MARVEL’S AVENGERS (Thursday, Javits Center) – At NYCC 2019 I played a 20-minute pre alpha demo of Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal’s new game, Marvel’s Avengers. This demo served as a tutorial for some playable characters including Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, The Hulk, and Thor. This portion of the game was single player only but toward the end of the demo, the developers acknowledged that this game would have a 4-player cooperative multiplayer mode called Global Missions. Some portions of story missions lock you into playing with specific characters, but others will allow you to pick the character you want…
Each character played and traversed differently. Iron Man could ascend and descend in the air while shooting beams. His heroic ability is a Unibeam. The Hulk can jump very far and hop off of trucks, a mechanic that would work well for a Hong Kong game. He performs a fun Smash from high in the air and his heroic ability grabs an enemy and whacks everyone in the vicinity with that enemies body. Captain America throws his shield that ricochet’s off of multiple enemies. He also has shield parry attacks. Black Widow shoots with duel pistols and her heroic ability is an invincibility cloak. Thor throws and recalls his hammer similar to how Kratos did in God of War (except less satisfying) and has a heroic ability is a thunderstorm from his hammer. I personally enjoy Hulk and Cap the most.
I also loved how unique each character played; thank you Crystal Dynamics for creating an original story that isn’t based off the comics or MCU. The combat and traversing controls are easy to pick up and there are a lot of quick time events that added to cinematic action. However, because Avengers is very cinematic, I worry that I won’t have as much freedom to approach combat situations in my own unique way as I could with other super hero games like Batman Arkham or Spider-Man.
The gameplay seems very limiting in a way that feels more cinematic than anything else. This could be due to limitations of a pre-alpha demo or just the way the developers want to approach an Avengers game. Fortunately, the characters facial animations — yes, you read that correctly! — and overall graphics are done very well. 3/5 Holy Qurans.
Marvel’s Avengers will release for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia on May 15, 2020.