The To-Day was to be a day of celebration for the Avengers, but the inauguration of the new headquarters of the Avengers, in the city of San Francisco has turned into a tragedy when a targeted attack has destroyed the Golden Gate and dropped the new Helicarrier laying waste to the american city. From that day on, the superheroes have been outlawed and the population has lost confidence in them. With unfortunate irony, the premise and narrative of Marvel’s Avengers reflects what has been its reception at E3 2019. The conference, Square Enix had to be a moment of celebration for the much-awaited game of Crystal Dynamics, where the expectation in the last few years has been fuelled by the growing success of the MCU. Instead, the new game published by Square Enix, has received a cold welcome due to a presentation confused and anything but impact. On the first day of E3 2019, so we have met the developers, and attended a presentation behind closed doors in the hope of discovering something more about a project that, against all odds, has so much to prove.
Let’s start from the basics: what is Marvel’s Avengers? In the weeks leading up to E3 in Los Angeles, rumors and alleged leaks concerning Marvel’s Avengers as an online game in constant evolution, a GaaS, which mixed the approach to the multiplayer of Destiny to the strength of the license to Marvel. After the presentation, instead, we know that it is so only for half. The action in the third person of Crystal Dynamics combines a single-player campaign content, designed specifically to be addressed in the cooperative up to four players. The Single-player and multiplayer are not completely disconnected from one another, but here the developers were, if possible, still more cryptic. In fact, it seems that some parts of the campaign will be playable in co-op, and vice versa, a large part of the content designed for multiplayer can be used also alone. “In Marvel’s Avengers, there will be a rich country”, he told the lead designer Philippe Therien in an interview: “in some cases may approach a mission in the role of a specific hero, but often you will be joined by other characters, or maybe you decide to play with other friends up to four people for the team.”
The live gameplay demo shown to us behind closed doors was a fragment of the countryside played in single-player, right from the first minutes of adventure: those of the fateful To-Day.
After a brief cinematic we’ve seen Thor fight against a dozen soldiers armed to the teeth, unleashing the power of Mjolnir in the sequences of attacks, melee or from a distance: the hammer can be thrown at an enemy or used to folgorarlo with a violent bolt of lightning, while in the bottom right corner, three slots indicate what special skills you can use by pressing the ridges. After the short fight, switch to control Iron Man while reached the Golden Gate in flight: the sequence of all linear, sees the dear Stark intent to avoid incoming shots, and attack from distance, before throwing itself into the fray for a few moments, hovering in mid-air and perform his devastating and iconic Unibeam. In the following minutes, alternating Avengers missing, allowing us to note how each of the playable characters has a different set of moves, strengths, and weaknesses. The Hulk is more heavy and slow, but can jump very high and perform powerful melee attacks, unleashing a shock wave punching the floor or grab the unlucky victim to run it down from the Golden Gate, or against another group of enemies. The Black widow attacks predictably with a combination of grappling and melee hits, relying on the gun to handle the distance, or can make themselves invisible for a short period of time. Eventually Captain America, with his movements and acrobatics and the ability to throw the shield making it bounce from one enemy to the other, there gave the impression to be the character most entertaining of the entire roster.
“Once you have finished the campaign, you can devote yourself to the online experience in the company of your friends,” explains Philippe Therien. “There are other tasks to complete, with new stories and other regions. You can also upgrade the different characters and, unlike the campaign in single – you are free to choose the hero you want to use”. The sequence that we saw seemed to be completely linear and far from inspired or inspiring, but Therien has ensured that there will be many different situations, with scenarios that are more open to facilitate the co-op with more people. “In the E3 demo 2019, we have shown only one specific type of gameplay, but there will also be other situations, scenarios that are more open where you can play up to four people at the same time, boss fights and different goals to accomplish”. After the release, the developers promise to enrich constantly Marvel’s the Avengers with new free content, including new heroes and additional regions. In fact, the game does not focus on one city but on different locations around the world.” It is still not clear how will work the multiplayer Avengers – the developers have not yet the intention of unbutton – but the challenge of the designers of Crystal Dynamic is finding the right balance between the various characters, especially since they are so different. “The goal is to create situations in multiplayer where each player, regardless of chosen character, it can get in the show because the situation requires the use of a specific power or skill. There is no one hero better than another, but balancing the characters he represented for the team a major design challenge. For those who fear that the online mode can overshadow the single-player, Therien has kept to emphasize several times how the campaign will be a complete experience, exactly like the multiplayer, while among the objects that will be possible to unlock stand out, alternate costumes and classic of different superheroes.