Marvel's Avengers is out today. For many superhero fans, it's a chance to jump into Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics' interpretation of the Marvel Universe. Many of us on the Shacknews staff have played through it. Surprisingly, we all came to enjoy it. But as good as it is, it has the potential to get even better over time.
The Shacknews staff recently came together to play through some Marvel's Avengers co-op on the Shacknews Twitch channel. After we concluded our stream, we started thinking about what we'd like to see come to Square Enix's superhero action brawler. Reviews Editor Blake Morse, News Editor TJ Denzer, and Senior Editor Ozzie Mejia assembled at the Shacknews War Table and came up with some features we'd love to see come to Marvel's Avengers in the future.
Hero combination moves
I think one of the most fun things to come out of the Marvel Ultimate Alliance games was the fusion attack system in which two heroes could combine their powers to do incredibly flashy and powerful combo attacks. Marvel's Avengers seems perfect for some sort of adaptation of this idea. An easy example would be Iron Man hitting Captain America's shield with his lasers and Cap refracting the beam in all directions to clear enemies out. There are a ton of other opportunities as well. Kamala Khan could go huge and join Hulk in making an earthquake in the immediate area. Thor could charge Black Window's shock fist to unleash a huge blast of electricity. Heck, with Hawkeye coming, a Black Window/Hawkeye fusion attack seems ripe for the picking.
It probably wouldn't be easy to create fusion attacks for all the heroes as more came on, but it seems like it would be another flashy and fun way to utilize heroes and team compositions in battle.
Marvel's Avengers is a lot of things. One of them is a story about the band coming back together after five years apart. This is a great story about Earth's Mightiest Heroes getting their groove back, but Square Enix has also made me want to experience where these heroes got their start.
I'd love to take a side step from fighting against AIM and killer robots and venture into the beginnings for these characters. It'd be cool to see a single-player only experience where players can run through some of these characters' earliest adventures. Let me walk Tony Stark through the terrorist-filled cave. Let me jump into World War II with Captain America. I want to run through one of Black Widow's earliest SHIELD missions. I'd like to experience Kamala Khan discovering her powers for the first time, maybe taking out a few muggers by accident.
This is one of those features that could go a long way with the addition of new characters. If the larger audience doesn't know who somebody like Kate Bishop is, give them a chance to learn her story.
Marvel's long-running "What If?" series has always been one of my favorite comic books. It takes well-known superheroes and, more often than not, messes with their archetypes to tell a unique and self-contained story. That's one of the reasons I love them so much. We never really get endings in comics, just story arcs that lead into other arcs. With "What If?" famous characters can die, become evil, or maybe have other supporting characters take up their mantle. What if Peggy Carter became Captain America? What if the Hulk ate the Avengers? Questions like these would make for great one-off special missions in a game like Marvel's Avengers. Perhaps a mission where it was what if Kamala Khan joined AIM or something like that? The potential is limitless.
Mass Recycle/Sort options with gear
As with Destiny, Tom Clancy's The Division, and countless MMOs, Marvel's Avengers loves to inundate you with a constant stream of incrementally more powerful gear. It's not so bad to deal with powering yourself up little by little and expanding your capabilities on each run, but the amount of gear and the fact that you have limited slots is just kind of obnoxious to sort through when it comes to getting rid of inferior equipment. This game needs a better way to deal with that. For instance, give us options so that we can hold one button and recycle all common gear weaker than our current equipment. Give us ways to instantly sift the goods from the junk. Having to go in and hold the recycle button on each piece is a time waster that just keeps us from getting back to the action faster. A sort and mass recycle option would do wonders to streamline the sorting and organization of the amount of equipment Marvel's Avengers is shoving at you at all times.
Playable Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Marvel's long-running Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series has just wrapped, so it seems as good as any to show them some love with a few playable characters in the Avengers game. Phil Coulson was the catalyst for Earth's Mightiest Heroes to form a team in the first place. At the very, very least, I'd love to see a Melinda "The Cavalry" May skin for Black Widow. In my opinion, she just kicks way too much butt to not get some love in this game.
We've also already seen that Nick Fury is a supporting character in the campaign, so why not add him to the roster as well? It's not like he's never shown up as a playable character in a Marvel game before. Give me Coulson, May, and Fury as playable characters and I'll be a happy camper.
Cosmetic-changing unique equipment
In a game like this, where gear is such a major factor, we want to show off. We want people to see the cool stuff we've collected. After all, it's an option in nearly every other game that features as much equipment as Marvel's Avengers does. Unfortunately, equipment in Marvel's Avengers seems entirely regulated to stats and unseen numerical details. But wouldn't it be fun to see the cool shield resonator you got for Cap or the powerful Arc Reactor we got for Iron Man show up on your version of that character? Common pieces don't need to be flashy, and it's cool we can see our unique hero skins at all times, but it'd also be cool for an Epic or Legendary tier piece of gear to just slightly show up on our character model like a badge of pride for where we've been, what we've done, and the luck we had.
Just as well, an option to toggle gear cosmetics off and on to just bask in our fun new hero skin when we feel like it would also be cool.
On paper, one would think Marvel's Avengers would be the ultimate team-up. But what if we could experience more team-ups straight out of the old school? Maybe run a single-player or smaller-scale co-op where players could experience double or triple hero missions straight out of the old Marvel Team-Up series.
For the uninitiated, the Marvel Team-Up series allowed Marvel Comics to pair up characters that don't always cross paths for a quick story arc. It was frequently a Spider-Man joint, but Marvel would frequently mix up characters that would offer up a quick sales boost or an obscure character that could use some more exposure. In the same vein, it'd be really cool to see any one of the core Avengers cast run a separate team-up mission with a guest character like Ghost Rider, Moon Knight, or Blade. Go wacky with it and make up teams that players don't even know they're dying to see until they seem them together.
The dev team at Crystal Dynamics has already confirmed that Marvel's Avengers will have raid-like missions coming to it at some point. I doubt anyone could name a more badass raid boss than the mighty Galactus. The Devourer of Worlds is a pretty massive cosmic entity and I think it would be rather awe-inspiring to see a huge team of supes try and take him on in a raid, especially if they keep Galactus to the scale he is in the comic books.
It could also be a good opportunity to introduce the Fantastic Four into the game, since they originally stopped the big G from eating Earth back in the day. And it would also open the door for more cosmic space characters like the Silver Surfer and the Guardians of the Galaxy to enter the fray. Even the Watcher could show up to warn the Earth. There's just so much potential here, so hopefully the devs are paying attention.
Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix, and Marvel have very clearly shared that they're all-in on Marvel's Avengers for the long haul. That means heroes, missions, and all sorts of cool goods will be coming down the pipeline in the multiplayer games-as-a-service experience of this game. To that end, we would love to see some seasonal content.
We might not see it in time for this Halloween, but maybe next year, if Marvel's Avengers is still going strong, we could see them toy around with something fun like Marvel Zombies. It would be quite the experience to take on a spooky themed series of missions in which we must deal with zombified versions of our favorite heroes and countless other ghoulish minions caught in the crossfire. The Marvel universe is rich with opportunity to do silly and wild things depending on the time of year. If we don't see Marvel Zombies during some spooky point of the ongoing development of content for this game, that'd just be a shame.
That's what our team would love to see. What sorts of features, quality-of-life improvements, or generally fun stuff would you like to see come to Marvel's Avengers? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments. If you don't have an account, click that button at the top of the screen and register to join the party. Marvel's Avengers is out now on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia and is coming soon to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. If you haven't already, be sure to check out our review.
Shack Staff posted a new article, 9 heroic features we'd like to see come to Marvel's Avengers
RE: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Quake is going to be a playable character it seems per some datamining
What a pig to come inside the avengers like that
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