Avengers Disassembled ⚡️

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To the shock of no one, Crystal Dynamics has announced that future support for Marvel's Avengers will be coming to an end. No new content, no new story missions to wrap up the narrative, and no more heroes.

Thanos would be proud.
The writing had been on the wall for the game for months. Communication from the developers, already sparse, dried up entirely, patches started breaking more things than they fixed and the content that was released got increasingly shoddy (animated story cinematics became static narrated comic images, promised campaigns became very minimal "heroic events" etc). Now it seems whatever steam was left in the tank has gone and the next, and final, an update will come on March 31st with all support ceasing in September 2023.

With the announcement CD have confirmed that credits purchased in the store will be converted into in-game currency and surprisingly, come March, the ludicrously priced cosmetics and skins will be free. So if you spent £75 on the MCU bundle that they released THIS WEEK(!?) then I guess it sucks to be you.

Marvel's Avengers has been in an absolute state since launch. Following a successful beta it arrived with countless bugs, some of which remain to this day, promised content was constantly pushed back and the content that did make it was increasingly lacklustre with only the War for Wakanda campaign truly shining. It's that lack of substantial and consistent content that really sank the game and showed it for what it was; a decent single-player game with an ill-conceived, poorly-designed multiplayer looter awkwardly crowbarred in.

Even to seasoned fans of looter live service games, Avengers was a confusing mess. It was since refined but when it launched the game had eight different currencies, I'll be damned if I ever knew what they were for. Gear was obtained through playing but provided no aesthetic change to your characters so customising your look a la Destiny was a non-starter. Instead, it was just about making the numbers go up in the hopes it would make a tangible difference to the game.

Unreliable matchmaking and no support for cross-platform play meant actually finding a team became difficult and virtually impossible on PC where players quickly started abandoning it. Minimum Power Levels for the Endgame content meant more casual players were locked out because they didn't have the time or patience to grind out the same repetitive missions to level up even their favourite character. There are only so many identical laboratories full of identical robots you can smash up before it's time to throw in the towel.

This served to create a huge gulf between casual players and the dwindling hardcore. The Super Adaptoid in the first "Omega Level Threat" event, for example, was ludicrously difficult even for someone like myself who had put dozen of hours into the game creating decent builds but could be handily one-shotted by a player who had treated the grind like a job for the past two years.

On the flip side, playing solo was a miserable experience because of the abysmal AI. In one memorable moment, I was playing Hawkeye solo and made my way up to a platform in a tree to pick off targets. After sniping a few robots I realised the AI Hulk and AI Captain America had joined me in the tree. They simply stood next to me like they were waiting for a bus... in a tree. When you're wondering if Ashley from Resident Evil 4 would be a more useful companion you know there's a problem.

Then there are the skins

Much fanfare was made about Avengers not being "Pay to win" and that all future content would be free, with only cosmetics costing real-world money. All lovely in theory but the price tag on the skins was borderline insane. A Legendary skin (ie something from the movies) would cost you a whopping £14. Look I think Chris Evans looked boss in Endgame but I also have a mortgage to pay.

It's a pricing model I will never understand. If it was £5 and just three people thought that was reasonable then they have made more than the current price tag.

It just came across as pretty grubby, culminating in the recent, absolutely ludicrous, Winter Soldier debacle. From launch, players had been asking for some sort of helmet/mask toggle for the skins. Not really asking the earth when you've put down fourteen notes, but to no avail. When The Winter Soldier MCU skin was released two nearly identical models were released one with the face mask, and one without. Both were £14. If you wanted the option of a black cloth over his mouth you were shelling out £28.

And yet, there was still so much potential. The single-player really was very enjoyable, featuring decent production values, pretty great writing and a cast of the who's who of A-List voice actors. The character kits themselves were fantastic, particularly once you really levelled them up. Thor really felt like a force of nature, Black Widow was fast and agile, Captain America had an incredibly satisfying brawler build and at the highest level, the Hulk could clear a room with a thunderclap.

And when matchmaking worked, and all players were using the characters correctly you could see what the game was meant to be. Thor immediately takes to the sky to clear a fleet of drones, Captain America and Black Panther sprint directly into the fray and The Hulk charges straight at a tank. They were few and far between but there were enough moments to suggest that this could have been something special. Dataminers found plenty of evidence to suggest characters like Dr Strange, Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk and Captain Marvel were lined up, but for months no one believed these would see the light of day.

It was clear almost immediately that we had another Anthem on our hands with Avengers but it doesn't make the news any less disappointing. Earth's Mightiest Heroes deserved better.

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