The Kate Bishop version of Hawkeye has arrived as a new playable character for Marvel’s Avengers, bringing with her three or four hours of fresh single-player content to Square Enix’s stale co-op superhero game. To be fair, any new playable character would have had the same effect, but Kate is pretty damn great.
Following the great A-Day tragedy that befell San Francisco and led to the disbanding of the Avengers at the beginning of the game’s story, Kate “Hawkeye” Bishop and Clint “Hawkguy” Barton fell out of touch with their compatriots. Barton and his young protege struck off on their own, independently investigating A.I.M. and generally being heroic. Unfortunately, Hawkguy disappeared into a strange portal, which leads to Kate getting in touch with the newly-restored Avengers to ask for help at the start of the “Taking A.I.M.” mission chain.
The new operation begins with the old, boring Avengers getting contacted by Kate and going off on a mission to bring her back into the fold. This leads to some humorous scenes as Iron Man and company follow the piles of deceased robots Hawkeye left in her wake.
Following the opening mission, we get control of the hero herself. Using stolen A.I.M. technology, Kate Bishop has transformed herself from an expert archer / sword person into an expert archer / sword person with the ability to teleport. She can shoot arrows that teleport her long distances. She can teleport in small hops without the aid of arrows. She’s basically Nightcrawler from the X-Men, or Blink from the X-Men. We really need a new X-Men game.
Kate’s ace with a bow and arrow, as she should be. Her power and accuracy with a bow and choice of arrows make her feel like a formidable foe, even when standing side-by-side with the Hulk. Her ultimate heroic ability, Quantum Overdrive, charges her arrows and sword strikes with quantum energy, making her a bow-wielding force of targeted destruction.
It’s not her powers and abilities that make Kate Bishop great in Marvel’s Avengers. It’s a combination of whomever is writing the game’s hero banter and the voice acting of Ashley Burch. Burch is a sassy voice actor given incredibly sassy superhero banter and she just eats it up. She’s got a particularly enjoyable back-and-forth with Tony Stark, who remembers her as a 19-year-old “baby.”
Iron Man: Lots of busted robots in here. You did a lot of damage. You bring a wrecking crew or something?
Kate Bishop: Yeah, me.
Iron Man: Not bad, kid. Not bad at all.
Once Kate becomes part of the team proper, she takes the team on a series of missions to uncover the mysterious portal tech A.I.M. is working on and, of course, find her mentor. I’ll avoid spoiling the three-hour adventure, as Avengers players need all the excitement and surprise they can get.
Kate Bishop is free for all Avengers owners. Her challenge card, which players can level up through playing to unlock new skins, coins, emotes and such, costs $US10 ($13) of in-game currency. I went ahead and spent the cash, as I am completely smitten with this new addition.
Well, let’s call it cautiously smitten. I’ve finished her main story. I need to complete her iconic mission chain. I’ll get her leveled up to 50, and then I’ll set the game aside until the next bit of solo content comes out. I hear it’s a guy with a bow. Can’t wait.