Marvel’s Avengers is a game with two faces. At best, you're a superhero fanatic who's going to love both. At worst, you can at least be sure that you will enjoy one of them. That last one was my case during the beta.
After going through a trial period that will come openly from August 7, many of the suspicions that one might have with the Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix game are still there. They do it, by following the same line of dualities, also in both directions: the illusion, the good, and the one that invited to frown and proves to be improvable.
The two sides of the coin
As has already been commented since it was officially shown on video at E3 2019, in Marvel’s Avengers we are faced with the typical game as a service that wants to last in time beyond the duration of its campaign. In the list of examples of how well such an idea can work, Destiny inevitably comes to mind. In that of those who have missed the shot, Anthem.
However here is a note that makes it easier to separate Marvel’s Avengers from both examples. What videos and comments pointed out is also confirmed by the beta: this is a game that can be perfectly enjoyable on its own and sticking to overcome levels of the campaign.
If you're looking for that something else, there it is in the form of side missions, co-op raids, and combat challenges. But if you want to ignore that aspect and limit yourself to playing with your favorite heroes, in sections that look like something out of an action movie, you can do so without fear of affecting the experience.
After what has been seen, and always in the absence of seeing how the experience of the beta is transferred to the final version of the game, Marvel's Avengers adds, but has no intention of subtracting or torpedoing. Now we will see why that is essential when it comes to talking about it.
With an adventure that presents us with a plot line that escapes the success of the superheroes in the cinema to give life to its own universe, Marvel’s Avengers begins its journey in the best possible way. The first level, the already hackneyed scene of the bridge that serves as a tutorial, inviting us to jump from one character to another to see how they are controlled, is a real joy.
The sensations are those of being before an Uncharted with more weight in the slaps than in the shootings. A succession of amazing moments in which to unleash the power of each of the heroes without too much difficulty. One of those games that, in a second round and with the controls already mastered, invites you to show off in each shot as if you were putting together a choreography of super smashes.
It is not a sublime experience, neither at the level of control or level design - its corridors do not understand subtleties - but it is always nice to throw Thor's hammer and see how enemies slam into the body of a car, or give slap the Hulk and hallucinate how they fly through the air. In other words, Marvel’s Avengers is bound to like you a lot more if you already come with a taste for The Avengers brought from home.
The beta gives way to four levels of the campaign and, although the level of surprise does not reach that reflected in that first section, the rest is just as fun to play. Even when its settings are opened a little more to give way to exploration and fulfill small objectives before continuing with the common thread-a chest here, a mini-boss there - it is still a very enjoyable game of cakes and adventures.
An experience in which it is difficult to show off
And once again the situation would have a pass because, after all, you are the Hulk bluffing or Ms. Marvel growing up to become a giant that sweeps with a clean punch. But what in the open field is attractive and even spectacular, in areas where the green giant would be in the dark if he didn't go a little hunched over, is tremendously uncomfortable.
Take a small, low-ceilinged room, fill it with madly attacking enemies, add hits loaded with lights and effects, and, if all that wasn't enough, add three additional main characters by unleashing hits with the same visual fanfare. It is an absolute chaos that turns what was previously a game of dodges, parrys and well-measured blows, into a "button smasher".
A few lines above we commented on how much Marvel’s Avengers is right when you stand up to battles in which you can show off. It is far from the best side of a hack'n slash of infinite combos, but between hits, skill trees and specials, you may well shape some of those gifs that are so fashionable lately. Of those moments when you say "how beautiful it has left me".
In the air everything that goes beyond those first impressions. How he will manage the variety of scenarios and enemies to make that process a more pleasant and surprising drink. What it will be like to play it with three more friends in more coordinated battles. But above all, how will Marvel's Avengers handle the times and that loot of equipment and crafting objects that he seems to be so proud of in his menus.
The basis for something promising is undeniably there, but there is still a lot to adjust and I trust that the beta and the feedback produced by it will help to finish polishing those rough edges that divide the experience into two very opposite poles.
If this is not the case in the end, I will assume that this part of the game is simply not for me, but it will not prevent me from snacking on a campaign that at times points to very good manners.
I'm talking about Crystal Dynamics, after all, and I think these people have been earning a vote of confidence for many years -Soul Reaver, what am I going to tell you-, but it remains to be seen if jumping off a promising adventure for a player a risky game as a service ends up working well. We will find out next September 4 when Marvel’s Avengers finally arrives in stores.