After months of rebalancing and necessary patches, I finally revisited the “Avengers” game and came to the conclusion that it seems that this is going to be a title that will age like fine wine. Of course many will gripe and ask “how did you come to this conclusion when the base vanilla product was just ‘unplayable?’”
However, in all truth, I never once thought that “the Avengers” was unplayable. I just felt some things were rushed and needed a good polish. Knowing that Marvel and Square Enix were behind the title I felt a sense of reassurance.
I actually enjoyed the reassemble campaign. I was utterly impressed with how Square Enix took a different route of storytelling. In a way, it feels like the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) we all know and love, but it also came off real and true to the comics. For example, before this Avengers game, I honestly didn’t know who the character of Kamala Khan or Ms. Marvel truly was. Pushing the focus of the campaign to be seen through Kamala’s eyes was a brilliant decision by both studios. It gave consumers, and fans, a chance to see the world of not only Marvel Comics but through a character that represents more than she could imagine.
I was impressed by how Kamala was showcased. Insomniac not only writes their characters well, but they transition them into our existence through the conduit of fiction towing with them a strong kernel of life. The proposal of taking a younger character, such as Kamala, and putting a spotlight of representation on her was an achievement in itself. Marvel and Square should understand the praise they truly deserve for taking on a character who is a Muslim Pakistani capped with terrific voice acting by Egyptian-American actress Sandra Saad. It was a success on all levels.
I felt Square Enix was using the heroics and overall tender soul of Ms. Marvel to relay the message. Her voice mattered. She was represented in a similar fashion to how Miles Morales was showcased in his standalone title. This year of gaming, especially from Marvel, has been special, to say the least.
The more I invested in Avengers I found the thing I resonated with most was the heart of every character. I picked up on the relationship between Hulk (Troy Baker) and Ms. Marvel (Sandra Saad), and how they felt symmetrical of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), and Spidey (Tom Holland) in the MCU. I saw the similarities between A-Day and the destruction of Sokovia from “Age Of Ultron,” and understood the moral that even though our heroes can fight the battles we never could, they still aren’t gods. It’s unfortunate that tragedy will always occur, but what matters is if you bounce back and be a beacon of hope in an effort to avenge those who were lost.
With respect to the title, I won’t dive into spoilers. Just please do yourself a favor and at least watch or play the “Reassemble” campaign because it’s one that needs exposure. One thing I will say is the narrative was perfectly coined “Reassemble” because it showcased a world where our heroes were pushed to the brink where they suffered casualties. Through the presence of hope, in the form of Ms. Marvel, our heroes were taught the valuable lesson of family and how a bond of trust can go a long way.
Once I finished the tight-knit story it just felt something was missing. For a time I did put the title down and I explored other options. The lack of gameplay left an empty feeling. Even though nostalgia was present, things just felt flat. I enjoyed playing as some of my favorite heroes from my childhood and comic books, but I wanted more.
Then December 8 came along and I started the new downloadable content for Marvel’s Avengers Operation: Kate Bishop which to my surprise took place after the events of the campaign transpired. I felt a breath of passion hit my soul again and for a run of three to four hours, I fell in love with this title again. The once dormant child who witnessed the Saturday morning cartoons was clutching the controller and it was surreal.
Then I was introduced to the spunky and charismatic Kate Bishop, my main favorite for this game. In all honesty, my favoritism could be for a variety of reasons. I feel that her being able to teleport, play with style and finesse and her innate freshness from the other main roster is pretty cool.
Kate also has her trusty bow with a variety of arrows showcasing a single shot, multiple shots at once, and a bomb arrow. She also possessed a pretty cool sword enabling players the chance to pull off some awesome combos. Kate Bishop is voiced by Ashley Burch (Horizon Zero Dawn; The Last Of Us 2).
Kate’s dialogue is so well written and her chemistry with the team is great. I think it was a wise choice for the studio to age her up to 24 because the character still retains a teenage spirit like Ms. Marvel but is also matured. You can clearly see the father/daughter relationship between her and Clint Barton, which many fans know as her mentor, the original Hawkeye. However, the DLC does last up to four hrs of a straightforward narrative but it will leave with more questions than answers.
One thing for certain is Kate was a step in the right direction for “Marvel’s Avengers.” So now I wait until the next DLC, “Operation: Hawkeye Future Imperfect.” One last thing I forgot to mention is that this version of Clint and Kate are clearly inspired by the fantastic Matt Fraction and David Aja’s “Hawkeye” comic run from 2015.