With the latest Marvel's Avengers update, developers may have finally delivered on the epic superhero action this game has promised from the outset. This time, it just may be enough to save the game.
The Hawkeye Future Imperfect update not only brings Marvel’s most famous archer to the game but adds a brand new area called The Wasteland and some long-requested features like campaign replay to Marvel’s Avengers.
Combined, all of these tweaks make the game more enjoyable than ever before. As it stands, Marvel’s Avengers seems to be making a comeback. If it had launched in such a state to begin with, it may have been a bonafide hit.
If you’ve put off trying Marvel’s Avengers due to its lousy reputation, now is the best time ever to dive right in.
Future Imperfect directly follows up Taking AIM, with Hawkeye in a coma after traveling into the future to help Nick Fury stop a Kree invasion. We initially follow an older Clint Barton based on the Old Man Hawkeye comics as he explores a sepia-toned apocalypse that oddly resembles the Knightmare world in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Hawkeye is trying to make up for the fact that he didn’t fight in the ill-fated battle against the Kree by finding Nick Fury and making things right. Eventually, the current-day Hawkeye and Avengers crew discover a way to travel into the future so they can help Old Clint navigate the Wasteland.
Future Imperfect is filled with references to iconic Hawkeye comic book runs like My Life as a Weapon. The game also captures the snarky but loving friendship between Clint and Kate Bishop really well. Even with all of its gameplay structure problems, Marvel’s Avengers adeptly understands these characters.
From a gameplay standpoint, Future Imperfect brings that brand new apocalyptic wasteland as a new biome. It’s the biggest one in the game, and that makes missions there feel significantly less repetitive compared to previous adventures. Despite the fact that they’re both archers, Hawkeye also feels different from Kate thanks to an emphasis on different arrows and no teleport ability.
An ultimate ability similar to Yondu’s Yaka Arrow in Guardians of the Galaxy is particularly satisfying. Hawkeye levels up pretty quickly too, so the scare around the level-up XP increase appears to have been overblown.
The biggest downside to this update is that Hawkeye’s costumes and challenge card aren’t very interesting. His coolest costumes, like Old Man Hawkeye, are locked behind the in-game store. The Future Imperfect campaign itself is also relatively short at two hours, which is even shorter than Kate’s Taking AIM campaign.
The length shouldn’t be an issue for those hopping into the game for the first time or replaying the campaign. We are now clearly reaching the end of the first act in Marvel’s Avengers’ post-launch story. The stakes for the Kree Invasion are set, so the climax of this arc should come very soon.
Back to the Future
Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have scrambled to fix Marvel’s Avengers after a rocky launch. Updates that added more diversity to the game’s levels and new heroes like Kate Bishop and Hawkeye were significantly delayed, seemingly due to ongoing bug fixes. The lack of updates or a roadmap seriously hurt its legs as a live service game.
Crystal Dynamics has finally caught up to what was promised before launch with Future Imperfect and can get back to working on the game’s future. Updates in the coming months will add features the game sorely needs, like the ability for multiple players to use the same hero, MCU tie-in events, and a new Villian sector.
All of this will be capped off by the War for Wakanda update, likely in the fall, that introduces Black Panther and finally adds a new enemy faction to the game. While the War for Wakanda story seems like it may be a bit of a sidestep, a clear end goal for the game’s narrative and roadmap to finally get us there are in sight.
Being excited about Marvel’s Avengers finally feels justified, which is something that even the game’s biggest fans couldn’t honestly admit just two weeks ago. Hopefully, Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics can deliver on their promises moving forward to make Marvel’s Avengers live up to its potential.
Marvel’s Avengers is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and Stadia.