Marvel’s Avengers Preview – Kamala Khan Fits Right In

Noisy Pixel got the chance to go hands-on with Marvel’s Avengers at this year’s New York Comic-Con. I was able to play through the game’s 30-minute prologue, as well as train with Ms. Marvel herself, Kamala Khan, the game’s sixth playable character.

The game, however, is slated for a May 2020 release, and with more than six months left until it comes out, the hands-on portion of the presentation left us wanting.

marvel's avengers preview

If you’ve been following the game, you’ll likely have seen gameplay from A-Day, the sequence at the very beginning of Marvel’s Avengers. The player starts as Thor, then gets to play as Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America, and finally Black Widow. It culminates with a fight against Taskmaster, who distracts the Avengers long enough for a prototype Helicarrier to detonate and destroy San Francisco.

Rich Briggs of Crystal Dynamics went on to talk about how this opening sequence sees the Earth’s mightiest heroes at their peak–celebrating the opening of their west-coast headquarters–and brings them down hard. This is where Kamala Khan gets her powers, and becomes the vehicle through which the player experiences the slow build-up of the team back to their former glory.

marvel's avengers preview

Without seeing what the game plays like with the Avengers in their weakened state (after a five-year gap no less), it’s hard to tell what the game will ultimately develop into. The opening sequence, which you can watch footage of here, feels very much on the rails and full of quick-time events. The developers mentioned that those go away for a while too.

What I was able to learn about the way the game plays in the prologue was just how well the fighting styles of each hero distinguish themselves.

marvel's avengers preview

Moving from Iron Man’s mobile arsenal of advanced weaponry to Hulk’s brute strength made up for the floaty-ness players have come to expect from beat-em-up games. Within minutes of playing as Thor, I felt like I was smashing triangle and square in irregular patterns and dispatching enemies regardless. Still, the shift in mechanics to Iron Man spiced things up nicely.

That constant swapping between heroes that feels so good though might not be frequent in the full game. It was explained that a different hero would take the spotlight on each mission. That gives players the chance to begin to specialize in certain heroes and unlock gear and upgrades for those characters. Marvel’s Avengers manages to strike a strange chord between the beat-em-up style of Marvel’s Spider-Man and the loot progression system of a game like Destiny. Going back to “wanting,” as I mentioned before, I wanted to know how this gear unlocks, and progression would behave when you went online, and another player, who may specialize in the same character, wants to play as them.

marvel's avengers preview

I couldn’t imagine a co-op mission making much sense with a multi-verse of Hulks in the same instance, but we were promised that multiplayer answers would come closer to launch. It was in our time in the HARM room, the game’s horde mode training simulator, where I was able to play as Ms. Marvel that I began to feel the push back of combat and the level of difficulty that the game would have.

After the prologue, when our heroes are weakened, fights might take a bit longer, and the vast array of enemy types (some that we still haven’t seen) made fighting difficult. I had trouble on the 15th wave and began to plan which enemies I’d go after first. I’m hoping that the rest of the game comes with a similar level of difficulty.

marvel's avengers preview

It was in our time in the HARM room, the game’s horde mode training simulator, where I was able to play as Ms. Marvel that I began to feel the push back of combat and the level of difficulty that the game would have.

After the prologue, when our heroes are weakened, fights might take a bit longer, and the vast array of enemy types (some that we still haven’t seen) made fighting difficult. I had trouble on the 15th wave and began to plan which enemies I’d go after first. I’m hoping that the rest of the game comes with a similar level of difficulty.

marvel's avengers preview

It’s too early to pass any judgment on Marvel’s Avengers. Still, the story beats so far ring out similarly enough to the cinematic universe to be recognizable, and yet unique enough to tell a compelling story. We’ll have to wait until more gameplay and multiplayer questions are answered closer to May when the game launches on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Google Stadia.

Until then, check out our impressions of Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel herself, and find out how we liked the fledgling hero.


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