REVIEW: ‘Marvel’s Avengers: Kate Bishop Taking AIM’ (XSX)

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Marvel’s Avengers- Kate Bishop Taking AIM - But Why Tho?

Marvel’s Avengers: Kate Bishop Taking AIM is DLC content for Marvel’s Avengers, developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. During a routine mission against AIM, the Avengers stumble across an old friend in dire need of assistance. Kate Bishop has launched a one-woman attack on AIM in the hopes of discovering what has happened to her former mentor, and long time friend, Clint Barton. Now that she’s linked up with the Avengers, her odds of getting answers just got a lot better.

While this first DLC, in what Crystal Dynamics has promised to be an ongoing run of free updates, was a little late arriving, now that it’s here I can say I’m thoroughly enjoying my time with the best Hawkeye. Kate’s personality, a perfect blend of wit and intelligence, is delivered impeccably throughout her new operation.

As her story builds off of the tachyon problems worked into Marvel’s Avengers core game by previous updates, we now learn why AIM is messing with this potential world-threatening energy. No spoilers, but it definitely builds up my hype for wherever the story goes when the next DLC lands.

Marvel’s Avengers: Kate Bishop Taking AIM’s new operation runs just long enough for players to get a good feel for how the new girl plays. She is versatile, as well as mobile. Although she lacks a little stopping power in some areas, this is ok. That helps her carve her niche into the team’s growing roster. Let’s start with the most important element in Kate’s kit: her bow.

Her signature weapon, her bow comes with three types of arrows right off the bat. No need to unlock her options like you had to with Iron Man’s range attacks. Her standard razor arrows can be shot in quick bursts of three. They have great range, but don’t hit particularly hard.

Her second arrow type is her scatter arrow. Which is really three arrows she shoots at once. These arrows spread out horizontally as they fly allowing Kate to hold back crowds of enemies. Later upgrades can add two additional arrows to the shot.

For her final arrow type, she has her explosive arrow. This arrow, if fired fast, won’t fly far. Instead, it must be charged up in order to achieve any real distance. While this makes the powerful arrow a little harder to wield at longer distances, it helps keep Kate from being an all-in-one range powerhouse.

While these are her three primary arrow types, certain melee attacks can be unlocked which add other trick arrows to her move set. For example, holding the light attack button in mid-air will cause Kate to fire a smoke arrow. This arrow has increased stun damage to those in its effect area.

When things get too up close and personal for arrow work, Kate wields a katana with adept skill. Her various combos and takedowns are all filled with the same level of style and form as those used by the core game’s heroes.

Something that makes Kate really stand out is her traversal ability. Having stolen tech from AIM, Kate is capable of teleporting short distances. These jumps can go horizontally, or vertically, and can even be strung together for increased distance. While this teleportation is a great ability, it does come with a cost. Kate’s movement ability is the first one to actively drain her intrinsic energy gauge. So you can only ‘port with her so many times before you have to wait. Happily, you can get several teleports out of a full gauge, so it isn’t too restrictive.

Along with these core attacks, Kate also has the standard set of three powers. First, let’s talk about her support power: Decoy.

Decoy uses Kate’s stolen AIM tech to create an energy duplicate of herself. This dupe draws fire and can attack back at enemies. Upgrades can allow Kate to swap places with it, or even detonate it like a bomb. This ability is strikingly different from previous support abilities, as this ability doesn’t deliver any sort of stat buff directly to Kate. It’s good to see the devs at Crystal Dynamics willing to take powers in different directions.

Next up is Kate’s assault ability: Warp Arrow. This ability causes Kate to fire an arrow that, upon making contact with any object, will teleport Kate to it. Upon appearing, a small quantum explosion will occur, damaging nearby enemies. While I found this ability to be pretty cool, as well as having a lot of versatility, as it can get Kate both into and out of combat quickly, it is easily her toughest ability to properly utilize. With so much going on in bigger battles it wasn’t uncommon for me to fire this arrow off, only to have something pass between me and my intended target. This often times landed me in more hot water instead of getting me out of it.

Kate’s final power, her ultimate, is called Quantum Overdrive. This ability infuses all of her attacks with quantum energy making them more lethal than ever. However, her bow options are removed for the duration of this ability. She can only fire standard arrows, with the extra punch of the quantum power. It’s a fair trade when you really need to dish out some damage.

And like all her previous Avengers teammates, Kate has access to a special healing ability. Her’s comes as an upgrade to her Quantum Overdrive. Once purchased, every opponent she defeats while the ability is active will reward her with a willpower boost, as well as a small regeneration over time effect to keep her health up.

The only significant gripe I can see someone having with this DLC offering is the levels themselves. While the maps are new, and the story they occupy is pretty cool, what you actually do boils down to the exact same objectives you’ve been doing all along. Holding control points and hitting switch’s while waves of AIMs faceless robots assault you is a large portion of the new missions. If you are tired of these types of objectives, you may be frustrated with what Marvel’s Avengers: Kate Bishop Taking AIM is offering.

When all is said and done, Marvel’s Avengers: Kate Bishop Taking AIM delivers a great new character, as well as a fun set of missions to introduce her with. The missions effectively move the story forward, and with the announcement that the next DLC release will pick up this plot thread when Crystal Dynamics releases the original Hawkeye early next year, I’m quite excited to see what Marvel’s Avengers will deliver next.

Marvel’s Avengers: Kate Bishop Taking AIM is available now on PlayStation 4 and 5, as well as PC and Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

Marvel’s Avengers: Kate Bishop Taking AIM
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Marvel’s Avengers: Kate Bishop Taking AIM delivers a great new character, as well as a fun set of missions to introduce her with. The missions effectively move the story forward, and with the announcement that the next DLC release will pick up this plot thread when Crystal Dynamics releases the original Hawkeye early next year, I’m quite excited to see what Marvel’s Avengers will deliver next.