Marvel’s Avengers is just around the corner and this could be the next big looter-shooter to enter our lives, and perhaps take over. Crystal Dynamics yesterday showed off what we should expect from the beta coming in August plus gave us some idea of the endgame content.
Reaction to Marvel’s Avengers had been fairly luke warm until the stream yesterday where we got to see improved graphics and a much clearer idea of the roadmap of content. With live-service games like this the games live and die by their content plan. We all know what happened to Anthem and Marvel’s Avengers is doing everything they can to make sure they don’t go the same way.
As well as post launch content, we got to see a new hero that will be added into the mix with Hawkeye. The full roster now includes Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Ms. Marvel and Black Widow.
Initially met with skepticism about how Crystal Dynamics could make this into a lotter-shooter, hype levels certainly seem to be building. UI elements from Destiny look to have been lifted and shifted in terms of armour and weapons, but this isn’t neccessarily a bad thing – Destiny’s UI is great.
We’re getting a beta in August which is going to be spread across three weekends. It’s being released first on the PlayStation on August 7th, then on subsequent weekends on Xbox and PC on the 14th, then finally the beta will be available for everyone on the 21st.
The beta looks like its going to have a lot of content for fans. There’s the Golden Gate demo we’ve seen before where we get an introduction to each character – they’re abilities and traversal mechanics. The obvious difference between this and other looter-shooters is that each character is fairly uniqie. Iron Man flies and shoots lasers, where as Hulk jumps around and uses his strength. Each character is pretty unique, and we’ll be able to playthrough the beta multiple times with each character to get to know our new heroes. Once we get through the Golden Gate section then there’s a boss battle against Task Master waiting for us.
The opening mission lasts about 25 mins and it’s going to be the only time we’re going to be able to play with Captain America and Thor in the beta, so it’s probably a good idea to make the most of the time we have with them.
Once we’re done with the initial quest and boss battle things then open up with two single-player Hero stages and then a selection of missions that can either be played solo or as part of a team. The Light that Failed, To Find Olympia, Missing Links and Help Dr. Banner will be available as missions.
When these missions are complete players then get access to four heroes – Kamala Khan, Iron Man, Hulk and Black Widow and can then taek part in co-op missions for up to 4 players. There’s a couple of game modes avaiable with these four character and they include War Zones, Drop Zones, and HARM Rooms.
War Zones are large mission that can be played with a team of AI or four players in co-op mode. Here you take out waves of enemies but also there’s a puzzle solving element here too with access to bunkers and collectables, resources and gear. There’s no duration to these but apparently in the final game these could take as long as two hours to complete.
Drop Zones are short mission, taking approx ten minutes to complete. These are quick missions that focus on a specific objective like defending something. There’s going to be 5 of these available in the beta, so nice and easy to jump into with a few friends if you want a short burst of action.
HARM Rooms (Holographic Augmented Reality Machine) are training rooms that allow you to experiment with each Avenger’s powers against waves of enemies. There’s 3 HARM challenge rooms which you can take on with AI or up to three friends. The enemies come in waves and get harder with each wave.
During the beta you’ll be able to earn gear and XP and you’ll be able to experiment with upgrading the skill trees of your heroes. There’s also a unique beta nameplate which will be exclusive to the beta and you’ll be able to carry that over into the main game.
Marvel’s Avengers is shaping up very nicely. I’ve gone from not being very interested in this game to super hyped in the space of 24 hours since watching that stream. I love looter-shooters and adding in Marvel’s Avengers into the mix, a franchise and set of characters that I am already invested in makes total sense. I also love the idea of adding in new heroes. Crystal Dynamics have said that content updates are going to be free across the board, which is fantastic news.
The Avengers’ beta season will be spread across three weekends, starting on 7th August. The first weekend, running from 7th-9th August, will be exclusive to those that pre-order the game on PS4, while the second (from 14th-16th August) is for those that have pre-ordered on PC and Xbox One. The final beta weekend, to be held from 21st-23rd August, is open to everyone on all platforms.
There certainly looks like there’s going to be a lot of content in the beta. It remains to be seen if they can pull off the looter-shooter game well, as it’s famously difficult to do. However, based on what I have seen so far I’m pretty excited to jump into this beta.