Marvel's Avengers

Marvel’s Avengers – Beta Impressions

We were fortunate to get beta access to the much anticipated Marvel’s Avengers developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. As a huge Marvel fan, I was really excited to get to play the game and to see what it’s all about. Should you pre-order it now or wait until the full game drops when more solid reviews come out.

Here’s a glimpse of the beta and my impressions.

The beta kicks off when the mighty Avengers had its mighty “A” celebration with their loyal fans but ended up scattering as something has blown up at the Golden Gate bridge. A fierce, deadly attack happened, and it’s up to the mighty heroes to save the day.

Much like what we’ve seen on the game’s gameplay trailer, you get to take control of the mighty Thor. And playing as Thor was surely engaging. You get to satisfyingly throw the Mjölnir at enemies and calling it back to you.

Once after every bit of action, you then get to control the incredible Hulk. You Hulk-smash, you Hulk-punch, you Hulk-kick, you Hulk-name-it. It’s entertaining, it’s gratifying, and you just don’t think of anything else but to Hulk-smash, Hulk-right? It’s definitely Hulk-fun!

And a few moments after throwing debris and anything that the Hulk can pick-up, you then get switched to billionaire, playboy, philanthropist Tony Stark — the Iron Man. Bursting to the sky, learning its flight mechanics is great and the air combat feels amazing. What’s even exciting is you get to use the iconic Chest Blast as his ultimate skill.

Then we arrive at a point where we get to control Black Widow. She’s tight in combat, and the ability to cloak just feels right when running towards enemies to surprise them with an attack. And to add, she still has armaments to use for combat, so it’s not just bare fist-fighting when you’re Black Widow.

Finally, the American dream hero, Captain America in his full combat armor. Steve Rogers is the last Avenger you get to play as and he’s the most balanced character there is. Engaging enemies at close-range and throws his shield from afar just ring what’s likable about Capt.

I do find that the prologue serves as a tutorial mode. You can’t choose the heroes to play from the get-go. The game brings you to scripted moments where each character is introduced in a magnificent manner and helps you get acquainted with their unique abilities.

Each Avenger has three skills, with one of it as the ultimate. You also have the typical Standard and Hard attacks with the latter being used to break enemy shields. It doesn’t seem like Marvel’s Avengers adds any innovation in gameplay, though, but it is still surely satisfying to play.

After the prologue ends, you then get to play as Kamala Khan or Ms. Marvel. In this timeline of the game, Kamala gets her powers from what happened during the prologue. And now she’s trying to bring back the Avengers together with Hulk helping her out. For avid fans of Marvel, everyone knows who Kamala Khan is. I’ve only recently known her through Marvel Future Fight which is a mobile game that I am also playing.

When she is introduced here, there really is not much that we know of her other than the fact that she was a direct result of A-day. I believe she becomes the anchor for all of the characters as she’s the one who is eagerly trying to rebuild the Avengers. She’s like a wide-eyed kid in the candy store as she fangirls over anything Avenger related. It’s kind of cute and endearing the way she’s being portrayed which makes me believe the devs wants us to like her and it is actually working.

Her abilities allow her to swing from objects on the ceiling. Which is really cool, the only problem is it’s hard to get the prompt that will allow her to swing from ceiling objects. You’d have to be jumping high enough to be able to activate the prompt. Hopefully, they can tweak this one better. Because I kept falling off the ledge before the prompt would show up.

Once you unlock the Headquarters, you will then get to unlock the HARM room. HARM rooms offer simulation battles to test your heroes. The first three HARM tutorials are based on Iron Man’s abilities. It will also teach you the basics of flying around as Iron Man.

I have only really gone through the HARM room to unlock the Wartable but I’m guessing it’s usefulness is to help you understand what abilities each hero has and how to fully utilize them. I am usually a person who likes to go with what is presented to me. Shoot first, ask questions later. But the HARM room can be a useful environment to help you familiarize with each hero.

Once you complete these tutorials the Warzone Table then opens up. The Warzone Table allows you to team up with up to 3 people in coop missions to get gear and rare artifacts. You will also get to choose which hero you want to play as but that will also lock out other players from choosing that character. However, there is an option to request which characters you would want to team up with. Or even team up with your friends so that you can agree on who to play as.

One game-breaking bug I found while playing the game was that it somehow crashes in the middle of a warzone table mission. I’m not sure what triggers it but it happened to me several times. The sad part is because the missions are all created online, if it crashes on you, you will have to start the whole mission from the very beginning. I hope the developers can figure out what causes these crashes and fix them before the game officially comes out.

The demo only gets you to choose from 4 characters which include, Kamala Khan, The Hulk, Iron Man and Black Widow. One feature that I think was neat was that some characters can serve as support and you can even play the missions solo and have up to 3 AI characters support you. Black Widow’s cloaking ability can be used on other players allowing you to go invisible while you take out the enemies.

The game also has a cosmetics store where you can buy new costumes, emotes and other stuff for your characters to make them stand out when playing with others. Each character also has a challenge card, where if you complete certain challenges it unlocks rewards like costumes and perks for your character.

Overall, I’m really happy with the game, game-breaking bugs aside. It’s a fun action packed game that’s fun to play with friends as you play as the Avengers and other heroes. It reminds me a lot of the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series of games but this is way more fun and more immersive. I can’t wait to play again in the exclusive beta where I could play with a lot more people which starts on Friday, August 7 on the Playstation 4 for those who preordered the game. It will then go beta on players on XBox One and PC the week after, while it goes open beta for PS4.