Marvel’s Avengers debuted back in September to mixed reviews. As a big fan of the comics, I bought the game day one, and promptly realised I should have waited a little longer.
While the story mode offers up a pretty strong experience, the endgame titled ‘The Initiative’ is rather lacklustre, and unfortunately makes up the majority of the game.
Various bugs, pointless loot, boring level design and a lack of variety in the enemies all contributed to me putting the game down and uninstalling just a couple of weeks after purchase.
I had planned (and still do) to revisit the game when more content is added, but it immediately became clear that a lot of what was promised would not arrive on time, and my excitement for the game subsequently died off pretty quickly.
Now, not all of this was officially confirmed, but it was generally understood that by this point in time, the game would have been expanded upon with extra bits of story featuring the two Hawkeyes, Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, and Black Panther, with Spider-Man on the way in the coming months.
As it stands, only Kate Bishop’s story has been released, but last night it was revealed that developer Crystal Dynamics will shed some light on the second Hawkeye drop, titled ‘Future Imperfect’ in a couple of weeks.
This got me thinking about the game, and all the things I would have liked to see from it. Some of it is still possible. Some of it isn’t. Much of it is unlikely.
I did plan to write this some months ago, but the lacklustre launch really killed my enthusiasm to talk ahout it at the time.
Still, better late than never.
First off, I think the starting sextet was a solid choice to go with, so I wouldn’t have changed anything there.
I would of, however, approached some of the new characters to come in the same way Injustice 2 approaches heroes like Green Lantern John Stewart and Power Girl – skins, replete with new voices and dialogue, of older characters.
It would give the game a bit of visual variety if nothing else, and allow players to essentially play as the same characters in missions if they so desired. I’d kick this off with Iron Man and Hulk re-skins, giving us War Machine and She-Hulk. Some minor changes to their powers wouldn’t go amiss, but nothing too major.
Making the loot more like Injustice 2 wouldn’t be the worst idea either, with it actually having an affect on the character’s appearance, but frankly I think the whole loot system was an unnecessary addition anyway so I’m not going to go into that.
I’d take the same stance moving into the updates. Clint Barton and Kate Bishop are cool characters, but two Hawkeyes in a row, separated by several months, is an odd choice. As such, I’d aim to release both of them at the same time, maybe with one joint story that could encourage cooperative play.
I’d do a similar thing with (Gi)Ant-Man and the Wasp, as really, visuals aside, it’s pretty easy to have them share powers. In the comics, both have had the ability to shrink and grow. And while only the Wasp can fly, technically, Ant-Man has his flying ants. Some sort of energy pistol would put them on even footing. I’d much rather this than what we have currently, which is a depowered Hank Pym who has been consigned to my least favourite part of the story (the Inhumans).
From there, an array of heroes with their own stories such as Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and finally Spider-Man.
Timed right, this could have carried the game for over a year, and conveniently align with several characters’ movie and TV adaptations (Scarlet Witch and Vision in January – March, Falcon in April, Spider-Man in December).
We could still see a lot of those characters of course, but what is less likely, and arguable more important at the moment, is the villains.
As it stands, in terms of actual comic book villains, the game has the main villain M.O.D.O.K, fellow A.I.M member Monica Rappacinni, the Abomination and Taskmaster. Super-Adaptoid was added in Kate Bishop’s story, but obviously I havent played that yet, so I can’t really comment. Overall, I think that’s pretty embarrassing, especially since this game supposedly took around 5+ years to make.
What’s even more baffling about this is the fact that the story presents the ideal opportunity for more villains to make an appearance. The game is about the Avengers disbanding! Surely supervillains would thrive in such a situation?
To rectify that, I would have put in a joint threat that would build during the campaign, and become the focus of ‘The Initiative’, namely by introducing the Masters of Evil.
In my mind, the Masters of Evil (a team of Avengers foes) could be plotting in the background, or even secretly in cahoots with M.O.D.O.K and A.I.M.
In the comics, A.I.M occassionally has ties to Hydra, so the game could have revealed A.I.M to be Hydra’s legitimate front, with the Masters of Evil being to Hydra what the Avengers are to S.H.I.E.L.D.
That’s not necessary, of course, but I think the Masters of Evil would have been such a good inclusion, however they fit in.
My line-up would consist of Baron Zemo, Radioactive Man, Enchantress & Executioner, Whiplash, Whirlwind, Grey Gargoyle, Blackout, Moonstone, Klaw, Fixer and the Wrecking Crew (Wrecker, Piledriver, Thunderball & Bulldozer).
This line-up would equal the amount of heroes suggested above, and many of their powers would work well in a video-game capacity.
Radioactive Man, for instance, would function in a similar manner to A.I.M’s gamma bots, encouraging you to attack from a distance or risk loosing health to the radiation he leaks.
Grey Gargoyle could work in the same way as A.I.M’s ice Adaptoids, freezing (or in this case, petrifying) heroes in place for a limited time.
Blackout could work in a similar fashion to the Elves in God of War, blinding you if you’re hit by his attacks.
Most of these villains could function as bosses flanked by A.I.M, Hydra or their own henchmen at the end of each new character’s mission chain. Although I would group characters like Enchantress & Executioner and the Wrecking Crew together for their respective boss battles.
If it were possible, come the release of the final hero and villain at the end of the year, you could have a ‘final’ Initiative mission, where you have to face the Masters of Evil as a whole, and stop whatever plan they’ve been building to throughout the Initiative.
If Square Enix wanted to continue support after that, I’m sure Crystal Dynamics could think up subsequent smaller stories featuring other Avengers foes like Loki, Ultron, Kang and Thanos. But even if they don’t, that would give the game a solid endgoal (‘defeat the Masters of Evil’), and provide ample amounts of content and variety for players to work through in the mutiplayer mode.
One final thing I would add, which I don’t think as as popular an idea among the Avengers community (but that I think would be cool) is a third Player vs Player mode. Civil War.
Were Crystal Dynamics able to supply that aforementioned amount of heroes (18), ‘Civil War’ could be a 4v4 or 6v6 team death match, in the same vein as Star Wars Battlefront II‘s ‘Heroes vs Villains’ mode. You could lock certain heroes like Captain America and Iron Man to either side, come up with a little intro that establishes the mode as out-of-continuity, and let people hone their skills against one another.
These are just a few of my ideas, some of which obviously wouldn’t be possible unless they completely remade the game, but a lot of which could still be implemented in some form.
I don’t expect it to happen, but if anything like that were to happen, I’d be over the moon.
I’ve been disappointed by this game, but I’d still like to see it redeem itself. It’ll be an uphill battle, but hopefully the end result will be worth it.
Anyway, thanks for reading! What do you think of Marvel’s Avengers? And what would you like to see from the game? Let me know in the comments, below!
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