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Marvel's Avengers is becoming a better game than you might realize

After years in development, Square Enix finally unveiled its Marvel's Avengers game during its E3 2019 presentation. However, some fans had mixed reactions over what was shown, with questionable character models and very little details about what to expect from the game.

However, the development teams at Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal have been providing more details — enough to give fans reasons to be excited. After revealing 18 minutes of new gameplay footage during Gamescom, they also provided further information about Avengers' ... ahem ... "endgame." And let's just say that the developers have a lot planned with this release. If you had your reservations before, you may change your mind once you see how well this title is shaping up, especially with its gameplay and unlockables.

Here's just what the teams have in store for fans when Marvel's Avengers arrives for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on May 15, 2020.

The combat has a fantastic ebb and flow for each individual character

As with some superhero games in the past, like the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance games, a few fans out there may think that the characters in Marvel's Avengers will play the same. But this is far from the truth, as the developers are working to have each character benefit from their own sense of style. They'll grasp their abilities in their own unique way, so that they stand apart from one another. That way, players get an entirely different vibe playing, say, Iron Man than they would Thor or the Hulk.

This creates a scenario that will benefit the game's multiplayer feature. Up to four players will be able to work together as an Avengers squad, combining their abilities to take down enemy forces. Considering that each character has something that stands out, there's no "weaker" one that players will be "stuck" with.

Thor has a Kratos-style vibe to him in Marvel's Avengers

The first character Square Enix showed off in their private demo was Thor. He comes into the scene early, slamming his hammer Mjolnir into the ground with a mighty lightning strike. That phases any enemies that might be in his range right away; but that's just the start of what he can do.

With the help of Mjolnir, Thor can launch into a series of striking attacks, both airborne and on the ground. He can chain these together into combos, effectively hitting multiple foes at once. His hammer also busts through rock walls, enabling him to reach new areas.

For those that attack Thor from a distance, he's also able to throw Mjolnir at them. All he has to do is line them up with his targeting reticule and let it fly. Recalling it has a great effect as well: not only does it enable him to continue up-close combat, but it can also hit foes on the way back.

Thor definitely has a vibe similar to that of Kratos from God of War, with Mjolnir replacing the effects of the axe. Players that are into heavy melee combat are sure to enjoy what he has to offer.

He is Iron Man

Iron Man's first sequence shows him shooting airborne enemies at high speeds, while using maneuvers to dodge incoming attacks and obstacles. He moves swiftly, and can blast adversaries with his beams.

Following that, he attacks enemies both on the ground and in the air using combo attacks. While he's more stable with targeting on the ground, he's harder to hit while he's flying. This is especially useful as he goes up against larger, more fortified enemies –- in this case, tanks with laser cannons.

Those seeking true firepower can give Tony's repulsor beam a try. Once charged up, he can fire it for several seconds, destroying pretty much everything in its wake. This is a terrific weapon for evening the playing field –- or, in this case, vaporizing everything within it.

To top it off, Tony can also utilize his lock-on missiles to destroy enemies. Once he targets a few of them, he fires several from his wrist. Once they attach, they all explode at once, creating quite the fireworks display as a result.

Overall, Iron Man is a splendid character for those that like firepower.

Hulk smash!

The Incredible Hulk's style is absolutely bonkers for delivering punishment to enemies. His combos beat up opponents with stomps and punches. But he can also pick up enemies and slam them to the ground or run right through them with a charging attack. The latter is also useful when it comes to busting through weakened tanks that need to be moved out of the way.

On top of that, Hulk also has some platforming skills. He can grasp onto walls to reach other platforms, as well as jump across gaps at significant speeds. He can also perform a Hulk smash from above, targeting some poor saps and turning them into mincemeat with a well-timed crunch.

Last but definitely not least, Hulk can unleash his Thunderclap. Once charged, he simply slaps his hands together and destroys pretty much everything within a short range in front of him. It's a move worthy of some applause.

Hulk is a truly fun character to play, so don't be surprised if he gets picked often in multiplayer.

All hail Captain America in Marvel's Avengers

Though how often he'll pop up in Marvel's Avengers is still in question -– events in the trailer suggest that he bites the dust early -– Captain America is still a fun character, based on what we've played thus far. That's mainly due to how well he uses his shield, as well as his nearly limitless agility.

As expected, Steve Rogers is capable of hitting multiple enemies with his shield, throwing them off long enough to move on with a charging technique and quick strikes to take them out. He can also throw his shield quickly at targeted opponents, getting it back just long enough to land up-close strikes. Players can also charge up his throw to break shields carried by some enemies.

Captain America also has the ability to perform combos, including dramatic finishers involving his shield. And once charged up enough, he can unleash a devastating attack that covers a limited amount of range, hitting everyone within it as he slams his charged shield into the ground.

Here's hoping we see more of Steve down the line. Clearly the Avengers could use all the help they can get with him around.

Don't mess with Black Widow

Finally, there's Black Widow, and though she may be the least supercharged of the Avengers squad, she's more than able to hold her own. The demo showed this as she went toe-to-toe with Taskmaster, who leads the attack against the group in San Francisco. After a quick-time event with him in mid-air, she brings him to the ground, where a boss battle begins.

It's here that players can see what Black Widow can do, using her pistols for quick shots while also rolling (or flipping) out of the way of incoming attacks. But she's also quite capable with her fists, delivering some quick punch attacks against her adversaries. For those that prefer weaponry, however, she can use her trademark fold-out batons for additional damage.

For the finishing touch, Black Widow can activate invisibility powers. This enables her to sneak up on opponents unnoticed and deliver the finishing blow, as she did to Taskmaster in the demo's concluding boss battle. But players won't lose track of her: they can see a faint image of her character.

Overall, Black Widow may be a more grounded Avenger compared to the others, but she puts up a good fight.

Just the beginning of the Marvel's Avengers story

Although the opening gameplay footage provides a good taste of what's to come, that's merely the beginning of what Marvel's Avengers is all about. Crystal Dynamics explained more about the story in a presentation following the hands-on demo, as well as the next big threat the group will have to face.

That would be A.I.M., or Advanced Intelligent Mechanics. After the events of "A-Day" leave San Francisco in ruins and Captain America seemingly dead, the Avengers are disbanded by the government. A.I.M. is brought in to pick up the pieces, replacing the need for superheroes with their science. But, as any comic book story goes, A.I.M.'s intentions aren't quite as noble as they seem.

Five years later, and the company has pretty much overrun the planet with a robotic force. The Avengers decide that they've seen enough, and, even with all the personal turmoil they've seen over the years, they vow to fight back. With that, the group takes refuge in a destroyed Helicarrier and begins to plan what comes next — which is totally up to the player.

An open world filled with choice

On board the Helicarrier, the Avengers will be able to use a "war table" to select their next missions. These are divided into two types.

The first are called Hero Missions. These are single player scenarios that push the story forward with events that directly affect A.I.M. with chosen characters. These ought to be the bulk of the narrative.

Then there are the Warzone Missions. These are missions that can be played solo, but are also available for multiplayer. Up to four players can jump into these in online co-op, with each one selecting a particular Avenger for the job. These will likely be more for quick, action-heavy sequences, though they'll still have something in the way of story.

New regions open up as players make progress through each section, leaving no shortage of terrain to cover. There's a lot of A.I.M. trouble out there, so it's time to clean house!

Pushing the story forward in Marvel's Avengers

One neat element about the Hero and Warzone missions in Marvel's Avengers is that, no matter which ones players choose to tackle, they'll both push the story forward somehow.

The Hero missions will tie in directly with the campaign, with the Avengers' fight against A.I.M. By completing these, players will have more missions to take on, which gets them that much closer to possibly shutting down the corporation. This means taking on bigger enemies, as well as familiar foes such as Abomination.

Meanwhile, the Warzone missions will also tie in with the game's narrative. But completing these will also open up new missions that players can take on either alone or with their friends, however they see fit.

The main game will have a lot of missions to choose from, but the developers have already promised more will be available following the game's release — free of charge!

Unlockable skills and costumes galore

Progress is vital for a game like Marvel's Avengers, as it not only opens up more wardrobe choices for your characters, but also skill sets! As you make your way through both the Hero and Warzone missions, you'll be able to unlock a bevy of new goods for your heroes.

We did get a brief glimpse of some of the new moves available for Iron Man, including the glowing red lasers, as well as an additional combo set. Crystal Dynamics confirmed this is merely the tip of the iceberg, as a number of moves will be available for each character.

As for costumes, the developers will dig into Marvel's rich comic book history to offer up a variety of fan favorites, which can be unlocked as missions are completed. From there, players can equip these with the press of a button to change the look of their character anytime.

Marvel's Avengers' forthcoming content will be free of charge

Crystal Dynamics made it specifically clear during its presentation that they're building Marvel's Avengers to last. Following the game's release, the company noted that they'll be adding more heroes, as well as new Warzone missions that will expand the story to some extent.

They didn't say who would be joining the game in the future. However, they have teased a few names in the past. Hank Pym, aka Ant-Man, has already been confirmed for the game to some extent. And Kamala Khan, the human counterpart of Ms. Marvel, has been teased in the trailer as well. (Fingers crossed that Hawkeye is set to join the party as well. After all, he's an Avenger, too!)

As for future Warzone missions, these would be a big hit for players that want a new challenge outside of the ones they've already completed with friends. 

Square Enix should have more of a roadmap for Marvel's Avengers closer to the game's release next year. But if they can pull this off and build upon a game with lasting value, it's sure to gather a legion of fans.

The microtransactions are completely optional

While Crystal Dynamics did confirm that Marvel's Avengers will have microtransactions, they made two things very clear when it came to them.

First off, these are optional purchases. Completely optional. Players can still go through the game without putting a cent down on these, without missing a beat.

And secondly, the outfits that are offered here are actually pretty cool. They're based on Marvel lore, and offer a bit of style that might be worth the purchase to some. These include Hulk's zoot suit-like Mr. Fix-It outfit, Black Widow's original costume, Captain America's classic scale armor, and Thor's Lord of Asgard get-up. There's no word yet if the developer will add more of these to the game over time.

Again, completely optional for players, and they'll be getting lots of free DLC from the game otherwise. So don't fret if you don't want to spend any more money — you certainly don't have to!