Gamescom has been a treasure trove of new trailers and information drops on the general community, and it has been a blast. Having had the chance to look at the gameplay trailer of Marvel’s Avengers, the new game by Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Interactive and SquareEnix, I really have only one thing to say about this game:
I cannot wait for it to be released.
Here are my first thoughts of the gameplay footage.
1) You really do get to feel like an Avenger.
Iron Man whooshing past the Golden Gate bridge, blasting enemies and leaving them in the wake of his jet boots; Thor slamming the floor with his hammer, summoning lightning and striking down foes; The Hulk being… The Hulk. When you get to use powers as they were designed for their respective characters, it feels empowering, and that sense of awe-inspiring capability would make any Avenger fan feel closer to their heroes than anything else.
Each Avenger also manages to make themselves feel unique, even though there are some overlaps in skillset in the group. The Black Widow and Captain America are both Master level martial artists, both The Hulk and Thor have super strength and both Thor and Iron Man have energy projection (pew pew). However, they manage to make their fighting styles suitably different from each other, making the gameplay of each hero sufficiently special. For example, Black Widow’s moves feel more agile, rolling and dodging while putting some hits in between; while Captain America’s feel more weighted, with each punch feeling heavier than that of the Black Widow. This encourages the player to learn each hero well, switching up play styles with each change of character. It would be incredible if there are portions of the game which allow you to switch between characters on the fly during a fight, relying on whichever character you bring to battle. Teamwork ho!
2) The voice cast has done an incredible job
Nolan North needs no introduction, and neither does Troy Baker. Both are veterans of their field, and both bring gravitas to their respective roles as Iron Man and The Hulk respectively. To round out the cast, we have Travis Willingham as Thor, a role he has played repeatedly on other mediums such as the cartoon series of The Avengers; Jeff Schine, who plays Captain America, and finally Laura Bailey, who plays Black Widow, and not for the first time too (she has played Black Widow in other mediums as well, most recently in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order). All of them have great chemistry with each other, allowing dialogue between the characters to flow and feel organic. Each cast member also seems to know their characters really well, making the game feel like either comic book versions of themselves or their Marvel Cinematic Universe counterparts. Fans of both mediums will be able to see shades of the characters in the game, which should be able to keep all fans happy. Consistency needs to be key however, or their identities could be lost in the mix.
3) Clint Barton needs more love.
Clint Barton, also known as Hawkeye, can be considered one of the main members of the Avengers, especially since his presence in the comics is closely tied to the Avengers. He does have his own headlining comic, but for his most notable works, it tends to be part of the Avengers, so much so that he’s almost never left out of the team, just because of the versatility he brings. This seems to be a point lost in translation between the comics and other mediums, as he is constantly not given emphasis or, in this case, left completely out of the game. I’ve always seen both Captain America and Hawkeye as the beating heart of the team, making the moral decisions and constantly fighting in order to keep its soul. While I can see why they would leave him out (having too many intersecting skill sets would dilute the usefulness of the other heroes, for example his stealth and his shooting ability by Black Widow and Iron Man respectively), it feels like he’s the one that constantly gets left behind, even if he is seen as an integral part of the comics canon. Perhaps this is merely tentative and he appears in a later part of the game, or we can see him as a future DLC? I certainly hope so.
While first impressions are often important in getting one foot through the door, there is still lots to be done to seal the deal for the game. The story seems to be doing a good job, the graphics and audio look top-notch, and overall it looks like a game I can totally get hyped about. Now it’s just up to the team to make sure that the ending doesn’t drastically change anything of the perceptions we have of our heroes, and I can see this game being a hit. What do you think of the trailer? Did it excite you, or did it leave a bad taste in your mouth? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!