It's one of the video game blockbusters this fall. Rumored for years, unveiled in June 2019, a few weeks after the mastodon was released in theaters Avengers: Endgame, the video game Marvel's Avengers (released Friday, September 4 on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) had all the cardboard assured. However, if we do not prejudge its commercial success, the game from Japanese publisher Square Enix arouses very moderate enthusiasm after its release.
The action of the game begins as the character Ms. Marvel, who is only discovering the extent of her superpowers, takes it upon herself to reform the Avengers. A few years earlier, the kid, still called Kamala Kahn, had indeed witnessed the explosion of the superhero squad.
It took place the day Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk and Thor, too busy presenting their new flying headquarters to an assembly of raving fans, failed to prevent the terrorist attack that transformed the inhabitants of San Francisco as mutants with unpredictable powers.
Marvel's Avengers offers to control these six superheroes gradually reunited, in an action game curiously divided into two parts. The first, available to the press since August 31, is a ten- or twelve-hour scripted campaign, which focuses on the quest for Ms. Marvel.
The second, available in its final version since September 4 (but which the specialized press has had the opportunity to try out during phases “Beta” ad hoc), offers additional “multiplayer” oriented content. It will be gradually enriched with new costumes or gadgets, and new superheroes sold separately – in addition to the 60 euros that the game costs.
This breakdown partly explains why few media have yet published a full test. Some, like French Gamekult, preferring to publish his opinion only after playing ” a weekend in real conditions “, while others, like most of the American media, have preferred to publish a temporary test of the first part of the game, updated regularly as they learn about multiplayer.
“Lost on the way”
In lapidary first impressions, a journalist from the specialized site Destructoid, talk about a story “Sloppy” who gets caught “Too seriously”, but multiplayer missions that transformed “His grimace with a smile”. Conversely, on Polygon, her colleague is pleased that the scripted campaign represents “Much more of the game than [qu’elle aurait] thought “.
The specialized site IGN, in review in progress (a “test in progress”), explains Friday September 4 that the solo part is “Almost always fun”, and that the heroine is for him “Charming and funny, a sympathetic protagonist who also serves as the perfect vehicle to enter the world of the Avengers”. But he regrets that the missions to be played alone, which he compares to that of a tomb Raider or a Uncharted, are parasitized by rhythm-breaking multiplayer missions, and appear to be there to fill up.
Gamespot, in early review (an “early test”) performed after twenty-five hours, extolling the merits of a game “Fun without being perfect” and “Full of good ideas”. According to the tester, the game's main campaign reserves “Many passages which seem to be taken from cut scenes” movies. The journalist regrets, however, that the missions are all alike – apart from most of those related to the main storyline.
In France, specialized sites Jeuxvideo.com and Gameblog have given a final opinion. Yes Gameblog gives the score of 15/20 and describes a title “Solid” But “Repetitive”, Jeuxvideo.com decrees a more severe 13/20, and speaks of a game which “A little lost on the way”, whose scenario “Hardly to convince” and a main campaign which, after the introduction ” very well done “, “Struggles to retain attention as everything suffers from this construction”.
This lukewarm reception is rather unusual for games of this caliber. Especially since the reception of the players is, for the moment, not more enthusiastic: on the site of aggregation of Metacritic scores, 821 people presenting themselves as players gave it a very average score of 5.9 / 10.
However, it will not surprise observers, as the design of the game had multiplied the contradictory signals. From the style of the game to the heroes we embody, Square Enix's communication has not always shone in its clarity. The love rating of Marvel's Avengers has also suffered from its economic model: that of a game sold at a high price, and which will be gradually enriched for years with paid updates. If some of these “service games” have been very well received (we think of destiny of Bungie) others have broken their teeth, like the Anthem from Electronic Arts.
In fact, just as it was unveiled, with great fanfare, at the 2019 Los Angeles E2 Video Game Show, the public's disenchantment with Marvel's Avengers seemed to be confirmed: it was on this occasion that Square Enix revealed that the characters in the game would not look like the actors in the film, giving it, despite all its efforts, an air of “Series B”.
Marvel's Avengers has, moreover, experienced a laborious genesis, mobilizing, in addition to those of Square Enix, the strengths of four distinct development studios: those of Crystal Dynamics (including the last game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, dates back to 2015) and its new branch Crystal Northwest, but also Eidos Montreal (which has put the development of its series on hiatus Deus Ex) and Dutch Nixxes Software.
Even so, the game from Square Enix took the top spot on the Steam online store on September 4. He is followed by over 55,000 viewers on the Twitch video streaming platform: that's more than Minecraft or the basketball game NBA 2K21… but less than the many popular competitive shooting games or even that GTA V, yet seven years old.