Marvel’s Avengers has exceeded my expectations! But from the get-go, my expectations were not high to begin with.

Its campaign is well over 10-12 hours if you decide to casually breeze through it and stick to just the story missions. There were several times where I was almost side tracked and though to explore some of the sandbox levels; not to mention the several side missions and Iconic Missions for specific characters. However, I will be saving that for my second playthrough.

A number of people who have seen the trailers and previews would definitely make comparisons of the in-game characters to their Marvel Cinematic Universe counterparts. I am happy to say that there is a good chance that you will not be disappointed, as the writing and characterization of the Avengers cast is well executed. The banter and conversations between the heroes seemed like they were taken from the comics and movies themselves. Throw all that into the campaign’s story and you’ll have another reason to love these heroes even more!

With that said, the story is indeed enjoyable and feels like it could be a one-shot comic book series. Plus, it does a great job of handling Kamala Khan, a young superhero in the Marvel Franchise. Seeing the effects of A-Day unfold through her perspective was a good choice, instead of the campaign purely focusing on The Avengers themselves.

Although, for a cast of superheroes with different abilities and techniques, combat is the weakest aspect of this game. The combination of light and strong attacks is pretty straight forward and at times I can feel myself just mashing away at the buttons just to get through a wave of enemies. You are given the option to use ranged attacks in order to deal with airborne enemies, but it feels like a padded-on mechanic to make you feel like there is variety. To add to that, the camera does get frustrating and the amount of effects happening all at once does get a bit too jarring.

Despite those shortcomings, each character does feel unique to play and can change your experience when playing through missions. Ever wondered what happens when am unstoppable force meets highly movable objects? “We have a Hulk.” Or maybe you’re more into spectacle flashes of light and an explosion or two? Then take to the skies with Iron Man. Looking for a more of a fisticuffs approach? Kamala or Captain America should be your pick.

The last mechanic that has kept me invested is the gear upgrade system. To me, the upgrade system just feels right. It is rewarding to get better gear and to be able to boost their stats with the use of resources you can loot throughout the levels. Another interesting layer to this would be the factions that own specific pieces of equipment. If all your equipped gear is branded as S.H.I.E.L.D., this can unlock more upgrades for you to purchase, thus further upgrading your character.

Personally, graphics are the last thing I care about when it comes to video games. But I did take notice of the details which I were expecting to be sharper. There were moments that I couldn’t tell if the console did not render this asset properly or if that’s what it really looks like. Keep in mind, I’m playing this game on a PS4, so the PS4 Pro and PC versions might look better. I did encounter one or two clipping issues, and one time that I encountered frame rate drops when Thor laid the smacke down on some robots. But none of these issues really hindered me from progressing or enjoying the game. I don’t want to jinx it, but I’m confident there won’t be a need for a massive patch to fix the game.

There is still a lot to be said about Marvel’s Avengers: the multiplayer mode, side missions, iconic missions, unlockables, and the gear upgrades. These aspects of the game are what will probably keep me busy for some time, but it’s possible that even in my second playthrough, it will still not be enough to carry the weight of a subpar combat system. The last thing I would want is to get through redundant waves of enemies just to seemingly enjoy everything else.

As some experienced heroes might tell their sidekicks, “You’re just not ready.”

This is a review in progress of Marvel’s Avengers from a game code given by Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia. Our full review of the game will come out soon.

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