Quick Take: Avengers – Beta

I can’t lie, there’s nothing about the upcoming Avengers game that appeals to me. If I was 12 again, it would totally be for me, I was all-over Marvel comics.

Hell, if it was 5 years ago, I’d be more into it. But I think we’re all burnt-out on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and I’m really not sure that the appeal is there right now.

Tied-in with some rough-looking demos which were closely guarded up until recently. Nobody knew what to expect, other than some screenshots and marketing spiel.

But…..as a Virgin Media customer, I got access to the beta at no cost to me, other than some time trying it out. So what do I have to lose?

I opted for the Steam version, to see how it would run on what is essentially a mid-range rig (lower-mid, I guess?).

Word of advice, don’t play it with a mouse and keyboard…..

Avengers
 

Avengers dis-assemble

Straight out of the gates, you’re hit with a disaster that sees the fall of the Avengers, and the rise of Terragen-enhanced people. People exposed to Terragen unlock potential powers and, suddenly you have a lot of potential bad guys to fight…..

So, comic-book story to kick things, off. Fine.

You go from controlling Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow and Captain America. To being The Incredible Hulk and Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel).

You get a good feel for combat and the unique abilities. Get involved in the story and start to see how the game is going to play out.

I’ll admit though, that on my last hour of gameplay, I got cut-short because Square Enix cut the servers for beta testing. So I didn’t get half as much done as I would have liked.

 

Quick-take

Let’s start out by saying that The Avengers was a much more polished and enjoyable experience than I had anticipated. Honestly, I expected it to be dog-rough and had really low expectations.

But The Avengers was actually pretty smooth, very polished and mostly good fun.

Combat is more like a Musou game than anything else, which surprised me greatly. You run around brawling with mobs of enemies, upping your meters for specials (heroics) and use them from time to time.

I like a “Warriors” game, Hyrule Warriors, One Piece Pirate Warriors as much as the next person. I just had different expectations for The Avengers. But it kinda works.

When playing dfifferent characters, they mostly felt the same. The Hulk didn’t feel particularly heavy or slow. Black Widow didn’t feel any more nimble than Thor. It was fine, but hardly excellent.

Sure, it’s a beta and everything can change, but it’s out in a few weeks, so I doubt there wil be significant development now.

The Avengers looks great. Character models and environments were nice, and I have no issue with the heroes looking different to the MCU. In a world of multli-verses and plenty of variations on all characters, that are canon, it’s a non-issue.

Voice acting was fine, audio in general was fine, and there was nothing partuicularly “bad”. You could say that everything The Avengers does, is absolutely fine.

Photo mode is great, and I had a blast with that, so if you’re into snaps, and Marvel, thats likely a new meta-game for some people to get into. Seeing what comes out of that will be cool!

But The Avengers is a massive licence, it needs to be more than that…..

 

I don’t quite get it…..

I think that this is supposed to be The Avengers, but a live-service game like Anthem or Destiny.

There’s loot and upgrades for the heroes. But then there are battlepass-like elements for each individual hero. I can see that being nicely set-up for monetisation, which is sad.

You pick your hero, run a mission, get loot and upgrade. I didn’t get far enough to see it play out fully, so there’s some speculation here. But I was gfetting upgraded parts, and a constant feed of new gear.

Problem was, I didn’t really care. Nothing felt unique or made any cosmetic difference, so it was a bit moot really.

The Avengers seems to have all the parts, but none of the execution. Honestly, I don’t know what kind of game I was expecting, and I can see the mash-up of a musou and live service game perhaps working. But it just feels all kind of smashed togther.

If this came out peak MCU, I think people would jump on it in a big way. Particularly at the top of Anthem falling over and Destiny 2 not really doing what it should. There was a time where this game could have really hit a sweet-spot. Scratching an itch that people wanted scratching.

Unfortunately, it feels to me the The Avengers biggest problem is that it’s coming out well past a time where anyone is going to properly want it.

It looks fine, sounds fine and plays fine. Nothing exceptional, and in a world where people have had enough of everything that makes this game what it is, it’s likely to to launch flat on it’s face.

 

Wait wait wait….

The Avengers isn’t terrible. Lets be clear.

It’s just alright, and that’s not really good enough when it carries such a big licence, and no doubt retails at £40-£50 at launch.

In truth, I’d totally pick this up at £20 and hope some friends did too. We love a co-op looter, and we all love the Marvel universe. I just don’t want to repeat my trust in Anthem, only for there to be naff-all to do.

Worse still, if they are priming it to monetise of each character and their pass. It’s a bit gross. Especially knowing that the key demographic is likely to be similar to that of Fortnite.

There’s money to be made, and well, Disney/Marvel/Square Enix want to milk it from you through The Avengers, I think….

If it was £20, no microtransactions and delivered in the state it’s in now. I’d be pretty happy to be honest. A nice run-through, bashing mobs of enemies and doing cool-looking specials with friends.

This is all based on a handful of hours play, so take it with a grain of salt. But if I were you, I’d hold-off on picking The Avengers up at launch.

No doubt there’s room for improvement, and I’ll be keen to see how it goes post-launch. I’ve made plenty of exception for Destiny and even Anthem, so let’s hope that post-release support is a priority.

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