside you for an equal effect.
Marvel’s Avengers releases Sept. 4, 2020, on Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC.