Marvel’s Avengers includes the option to play online, or you can play solo with computer-controlled teammates. Playing with AI means you don’t have to deal with the game’s lousy matchmaking, but it does mean you have to deal with the game’s terrible AI, who appear in every mission where you don’t have a full roster of human players.
A few nights ago, I was playing a mission by myself, with three AI teammates. During a large fight toward the end, some angry robots surrounded us. A moment later I was on the floor, down but not out. No big deal: If you go down while playing solo, the AI will come and heal you. So I waited.
And I waited. And I waited. Teammates have 45 seconds to get you back on your feet. For those 45 seconds, I watched as a computer-controlled Iron Man stood about 3.05 m away, not moving, not fighting, just looking at me as I slowly died. The other heroes ran by too, fighting robots instead of healing me. Eventually, time ran out. I died and had to restart at the last checkpoint.
This wasn’t the first time the AI has failed me. A few nights before that I got downed and watched Black Widow run repeatedly into a small concrete pillar next to me. She was trying to bring me back up, but it seemed she didn’t realise that she needed to run around the pillar instead of through it. Other players are reporting similar problems with the AI heroes, making it hard for solo players to enjoy the game or complete challenging activities.
Not only are players being left to die by the AI who are supposedly there to help, but the AI also isn’t doing much to assist players who are still alive. A great example of this can be found in any warzone level that contains breakable doors. These doors can only be destroyed by some heroes, like the Hulk and Thor. The idea is that you need to work together as a team to get all the loot in an area. But if you decided to play as Captain America or Black Widow, AI-controlled Hulks and Thors won’t break these doors down and get the loot.
In fact, AI won’t help you much toward objectives at all. Another example can be found in some of the missions that ask players to protect and control locations around a map. This is easy if you are playing with some friends, since each person can spread out to control the spots and help each other. When playing with AI heroes, they’ll tend to follow you around or dart off to fight some enemies, ignoring the control points. When I play these missions alone, I just run around like a madman trying to keep all the plates spinning while my team of NPCs does little to help.
Not all the AI issues players have encountered are annoying or game-breaking. A sillier one involves the Hulk, who will often pick up large rocks and just walk around with them, even entering elevators while holding large boulders or carrying invisible rocks around. In my games, I’ve turned around many times to find Hulk following loyally behind me, giant rock hoisted over his big head.
Over on the Avengers subreddit, players also report problems with their AI squadmates not targeting aerial enemies, like drones, or getting in the way of combat and making it hard to complete challenges. Some players have been asking for the option to turn the AI heroes completely off and just play alone. A lot of players want more control of their AI buddies, like the ability to mark an objective or give their squad commands like “Focus on enemies” or “PLEASE, HELP ME I’M DYING.” Luckily, it sounds like the devs are planning to add the ability to ping stuff, like in Apex Legends, though we don’t know when this feature will be added.
As it stands now, you might not be able to rely too much on your AI pals. So be careful out there.
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