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Marvel’s Avengers Gameplay First Impressions | #E3 #PaxWest #NYCC

Marvel Avengers - AIM Tower
Marvel Avengers Logo

Square Enix’s E3 press conference is when we first got a glimpse at Marvel‘s Avengers through a teaser trailer. It was our first look at a brand new Avenger’s story from Crystal Dynamics, in conjunction with Marvel Entertainment. The reveal trailer breaks down the tragic events of A-Day. Today I finally get the chance to tell you everything I know so far. And seriously, it’s a lot.

Marvel’s Avengers is a story-driven, third-person action-adventure game by the talented group that brought us a revamped Tomb Raider. Marvel was looking for a studio that would be able to transform its 80-year legacy into an authentically unique gaming experience. They didn’t want just another movie rehash. However, while you might notice some similarities between the trailer to Avengers: Endgame, Crystal Dynamics assures us that this is merely a great starting point.

From this point on I will be going into spoiler territory. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the trailer yet, this might be the best time to. In fact, I’ve placed it right here so the decision is up to you.

As stated earlier, the trailer begins on A-Day, where the Avengers were unveiling their new headquarters in San Francisco, which included the reveal of their own helicarrier that was powered by an experimental energy source. But the jubilant event quickly takes a turn as Taskmaster attacks during the festivities ultimately leading to Captain America’s death.

Marvel Avengers - Captain America
Image provided by Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics

Blamed for A-Day’s tragedy, the Avengers have disbanded and a new organization has appeared–A.I.M., an organization that chooses science over superpowers since they lead to the A-Day disaster. They have loads of mechs and AI at their disposal to protect humanity but something seems off. The trailer’s narrator even alludes to this. She suspects that they might have something sinister in mind and that the Avengers were framed. But just who is she?

Announced during today’s Marvel Games at New York City Comic Con, we finally learn the answer. Introducing Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel! She is actually the game’s protagonist and narrator of the first level of the game; which is what is featured in the trailer. Following the events A-Day, several humans have discovered that they have latent superpowers. Kamala realizes that she has powers now and has discovered a conspiracy deep within A.I.M.’s servers and wants to prove that Avengers were framed.

Developers feel that Kamala and Marvel’s Avengers players have a lot in common. Both love heroes as well as the Marvel Universe so it was easy to see her as the game’s protagonist. Kamala has discovered that she also has powers but has to keep them hidden for fear of persecution. After unlocking the conspiracy, she sets out to reunite the Avengers whom are dealing with their own personal struggles. 

Tony Stark, Iron Man, has lost his tech toys and as the one who always seemed to have all the answers, now he has none. Captain America sacrificed himself in order to save countless others. Bruce Banner is stuck in his Hulk form. The Avengers’ situation seems hopeless but Kamala is relentless in her efforts to get the team to reassemble.

Marvel Avengers - Iron Man
Image provided by Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics

Players will be able to play as one of six heroes: Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Iron Man, Kamala, and Captain America. You can either work your way through the main campaign or in cooperative Warzone adventures. In Warzone, up to four players can play through a mission to unlock skills and gear at various hotspots throughout the globe.  While some classic outfits will be unlockable, Crystal Dynamics promises a bevy of new costumes. 

Gear is merely cosmetic though. Skills are where you can customize hero strengths and abilities to fit a player’s play style. Whether you prefer close range to long-range combat, Skills would be where you would look to tailor a superhero to match your play style. You can start with a character’s core skills, like the close-combat-oriented ones of the Hulk, and unlock, tweak, or upgrade a superheroes skills as you play through the game. With a combat system that was built from the ground up to support unique play styles for each hero, how you play the game is up to you. You can go through the campaign and unlock more of the story or stick to Warzone missions. The game will just let you progress however you want, so you won’t feel forced to completing the campaign if you’re not into it. 

Like I stated before, the Marvel’s Avengers trailer is actually the first playable level of the game. We actually got the chance to play through a very early demo of the game prior to New York Comic Con. In the demo, we got the chance to experience the play style of each of the five initial heroes. The godlike thunder of Thor felt amazing as you were able to thrash and zap enemies from variable distances. Iron Man was great for long-range FPS-style gameplay. Hulk could smash through obstacles like butter and jump across crevices with ease. Captain America’s shield throws were a satisfying way to clear a room filled with enemies. And, lastly, the Black Widow’s close handed combat-tested our fighting game skills. She could constantly keep any enemy on their toes.

Marvel Avengers - Hulk
Image provided by Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics

Since the game is currently in development, we really appreciate the fact that we were able to try out the game so close to its initial announcement. We also appreciate the idea of having a level that gives you the chance to play as each of the characters so you can get and an idea of which character you’d like the most. Kamala wasn’t originally announced as she was only a part of the Marvel’s Avengers game trailer as the game’s narrator. However, since she is the game’s protagonist, this means that she will be playable as well. Her stretchy ability will let you slap, smoosh, as well as embiggen herself to deal with pesky enemies.

Marvel’s Avengers is shaping up to be quite the game. Is it distracting that the in-game character models don’t look like their now infamous cinema counterparts? Yes…a bit. However, it is not that noticeable it would take you away from the exciting and engaging gameplay.  More details will be released up until the game’s release on May 15, 2020, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, and PC. No word of specific editions just yet but we’re looking forward to the game’s upcoming release next year.