Over the past 10 years, Marvel’s Avengers intellectual property has been one of the most successful franchises in the entertainment industry. So when it was announced in 2017 that Square Enix was developing an Avengers video game, anticipation around the project began to build.
The thought of being able to fly like Iron Man, wield Thor’s hammer and throw Captain America’s shield had many chomping at the bit to get their hands on the game.
But after playing it, I was left feeling underwhelmed. Sure, taking control of these iconic heroes was a blast, but the sheer amount of lifeless characters, bugs, uninspired gameplay design and endless grinding left me feeling more annoyed than blown away.
The characters are decent but largely predictable. The new addition to the Avengers team — Kamala Khan, or Ms. Marvel — breathes a bit of new life into the equation, but not enough to save this title.
I found throughout the game I never truly connected with any of the heroes. I didn’t care for them in the same way I did in either the comics or the films. Now, granted, this could just be Marvel fatigue, but I’ll admit that I wanted more for them than I got.
As for the story, it had its high points but was mostly forgettable. I found that the lack of gameplay diversity killed any momentum the story had. It was hard to look forward to story progression when you knew the same monotonous combat and semi-puzzle solving awaited you.
The combat system was fun at first, but once you mastered the repetitive, light and heavy attack combos, every enemy encounter began to feel more like a chore than a challenge.
The lack of diversity in the enemies you face plays a part in this as well. The enemies are basically glorified punching bags.
Even the boss fights are an endless cycle of punching your enemy, retreating and dodging their attack, then moving in and punching them again. This is the entirety of the fight with very little excitement to accompany it.
All in all, the combat system felt lazy and frustrating. I frequently found myself endlessly punching the same enemies over and over again, only to have the boredom broken by missing the occasional dodge.
Another borderline game-breaking feature are the bugs that litter the cutscenes and character models. From Captain America’s face not loading properly to Thor missing his hair, these bugs serve as yet another reminder of how unpolished this game really is.
But the real features of the game that highlight its missed potential are the loot and gear systems.
This game is built largely on the idea of grinding for better gear to outfit your hero. In most games, this presents an opportunity for the player to continue playing even after the final credits roll, but in “Avengers” this is simply not the case.
Most gear never seems to actually improve the way your character performs in the world. There aren’t even any aesthetic changes applied to your character.
For a game that Marvel fans had such high hopes for, it’s disappointing that it missed the mark so badly and failed to honor how multifaceted the Avengers truly are.
Although the company has promised the addition of new heroes with their own storylines, I wouldn’t hold my breath. With the game in a state of disrepair, no amount of DLC will be able to bring back Marvel’s disillusioned fanbase.
Gino Gutierrez is the sports editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @GGutierrez_48