Avengers’ Story Campaign Is Bigger And Better Than I Expected

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Here kid, have a book I'm in.  (Screenshot: Square Enix)
Here kid, have a book I'm in. (Screenshot: Square Enix)

When you start Marvel’s Avengers, the in-game menu suggests you complete the single-player campaign before diving into online multiplayer. Now I’m over six hours into the campaign and only just unlocked Black Widow, my fourth of the game’s six playable launch characters. This might take a while, but I’m not irritated. I’m having a great time so far.

Based purely on the content of the beta and what Square Enix had shown of the game prior to today’s early-access launch, I was quite worried about Marvel’s Avengers. I worried it would be a dull, repetitive plod through missions built for multiplayer without a strong character focus. I worried the character models, ridiculed since the game debuted, would keep me from fully enjoying the game. Though I feel my worries were justified, I’m pleased to report that they were, for the most part, unfounded.

The beta did not do Marvel’s Avengers justice. It sped through the campaign’s opening, skipping broad swaths of quality story content in favour of getting players into the online action. The full game opens with a very young Kamala Khan, who’s not yet gained her Ms. Marvel stretchy powers, attending the A-Day celebration in San Francisco with her father. She’s part of a group of kids who won a trip in an Avengers fan-fiction contest, which is very on-brand for Kamala.

Couldn't have said it better. (Screenshot: Square Enix)

The first 20 minutes of the game are Kamala exploring the deck of a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. It’s been transformed into sort of an Avengers theme park in honour of A-Day, filled with exhibits dedicated to Earth’s mightiest heroes. During her exploration she runs into Thor, Captain America, and Black Widow. Kamala isn’t a hero yet, just a starry-eyed fan. These brief interactions help humanise those awkward, not-quite-MCU character models.

Look at his face. That guy. (Screenshot: Square Enix)

The overall effect of this endearing sequence is when we cut to five years later, after the helicarrier explodes and Captain America seemingly dies, Kamala’s passion for helping the Avengers makes much more sense. Teenage Kamala spent half a decade mourning her fallen heroes. She’s obsessed, so much so that when the villainous organisation A.I.M. targets her as an Inhuman, transformed by the Terrigen explosion that downed the helicarrier on A-Day, Kamala has no qualms about hopping a bus to Utah and seeking out the Inhuman resistance.

Events unfold slowly. It’s an hour and a half into the game before Kamala runs into Bruce Banner, and nearly two hours before we get control of him in the campaign. His awkward interactions with the teenager are simply adorable.

Little moments like this make the story fun. (Screenshot: Square Enix)

Want to play as Iron Man? First you have to play through around three and a half hours of story. Then you’ve got to help Tony Stark put together a piecemeal suit consisting of a repulsor glove, a pair of boots, and a helmet. Not an Iron Man helmet, just a helmet.

Tony Stark is Flight Helmet Man. (Screenshot: Square Enix)

Eventually Tony finds a full suit of armour, which he uses to go on a mission to find fabricator parts so he can build a fancy red-and-gold number. Until then, it’s fun to see Stark in a more vulnerable state, his ego taken down a few notches. It’s still there, of course, just not as effing annoying as it normally is.

I enjoy getting to be Tony Stark and Iron Man. Before I played the Hulk, I got to be Banner for a bit. It makes me feel like these heroes are more than their costumes and powers. They have layers, like ogres.

I won’t get into how Black Widow eventually rejoins the team. I will only say that it is a very Black Widow moment and I was caught completely off-guard. One would think that six hours in I would be expecting a new character to drop, but I got so wrapped up in the story of Kamala and the Inhuman resistance that I lost track of my heroes. Who knows when Thor will show up? I expect Captain America, who dies at the beginning of the game but is a playable character so, spoilers, will show up when we need him the most, possibly with his mighty shield preceding him.

Pretty. (Screenshot: Square Enix)

What I am saying is that I am excited now, finally. It took getting the damn game into my hands and several hours of story campaign play, but I am finally looking forward to getting back to playing Marvel’s Avengers. I think I’ll do that now.

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Comments

    • There are 40 tiers, and you gain progress in them by gaining ‘challenge points’ which are only acquired (so far for me) by completeing Daily and Weekly challenges which award 3 and 11 challenge points respectively. I’m like 40% through Level (Tier) 4 and I’ve earned 17 of those challenge points so far, so I guess its like 5 challenge points per tier/level

      Now, so far, it seems that once you’ve completed these weeklies and dailies, you cant get anymore points for that day, and since the whole pass requires 200 points in total, it’ll probably take some time. Naturally you can buy progress in the tiers, they cost 100 ‘credits’ each for a full tier (can be discounted if you’re partially through a tier.) Naturally, these credits can be bought with real money ($7.55 for 500, $29.95 for 2,200, $75.95 for 6,000 and $150.95 for 13,000)

      Also naturally, theres a store, where it’ll list random featured items such as outfits, emotes, takedowns and nameplates, as well as letting you go directly into a section for each character where some more stuff is listed. My current store has legendary (gold) outfits for 1400, epic (purple) emotes for 1200, and rare outfits/emotes for 700/250 respectively.

      I think thats about it really, though I’ve probably missed something in my sleep deprived state, so hopefully others can chime in.

      • I think it’s also worth mentioning that the battle passes offer credits at various levels as you go. I added them up and you get 1300 credits per battle pass (admittedly I only checked one character, but I assume they’re all the same).

        • Good catch, I completely missed that. Makes me think that completing a pass might give enough credits back to purchase another when they start charging for them.

          • They said each battle pass will cost 1000 credits, so as you’ll have 300 extra credits per battle pass (and with 6 characters to start off with, there should be plenty more to go around).
            Although as you said, it will take some time to get to to max rank. I think I worked out you could get 64 points per week if you do EVERY challenge, so minimum 4 weeks.

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