During the Square Enix press conference at E3 2019, we got our first look at Marvel’s Avengers which is being developed by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, but a first look is all we got when we should have gotten so much more. Don’t get me wrong, I think the trailer they showed looked great and got me excited, but everything that came afterwards had me scratching my head wondering what this game actually is.
They started out talking about the story and how this is Crystal Dynamic’s take on The Avengers mainly to separate it from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but instead of talking about gameplay, they started talking about post-game content. As soon as we hit this point, that’s when the head-scratching began because now what I thought was a narrative-driven story with The Avengers – similar to Marvel’s Spider-Man – has turned into this live-service type game, but we still don’t actually know if that’s true. They started talking about how all the new characters and regions will be free and how there will be no loot boxes or microtransactions, but I don’t even know what that means for the type of game they were presenting.
From what it sounds like, it seems there will be the main campaign that can be played solo or in co-op and then there is the online portion that sounds like Destiny or Division 2. Personally, I would have liked just a great campaign with The Avengers and maybe story DLC down the road, similar to what Insomniac Games did with Marvel’s Spider-Man which I loved. I’ve tried many live-service videogames in the past (Destiny, Anthem, Warframe, etc.) but the only one that actually stuck with me is The Division 2 and that’s because their post-game content is really great. I have semi-high hopes for Marvel’s Avengers though, largely because Marvel has been doing great things with their IP’s within videogames and movies, so I have faith they know what they’re doing even if the way it was presented has me worried.
One thing I don’t have much faith in is the gameplay, mainly because they had a gameplay demo at E3, but they didn’t show it to the public which is strange considering this would be the best time to show it off since the game is releasing before E3 2020 (it’s due to release 15th May 2020, at the time of writing this). I also think that it is going to be a challenge to make each superhero feel as good as Spider-Man did in Marvel’s Spider-Man purely because there are multiple characters. I think flying as Iron Man needs to feel as good as Anthem’s Javelins and throwing Thor’s hammer needs to feel as good as the Leviathan axe did in God of War, but I don’t know if it will. My only reassurance for the gameplay is that the lead combat designer for Marvel’s Avengers also worked on the Leviathan axe in God of War, which is arguably one of the best weapons in videogames.
Despite all this, I am still eager to get my hands on Marvel’s Avengers purely because I’m a Marvel fan and being able to play as these awesome characters in an all-new story with an all-star cast of voice actors seem like it’s going to be great (based on the trailer). Unfortunately, the way they are marketing the game has me worried that they are going to focus more on the live-service aspects instead of nailing the gameplay for all the superheroes, and delivering a compelling story like Marvel’s Spider-Man did. Obviously, I hope I’m wrong and the game releases and it’s everything I want it to be, but only time will tell and I hope we get to see more of Marvel’s Avengers at other events in the future, maybe with some gameplay this time.