Written by Terry M.
PlayStation had their beta for Marvel’s Avengers, and I spent roughly ten hours playing. The Marvel’s Avengers beta introduces us to four distinct play-styles that intertwine seamlessly with one another. The tutorial also hinted towards a potential synergy of sorts between fan favorites – Captain America and Thor. The tutorial successfully introduced necessary game mechanics such as: how to break shields, dodge, traverse terrain, and how to utilize both your take down and ultimate abilities.
The Marvel’s Avengers beta follows the story of both Kamela Khan and Hulk as they work towards reuniting the Avengers after the tragic events of A-Day. This specific story quest successfully presented an atmosphere that was quite serious and demanded urgency of the player; whilst still allowing both Kamela and Hulk numerous opportunities to entertain the player with both witty dialogue and engaging personalities. The fight with Task Master during the tutorial illustrated how crucial dodging attacks is and then the second boss, Abomination, taught the player how to utilize the incredible strength that Hulk possesses. This fight also has some electric environmental damage zones that can damage both the Hulk and Abomination incorporation another mechanic into the game-play.
After completing the story quest you are allowed to explore the remaining elements of the beta; including the Holographic Augmented Reality Machine Room (HARM). HARM is a challenge quest that allows the player to explore the other playable characters and level them up. There are no loot rewards from HARM other than the quest reward, however it is the experience you gain from these challenge quests that enable the player to build up the characters and play more efficiently.
The skill point system is comparable to that of the Borderlands series. The skill tree and skill point system allow for the same character to be played in completely different ways. You can be more dodge focused, ranged focused, or even melee focused. You can build your character even further by focusing heavy attacks or light attacks via the skill tree. I was in game where a Hulk -controlled by another player- was throwing huge boulders at other players as opposed to plain melee damage through direct attacks. The Hulk that I built was more focused on heavy attacks through melee damage due to my own personal preference and it was interesting to see two unique play styles using the same character.
There are a variety of different missions playable in the Marvel Avenger’s beta. These are Warzones and Dropzones. Warzones are longer missions with multiple goals while Dropzones are shorter missions that have one main objective as well as smaller side goals that can be accomplished throughout. Both of these mission types are enjoyable to play. During my time with the beta I noted that there tended to be a higher probability of epic gear doing Warzones. As this is still the beta however it is hard to say whether this will remain in the final build of the game or is currently a means to encourage the players to play the longer missions in order to test certain game mechanics during the vital beta testing period.
It is clear that gearing your character is a vital component of Marvel’s Avengers. The gear found in the beta reminded me of the tier set skills from World Of Warcraft. For those unfamiliar with the highly acclaimed MMO – this means that your items have as equal an impact as your skill sets, which in turn gives you a reason to carry additional gear with the same item level allowing you to switch gear out for certain scenarios.
I only encountered two crashes during my time with the game. The first was caused by trying to use character momentum to skip through what appeared to be a barrier. The second crash occurred whilst I was playing at a peak hour, and as this is a beta, server stability is often put to the test.
I enjoyed my time playing the Marvel’s Avengers beta. The environments included in the beta looked fantastic for the most part; other than a noticeable saturation of grey and brown. The game really allows the Avengers the opportunity to have their unique personalities shine through their humor and presented dialogue. The controls are tight and responsive. The game is both fun solo and with friends alike.
Please expect more about Marvel’s Avengers when future updates are released.