Marvel's Avengers Beta Impressions - Get Ready to Feel Like an Avenger

Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics' Marvel's Avengers is right around the corner, and soon PlayStation 4 players will be able to dive into the Beta and give the game a try for themselves. ComicBook.com was lucky enough to put the Beta through its paces a little early, and we're breaking down what you're going to see once you boot it up, what characters stood out the most, and what we came away with after our time with the game. If I had to sum up my personal feelings once the Beta was over, all I could seem to think about was getting more time with it, and that's a wonderful sign for Marvel's Avengers.

First up players will tackle the Golden Gate Bridge demo that opens up the game, giving you a brief introduction to the cast of heroes and how they play as you make your way across the frantic action set piece. This part of the demo has been seen quite a bit and is probably the most unexciting aspect of the beta. That said, I still enjoyed it, and it gives you a chance to play around a bit with Thor and Captain America, who aren't featured in the rest of the beta.

Thankfully that section is also a small chunk of the beta, and you'll be onto the next mission in no time. That's where you'll start to see Crystal Dynamics' knack for characters and dialogue really shine, as Kamala Khan and Bruce Banner will team-up for a longer sequence that sees them breaking into an old Stark facility now controlled by A.I.M. You'll get a feel for both characters during this sequence, especially Hulk, and it's hard not to have an absolute ball playing as the green powerhouse. His attacks feel weighty and powerful, but his ranged attacks (picking up debris and slinging it across the map) are actually rather accurate, so you don't ever feel like a sitting duck, especially since you can clear the field with a thunderclap.

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(Photo: Square Enix)

That said, there is one issue here, as breaking shielded enemies down requires you to dish out a charged up power attack, and this animation, especially for Hulk, takes long enough that you'll end up being interrupted by attacks quite a bit, which can be frustrating.

That minor gripe aside, this section is fantastic, especially when Kamala starts geeking out over Stark's collection of Avengers items. There's such a hopeful charm to Kamala that it's hard not to smile and nerd out right along with her, and you can see how she would bring down some of those walls and barriers the other Avengers have lifted up over the years. Throw in a fun fight with Abomination and you've got yourself quite a combo.

We also see a frozen tundra level starring these two that is also fun, and this one features a hectic battle for one of Nick Fury's secret S.H.I.E.L.D bunkers. In fact, you should keep an eye out during this level, as there's actually a secret area that opens up a whole other section of the level, giving players more reasons to explore the area and from just gunning for the main objective.

After that, you'll be able to unlock Black Widow and Iron Man, and after a H.A.R.M. mission or two, you'll be able to head into Warzones and Dropzones. This is also where you can start playing with friends, and this ended up being one of the most enjoyable parts of the experience for me. During my time with the beta I was able to experience Villain Sectors, a longer multiplayer mission, Warzones, and Dropzones, which all vary in both rewards and time they take to complete. Villain Sectors and multiplayer missions take a bit longer, while Warzones and especially Dropzones can be rather quick. It was actually quite nice to jump into a mission and complete it in about 10 to 15 minutes, though the longer experiences managed to vary things up enough to hold my attention as well.

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(Photo: Square Enix)

This is really where the game shines. Having your hero decked out with some choice gear and your superhero look of choice makes them feel like they are truly yours (I personally had the Blood Moon Black Widow decked out for these missions), and while I didn't love all the costumes available, there will definitely be more to choose from later. Once you got into combat though you quickly get lost in helping your team with Support Heroics (Widow's is making everyone cloaked), reviving teammates, and tag-teaming enemies with your own combos. Trust me, hitting an enemy with a Widow's Bite followed by said enemy getting knocked away by a Hulk charge is as satisfying as it sounds.

Things pick up once you get a handle on your Heroics and add a few skills to your skill tree, especially in Widow's case. You can choose from several different options for her weapons, switching between them on the fly, and each one of them has their uses, though I really favored the charged high impact pistol once I added that to my repertoire (can take out a sentry turret in one hit!).

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There was a lot to love about Marvel's Avengers, and while there are a few issues that need to be solved (some framerate dips when things get super hectic, better costumes, etc), the overall experience I left with was that I just wanted to play more. I was already looking forward to Marvel's Avengers, but the beta made me a believer, and I cannot wait to see what the full game has in store.

If you want to talk all things Marvel's Avengers feel free to hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!