Endless service game and a good ten-hour single in one bottle
Every fan of the comic book universe of Marvel has to put up with several facts for years: favorite heroes never really die, a good movie based on motives can be not only on the big screen, and the most painful thing – worthy video games based on these comics are released once or twice a generation. The first commandment led to complete indifference to the sorrowful drama, the second was violated by the excellent Netflix series about Daredevil and Jessica Jones, but the third, as it would be easier to explain, is a task of exceptional impracticability! In addition to the adamantium claws of Wolverine from X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the puny shoulders of Peter Parker from Marvel’s Spider-Man, good or at least just normal incarnations of superheroes and games based on Marvel comics, as they say, the cat cried. This metaphorical cat would have continued to roar if not for Marvel’s Avengers, which are all so experimental that no one understood until the very release – what kind of genre, what is the game about, is it worth buying? About a dozen genres are mixed here, and the game is dedicated to the latest history of the “Avengers” from modern comics. But it’s worth buying it, perhaps, at the nearest discounts. Why is it so, and why is it not a sentence, but rather an advice?
Many blame games for the unattractiveness of graphics or art design, others are worried about the technical part, some are disappointed at the stage of immersion in the plot, realizing in the course of the play that there is no story. There are also those players who are enraged by five-hour plots for five thousandth bills. But all of these issues are optional when it comes to positioning. When your expectations are your problems. When the idea of the game is a snag for marketers. Or even the result of a vague advertising campaign – almost a year ago Death Stranding suffered from this, fan theories about which turned out to be much more interesting than the plot of the video game itself. It is from positioning that the new Marvel’s Avengers is now suffering.
You will often hear this fall’s “new Destiny “, About” the next The Division “and even about the” second Anthem “. But in fact, in front of the players, in fact, there are two big games under a single cover, and one of them is a ten-hour medley of the most spectacular and pop ideas of Uncharted, Tomb Raider, Marvel’s Spider-Man, God of War, World of Warcraft and sometimes even Mass Effect. Solyanka is not as creepy as you might imagine: it’s just that in Marvel’s Avengers all of the games that we have played over the past 7-8 years are parodied.
This is one of the most expensive and modern Marvel projects, the most discreet experiment that consists almost entirely of secondary ideas, and also statistically the most downloaded beta version in the history of PlayStation game consoles. Of all these facts, only a line about secondary can be alarming, but, lo and behold, here it is rather a plus because comics as a storytelling format are not without irony an independent work, consisting of hackneyed ideas. Two years ago, this trick was done by the developers at Insomniac Games, who showed the Spiderman with Batman settings. Their video game Marvel’s Spider-Man from the announcement to the very release is not reproachful but still compared with the Arkham trilogy from rocksteady Studios. The same trick is practiced by the studio’s Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, which jointly under the auspices of the publishers of Square Enix create a new ambitious platform with a backlog of several years ahead, a banquet budget, a fan service car, and a claim to the best game-service from all existing ones. Did it work?
Yes, but in a world where Destiny has no competitors, where Marvel’s Spider-Man is the best comic book game ever, and in a world where World of Warcraft never existed.with its daily and the development of strongholds. If you have just lived in such suspended animation for the last 7-8 years, rejoice – the novelty about “The Avengers” will become one of the most interesting adventures of this fall. You will begin to study all the mechanics, interactions with faction vendors, and activities from cooperative passage to raid bosses with due greed. Yes, they are here! Huge robots, which for half an hour need to be sequentially disassembled into pieces by a pack of four players, where one plays the role of a tanker, the second buffs on damage, the third delivers this damage to the address right in the thorns of the microcircuit face, and the fourth spins underfoot, monitoring the health of allies … Is it fun? Definitely! Does it work as shown in the trailers? Of course not.
Like any game intended by the developers as a fun and cool playthrough with friends, Marvel’s Avengers also suffers from the excess madness of casual players that wreaks havoc on your personal immersion. This already happened in Tom Clancy’s The Division, when, instead of immersive exploration of snowy New York, you received thoughtless emergency firefights with a total cleaning of all the mobs on the screen. Because in Marvel’s Avengersthey came up with, firstly, a limit on the number of players and, secondly, single-story missions. In the first case, empty cells with partners will be filled with calm bots that bribe with malleable behavior and predictable artificial intelligence. In the second case, you will have access to a high-budget and coolly staged story campaign, where out of almost ten hours, most of the time you will be either alone or in conjunction with one or two partners. The very thing for immersion in the process, for studying lore and getting used to the characters’ characters.
As expected, familiar heroes are Marvel’s Avengers’ strongest trump card. Their appearance does not correspond to that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which includes all the current films of a single cinematic universe. But this is not a problem: if you read comics, then you know – in different arcs and dimensions, from different authors and artists – there are interpretations of the same characters.
The characters remained unchanged: the Scandinavian god Thor is a pompous brake, Tony Stark annoys the team with inappropriate jokes and listens to hellish rock at full volume, Steve Rogers directs the actions of the squad and patriotically spreads a star shield from vibranium, Natasha Romanoff is graceful and cold-blooded in her spy temper, and the Hulk – rips out pieces of asphalt, crushes cars, tore and toss in his unbridled rage and screams wildest. But the most important participant in the new “Avengers” is the newcomer Kamala Khan, aka Miss Marvel with polymorphic abilities. He knows how to lengthen his legs and arms, increase his fists and grow to the height of a high-rise building, however – how, you will find out for yourself closer to the end of the plot.
Kamala became a guide to the world of the game: she is a teenager who writes fanfiction and knows by heart all the top phrases of her superhero idols. Kamala is such a prism through which the players enter the plot very smoothly: we play as a girl who has become a “non-human” involuntarily as a result of an incident with terrigenous fog. If you don’t understand anything, then this is normal: the plot of Marvel’s Avengers is based on the events of the comics of the last 7-8 years, yes – just a coincidence, because Kamala herself as a heroine made her debut only in 2013. As for terrigen and “non-humans”, there is enough background for a separate article, but fans of the X-Men are more familiar with this than the Avengers series. In short, it is very interesting and after passing Marvel’s AvengersI want to read all story arcs, event globals, all tie-ins, inter-team team-ups, and spin-off series, believe me – you will have something to do if you want to delve into the world of modern Marvel.
The characters are dragging. And this is not in any game-service. The chemistry between the characters, their rich biography, non-trivial and complex characters, as well as one hundred percent recognition – this is your guarantor for a cool pastime. Watching the skirmishes between the Hulk and Stark, Thor’s jokes, Captain America’s bravado, and Miss Marvel’s naivety is a separate thrill. Not without problems, because the game is deliberately teenage: there is no catchy drama here, no gloomy, no adulthood, and no interesting villains. The whole story is typical, but at the same time, an interesting and creatively done story of the “Avengers” unification, shown through the eyes of Kamala Khan, in his personal opinion – one of the most interesting characters in all Marvel comics the last decade. She is lively and trusting, kind, and responsible – this is the best candidate for the role of a protagonist because all her good qualities are tied to troubles and dangers.
As it was written earlier, these dangers come from pasteurized villains and nondescript opponents. The first is typical sinister with hysterical motivation. The second are faceless iron dummies, scurrying bustlingly across the battlefield as punching bags, and not as distinctive and memorable enemies.
The geography of adventures is worth mentioning separately: the snows of the Russian tundra, the dust of the American desert, the Scandinavian mountains, the Jersey slums, and the San Francisco marinas. You run through business districts, wander through city parks, and crawl in sewers, jump on the rooftops of the night city and fly in the factory workshops of secret military bases. True, the cities are empty and cardboard, thanks to the plot – this is explained by the evacuation of the population, but the natural locations and interiors of laboratories are made quite well.
What is best done is animations. No kidding: This is arguably the most advanced and animation-rich video game in recent years. If someone dares to count all the available techniques, finishing moves, special attacks, and contextual animations, this can become an application for a record. You have never seen so many animated movements in any project. Hence a worthy impact, but selective: for example, Thor’s hammer slams into opponents sonorously and fractionally, and he himself knows how to throw Mjolnir like Kratos – with a resounding return of it right into the hand. At the same time, the impact from the Hulk’s blows feels somewhat cottony and light, there is no pulling heaviness in the movements of the green-skinned beast. Repulsors on the palms of Iron Man have sufficient recoil when fired, but during the flight, Tony Stark moves unconvincingly. The captain’s shield flies into opponents with an eerily painful sound, hitting with a resounding ricochet on all surfaces in the way, and Steve Rogers himself runs along the steep walls but rolls absurdly during a double jump. You will notice these shortcomings on your own, nothing critical, but it feels undersized in quality.
The game also has problems with music, instead of it, there is an indistinct playlist of so typical melodies that after a total of 20-25 hours there is not a single song that would be remembered at all. Tracks title theme level of Marvel’s Spider-Man from Insomniac Gamesabsent as a genre. This is a fat minus for a heroic story, where music acts as a powerful immersion tool. The technical part of the game could also appear in the minuses, but on release under a layer of several patches – everything is fine. For tens of hours, there were only a couple of frame drops in specially mixed moments with a vinaigrette of special effects. And once the script that launches a bunch of enemies per level was too late. It has been much worse. What was pleasantly surprised is the improved graphics and detail, which were not in this form during beta testing.
Improved performance on PlayStation 4 Pro: Two modes are available for the game – with 4K-resolution or with maximum speed. The second mode worked with a jelly frame rate before the release, now it’s more comfortable to play. Plus, the developers have improved many small features that were missing in the beta version, for example, in the release version, the ally’s revival status was displayed correctly. They also opened access to new rooms on the Chimera – your base where the Avengers headquarters is located and where new allies and delegations of factional merchants of armor, weapons, and clothing will come later. It is this mechanic that reminds of the adventures on the decks of the Normandy from Mass Effect, and the development of the base on the Chimera from Marvel’s Avengers visually resembles the pumping of the operating base from Tom Clancy’s The Division… There are also contracts for bosses, reminiscent of those from Destiny, as well as daily and weekly tasks – like in World of Warcraft, but without fishing.
The novelty about Marvel superheroes turned out to be cool. Yes, this is a strange product that has not fully decided who it wants to be: either a game for everyone and immediately with a sharpened online needle, behind which there is no Destiny -level replayability or at least Tom Clancy’s The Division. Either the new “Avengers” want to be so-so Uncharted in a vacuum, not always skillfully and appropriately using spectacular action or, what the Asgardian gods do not joke, even sloppy stealth-like conditional hide and seek from Tomb Raider. This is a modern, expensive, and beautiful product with a claim to universal recognition and a swing to record sales. Does this game need them? Rather yes, because from the popularity of Marvel’s Avengers the further fate of this game-service will depend on new characters, plot updates, and developer support.
Like any similar service game, this one is also doomed to become the cornerstone in the debate between harsh realists and naive optimists. The former complained about the amount of starter content in the early parts of Destiny and Tom Clancy’s The Division. The latter is still waiting for a re-release of Anthem, relying on promises and their fantasies.
Think of Marvel’s Avengers as a great ten-hour single with a cinematic and in some places creative production: when you see Kamala’s escape scene with a star shield, remember these words. Remember them during the final battle with the main villain – there has not been such a kitsch epic since the days of God of War. The new product has a lot of humor, a lot of lore, and a lot of fan service, which will delight both those who follow comics and those who are familiar with Marvel exclusively from cinematic blockbusters, knowing nothing about solo films.
This game is on par with the year before the last release of Marvel’s Spider-Man, yielding only in drama and a little in the length of the story. Otherwise, this is a must-buy for fans and a new outlet for those who suffer from low-quality crafts that parasitize the big name of the comic series. But there is more: new heroes have already been announced, which will complement the starting roster of Marvel’s Avengers characters, and for each, a separate mini-plot will be prepared. First, a couple of archers will appear – Hawkeye in the person of Clint Barton and his partner Kate Bishop from “Young Avengers”, later we are waiting for the announced appearance of Black Panther and Spider-Man in early 2021. For this reason, and only for it – we recommend buying Marvel’s Avengersnot at the start, but a little later. First, there will be a nice discount. Secondly, more content will appear.
The starting version will captivate players for 20-30 hours in total, who will share the storyline campaign, the cooperative passage of side missions, and individual expeditions for each hero, which opens up access to unique equipment, as well as the very same raids with huge bosses. Very complex, with thoughtful tactics and offensive deaths – as we love. Thanks to this release, this fall is not a time for minor sadness and an upside-down September calendar, but a loud and high-budget call for “general fundraising” that the world’s most popular superhero team from Marvel comics is famous for.
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