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The 5 Best And 5 Worst Things In The Avengers Video Game

Marvel's Avengers released on Sept. 4 to mixed remarks from players and critics, though its single-player campaign has drawn some strong recommendations. Crystal Dynamics has more heroes planned by way of DLC, and players will undoubtedly get even more story to explore in the future. 

Thought imperfect, Marvel's Avengers certainly has its positive elements, which help catapult it into the discussion of "best superhero games." The good comes with some bad, however. Given its reliance on the "live service" model, Crystal Dynamics will likely need to address these issues to make Avengers a game players keep coming back to.

After working your way through the main campaign, the pros and cons will likely become more evident. If you'd prefer some advance knowledge prior to shelling out $60, here are the 5 best and 5 worst things in the Avengers video game for you to factor into your decision. Warning: possible spoilers ahead.

BEST: The story is engaging and heartwarming

When Crystal Dynamics first showed off Marvel's Avengers, fans got a look at each hero battling through enemies on the Golden Gate bridge during an event later known as A-Day. That reveal, as it turns out, didn't do the game's campaign much justice.

Upon booting up Marvel's Avengers for the first time, you'll experience an opening sequence centered on the real star of the show: Kamala Khan. Her story revolves around believing in yourself and finding a place to fit in. It's touching, and likely the main reason you'll stick around.

Anyone who has ever had a dream can relate to Khan's journey. She begins as an outcast, of sorts: a Pakistani American girl from Jersey City who gushes over the Avengers like a k-pop fan might gush over BTS. Imagine a scenario where that k-pop fan not only gets to bring BTS back together again, but becomes a part of the group, and somehow manages to save the world in the process. That's Khan's story in a nutshell, and many seem to agree that Crystal Dynamics did a superb job telling it.

WORST: Marvel's Avengers has some audio and visual issues

While still playable, Marvel's Avengers has its technical issues. This seems to be a common theme in video games these days: a game comes out, it has some problems, and developers need to fix those problems in the ensuing weeks. Marvel's Avengers is no exception.

You'll likely notice some significant frame rate drops in certain areas. As more characters show up on screen and more effects are present, Marvel's Avengers can sometimes feel like it's slowing to a crawl. This could be a limit of current-gen hardware, but the fact remains that Avengers barely chugs along when it tries to do too much at once.

There are also a few cinematics that suffer from out of sync audio. You'll see Bruce Banner's lips moving but the words won't quite match up with the visuals. This can really take you out of the moment, and make you remember that you're playing a video game instead of living inside the world of the Avengers.

BEST: The voice acting is top-notch

Voice acting can make or break a video game no matter how good the other elements might be. One goofy line of dialogue can rip you right out of the moment, kill any sense of immersion you have, and remind you that, yes, this game is not the real world. It's a bummer. Fortunately, Marvel's Avengers features an impressive cast, and every single one of them knocks it out of the park.

Sandra Saad will absolutely steal your heart as Ms. Marvel. Nolan North — though he sounds like Nathan Drake or even Cayde-6 at times — captures the arrogant yet brilliant personality of Iron Man. Troy Baker brings the right amount of emotion to a more contemplative Bruce Banner. Laura Bailey nails the always cool, calm, and collected Black Widow. Travis Willingham delivers the heroic charm absolutely necessary for Thor, and Jeff Schine shines as the noble Captain America.

Just a word of warning: Maddy Cho might end up joining your list of favorite characters, too. Played by Erika Ishii, Cho comes out of nowhere to make you giggle at some of the best moments.

WORST: Certain enemies feel unfair

Combat in Marvel's Avengers can be a blast. Learning how to harness the powers of your chosen hero and really give it to the bad guys feels like a real accomplishment. But not all the battles are fun. Not every encounter feels like something you can bash your way through by mastering a character. Some of the enemy types are a bit much. When those enemies bring friends along, Marvel's Avengers suddenly becomes very frustrating.

What do you do when a Cryo Adaptoid shoots ice at you as a Phase Riotbot teleports in and out of range and a Blitz Proto-Synthoid gets up close and personal and attempts to explode — all at the same time? You can only use your superpowers so often. Outside of that, the game forces you to use basic attacks and parries. Those parries may work on the baddie you're actively engaging, but they don't work on the dozen other enemies trying to take a piece out of you.

Some enemies are quite good on defense, too. Your heavy attack doesn't always break shields, as it turns out. So, if you have a juggernaut advanced Synthoid bearing down on you and a bunch of his pals also picking you apart from a distance, you're going to have a bad time.

BEST: The boss fights feel important

Not every video game hits a home run when it comes to bosses. Some simply toss them in here and there as a skill check, or to pad the game's length. Others don't allow you to finish the job, letting a boss escape so it feels like you're not really making progress towards your overall goal.

In Marvel's Avengers, all the boss fights have a certain gravity to them. They're interwoven into the overarching story so you have a reason to fight in the first place, and they get all the majesty they deserve in terms of mechanics and attention to detail.

Whether you're busting up an A.I.M. warship, battling against Monica Rappaccini in her mech, or facing down M.O.D.O.K. at the very end of the campaign, each boss seems deliberate. The fights feel like the natural conclusion to the mission you embarked on. The mechanics are interesting and are rarely recycled. There are narrative motivations for you to take down these big bads and make the world a better place.

WORST: The user interface can be confusing

Marvel's Avengers is, in some places, what Destiny 2 might look like if it took place inside the Marvel universe. There is gear to collect and upgrade. There are questlines to follow. There are even bounties you can pick up from NPC characters in social spaces. Destiny 2 is sometimes maligned for its confusing user interface. Avengers isn't bewildering to quite the same degree, but its UI doesn't always do the best job at telling you where you need to go or what you need to do.

This issue is especially prevalent when you're tasked with an objective that isn't part of the game's main campaign. In the later stages of Marvel's Avengers, for instance, you need to collect machine parts for Tony Stark before you can progress. With that, you no longer use the War Table you've grown accustomed to all game. Instead, you have to dig around in the menus until you discover that you need to gather these parts by playing other missions.

Marvel's Avengers could definitely use some work to make sure everything is crystal clear — especially if it hopes to hold the attention of players after they finish the campaign.

BEST: Playing as each character feels unique

Games with multiple heroes run the risk of having those characters feel too similar. One character might have an attack that resembles the attack of another character, for instance, or a power that feels oddly like one possessed by someone else. This can make a game feel more bland than it ought to. If swapping characters is just more of the same, what's the point?

Marvel's Avengers, fortunately, doesn't have this issue. Whether you're playing as Ms. Marvel, Iron Man, The Hulk, Black Widow, Thor, or (spoilers) Captain America, it never feels like the same experience. Each main has their own style of combat. Each has their own passive abilities and ultimates. Each moves about the world in different ways. A character's strengths may be really helpful in certain scenarios, while other encounters may be more easily handled by bringing a different hero into battle.

This is exactly the kind of variety Marvel's Avengers needed to have, especially when teaming up for multiplayer, and Crystal Dynamics delivered.

WORST: Dying or failing can lead to long loading screens

While you likely don't set out to die or fail an encounter in a video game, these aspects often contribute to the experience. You take actions, you come up short, and then you learn from your mistakes and try to do better on the next go-round. Unless, of course, there's a long loading screen separating the moment you fail from when you get to give it another shot. Then you might feel a little less motivated.

Marvel's Avengers, unfortunately, has certain areas that fall into this trap. If you're spotted during a stealth encounter, you're captured and forced to stare at a loading screen until you get another chance. If you miss a jump, you get to look at your favorite Avengers characters in slow motion while the game loads up another attempt.

Here's the quirky thing about the game: the long loading screens don't always pop up when you fail. It's wildly inconsistent. Sometimes you leap off the side of a platform and immediately respawn. At other times, you have to wait twenty or thirty seconds before you can start over. With the next generation of consoles, this may no longer be an issue. But it's a big one in Marvel's Avengers on current-gen hardware.

BEST: It's fun to unlock new skills

Some games have upgrade trees that don't seem all that important or fun. Sure, you can unlock a node that lets you hold two more arrows, but so what? Is that really changing the game in any meaningful way? Will you experience a sense of joy when you get to hold two more arrows?

Marvel's Avengers handles upgrades really, really well. Each hero receives a decent move set to start, but as you accumulate skill points, you can unlock new abilities. These abilities are a blast to use in combat. It's already fun to throw Thor's hammer into a bad guy and pin them down, for example. But unlocking a new skill that lets you summon Mjolnir back and immediately uppercut someone into the sky with it? That's fun on a whole new level.

And the good times keep on coming. There's a good chance that, by the time you finish the main campaign in Marvel's Avengers, you'll still have upgrades available on your favorite hero, not to mention the ones you don't use much. So, there's still plenty of reason to keep playing after you wrap up the story campaign. You may need those enhanced skills for tougher endgame content down the line.

WORST: The multiplayer strikes aren't very exciting

Marvel's Avengers aims to live on well past the point when many see the end credits. It wants to continue as a live service game in the vein of Destiny 2 or The Division 2, where players return for new content drops and keep working to level up their characters.

One way players will presumably stay engaged is by taking part in multiplayer strikes with others. The problem? The strikes aren't all that compelling. The majority drop you into a mostly empty area with nothing but trees and mountains to keep you company. You need to run a bit before you can find some action. Once you do, there's nothing special about what you find — it's often just a group of enemies on patrol.

You can search around, find more enemies, and perhaps locate some loot chests. After that, you can move toward your final destination: typically a room full of even more enemies that are tougher than the others. Beat them and you're pretty much done. The strikes lack interesting maps and interesting mechanics. If Marvel's Avengers wants to keep players hooked, these strikes will likely need a lot more variety.