WASHINGTON — Marvel’s Avengers — the video game — arrived as a welcome surprise during the pandemic. In some distant future, the Avengers, once again, face off against a new villain, intent on ending their reign as protectors of the city. But the shining star of this game isn’t our team of well-known and loved heroes. Instead, we have a new superhero: Kamala Khan. (Do you love that name?)
While she’s initially introduced as a nervous fanfiction writer who gets the chance of a lifetime to meet her heroes, Kamala has fortuitously been affected by a new mineral on what would later be called “A-Day.”
Kamala Khan: Secret origin
After the attack on A-Day, Kamala Khan began to develop new powers. For example, she could triple in size and stretch her arms and legs as far as she wanted. Using these new powers plus some help from the Avengers, she attempts to save the Avengers from AIM, who’s intent on keeping superheroes illegal and shamed by the public. Along the way, we learn that AIM possesses some sinister secrets of their own. This provides the game with its cinematic plot.
“Marvel’s Avengers”: Gameplay
I’m not a huge fan of melee-based combat games. But I love the way Marvel’s Avengers uses a combat system similar to Assassin’s Creed, where certain enemy attacks give indicators, letting you know which dodge or countermove you should use.
In addition, I also like Assassin’s Creed and other games such as The Last of Us, there are ways to sneak around to evade AIM robots. In terms of enemies, players fight against humans and cyborgs alike. The enemy robots vary from easily killable peacekeepers to prototype bots with amazing combat abilities.
Marvel’s Avengers also allows players to play as their favorite heroes. As you might expect, these include Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow, and of course, Captain America.
A game with personalities
Each of the Avengers’ personalities come to life throughout the game, with certain interactions having different methods for each player. For example, when opening a gear-crate, The Hulk kicks it open while Kamala simply leans down and opens it. My personal favorite: Dr. Bruce Banner has a Hulk bobblehead mounted on the dash of his car. These little quirks add a realistic and familiar touch to these heroes. Such interesting details will no doubt resonate with fans of the film franchise.
Features. And bugs…
While Marvel’s Avengers offers many nifty features, the software underneath still suffers from several bugs. But the game developers could easily fix them. For example, in conjunction with Kamala’s legendary outfit, her signature bag glitches with the suit’s animation. You can’t see the bag strap from the front. Also, when your character dies, there is a fairly long loading screen before you’re able to reenter combat. However, these these small and easily fixable glitches could be solved with updates. Otherwise, I did not see any glaring issues with gameplay or animation.
In the multiplayer game mode, players can choose which hero they control. They can also invite up to 3 additional players to complete multi-step combat missions. All missions take place after the campaign has ended, so the game may contain some spoilers for those who do not complete the campaign first.
The multiplayer mode includes a training simulation. Here, players can brush up on their skills before entering into another full mission. Initially, the mission-selection system is a little confusing, and can prove a bit frustrating to figure out. However, once you enter into a mission, you gain almost fully free control over your character in a large scale setting.
Overall, I found myself pleasantly surprised with the rich story that the game’s writers were able to portray. Its mixture of dystopian rebellion, heartwarming characters, and comedic inserts keep the campaign fresh and surprising. But the real shining star of Marvel’s Avengers is its heroine: Kamala Khan. It’s a delight that someone so seemingly normal and unthreatening becomes the centerpiece for the Avengers’ redemption. As a female gamer, it’s refreshing to see a truly unique female character at the forefront of the game’s campaign.
— Headline image: Kamala Khan: A surprising new superhero in action in the new video game, “Marvel’s Avengers.”
(Courtesy Square Enix)