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Marvel’s Avengers Failures and Why Game Devs Everywhere Should Take Note

Content of the article: "Marvel’s Avengers Failures and Why Game Devs Everywhere Should Take Note"

***** This could be a long post, so here we go:

When the game was first announced years ago, I have to admit I was incredibly hyped for it. Like I felt back in 2010-2011 where I really wanted to watch a movie with multiple heroes on screen, I really wanted a video game (non-LEGO) that focused on many heroes. Then the more of the game I saw and learned, the more I become weary of the idea. Ultimately the game released the beta and I really did not like the mechanics, structure, character models, and GaaS vibes. It made me not buy the game, as it also did with millions of other players, and the game is essentially dead now.

I read an article just now on IGN that the game had a $100M+ development cost, and the game hasn’t even come close to recouping that investment even though the game has been out since September. This has really led me to wonder how it is even possible for a game to be made so poorly even though the possibilities were endless, considering:

  • the Avengers IP is arguably the most popular in the world over the past few years.

  • the game allows for endless customization and improvements (even though the items you equip are invisible for WHATEVER REASON).

  • especially considering we are in the middle of a pandemic in a year where many marvel fans are deprived of any marvel content outside of Miles Morales.

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Given those parameters, how can you make a game that is poorly optimized, has very little in-depth content but lots of bland and generic content, and doesn’t entice the player to continue playing? For me at least there are a handful of reasons for why Avengers is a bad game, I would hope people would agree:

  • poor optimization and performance. The game is buggy as hell with frame rate drops and clipping.

  • the overarching blanket of bland and repetitive gameplay make the experience a slog and not worthwhile.

  • the loot system is incredibly broken. What is the point in collecting and equipping loot if it is invisible and barely increases your stats?

  • each character has a battle pass that must be purchased to increase the amount of content for that character.

  • piggybacking off of the battle pass, the game was a $60 game ($30 now)! If the game was F2P, then I understand having battle passes.

  • The story (from what I’ve seen) is very short and pretty engaging honestly. The problem is the focus was spent on the multiplayer and monetization aspects and not the campaign. The campaign could’ve been easily been made as a 30 hour campaign.

  • making the main character Kamala Khan was a bad choice. Not that she isn’t a decent character on her own, but outside of marvel comic readers, she has no popularity or appeal. Personally I knew of her but found her really annoying even though I enjoyed her gameplay.

  • Lastly, the devs really made it where the characters retained their MCU tendencies and character traits, but refrained from using the likeness and voices of the MCU. It threw a lot of fans off because they didn’t like the character models or dialogue. This one is more nitpicky, but I must say it nonetheless.

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Encompassing all of those aspects, the game makes for a shallow, bland, money-grabbing game that makes for a very lame experience, even though I love these characters and their stories.

What I would have done to create this game would make it vastly different:

  • firstly, I would’ve focused primarily on the campaign. I would make it completely single player with adding the ability for another player to drop in as a different hero at any time to play with you. Each mission is designed to be completed single or with coop in mind.

  • the campaign structure would be a lot like GTA. Having free roam of a huge city with the ability to change between the 5-6 avengers at will so you can play missions that specifically deal with that character. On missions that have other heroes as NPCs, allow the player to switch their characters at will.

  • thoroughly building the campaign into a vast open world adventure game would’ve made for a better experience than choosing random missions at the helicarrier map.

  • keeping the multiplayer completely separate from the campaign. It doesn’t really make sense to include multiplayer battle missions (forgot what they were called) in the same menus as the story missions. Hence why I would’ve gotten rid of the helicarrier map mission selection.

  • I would make the loot system more streamlined and less annoying abysmal. The loot you collect actually can be seen, and act as armor/suit pieces. Each of them have tiers and eventually the highest level of gear contain sets, then when fully equipped, give you certain abilities but also give you a well known suit from the movies/comics. Invisible loot is stupid so no more of that.

  • the multiplayer itself would more or less stay the same with those 4 player missions that are just meant to be repetitive raids and cooperative sandboxes. Completely get rid of battle passes entirely.

  • lastly, in a future update, I would allow for the villains you face in the game to be playable in a PvP style heroes vs villains multiplayer mode. Very similar to the heroes vs villains mode in Star Wars Battlefront 2. I think the one glaring thing missing from the multiplayer, besides real meaningful content, is a true PvP mode. I think this could have real potential as long as the characters are balanced enough.

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So that’s how I would have created the game. Essentially breaking down the game entirely and building it up from scratch. Now they still seem as though they are going to continue with these little updates and hero additions, so they haven’t seen the writing on the wall yet. Perhaps because they have already spent months on the investment of continuing the post launch plan that had already been implemented. With Spider-Man being added in January for PS4/PS5 players, one would suspect the development would die off if the game doesn’t become popular after that. With the current opinions of the game and the trend they seem to strive towards (monetization, lack of meaningful content, etc), it becomes increasingly difficult to envision a path of success for this game. It makes me mad that Square Enix shifted Crystal Dynamics’ focus away from Tomb Raider to focus on this game that is a complete departure of the type of experiences they are used to delivering. Even though I’m sure they were done with Tomb Raider for the moment, it would’ve been nice to allow them to focus on a new IP for a single player experience, because that’s what they thrive at.

With all of this said, and I know this is a long post, should this be a lesson to future game devs as to not focus on monetizing a popular IP through poor game design that alienates the fan base? Or do you think this trend will continue? With rumors speculating that Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad will be a GaaS experience, I sure hope they take the drawbacks and bad elements seen in this game into consideration. Rocksteady is a top 5 studio in my book, so them going the same route as Avengers with their SS game would be very maddening.

Anyway, that was my 2 cents. I really hope this game eventually does have a second life like Star Wars Battlefront 2 did and becomes a fun game to play at some point. The potential is there, but the devs have to realize it before it’s too late. Happy gaming everybody!

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Source: reddit.com

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