Game Review: ‘Marvel’s Avengers’ Takes Aim With Kate Bishop

by Sage Ashford

Summary

A new update featuring Kate Bishop, aka Hawkeye, and not the most obvious choice for an update to an already underperforming game. But, a great edition nonetheless.

Overall
8/10
8/10

Marvel’s Avengers has been the not-so-surprising under-performer of the year. After a reveal at E3 last year that was panned by everyone for seemingly poorly mimicking the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s characters, it was no surprise the game commercially under-performed. And considering the game’s state when it launched, it’s not surprising the game critically under-performed, either.

But three months from release the game has received its first major update in content in the form of an Avengers Initiative Operation, known as ‘Taking Aim’. Taking Aim features the seventh member to join the roster, Kate Bishop, also known as ‘Hawkeye’.  A questionable choice considering the game’s need for more popular characters to expand the roster, Kate Bishop was clearly meant for a world where everything launched on time rather than being two months late, but let’s get into that later.

The ‘Taking Aim’ operation starts when the Avengers receive a mysterious call asking for help at an A.I.M. base. The Avengers find their way into the base, pushing past a ton of robots on the way, only to learn halfway through that the call is from Kate, one of the younger heroes that never got a chance to join the Avengers before A-Day.  Here, she’s had five years of experience working on her own, and she’s been battling AIM alongside Clint Barton, the original Hawkeye.   At least, until he disappeared.  The whereabouts of Clint and how the team recovers him is the focal point for “Taking Aim” once Kate is a member of the team.

So let’s get this out of the way–Taking Aim is a surprisingly meaty piece of additional content considering it doesn’t cost the player anything.  For players speed-running it it’ll come in under two hours, but for those looking to level Kate up and find as much loot as possible to get her gear score up, this will likely take somewhere over three.  Along the way, there’s two separate boss battles as Kate works with the team to track down Clint, one of which introducing an entirely new villain to the roster in the form of the Super-Adaptoid.  This is a far leap from the “Avengers Initiative” stuff, which is only lines of dialogue but with very few cutscenes, though it isn’t quite what the main campaign was as there aren’t any big set piece moments.

As for how Kate plays, she’s incredible, and often feels like too good of a character.  She’s much more than just a bow-and-arrow, and is equipped with both a katana and the ability to teleport as well. She’s easily able to stun enemies once people understand her combo abilities, and her ability to do multi-shot arrows makes her an effective person for crowd control and taking down mechs. After gaining a few levels to acquire a few skills, she never feels underpowered even though she’s still at a much lower gear score than the other heroes. If anything, the concern is they’ll eventually nerf her to convince players to play with other characters when they’re introduced later on.

There are some downsides to this new DLC, though. At a time when the game needs an endgame to give players a reason to play the game beyond finishing the story and DLC, Taking Aim doesn’t add that. For single-player gamers like myself this changes nothing, but for those expecting a reason to play after finishing Kate’s story, there’s nothing to keep them here. The A.I.M. Cloning Labs, a mini-raid promised months ago, isn’t available yet. And even the Super-Adaptoid is only playable in the story mode and isn’t part of the Villain Sectors run-through yet, which means the game still only has two actual Marvel super-villains.

Meanwhile for others, it will be more frustrating that there’s still no new environments, which circles back around to my earlier point: Everything about this screams something that was meant to come out in October.  Its main goal aside from the story and new character seems to be a new villain that should’ve been introduced around the time players would have been getting bored with Taskmaster and The Abomination.

Not having new environments is a concern that would have been smaller back in October compared to now, where people can’t bear to look at another laboratory. ‘Taking Aim’ was clearly meant to just give players a bit more content to enjoy while the team developed other major content in the background.  Even narratively that was obviously the goal, as the story ends feeling like an epilogue to the original story, opening things up to a wider Avengers universe that probably should’ve been included in the main game for a more meaty experience.

As it stands, it’s still a solid 8/10 for those aware it’s only a single-player experience.

%d bloggers like this: