Marvel's Avengers - Game Infinite Review
Marvel’s Avengers reminds me of Anthem. I know that it is a little unfair, as Anthem was a complete dumpster fire that EA would rather have us forget about until it relaunches under some 2.0 mantra. What I mean is, it reminds me because Anthem was one of the harder games for me to review. Games usually hit the various notes I look at, at around the same levels of quality. Games that are 5, usually are 5’s in terms of everything: gameplay, story, graphics, ect… Usually a game’s final (or launch state) product is an example across the board of the ability of a team. Why I say Avengers reminds me of Anthem, was because I got the same feeling from it in terms of trying to quantify a "over all number score" as I did with Anthem. Anthem is more extreme. It failed in so many ways. Story, Performance, Loot, Progression, UI, World Design, so much of it was absolute garbage. However, it’s gameplay and flight mechanics were absolutely phenomenal. It is rare to see a game be completely 10/10 amazing in one category, and absolute garbage 4/10 in other categories. I struggled so hard to give it a final score because I was torn between the technical score and the fun factor. Anthem was a poorly built game that was a blast to play.
That’s why I say Avengers reminds me a little bit of Anthem. I struggled with the final score a lot because I had such a blast playing it. I had many late nights with my friend Blake playing mission after mission. The game is so incredibly fun, and you feel like an AVENGER. Where the game surpasses the Anthem comparison, is in addition to phenomenal fun gameplay, it also features a fun and engaging campaign story, packed with incredibly likable characters. I honestly couldn’t beat the story fast enough; I wan’t to see it play out. The characters are very relatable, with Ms. Marvel being such a surprise instant favorite for a player like me that knew nothing about the character. Kamala Kahn (Ms. Marvel) really feels like the perfect character to represent us normal humans playing this game. Her reactions to being present with the other Avengers and at the events, all really feels like the mega-super hero fan we would be if we were there. I know there was so controversy as gamers went through some growing pains as they got used to seeing these beloved characters by different actors than their MCU counterparts. My favorite to play has got to be Thor; as he is just as ridiculous over the top as his MCU version and an absolute blast to play. This game made me realize how much a full Thor game could be. I also realized how much a new Hulk game is needed with modern technology. An open world destructive map with Hulk could be phenomenal. I just loved jumping around smashing things as the Hulk, and I craved a truly open map for him to destroy buildings.
When you beat the phenomenal campaign, this game could have been satisfied with telling us a single player story and that’s it and it would have been great, but I really enjoyed the integration of multiplayer. Seamlessly your characters, progression, and cosmetics all carry over into multiplayer missions that are short and fun to play with friends.
Avengers has gotten mixed reviews for it’s treatment of loot and gear progression in the game. It does something pretty unusual; and many critics and players didn’t like it, but I really did. They separated gear and cosmetics from each other with “invisible gear”. That means when you find new “gear” it doesn’t change the way the characters look. It was a little too complex having skills, gear, and cosmetics to unlock, but honestly I wish more game would do something like this. I think of games like Destiny 2 where I had to walk around with the absolute ugliest pink helmet for the longest time because it was the most powerful thing I had and needed it to pass a mission. I think of games like Assassin’s Creed Origins, or most recently I am also playing through the remaster of one of my all time favorites, Kingdom’s of Amalur, and sometimes you get a really cool sword or piece of armor that you feel like you have to toss away because you have a “better gear”. This game actually made me realize how much I hate it when games make me toss away my pretty armor or sword that I worked hard to earn, just because I now have an ugly "tier tier" piece of equipment.
Avengers has so many great and fun cosmetics for the various characters you can unlock them and have your team look the way you want regardless of the power levels. It wasn’t implemented perfectly, but I really love the idea of non-gear cosmetics and want more of it.
So if Avengers had great story, characters, and gameplay, where does it fail in such a way that made it Anthem levels of difficulty to score? Well, once again I was forced to wrestle with a technical score and the fun factor. I loved Avengers. I had a blast playing it alone and with friends. However, good god was this game buggy. This game had Anthem levels of performance issues that make me scratch my head so much on how it released when it did. This game clearly needed more time in the oven, and with next-gen right around the corner, it would have been even decent timing to delay it.
I could write an entire article about the comical bugs and glitches I ran into. These performances issues, while often times super hilarious, were more than just cosmetic. While shrinking enemies, stretchy hands, and other goofy things are one thing, this game had often game breaking bugs. Whether it was disappearing enemies, invisible allies, falling through maps, or just outright crashes. Avengers crashed more for me than any other game I have played…EVER. I had missions crashed that would force me to start all over. I had enemies that I needed to kill in order to progress just glitch out on me and disappear. I had framerate drops galore. All of these glitches weren't even relegated to the PC version where bugs and crashes usually are, this all happened on the usually more stable Console version on my Xbox One X.
Avengers is a 10/10 game trapped in a 5/10 game’s body. That is why I found it so hard to review, because I have to review a game for what it is at launch, not for what it could be eventually. I gave it an 8 because the story, characters, and gameplay were all so great, but the performance issues took away from what could have been an otherwise legendary experience. That being said, this game still gets a recommendation if you are starving for a super hero game or have a friend to play it with. I also feel eventually this game will get the patches and updates it needs to perform well.
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