For all the lost players wondering if it’s worth going back to “Avengers”, here’s my opinion: Hawkeye is incredibly fun to use, but you will not find more interesting things to do besides playing with accordion sets . If the grinding loop with more power does not force you, it is still here among the same old activities we have played the last six months. If you did not play Kate Bishop’s story, it may seem like significantly more content, but it only ends in the same tired tone.
Still, I look forward to the new play styles. Sure, they work a bit alike, but even a slight departure from the same old Hulk-crushing, Iron Man-zapping action for the past six months is refreshing ̵
After just a few hours, I hit the Hawkeye level cap. Now he’s just a new toy in the pile with my other Avengers action figures. And that’s why this game does not work as a live service: It gives little to force me to play beyond using tools with sets. I’m still beating the same old robots, except now it’s in a post-apocalypse setting. We waited three months since Bishop was released for almost two hours with new content.
“Avengers” was condemned as a live service from the start, thanks to the ambition to accommodate several different superheroes while balancing them. Each superhero needs to feel at least a little unique, and must move seamlessly among environments that take into account the movement styles and abilities of all other superheroes. As a result, the level designs are extremely flat, and the combat mechanics may not be very dynamic because the game must accommodate eight different character types. Although the combat mechanics of “Avengers” have always been good, they will never achieve the outstanding quality of a dedicated character action game like “Devil May Cry 5”, with four wildly varying characters.
This issue is highlighted and exacerbated by the episodic character of the Hawkeye and Kate Bishop story, and how incoherent it feels from the rest of the Avengers. Kate Bishop and Hawkeye barely talk to any of the other Avengers, and let me assume that Crystal Dynamics could not get more lines from the original speaking talent. The last enemy of Hawkeye’s history is the Maestro Hulk, a demented future version of Bruce Banner. But when I bring my own Hulk to battle, no one has anything to say about having two Hulks in the room, not even any of the Hulks. Much of the story is about Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) who has a crisis of faith if he wants to be part of the team. Team leader Captain America would probably have some inspiring words for this particular case, but of course he says nothing.
The roadmap of planned content that was revealed last week also had no specific dates, which means that players can not reasonably expect anything. Live service games should be a routine for players. On that front, “Avengers” has little to offer beyond expensive leather to buy with real money. It only gives further pain to realize that we are still fighting the same supervillains, Taskmaster and Abomination, as the developers continued to hype the access to Marvel’s character vault.
Still, I still go back to the game, because I like it as a simple warrior. I have already accepted in my heart that this will never meet the standards set by “Fortnite”, “Destiny 2” or even “Fall Guys” for that matter. I’m coming back to this game just like I’m a Streets of Rage or another percussionist. There’s a reason to beat robots as one of my favorite superheroes for an hour or two, maybe with another friend. It helps that the loading time is practically instantaneous with the free PlayStation 5 upgrade, which makes everything feel less tiring.
The most rewarding activity is “Mega Hive”, but it curiously allows only a single player, and it will take about the length of the Snyder movie for me to complete it. The rewards are plenty of exotic gear, but the game’s looting winnings are unclear. Enemies will continue to increase, and the “Avengers” map promises a level cap, which means that everything I get will eventually be outclassed. There is no incentive for me to participate in the game this way, because the game still has not decided what it will be. And it’s not that the looting (which does not change your appearance) was satisfactory in the first place.
I would rather play the single player campaign again, which for some strange reason could not be played again at launch. The only reason I can think of that decision is that “Destiny”, where “Avengers” liberally promises ideas, did not have this feature either. Now that it’s finally implemented, it’s a strong reminder of how much Crystal Dynamics has already done, raising several questions about why this type of energy is not in the live service, and why unique assets and areas are limited to single player promotion. , when they could add variety to the live service.
When I think of the game as a fight with episodic expansions coming down the line, I think of “Avengers” in a more favorable light. Calling yourself a live service while struggling to update it live feels unfairly demanding by a very busy and easily distracted audience. It requires more patience when we have already given a lot. Would players be interested in changing business model, and be willing to pay for less frequent but more comprehensive content? I do not know. This is where Crystal Dynamics can really test their recent commitment to open up more communication.
The Black Panther and the Kingdom of Wakanda are expected to be introduced on an unknown date this year. It’s great to hear that Crystal Dynamics is not giving up the game. It’s still good. But sooner or later we have to stop fooling around with ourselves, and stop calling it a live service.