Geek Preview: Marvel’s Avengers Beta

So you are itching to get your hands on Square Enix‘s and Crystal DynamicsMarvel’s Avengers this Friday, 7 August, and wondering just what awaits you? Rest easy, the superheroes here at Geek Culture are here to help.

We had an opportunity to try out an early press preview of the beta content, and suffice to say, there is plenty of saving the day in store for fans of the world’s mightiest heroes.

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Kicking off with the opening A-Day sequence campaign mission, The Light That Failed, you will be getting a taste of just what the full team of Avengers will bring to the table. Thor strikes heavily with Mjölnir, bringing with him the might of lightning and thunder. Iron Man is much more effective in the air, firing off repulsor beams and his signature Unibeam.

A switch to Hulk sees the jade giant doing massive AOE damage, and surprising speed considering his bulk. Captain America is agile and flinging his trusty shield never feels old. Lastly, we have Black Widow, packing her firearms and martial arts prowess in a boss fight against the Taskmaster.

This is a section that has been shown off before, but now you get to experience it for yourself. Both up close and at range, the heroes all offer different solutions to the situations at hand. Traversal feels natural, and adapts to each of the heroes. Players will use some of the heroes’ skills to great effect, but the true meat of the beta lays ahead.

Following that, you will get access to the War Table. Two more campaign missions, To Find Olympia and Missing Links, star Ms. Marvel and the Hulk can be played in the beta. These are the moderate length content that can be found in the beta, and give us a good gauge of how Marvel’s Avengers will proceed in terms of story.

With access to the heroes and the potential of learning different skills to hone your play style, even if the beta only offers one branch of the skill tree, there is much depth to be enjoyed. Perhaps you prefer an aerial-based approach, or go all in on heavy attacks and your heroes’ Intrinsic skills, the choice is yours.

In addition to the campaign missions, much larger and longer sequences can be found in the Iconic Mission, Condition Green, as well as a Villain Sector, To Tame A Titan. The former explores more of the story about Dr. Bruce Banner and gives him plenty of chances to shine, whereas the latter features an end mission boss fight that hints at the potential that awaits in Marvel’s Avengers.

Outside of these more substantial instances, there are HARM Challenges, War Zones, and Drop Zones to enjoy. HARM Challenges are waved-based confrontations that start easy and transform into more hectic affairs, and are perfect for you to refine your hero strategies.

Drop Zones are short and sweet affairs that can involve straight-out brawls and holding control points. For War Zones, these are extended, multiplayer-centric missions that have a bigger space for you to explore, fight, and find gear while solving puzzles.

All the while, you will be earning experience, getting skill points, and obtaining new gear for Marvel’s Avengers. Just as the developers promised, there lies plenty of gear for your heroes to equip. Aside from increasing your power level, they can offer perks and bonuses that will aid in your heroic efforts.

Completing certain tasks also grants rewards, with each hero getting a different set of challenges to fulfil. This is likely how Crystal Dynamics will look to reward players for their time spent, even if they are not partaking in microtransactions.

Get your build right, and jump into multiplayer. Marvel’s Avengers definitely works better with friends, as you can complement and back each other up. There is no greater joy than combining your supers and clearing the field, and just seeing four of the same heroes wrecking shop. It is easy to set up, although the amount of loading is not too friendly.

Even as a solo player, you are not shortchanged. AI companions are there to help, and they all fight exactly how you kit them out to be. All the AIM soldiers and machines stand no chance.

At this stage, Marvel’s Avengers is already shaping up to be a good live-service experience. With enough combat, set-pieces, depth, and more to satisfy fans, it remains to be seen if the endgame content will live up to the billing.

With both Spider-Man and Hawkeye coming to the game as post-launch DLC, there is certainly plenty of heroes to go around, and you can get a taste as early as this week.

It’s time to assemble!