I have been lucky enough to have been reading comics books since I was eight years old, my Father and I happened to wander into California Comics and Cards one Sunday and that was it, I was hooked. Every Sunday we would go get comic books, yes the store would change every now and then, but they are some of the best memories of my life. Dad and I getting ice cream and buying about thirty comic books to read until school started on Monday. Dad never got to see Marvel’s Spider-Man on the PS4 but he did get to watch me play the Arkham games and he got a huge kick out of Batman whomping on evil ass. Dad always liked Batman and and Superman the most, he grew up in the 40’s and those were the ones he remembered. He steered what I bought for the first few years. I had some input, I loved the Fantastic Four for some reason, then Time Burton’s Batman hit theaters and that was that. I became the biggest Batman nerd on the planet.
I figured would give some backstory to my comic book knowledge and nerddom. I didn’t get into the Avengers until the middle 90’s and have stuck with them since. I’d like to think my knowledge of their history is pretty good, not as good as DC, but I know a thing or two, cause I’ve seen a thing or two. That being said I was nervous about this title, what I had been seeing was not impressing me at all. The characters looked off, the story didn’t seem too hot and I was worried about microtransactions and all that evilness. The Avengers Beta dropped today and I took a chance and downloaded it. I am so insanely happy that I did not pass up this demo, not only did I get a nice Twitch stream out of it, I also got to be blown away by Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix. Do I still have some concerns, absolutely, but they saved a sale with this Beta, I plan on pre-ordering this title because I am now excited to see where they take Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
When this title was first announced I was not a fan of the look of the team. It legitimately looked like they stole the stunt doubles from the movies and scanned them for the video game. They looked off, they still look a BIT off to me, Black Widow looks considerably better, Hulk looks great, Iron Man’s armor looks sleek, Thor looks wrong to me and I’m not a fan of the Captain America costume they chose.
Hopefully with some time left they can tweak what the characters look like a bit more. The beginning of the Beta takes place on a day celebrating the Avengers and what they’ve done for the world. Oddly enough it is in San Francisco so I was surprised to see no West Coast Avengers hanging about, but they decided to put an Avengers tower in San Fran, go figure huh? Since it’s a celebration I just cannot see Cap wearing his battle fatigues, it looks like the costume he wore in Ultimate Avengers the first mini-series. I understand that the two universes have merged since then in the comic book, I was hoping for good old star-spangled Cap!
To be honest, and I know this is picky, but its my love for the characters that is talking, but they need to shave Thor, for some reason he doesn’t look good with a beard in this game. Yes, he’s had a beard several times and it looks great on him, but for some reason it is unsettling to me in the context of the game. Weird, I know. I’m a stickler for sticking with what works, his beard in this game just doesn’t.
To be honest, the controls for all of the heroes are tight, except for Iron Man. Thor and Captain America play like Kratos in the latest God of War, they both have a strong and weak attack, both can throw their weapon, Cap his shield and Thor his hammer. The neatest thing is that you can call back the Mjolnir at your whim, so you can hit some guy in the face, then his ass. The Hulk plays great, you jump, destroy, rinse and repeat. Playing as him was the most satisfying to me, they got it right like in Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. Black Widow played like Dante in Devil May Cry, she’s fast, you dodge in and out to land some punches, then when out of fist range you bring out the guns to mess shit up.
Ms Marvel’s controls are pretty sweet, I was looking forward to see what they were going to do with her and the developers NAILED it! She has super stretchy type powers and you can destroy the enemies with these in a powerful and fun manner! Her animations are great and getting her to kick a villain in the face is hilarious!
The WORST controlled Avenger was sadly Iron Man. When I was playing the Beta there was no tutorial for a lock-on with the character. I will add, later Iron Man does get a lock on, it makes his character much easier to maneuver and be successful. At the beginning of the Beta they just didn’t let you know, but press R3 is you’ve just begun the Beta! Black Widow has one during her boss fight, but they didn’t give Iron Man on when he was fighting tanks. His beams don’t fire fast, don’t lock on and while flying he’s harder to control and fire. A lock-on would greatly help Iron Man during his scenes. Maybe after this mission in San Fran he realized he needs a lock on and adds it to his suit.
This looks like a playable version of the first mission of the game, which is pretty standard right now. The Avengers get attacked while in San Francisco, the Taskmaster is blowing up the Golden Gate bridge and our heroes are trying to save as many lives as possible. You have to listen carefully because you hear a story element that will give Ms Marvel her powers. It looks like the Terrigen Mists will play a HUGE role in this game, they are what give Kamala Kahn her Mr. Fantastic type powers. In the Beta you find yourself 5 years after Captain America died in San Francisco and Bruce Banner is trying to get the band back together. A.I.M. has taken over all of Stark properties after “A Day” and Banner smells something fishy so Ms Marvel and he decide to start figuring out what has the pungent odor.
I honestly was going to give this game a huge pass, I didn’t like the look, I was worried about where the story was going, but it crams a bunch of story arcs together, which I like and at one point it is mentioned that Banner was in space. We all know that means Planet Hulk! So I wonder if we get to see what has gone down during those missing five years, I really hope I get to do some battling on SKAAR. Controls fit well, other than Iron Man’s, and hopefully Crystal Dynamics is working with all the advice they’re learning from the Beta. They fix Iron Man then I cannot wait to zip around in his levels, if they don’t they’ll be a slog and a chore.
If you have a PlayStation 4 and are on the fence about this game or are looking for something to play while you’re still locked down, grab this Beta. It’s really put together well and in a month or so hopefully they can give it the polish it needs to be a game of the year contender. Let’s see if this can pull Ghost of Tsushima out of my top spot! I hope it can, I love me my superheroes!