The first beta wave for Marvel’s Avengers has come and gone and many PS4 gamers out there had a chance to actually lay hands on the current state of the game. It housed a good portion of campaign gameplay and the ability to go through many of the multiplayer modes we can expect when it launches on September 4th. Those who missed out, or plan on playing on the Xbox One or PC will be getting a chance this weekend, we are here to give you a feel for how Marvel’s Avengers all flows. Some of this may be a bit different based on how the feedback sent to Crystal Dynamics. For now, here is how the gameplay all felt in the current build.
Right from the start of it all, we were given the chance to play the same opening scene we have seen for Marvel’s Avengers in all of the trailers before now. The part that is called "A-Day" where we get to swap between Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, and then Black Widow. All to get a good feel for the different character types so far. Sadly, this was meant to be more of a tutorial mission for Marvel’s Avengers and it did not do the job that is needed for the longer portion of the game. It weirdly focused more on the characters we did not get to play afterward and glossed over things needed later. For instance, I did not know until the end of the beta how to swap between Iron Man's multiple modes and weapons. It was weird and not something highlighted at all. This could be just for the beta, and I hope it is not in the full title.
After this, we went right into the Hulk and Kamala mission in Marvel’s Avengers that aims to set up how they are going to be bringing the team back together. This one definitely highlighted most of the benefits for each of the characters and showed how the story missions can switch between the different characters along the way. Something that is not normally available in Marvel’s Avengers in the War Zones and HARM modes. When you start with a character you are stuck with it even if you are playing with AI companions. I fully understand the choice to force that, but it seems odd that in solo mode that it is not possible to swap. Especially when characters do not level up on their own nor do you have the ability to alter gear for any other character mid-mission; only the one you start with.
I bring all of this up as it is the only way that I was able to play Marvel’s Avengers during the event. Not from lack of trying but the fact that I was not able to actually load a mission with friends during the beta. The one big highlight that was supposed to be in this beta and it never seemed to work. At least for my friends and me, we tried normal missions and HARM missions and the game would go through the process and then disconnect us before actually loading. Granted, this is why we have these kinds of events but it was something I was not able to enjoy along the way to try to level up the various other characters that we had. I could have done that on my own, but in the multiplayer beta that is what I wanted to do.
Given those issues, I went back to the solo mode for Marvel’s Avengers and tried to tackle some of the harder missions with my Ms. Marvel. Until I learned how to manipulate all of the other characters in the game, she was my main and you can see her a bit more in action below. While her ranged attacks are not the best, it is not supposed to be here thing, she had one of the better skill sets and attack modes for my tastes. It does get a little frustrating that the AI characters that are good with ranged combat do not switch over to that when needed but this is why we need to play Marvel’s Avengers in that mode to have actual humans pull things off. You can see a bit more of all of that just below in the captured gameplay I managed to get you.
Marvel’s Avengers Beta — To Tame A Titan
The Marvel’s Avengers beta program begins on August 7 exclusively for PlayStation 4 owners who have pre-ordered the game and will be available until August 9. On August 14, the beta will open up for all PlayStation 4 owners and run until August 16.
The beta for those who pre-ordered Marvel’s Avengers on Xbox One and PC will begin on August 14 and will run until August 16.
Finally, on August 21, the beta program will be open to all PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC players and run through August 23.
A Square Enix Members account will be required to play the beta. Players can sign up for the account for free at https://membership.square-enix.com/register. Everyone who signs up for an account will receive a Thor in-game nameplate in the final game.
One more aspect of the Beta for Marvel’s Avengers I do want to bring up has to be the HARM missions here. These were more of a horde mode where we have to fight off waves of enemies in a "virtual" space in the game. Outside of quickly leveling up characters, this had to be one of the more pointless portions of the game to me. They were extremely repetitive and did not feel like it offered anything besides making the grind a bit quicker for heroic levels. This could be just what they wanted to add in for the beta here and the full version could be different when Marvel’s Avengers launches but I do not see that being the case. We will see this weekend when we see if Crystal Dynamics changes things up for everyone the next wave.
Lastly, and I may be a bit on my own island for this, but the gear for Marvel’s Avengers also makes little sense in its current form. We have four different stat blocks to boost with the four different types of gear for each character. Sadly, I never saw a true change to anything to the gameplay or cosmetics when loading things up. In fact, you can see some of that in the above video where I have a bit of gear that is supposed to have some effects pop off or boost things like XP. It never felt like things changed, in the case of the XP, as other characters without this boost were leveling faster than Ms. Marvel that had it turned on. Again, this could be the beta of it all but it only really did anything for me in terms of trying to clear the notification dots instead of trying to find the best things.