Marvel’s Avengers is less than two weeks old and it’s gone from 28,145 players to 9,374. What does this mean for the future of Marvel’s Avengers? Here’s what I think.
I think this game sold way lower than what Square Enix wanted it to. The fact that it failed to surpass Spider-man (a PS4 exclusive) on multiple platforms was a telling sign to me and the fact that this game has already lost so many players in less than two weeks after its launch does that bode well for the future. Not even Anthem lost this many players so quickly.
Marvel’s Avengers is at a disadvantage in my opinion. It’s currently the worst live service game out there. I would probably tie it with Anthem even though I think Anthem has the superior gameplay. I don’t think a superhero live service game works. Especially not one that’s so clearly trying to mimic Destiny and draw in some of Destiny’s massive numbers. Marvel’s Avengers feels like a free to play game in many ways. The only thing it has going for it is that it has a good (not great) campaign with some memorable setpieces.
The funny thing is that it’s not even the best campaign that’s been told in a superhero game. Spider-man, Batman, and even the Ultimate Alliance games had more memorable moments than Marvel’s Avengers. I’ll throw X-men Legends in there too because those games were awesome cooperative superhero games that didn’t try and nickel and dime you for extra cosmetics and actually had interesting stages to playthrough while you leveled up your favorite team of mutants.
Marvel’s Avengers, on the other hand, has nothing going for it outside of some decent combat. The level design (even in the campaign outside of a select few stages) is terrible and so are the boss fight and, more importantly, the loot. This is a loot-based game, but the loot is terrible. You get blue items that are better than some legendary equipment and it rarely feels rewarding to find something stronger than what you currently have because of the stupid gear score system. This game didn’t need that type of system. They should’ve just let us keep getting stronger by growing levels and added some sort of secondary level to gain once you reach the max level. Kind of what The Elder Scrolls Online and Diablo III did.
So why is everyone abandoning this game so soon after launch? I think it’s a mix of many things and not just one thing. It’s no mystery that this game is really buggy. You can’t browse the Steam forums without seeing someone asking for help on how to get the game to run better. You also can’t browse it without seeing dozens of topics on how easy it is to get killed or how shallow the end game content is. There is nothing to do in this game after you complete the main campaign. In games like Ultimate Alliance, they let you play through the game multiple times in new game plus so you can keep leveling your favorite team of heroes. Or you could play different game modes to work towards level 250.
There’s nothing like that in Marvel’s Avengers. Instead, you’ve got your cookie-cutter “defend this” or ” hack into this” missions that only last a few minutes. You’ve also got your “fight this boss” and ” rescue these hostages” missions and after a while, you just end up skipping 90% of the stage and rush right to the objective you’re supposed to be doing because the rewards for finding every question mark is rarely worth the effort.
Marvel’s Avengers has less content than popular free to play games and this game is $60. It’s a hard sell because we all know what it is now. A live service superhero game and I think most people are tired of live service games and didn’t want one with superheroes. I personally don’t mind live service games and most of them do start off with very little content, but none of them (that I’ve played anyway) felt like this game. I’ve played some really buggy live service games (Anthem) and not even that gave me as many issues as this game did. Everyone that likes this game (I’ll kind of throw myself in this category) gives excuses like “it’ll only get better” and “give it 2 years and you’ll see how good it’ll get”. Well… why should we have to wait 2 years for a game to get good? This is the same problem Anthem had (still has actually).
Anthem has fantastic gameplay, but nothing to do after you complete the campaign. Marvel’s Avengers has solid gameplay and nothing to do after the campaign. Why are we upping our gear score to 150? For what purpose? Why is a raid being introduced in a superhero game? It just feels so out of place. This game is Destiny with superheroes. We’ve never had a game like this and once people noticed what it was and saw (or experienced) all of the bugs that it has they jumped ship.
I feel like no one is talking about this game anymore. Usually, a big release like this would have people buzzing about it for weeks after its launch. Look at Spider-man. Look how long people talked about how great that game was after it launched. The Arkham games before it were talked about too. This game though… this game seems to have died before it even took off. I don’t hate Marvel’s Avengers. I want it to get better, but the lack of content and frustrating gameplay made me quit already.
I want to feel powerful in this game and I don’t. I understand the beginning levels being hard. They should be because later on, we should feel like our progression has paid off. We should be walking gods, but we’re not because the developers went the route of Destiny and The Division with this game and that’s not a route to take in a superhero game. In Ultimate Alliance I felt powerful when I maxed out my characters. In Spider-man and the Arkham games, I felt like a superhero. In Marvel’s Avengers, I’m just a random joe that can shoot lightning down from the sky and get one shot by some random dude with a rocket launcher. It’s bullshit and not fun and I’m not the only one that feels this way.
Crystal Dynamics should do what Anthem did and make us powerful. Make us feel powerful by buffing every character in the game. We SHOULD be stronger than our enemies and only be challenged in certain moments not every step of the way. That’s not what a superhero game should be. They should also revamp the loot system to work more like Diablo’s and not like Destiny’s. Make the loot matter and make legendary equipment feel legendary. Blue tiered loot should not outclass legendary items in any loot-based game.
It’s not too late to save this game. It can, and should, get better, but it’s not worth playing right now. We paid $60 for access to a beta. That’s how it feels anyway. Don’t take everything I wrote up there as me throwing blind hate at this game. I, and many other people, want this game to get better. I’m just not willing to lie or fool myself, into thinking that nothing is wrong with the game. If the game didn’t have problems so many people wouldn’t have left already.
What do you think should improve in Marvel’s Avengers? Do you think it needs a complete revamp?