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I Can’t Believe Marvel’s Avengers Is Pinning Its Hopes On A Guy Called Clint

Marvel’s Avengers is the latest in a series of failed video games designed by robots made of spreadsheets. While the core story is enjoyable enough, it’s a game built around a grind. It wants to keep you playing so there’s more chance you’ll take the dip and spend real money on cosmetics. It respects your bank account, but it doesn’t respect your time.

Playing as your favourite band of heroes, you travel the world uppercutting robots until you get bored, and then you’re meant to go back after you’re bored and uppercut robots again – only this time, the robots have bigger health bars. Why do you punch robots? For +1 of some statistic, pushing your power level ever so slightly higher so you can, you guessed it, punch even sturdier robots.

The loot you earn is uninspired, too. Rather than messing with the iconic look of Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, and the other playable heroes, loot in Marvel’s Avengers is invisible and only exists to turn the stat sheet green. You upgrade Hulk’s spine and veins, for god’s sake. His spine and his veins! You can unlock outfit changes that are purely cosmetic – which can also be bought for money – but the majority of the grind is tied to making numbers go up. And because the challenge of the levels increases in tandem with the numbers, it’s basically imperceptible.

Combat in Marvel’s Avengers feels heavy and satisfying, and even Iron Man and Thor are a joy to fly about, but there’s nothing there to keep you going once the credits roll on the serviceable story. Even Kamala Khan can’t save it, despite being one of the more interesting video game protagonists in recent years.

The game sold 60% of its projected units, and it looks like it’s unlikely to make its development costs back unless those microtransactions are doing the business behind the scenes. It has 500,000 owners on Steam and at the time of writing, fewer than 300 people are playing it.

So, how do Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix hope to turn it around? The first major update since launch is coming, and it’s focused on a guy called Clint. You know, Hawkeye – the superhero who doesn’t have a superpower, but he’s really good at firing arrows.

If you’ve played Marvel’s Avengers, I’m sure you’ll agree that combat is at its best when you’re backflipping off someone’s face, and not firing half-arsed repulsor blasts from Tony Stark’s hand lasers. Hawkeye is a hero built around ranged abilities, which is an immediate red flag. Plus, who even brings a bow and arrow to a robot fight (other than Horizon Zero Dawn’s Aloy) anyway?

Hawkeye is basically what you get when you order a Green Arrow toy from Wish, and Green Arrow is pants as well. You might as well make Robin Hood a superhero. Or how about the Avengers recruit a professional darts player? At least they’d skull a few pints and have a bit of a laugh. Being a good circus act doesn’t make you a hero. It makes you a clown.

Marvel’s Avengers released in August 2020 and the developer announced that Spider-Man would be coming to the game in a post-launch update. Almost eight months on and there’s not a whiff of web-slinging, spider-sense, or wall-crawling – just Clint and his excellent eyesight. Oh, I guess we also got Kate Bishop, who’s basically a female Hawkeye. Good? Good.

Even Avengers: Endgame knew Hawkeye was shit – that’s why they rebranded him as a hood-wearing edgelord. And guess what? He was still shit. Rather than sorting out America’s problems, he decided to travel the world murdering POC. Nice one, Clint. Really cool of you, the ex-special forces guy with tattoos.

What I’m saying is nobody likes Hawkeye. If you’re reading this and going, “I like Hawkeye” congratulations, you’re wrong. You don’t like him. Nobody does. Not even Hawkeye likes Hawkeye. He doesn’t save anyone because he can’t. He’s useless, and I can’t see him saving the game either.

Next: Marvel’s Avengers Update Will Add Campaign Replay And Customizable HARM Rooms

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Kirk is the Editor-in-Chief at TheGamer. He likes Arkane games a little too much.

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