Amazing Marvel’s Avengers takes the superhero game to a new level


Hulk smash!

There weren’t any blockbuster films this summer, so we’re lucky that Marvel’s Avengers, the video game, was released to save us all.

Developed by Crystal Dynamics with support from Eidos Montreal, the action role-playing game gives us a standalone story that’s not directly tied to the recent films, but is part of the larger universe that includes those films and the comics that inspired it all. 

And boy is this game fun to play.

It was no mistake to have us start playing the single-player campaign as the effervescent Kamala Khan, a teenager who has become an “Inhuman”. Not only is the plucky teen the force that drives the story but she unites the badly behaving adults. The fact that she’s Muslim with Pakistani heritage has no bearing on the story except when she explains the costume she created for herself is a burqini. 

Superlative writing and acting

Kamala is all of us. She’s the fan who becomes part of the team but holds onto some of that admiring energy, the innocent exuberance and the inability to realize that there may be some things you can’t do. Kamala believes anything is possible. And her positivity is infectious. 

The writing and acting are superlative here. Stalwarts Laura Bailey (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Troy Baker (Bruce Banner), Jennifer Hale (Maria Hill), and Nolan North (Tony Stark/Iron Man) deliver as you’d expect,

But the real delight is Sandra Saad as Kamala. Saad’s portrayal of the exuberant American teen is what continued to bring a smile to my face while I played. Saad imbues Kamala with curiousity and surprise and soul. She is the most refreshing and delightful character I’ve played in some time.

Choose your own Avenger

Through the story, you’ll bring the disbanded Avengers back together. As you gather one of the team, you’re able to play as that character. Then they are available to join your squad for those missions that are team-based. 

So while you start by playing as Kamala, you’ll be able to choose whatever Avenger you want for your missions. The developers were able to keep the same control scheme for all characters. That means you don’t have to learn new button combinations for different superheroes. Each superhero feels and plays completely differently, whether you’re using Iron Man’s repulsors or flinging objects at enemies as Hulk. 

There are numerous options to upgrade your superheroes, from managing their skill trees to equipping them with various pieces of gear that provide buffs. You can also access different costumes, too, so your version of the Avengers can look entirely unique.

A lot of game to play

You can play Marvel’s Avengers on PS4, Stadia, Windows, and Xbox One now. It will also be available for PS5 and Xbox Series X when those consoles are released later this year, and you can upgrade to the next gen version of the game for free.

And there’s a lot of game to play here. In addition to the missions that take you through the campaign, you can also play a side story for each of the Avengers. And then after you’ve completed the campaign, the Avengers Initiative opens up. This lets you play with up to three friends, and it’s where the game will continue to expand. 

Clint Barton’s Hawkeye is being added to the game in the next couple of weeks, a new operation will be launched in late October, and Crystal Dynamics promises that the narrative will expand with the addition of other heroes and villains, new mission types, and even new environments. 

All of this additional content will be free to everyone who owns the game, making Marvel’s Avengers not only one of the best surprises of the summer, but one of the best deals of the year. 

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