Thursday, November 26, 2020

"Marvel's Avengers" Review

 After a disastrous E3 2019 showing, developers Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal took the criticism to heart, using the year to smooth out the rough edges, reshape core concepts and refine the bizarre visuals.

The result is one of the more underappreciated gems of 2020.

With a sweeping story, creative multiplayer co-op integration and promise of much more to come, "Marvel's Avengers" became a game that lived up to its lofty promise. More a "Destiny"-style persistent platform than one-offs in the vein of "Spider-Man," the game nails the core of what it means to unite Earth's Mightiest Heroes and deploy their complementary powers to take on overwhelming threats.

The heart of the story is Kamala Khan, who is coming into her own as the limb-stretching dynamo Ms. Marvel. After a cataclysm disbands the Avengers, she takes it upon herself to piece them back together, helping to heal old wounds and forge new alliances. 

The balance in skill and entertainment value among the likes of Hulk, Black Widow, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America is relatable and convincing, unlike the nerfing/overpowering tactics used in the likes of "Marvel vs. Capcom" slugfests. Instead of making, say, Black Widow as powerful as Hulk, each hero is given various skills and challenges that make them roughly equally satisfying to take on. 

A lengthy tutorial introduces you to the skillsets to each, allowing you to upgrade their skills, shaping their abilities to your comfort level and tendencies.

Online options are where the game will thrive over the long run. With an ongoing slate of missions deploying, there will likely long be loot and upgrades to scoop up. Taking on the ongoing saga of the comic book world, rather than telling a distinct tale, you feel like a part of the ongoing operatic journey.

Rich and robust, "Marvel's Avengers" is a veritable Thanksgiving feast of a game, worthy of carrying the banner established by the comic books and lifted to new heights by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Publisher provided review code.

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