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Video Games

Avengers (PS4) Review

I have finally finished the campaign for Avengers and messed around a bit with the multiplayer aspect. I thought it was about time for a review! I’ll give you the TLDR version first and then if you are interested, you can stick around for my rambling.

ProsCons
Can be really fun at timesSlow load times
Campaign is pretty coolSluggish combat
Voice castRepetitive gameplay/missions
Cheesey DialogueLots of walking
Some cinematicsToo much menu time

In short, after a bit of a slow start, this game certainly packs a punch! There is a bit you have to ignore (loading times and the mess of a menu for example) and I think you will enjoy it, as long as you lower your expectations a bit. I give it a 6/10. Stick around if you want the full breakdown. Spoilers lie ahead.

When a video game is announced, I tend to ignore basically all media about it until after I’ve played it. I won’t watch trailers, gameplay videos, any early reviews, absolutely nothing. I don’t like expectations to be set for me. I prefer to go in blind and just see what happens. Usually, it means I enjoy things more because I haven’t hyped it for myself. Sometimes though, it’s hard to avoid getting hyped. Avengers was a bit like that and I definitely had some expectations heading into this.

The first thing I expected, was to be able to create my own character. When I heard it was an online multiplayer game, set in the Marvel Universe, I kind of just assumed that’s how it would work. I thought you would create a customised character, complete with your own superpower. I am crazy to have thought that? It’s not the case at all, you mainly play as Kamala Khan (A.K.A. Ms. Marvel) and rotate as some of the other Avengers throughout the campaign. Online, you just pick who you want to be for each mission.

Let’s go back to Kamala Khan for a moment. I don’t like her. Full disclosure : I haven’t read any of her of comics, even though I am quite the comic book fan. To be honest, I didn’t even know she had comics. I thought she was created for this game. In my defense, I haven’t read many comics that were written this decade. Anyway, moving on. From my understanding, this is a loyal adaptation to her character. Which is cool, I’m glad they stuck to the source material. And I am all for a Muslim hero. And a Pakistani as well. I’m all about diversity! I just hate the whole fan girl persona. Especially how she never grows out of it. Would it be so bad for her to act like a professional? Even 5 years later, when she is a member of the Avengers, she is still acting like a star struck stan. There’s some alliteration for you, Stan Lee. Call me an old man yelling at clouds, but Carol Danvers is my Ms. Marvel.

Whilst we are on the topic of characters, everyone else was pretty ace. It felt more like a comic book and less like a movie. I really appreciated that. The voice acting was superb. Kudos to the casting crew. Ironman/Tony Stark was very obviously Nolan North. I could hear Nathan Drake every time he opened his mouth. Not a criticism, I love Nolan North. He had my favourite line in the game, I’m paraphrasing a bit, but it was something like “I have to get something off my chest!” as he fires his arc reactor. Classic! I did not pick up Troy Baker at all in his role as Bruce Banner. I guess that shows how talented his voice acting is. Everyone else was really good too and so was most of the dialogue. Lots of cheesey comic book one liners.

The plot is your basic comic book story line, it didn’t feel particularly original or new. That’s not to say it wasn’t enjoyable enough though. The Avengers are having some fan fiction celebration day (?) or something and there is a terrorist attack. San Fransisco is destroyed and a bunch of people turn into “Inhumans”, basically they get super powers and everyone is upset about it. Personally, I’d love to have superpowers.

5 years later, we are all living under A.I.M.’s rule and superheroes are banned. All Inhumans are considered diseased and are being rounded up for a cure. Enter Kamala Khan. She discovers that the Avengers were framed (shocked emoji here please) and sets out to clear their name. We slowly get the band back together, one by one. We clear the Avengers name, destroy A.I.M. and we all get back to being egomaniacs. I mean heroes. Yay! Post game content continues in the form of online missions to take out the rest of A.I.M. or something like that. I missed some story line videos because my little Avenger is a nuisance and her super power is annoyance!

Ignoring my thoughts on the character of Ms. Marvel, she is one of the more enjoyable characters to control. That could just be because of the amount of time you spend playing as her though. Either way, there is just something off with the combat in this game. The traversal of the environment as well. Really, the whole gameplay. It’s not terrible, but it feels like it needs a patch to speed everything up by 50%. It’s just so slow and clunky. When I played the Arkham series, I felt like I was Batman. Same with the recent Spider-Man title. I felt like I was web slinging through the city. I don’t feel like an Avenger when I play this game. I run so slowly. For the Avengers capable of flight, it’s very awkward to fly and feels even slower than running. My punches don’t pack the power they should, not even when I’m Hulk. And why can’t I throw cars around when I play as the big guy? Captain America has the ability to wall run, but it’s not as smooth as it should be. Ranged combat is also dissatisfying. It feels like there is so much potential and it just doesn’t live up to the hype.

I want to move on, otherwise I will go on forever. Obviously, this game shares a lot of elements with loot based games like Destiny (which I have never played). It also has some very minor RPG elements. More specifically, a skill tree. I’m trying to think of a loot based game I’ve played a lot of for comparison. Will you except the Borderlands series? Bad luck, you have to, I’m telling this story. Borderlands is actually a prime example. Well done, me. In Borderlands, you could feel a significant difference in the weapons you looted and in the weapons you would upgrade/tinker. You could also get an easy idea of what each upgrade would do or of the difference between your equipped weapon and a new weapon. Avengers doesn’t have that. I never once felt like what I had equipped or what upgrades I used had an impact. The skill tree was exactly the same. Not to mention it was such a mess of a system and the menu would often lag. It would take ages to breakdown items to get parts to upgrade. It took ages to understand what different things did. I still don’t know what my “Heroic Rating” impacted. It would take ages to look at my skill tree. And most of the skills felt insignificant anyway. At the end of the day, none of it mattered and you would just hammer some combination of square and/or triangle regardless.

In terms of other game play mechanics, there wasn’t a lot of depth. The “puzzles” were very simple. Literally standing on a switch or punching/kicking it was about the extent of the puzzle. Sometimes the switch was hidden, but not very effectively. Especially considering you could just push the “up” button on the d-pad and the switch would be highlighted. Otherwise, when you weren’t fighting you were walking/running. That wasn’t very fun and, you guessed it, very slow. It had some cool traversal ideas, like using your stretchy arms to reach higher ledges, but it wasn’t very smooth. Other objectives aside from combat included, standing in one area whilst Jarvis hacks something or standing in one of 3 areas whilst Jarvis hacks something. Not much variety for an “open world” game.

Graphically the game was pretty good and had some awesome looking cinematics. Sometimes it felt like I was actually in the MCU. On the other hand though, it could have some really dodgy looking cinematics and suffer horribly from lag. Particularly as I got later on in the campaign. This applies to both cut scenes and gameplay. Also, some of the chest opening animations were very awkward. Mainly Hulk. The same can be said of interacting with terminals. Again, mainly Hulk.

Online is exactly the same as the campaign, just minus the storyline and with other people. It adds a bit of post game content, but because it is all about the loot it doesn’t really matter. If the loot system was better, I’m sure this would have a ton of replay value.

After all of that, you would be forgiven for thinking I didn’t like this game. That’s not true. I definitely had fun, although I’m not sure how. I think this games biggest downfall was everything it could of been. Or should of been. It felt like they tried to please too many people and ended up pleasing none. It’s worth checking out, especially if you can get it on sale. 6/10.

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