Marvel’s Avengers (Backlog Review)

Marvel’s Avengers is a game I passed on at first because it simply appeared a lot like a triple-AAA graphics mobile game.  But, of course, with it coming to Game Pass and me being a sub there was literally zero reason not to give it a chance.  Did this game end up surprising me in some way the trailers did not show, or was I right about it just being a mindless mobile game with a massive budget for graphics?


GAMEPLAY

It doesn’t matter which hero you use, it just feels unpolished…

There’s an irony, here: Guardians of the Galaxy came out after this game, but they share something immediately in common: the controls are just plain wonky.  It doesn’t matter which hero you use, it just feels unpolished, and a quick indicator is that it’s faster to constantly jump like a weirdo.  Getting that out of the way, there IS one advantage this game has: multiple heroes.  And they do control quite a bit differently which helps keep things from getting stale.  That leads directly into both the good and the bad: eventually it just becomes the conceptual version of the Hulk: smash.  Don’t get me wrong: there’s some platforming and there’s some barely existent puzzle solving, and the game is honestly at its best when it goes linear (something they seemed to have learned for Guardians of the Galaxy), but at the end of the day, you either enjoy playing as your favorite superhero or you don’t.  The mission variety just isn’t there except for the aforementioned linear moments.  If it wasn’t for the variety and learning curve between playing heroes, I’m not sure I could have even made it through the campaigns.  Also, you need this warning: fighting Maestro might make you want to quit entirely as there’s some seriously RNG-type bullshit that makes the fight rather painful.  But if you don’t quit…


CONTENT

…a healthy amount of content in place.

… Then there’s actually a healthy amount of content in place.  If you can tough out the wonky gameplay and RNGesus Maestro, then you’ll easily clock between 25-30 hours getting through the campaigns and doing some side missions.  There are still enough side missions left over if you wanted to continue grinding your favorite hero up, but at that point you’re just doing it for fun.  You can also do this stuff online… if you can find anyone as I’m pretty sure the game’s population is nearly gone.  Lastly, the cosmetics and paid items never got in my way: I bought absolutely nothing.  You buy the cosmetics because Black Widow.


PRESENTATION

…will give your latest GPU a proper workout.

I already knew early on the graphics were clearly the focus, and in that I was correct.  You might find yourself quite surprised, especially if you’re on PC, that the lighting engine and overall graphical quality will give your latest GPU a proper workout.  The game particularly impresses when you hit the Wakanda campaign, and I found the game to almost be on par with current gen.  Almost: you can still see short shadow draw distances, and the lack of ray tracing makes the abundance of shiny surfaces look last gen.  I did also have occasional bugs, though the lack of in-game screen images was the worst offender.  Additionally, a lot of levels “repeat” using the same assets until you hit said Wakanda.  But that’s about as much scrutiny as I can muster, and it even impresses in the texture quality: all you need to do is just take a good, hard look at Black Widow’s pants.  This all somewhat carriers into the cinematics as well, but ONLY the main “Reassemble” campaign where the motion capture and animations are top-shelf.  The DLC campaigns mostly toss this for scripted animations and standard lighting.  And finally, the story.  I need to say this because it’s worth getting off my chest: I know you’re out there, those of you who think this game is trash simply because the main character is Kamala Khan, a teen Indian girl.  What you don’t know is that she’s well-written, and I ended up liking her character quite a bit because she was designed around the right concept: youth.  She may not appear as much in the DLC campaigns, but her character’s disappointments and excitements about the Avengers is properly palpable and charming.


CONCLUSION

…less painful than it at first seems.

In essence, I am both right and wrong.  It is, indeed, a triple-AAA graphics mobile game, and the wonky, unpolished controls make this readily apparent.  But it isn’t all bad.  In fact, the switch between heroes is nice because it gives completely different gameplay experiences, and the adventure itself is properly long even if you’re just in it for the campaign.  Top that off with excellent graphics that made my GPU’s fans turn up quite a bit and a decent story with a likable main character, and it’s less painful than it at first seems.  It may control terribly and have little in the way of mission and level variety, but it’s worth playing if you absolutely need more Avengers in your life.

I give Marvel’s Avengers

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