The latest game from the team behind the Tomb Raider reboots see’s them taking on a whole different project , as we have a Marvel based brawler sporting a unique story for the the Avengers at its core. Does it manage to bring the MCU cinema experience to the small screens of home? Let’s find out
Marvel’s Avengers starts at A-Day, a special celebration day where the Avengers are also unveiling a new, hi-tech Avengers Headquarters in San Francisco. The festivities are quickly scuttled as a mysterious enemy causes a catastrophic accident using some of the new tech showcased at the event. Blamed for the tragedy, the Avengers disband. The story picks up Five years later, with all Super Heroes outlawed and those affected by the fallout from accident hunted, Kamala Khan finds proof that not all happened as told on A-day, and she sets out to reassemble the Avengers to stop the unchecked power of the secretive new force known as AIM.
The game has you playing as Kamala Khan at first, as she seeks to find the Avengers while also trying to stay one step ahead of AIM. Kamala acts as the anchor for the story and you pretty much see everything & interact with everyone through her in the beginning. If you’ve enjoyed the recent Avengers movies then the story here should be right up your street, it’s could almost pass for this years MCU summer release with how well it is presented. Luckily you don’t have to enjoy this alone, as co-op is prevalent throughout the game. Both story missions and others can be completed as a 4 person strike team, which is certainly a step up from AI that usually back you up during missions. Fans of the Avengers will no doubt also enjoy the huge amount of collectibles each stage and also the wealth of costumes to unlock for each character.
If you have the OTT action of the Avenger movies in mind, then this game tends to follow that template when it comes to presentation. Detail can be pretty high, main characters look & move as well as expected, with plenty of variety in the environments to showcase numerous effects throughout. The spectacle of the fights is where the game shines best. Destruction is everywhere, especially when playing as the Hulk etc, and the games colour palette really pops when you factor in the particle effects thrown around too. It does get a bit excessive at times tho, you may lose track of enemies or even damage yourself in the chaos, but it is a feast for the senses once a fight breaks out. It does all come at a cost unfortunately…
…and that cost would of course be performance, with this game in particular proving tough to optimise for on my system (R51600/16GB/5700XT) 4K is off the cards as even the half refresh/30fps option would have the odd drop below, 3200×1800 with AMD FidelityFX was a decent compromise, the usual ultrawide I go for being a stretched 16:9 image instead of 21:9 too. 60Fps? That took a drop to 1440p with some tweaks here & there. To be honest resolution seems the major killer of performance here, settings didn’t do much aside from the odd boost of a frame or two. As a heads up, avoid the dynamic resolution option. It doesn’t really work as expected, you’ll still get frame drops, and seems to have some weird pulsing effect on the image quality that’s hard to ignore. There was also several crashes when playing, no error or debug information either literally just straight back to desktop, so some work still needs to be done on the game to iron out a few things.
At its most basic, Avengers plays like the brawlers of old. You’ll usually be punching your way through a level to get a boss or objective, with the odd puzzle or platforming in between – The platforming sections can sometimes irritate, you may see the same Kamala falling animation a lot. In a way it kinda reminds me of Ps2 era brawlers as it offers several characters with their own skill trees to give variety, but all ultimately end up doing the same thing. Whilst that may like a bad thing, it’s really not as the fighting is generally slick and it means the game has a solid foundation upon which to build other aspects of the game. Enemy variety is generally good too, with the usual attack patterns to master and the occasional bout against several different types of enemies to keep you on your toes.
Variety with the playable characters isn’t just down to skill trees, each time you level up offering a skill point to unlock new moves, but also in the gear you find. Loot can be gained from enemies or chests throughout a stage, with a few rarities and the ability to boost gear with resources further mixing things up. The missions themselves can also play out differently depending on who is the lead. Missions as Kamala tend to feature a lot of platforming to go with the fights, whereas someone like Iron man will have missions with more verticality to combat & flight sections. So yeah, whilst the combat itself may lack variety which could be it’s downfall given the long missions, it seems it has been applied almost everywhere else to try and combat the monotony that can creep in.
Avengers is as action packed & bombastic as you would expect of an MCU summer blockbuster. The presentation compliments the surprisingly good story perfectly, with the variety & collectibles doing much to keep fans of the Avengers happy. The aforementioned variety does go some way to masking the basic nature of the combat, with the dreaded monotony creeping in quicker if you’re not making the most of the co-op modes. Overall it’s a good game, with plenty going for it that should make it appealing to a wide audience
Pretty much perfectly encapsulates all the good, and the bad, of the MCU in a single package. Perfect for fans and anyone looking to collect teeth using a big green fist.