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Marvel’s Avengers Preview (PS4)

Yeah, We’re pretty pissed that Spider-Man is an Exclusive, Too

Marvel's Avengers

From movies to television, to comics, and even its own theme park universe, just about everything Marvel has been delayed in 2020 due to the coronavirus. Yet even in these dark times, there’s still one hopeful Marvel title seeking to pull a Captain America by standing alone against the armies of corona cancellation. That title is Marvel’s Avengers.  

Developed by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montreal and published by Square Enix, Marvel’s Avengers will release on September 4th for PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, and PC. It’ll also come to PS5 and Xbox Series X, with PS4 and Xbox One players being able to upgrade to the next-gen version for free. All for a price of 59.99, with 69.99 and 79.99 being the cost for the digital deluxe and deluxe editions, respectively.

But is the game worth the steep cost? Well, I got to play the beta this weekend. Suffice to say, with all the dungeon crawling, customizable heroes, and butt-loads of kick-butt action, I have to admit that Marvel’s Avengers is an unbelievably fun game best enjoyed by playing online with friends. It’s also the only guaranteed thing Marvel has to offer fans right now, so if you’re dying for some Marvel content, this does more than satisfy. More importantly: YOU GET TO BE THE AVENGERS!

There was a lot of speculation as to what kind of game Marvel’s Avengers was going to be. Especially after the success of Spider-Man for PS4. Was it going to be more focused on a linear story with an open world map? Or was it going to be more of a combat button basher like Marvel Ultimate Alliance? There was also the infamous A-Day footage that went around much of the convention circuits last Fall. You can watch that video above.

Having played the beta, both single-player and multiplayer online, it seems like the promise of an intriguing story is there, not unlike Marvel’s Spider-Man. But so far, there are two non-open world campaign levels: A-Day and the introduction level to the story’s main character, Kamala Khan.

Kamala is a Pakistani American Avengers’ fangirl, who by fateful accident, turns superpowered, becoming the new Ms. Marvel.

Thus far, the Beta plays more like a modernization of Marvel Ultimate Alliance. It’s a lot of enclosed levels playing as characters with unique abilities. The game encourages you to beat up enemies, smash objects, and collect field resources. Simplistic for sure, up until you begin spending those resources on upgrading your character.

See, I didn’t expect to play the Beta as long as I had. Yet, I found myself taken aback by the amount choices there are in sheer customization, something which I found so entertaining, that I kept playing just to unlock more content. Especially with each resource and gear unlocked being uniquely specific per character. What’s crazier, is that this was only the limited Beta version. Meaning there’s an even larger and more elaborate skill tree in the full version of the game.

In terms of skills, it’s astonishing just how much of an arsenal Iron Man has access to between repulsors, lasers, and rocket-launching capabilities. Hulk smash? Absolutely, but in this game, would you like to smash while wielding one or two of your enemies in hand like a ragdoll, smack them together like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or smash the earth itself to make it tremble along with your enemies? How does Kamala Khan play? Well, how do I put this? She’s essentially Kratos from God of War except instead of the Blades of Chaos, she’s got stretchy slappable hands. Which are surprisingly just as combat effective.

Atop of this, there is a bunch of gear and artifacts you find throughout each mission. Some of which you can dismantle into resources, but other, much rarer equipment, you’ll likely prefer to equip and use. Each item grants stat boosts, resistances, and special features, all varying in capabilities and suited for your style of play. And all of this equipment is capable of being upgraded too using the various resources you collect on each map. which I highly encourage you to do, as it helps ease gameplay tremendously.

Equipment is also ranked on rarity from common to epic tier items. However, it should be noted that during matches where you can find gear, each person must collect their own loot. They aren’t shared items, meaning if you open a loot chest, I will have to open it too.

The Beta will be open to the public again in the next two weekends. In it, are three types of multiplayer missions that can be selected in the game’s mission select screen:

War Zones

Where you clear a semi-open world area and collect gear.

Drop Zones

Shorter missions focused on defending certain points.

Harm Rooms

The augmented reality training room. 10 waves of enemies to defeat.

As mentioned previously, there is also only the first skill tree available for every hero. There is also a level 15 cap on heroes and a 56 power cap and equipment bonuses. Keep in mind, none of these level-ups, items, or in-game purchases are saved for the actual release in September. However, you can win a few collectible items by participating in the Beta. Here’s how:

If you register and play the beta

Win a Beta participation nameplate

Finish the 3 Harm Room challenges

Win a Challenge Rooms nameplate

Complete the Winter Tundra Shield Vault

Win a Hidden Shield Vault nameplate.

Personally, I think the best thing in the Beta besides A-day is the boss battle in the mission: ‘To Tame a Titan’. It’s the hardest mission where I had to call on my friends to play with me. It also asks that your team be power level 20, which you should consider doing by leveling up your equipment or else expect to fail multiple times (I know I did).

Finally, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the gameplay, Marvel’s Avengers isn’t without its flaws. For starters, I could’ve used a little angrier of a Hulk. He’s about at an 80 when I want him to be 110 on the Hulk-Richter scale. Likewise, while the in-game finishers are cool, there only seems to be one per character, and a bit of variation would be nice though I’m wondering if it’s limited just because of the Beta?

The menus are also confusing at first and it’s a little hard to follow what type of mission is what. The UI is also buggy for matchmaking, as it took me a few tries to get in the first matches with my friends. But again, it’s still the Beta version. And when we could play online together… wow, was it awesome.

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A screenplay and comic book writer who grew up on playing everything Blizzard and Final Fantasy, Christian is a part-time entertainment journalist who covers just about everything. He loves attending conventions, meeting fellow creatives, and of course, gaming.

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