Succeeding in the titanic enterprise of creating a good choral title dedicated to Avengers is not an easy task and although over the years there have been products on the market that have attempted to bring a large-scale project to the public to do videogame justice to the Avengers, Marvel's Avengers of Crystal Dynamics it is probably the absolute one more ambitious seen so far.
What many Marvel fans did not expect from an Avengers game however is that the latter would turn out to be one of the so-called "Game As A Service”, A title that following in the footsteps of The Division and Destiny would continue to receive continued support for years to come, and moreover in a manner completely free.
The even tougher challenge that Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics found themselves facing therefore concerned being able to correctly balance a plot and an intertwining that did not distort the now iconic leading characters of Marvel, with the mechanics and gameplay of Game As A Service, which often and willingly lead to grinding and in repetitiveness without making too many compliments.
Marvel's Avengers: a plot worthy of a comic book
It is at least necessary to make it clear right away, although the material shown before the launch and the beta of Avengers had made many Avengers fans turn up their noses about the care and love that the developers had in staging. a story starring the Marvel icons, once you have the complete game in your hands you must necessarily change your mind.
La plot Marvel's Avengers opens with the celebration in San Francisco ofA-Day, a party dedicated to the defenders of the Earth, aimed not only at honoring the service of the Avengers, but which also aims to present a new form of energy just discovered by Bruce Banner and by Dr. George Tarleton, the Terrigene. From the very first moments the title puts us in the shoes of Kamala Khan, a young writer of fan-fiction about the Avengers, invited as a guest of honor to the celebration as she was the winner of a contest on the best fan made story.
However, things quickly fall apart and from a day of celebration, Avengers Day quickly turns into a nightmare for everyone present. A group of mercenaries led by Taskmaster begins to attack the Golden Gate Bridge for no apparent reason and as the superheroes rush to the scene to stem the threat, it soon becomes clear to everyone that the attack on the bridge was just a distraction to the real terrorist act. There Chimera, the brand new giant Helicarrier of the SHIELD powered by Terrigene was the real target of the attack and the explosion of the reactor of the latter as well as razing half San Francisco to the ground, killing Captain America itself, it transforms much of those who have been exposed to the toxic cloud into Inhumans, people who begin to develop unstable powers due to genetic mutations. Following the A-Day disaster, the Avengers, also deprived of Cap, are officially declared outlawed and the group is dissolved, disappearing in the years to come.
Five years later America changed: Stark Industries was taken over by theAIM (Advanced Mechanical Ideas) now led by Tarleton, who hunts down and captures the Inhumans pointed to by American society as dangerous monsters. Kamala has grown up and due to her exposure to the Terrigen she too has developed powers, becoming one polymorphic able to modify and lengthen your body at will. It will therefore be up to this young Inhuman from Jersey to try to find and reunite the Avengers to prove to the world the innocence of the group and really unmask those responsible for the A-Day massacre.
Without making further spoilers on the plot, it is therefore clear from the prologue that the story written for the singleplayer campaign of Marvel's Avengers it is not a simple pretext to justify the entry on the scene of the various Avengers, but it is a real well-written and thought-out original plot, which aims to wink both at the most savvy fans of the Marvel universe, but also to those who began to follow the exploits of these superheroes through the films of the MCU. As never before in a title like this, Crystal Dynamics has shown that developing a video game that aims to keep users hooked for years through cooperative missions and continuous updates does not necessarily mean giving up a plot and one. storytelling worthy of comic sagas flagship of the Avengers. As an avid reader of the House of Ideas for several years I could not help but smile genuinely during the most exciting moments of the main Marvel's Avengers campaign, or even simply for the many easter egg and references that may go unnoticed by the less accustomed connoisseurs of the many names, logos and characters that make up the boundless Marvel comic universe.
A gameplay without too much originality
As for the sensations that Marvel's Avengers manages to convey pad to the hand, it has been known since the beta that speaking of the combat system there are not many plaudits of originality to praise Crystal Dynamics. The gameplay structure is the classic one of a third-person action: Light, Heavy, Dodge, Ranged and Character Finisher Attack. Without too many frills or combos, the game reveals itself at its base for what it is, ie "leads to everything you have within reach". The characters certainly each have their own peculiarities, and it is good in a game like this that focuses on the cooperation of a party to be successful in the missions, however during the clashes that feeling of "I do this and you do that" is missing. , and you inevitably find yourself shooting and beating right and left all the enemies on the screen until the last. Black Widow for example with his ability he can become invisible and infiltrate behind enemy lines while Hulk distracts bigger opponents by tanking e Iron Man provides coverage from above thanks to ranged attacks. Too bad that all this coordination, which on paper looks really interesting, rarely occurs, especially if we play alone. First of all because the AI of both our Avengers allies and enemies does not shine with intelligence, but also and above all because the game does not push to cooperate given the fairly mild difficulty and the inevitable chaos that occurs in clashes involving multiple enemy units.
La components ruolistica of Marvel's Avengers follows in a fairly standard way that of Game As A Service above mentioned. During the various missions they are in fact different chest, with different equipment rarity (also upgradeable by investing resources), which increase the different statistics of the characters without changing in any way the aesthetic appearance of the latter. To change the latter it is necessary to unlock the skin for the different heroes, with the small detail that the campaign missions and the secondary ones reward the player with three / four aspects for each character, while the remaining dozens and dozens of skins can be purchased exclusively through microtransactions with real money.
A technical sector not really Super
As regards the technical side, Marvel's Avengers despite the postponements and the long development period shows more than some uncertainty. Although it is not possible to expect a graphics sector on the level of recent stocks such as The Last of Us 2 o Ghost of Tsushima, being the latter of singleplayer and not of Game As A Service, Avengers performs quite well under the visual rendering, especially in the cutscenes. Antialiasing is well managed, and with HDR on and photo mode you can get some great views too. On the other hand, however, it is the stability, which is likely (and desirable) to be resolved with the update to the next gen versions of the title. The fact is that on the standard PlayStation 4 the title struggles to maintain a stable frame rate when all four party heroes are on screen, not to mention when you are surrounded by enemies. Just think that the undersigned had to face the entire last mission of the game well below 30fps, and it's really a shame, considering how cinematic and spectacular the staging of the finale is, which unfortunately I couldn't fully enjoy due to clearly visible shots of the software. The audio department is overall good, with competent Italian dubbing, but which unfortunately due to some bugs suddenly returns to the English language during some scenes, without the possibility of changing it.
Summing up a few days after launch for a Game As A Service it's not easy, since although the longevity of the main campaign hovers around the dozen hours, completing the iconic side missions and those of the different factions can greatly extend the solo experience. However, Marvel's Avengers was not meant to be a game to be completed once and that's it, and just like other titles in the genre, it will all depend on the continuous content support (what I remember it will be free) that Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix will provide to the project in the coming years. The missions ofAvengers initiative, the online cooperative mode, for now they are practically all the same, with the heroes having to complete missions in open maps, the War zones, then move to an AIM lab and defeat the remaining forces. In the long run, therefore, especially if not played with a group of friends, repetitiveness and the grinding to find loot getting better could easily lead to boredom. All this obviously can be denied by the developers, since the introduction of new campaign pieces, and the expansion of the type and variety of secondary missions with the content updates that Avengers will receive in the future will certainly go to complete this ambitious project. that if made with the same care and respect for Marvel characters that characterized the campaign written by Crystal Dynamics, it will surely remain on the crest of the wave for the next few years to come.
In conclusion, Marvel's Avengers represents a starting point for a decidedly large and complex project, to which it provides a solid foundation, but with obvious problems that must be the priority to be solved for the development team. So whether you are a long-time fan of Marvel icons, or have recently met them, this videogame iteration of Avengers certainly has something to offer you. We just have to hope for the expertise and support of the developers for the future, because in the end we know, the world always needs Heroes.