We’ve known since January 2023 that Square Enix’s failed live-service superhero RPG Marvel’s Avengers would have its life support plug pulled on September 30. At that time, developer Crystal Dynamics announced that all cosmetics “will be made available to all players for free” once the game’s final update rolls around. Well, the time has come, y’all. Friday marked Marvel’s Avengers’ last balance changes and gameplay tweaks, meaning you can finally enjoy the loot-driven RPG without all the microtransactional garbage.
Launched in September 2020 on last-gen consoles and Stadia (RIP) before making the jump to current-gen systems in March 2021, Marvel’s Avengers is an action-adventure game from the rebooted Tomb Raider creators Crystal Dynamics. A live-service project that saw Earth’s mightiest heroes reassemble to put an end to the megalomaniacal tech company Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.), Marvel’s Avengers was universally dragged at launch, scoring a 67 on Metacritic and 68 on Open Critic. In Kotaku’s review of the game, the late Mike Fahey called it “one of the best comic book games” he’s ever played while also panning it for its grindy progression systems and excessive monetisation practices.
The game wasn’t long for this world, though. Square Enix announced in a January 20 blog post that Update 2.8 would be Marvel’s Avengers’ last patch, with official support for the game coming to an end on September 30. As much as that sucks to hear, there’s some good news to be had here. Yeah, you can still play both single- and multiplayer despite no future updates coming. But the most exciting piece of news from this bummer announcement is that, with it officially dying to an extent, just about every cosmetic item from the in-game store — from emotes to takedowns to outfits — is being given away for free.
The Marketplace has been (mostly) unlocked
Square Enix made the announcement on the game’s Twitter account, saying that March 31’s “update 2.8 unlocks nearly all Marketplace items for free.” The “nearly all” is a bit sus, but clicking on the patch notes via the game’s website reveals exactly which items will be free with this last update.
⚙ Update 2.8 goes live today on all platforms.
Update 2.8 unlocks nearly all Marketplace items for free, in addition to adding final buffs that will make Heroes feel more powerful as you continue to enjoy Marvel’s Avengers in the future!
— Marvel’s Avengers (@PlayAvengers) March 31, 2023
According to the patch notes, “Nearly all MCU- and non-MCU-inspired outfits, emotes, takedowns, and nameplates are now automatically available” to you. This means cool costumes, including Black Panther’s “Son of T’Chaka’ attire and Black Widow’s “Widow 1998″ outfit, are now yours for the low-low price of free.99. Anything earnable through the lootbox-esque Shipments and the battle pass-like Challenge Cards are also “automatically granted” when you update the game. Unfortunately, items you’d get by progressing through the campaign or purchasing from the marketplace must still be acquired via these means. But everything else is yours to customise your heroes with. Whatever existing credits you may be holding onto, an in-game currency you’d buy with IRL money, have been converted to spendable resources. Meanwhile, a 1.5x multiplayer for XP and fragments, another in-game currency used for upgrading gear and buying from the marketplace, has been permanently activated. Square Enix is also gifting players a little something special…
For folks who have been playing Marvel’s Avengers since launch, as well as those who earn at least one achievement (on Xbox) or trophy (on PlayStation) before April 1, Square Enix is handing out Iron Man’s “Variable Threat Response Battle Suit” as a gift. You’ve seen this suit before. It’s the same one War Machine wears in all the MCU movies. A dark-coloured rendition of Tony Stark’s main armour, this suit behaves similarly in-game to Iron Man’s primary suit. So, while it doesn’t add any gameplay differences, it does look sick on body.
You may be wondering what this means for Spider-Man. Well, as Square Enix has already made clear, the webslinger will remain a PlayStation exclusive. That’s wack, but I guess making just about every cosmic free of charge is an OK consolation for locking one of the best Avengers onto one specific platform. It’s just a shame that barely anyone’s jumping into Marvel’s Avengers anymore. At least you can play it in single-player mode. We take those silver linings.
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