Marvel’s Avengers: War (Tables) is the answer…
The first in a multi-year dear with publisher Square Enix, there is little argument that the initial unveiling of the first proper game featuring any non-Lego version of the Avengers in a couple of decades (and after the MCU going for years with very few Marvel games period, none tied directly to the movies) that the initial unveiling of Marvel’s Avengers, published by Square Enix and developed by Crystal Dynamics, landed with a pretty big thud. In case you’ve forgotten, take a look at the very first trailer from E3 2019:
There are several issues at play here that led to not a whole lot of confidence in this upcoming huge AAA game from a major publisher based on arguably the hottest IP going right now. The characters don’t have to look like their cinematic counterparts, but these designs not only looked kind of shoddy on their own (also why does Captain America look like he’s about to lead, it’s like they tried to strike some weird balance between the comics and the movies and just came off looking like cheap off-brand versions of the characters we are familiar with. I’ve seen lots of versions of the Avengers, this is the first that seemed incredibly off-putting to me.
Also at the time, it was super unclear just what Marvel’s Avengers even was. You’d think the answer would be simple. It’s an Avengers game, it has to be a story-driven action game, right? Maybe? I keep hearing that it’s Avengers but Destiny and Destiny is not only not what I want out of a game starring The Avengers but has also had an incredibly rocky road so that doesn’t sound great either? And why is the story so similar to the one in Infinity War and Endgame where a tragedy happens, lots of people perish and five years takes place between events? Like, you couldn’t do a different story? You can see why the skepticism surrounded the initial unveiling. A May release of this year was pushed to September, which hey a delayed game will eventually be good a rushed game is bad forever to roughly quote Shigeru Miyamoto. We also hadn’t seen much more of Marvel’s Avengers at that point and there wasn’t much to go on besides some incredibly forgettable tie-in comics.
So it’s fair to say that with the release date looming Square Enix really had to make a good impression quickly and really give us a good idea of just what Marvel’s Avengers is and what they are trying to accomplish with the game.
And I think Square Enix actually have stepped up and answered this in a way that should get people at least interested if not genuinely excited. They had two “War Table” presentations, one last month and one just yesterday, that really helped present this as a game that I’ve turned from being very concerned about to one I’m actually fairly excited about if everything comes together well.
I think for one, the game is indeed looking a lot better than it’s first unveiling. The characters seem more solidly designed and we got to see more varied locations. I really like the idea that I can play co-op or take an A.I. Avengers team that I have built up on a multi-player mission. I’m also very excited to get the chance to play as Kamala Khan aka Mrs. Marvel because while she’s certainly been in plenty of recent Marvel games, Marvel’s Avengers is the first one where she’s really a featured character and it actually takes into account her unique powers.
Is that enough to convince me to pre-order the game and get early beta access though? Let me put this as clearly as I possibly can: There is never any good reason to pre-order a video game. None, nada zip, zero zilch. Often, there’s not really a great reason to buy a game at launch. Especially right now, everything is easily available digitally and if you must go out in this current environment and pick up a physical copy, any major retailer will have plenty of them. Additionally, games are the most expensive and especially in the case of a game like Marvel’s Avengers, which has a significant online component and will be continually updated with stuff, the worst at launch. Why not wait till some bugs are worked out? Why not wait for a sale?
I’m not actually trying to dissuade anyone from buying at launch or pre-ordering if they are already really excited about Marvel’s Avengers. I’m pretty excited it’s why I’m considering pre-ordering it for early beta access but obviously, if I pre-order it digitally and really don’t like the beta, I can’t get a refund. This is as true for Marvel’s Avengers as it is for Cyberpunk 2077 or Assasin’s Creed Valhalla, I am not singling out this particular game in that regard. But if you are still pretty on the fence (or still thoroughly unconvinced), there’s plenty of reason to wait. That being said, I think the two “War Table” presentations really turned things around for me and hopefully a lot of others, and Marvel’s Avengers is now a game I am currently looking forward to trying out as a fan or Marvel and video games instead of something I’m dreading having to play because I do a blog about all games Disney. That’s all for now, see ya real soon!