Thor and Hulk look much funnier than the others.
By Joshua Yehl
Square Enix showed Marvel's Avengers on his E3 2019 stage, but the footage offered only a glimpse of the actual gameplay. IGN attended an enhanced gameplay demo behind closed doors, where we took a closer look at Marvel's Avengers gameplay for 25 minutes.
The demo started in the same way as the E3 footage: with an attack on the Golden Gate Bridge during the A-Day Festival. Although we were not told whether this was the opening of the game, we can assume that this is the beginning or at least at an early stage. It felt a lot like a tutorial area, as there was a little time to control each hero. The gameplay automatically switched from one avenger to the next, depending on the events of the story. Here's a description of what it's like to play each avenger.
Thor gameplay in Marvel's Avenger
You take control of Thor first and land on the bridge to fend off the armed thugs. His fighting style is reminiscent of God of War's Kratos on PS4: Thor can beat enemies with Mjolnir, toss the hammer to knock down enemies, indulge in melee combat and then recall the hammer in the midst of the combination to keep him in pain and lightning bring.
A brief pause in action gives Thor time to rescue a civilian trapped under a bus, and as he lifts the vehicle, he says something with the effect, "Do not be afraid because I'm mighty."
At some point, some shielded enemies arrive and Thor triggers a massive wave massive shock move to knock them all down. The cherry at the top comes as Thor, just like in Ragnarok, recharges and devastates the enemies while a bolt of lightning shot through his body and hit the sky.
Thor looks like a real powerhouse with a variety of abilities that Mjolnir and his tremendous power use satisfactorily.
(It's worth noting that it was not shown if this version of Thor can fly or not.)
Iron Man gameplay in Marvel's Avenger
Iron Man, on the other hand, can fly. At least somehow.
The gameplay has been switched to Iron Man and you will be instantly hit the rails as you chase some jet-packed enemies through the air. Not the most exciting way to gain control of the soaring Avenger.
Iron Man then lands to engage in melee combat on the ground, throwing punches and kicks. It blasts seamlessly into the air, hovering as it fires off a shooter who set up a business on a bus. Then he stays in flight to scour the remaining enemies. His big show-off move releases a massive unibeam from his chest.
While all the bells and whistles and lasers and rockets were there, the gameplay of Iron Man seemed the most limited.
Hulk gameplay in Marvel's Avenger
At this point, massive sound cannons from enemy trucks appear and shoot Iron Man from the sky. To cope with the heavy firepower, Bruce Banner jumps out of a jet and lands as a hulk. In Hulk's gameplay, it was less about combos than about roughly knocking off enemies, as if they were nothing more than action figures. He can even pick up enemies and use them as melee weapons or simply throw them away like a projectile.
The movement of Hulk is all about momentum. As the bridge begins to collapse, Hulk has to jump from one spontaneous platform to the next. Occasionally he runs through the wall to get faster and continue to blow himself up. The highlight is the landing on a group of enemies with a loud bang. Hulk's department had the purest sense of fun and was the most surprising as he turned the jade giant into a fat green prince of Persia.
Watch the trailer for Marvel's Avengers from E3 2019 below:
Captain America gameplay in Marvel's Avenger
The attitude then changes to the helicopter, where Captain America is attacked by other thugs. His fight is a bit similar to the system of the Batman Arkham games and Marvel's Spider-Man on PS4, with many quick, brutal attacks that drive him from enemy to enemy across the room. Of course a lot of shield was thrown, but it was unclear how much control you have over where it's going and how it moves when it leaves Cap's hand.
Another group of shielded enemies appear as before, but Cap does a quick job with them. This was a crucial moment to illustrate how different heroes would approach dealing with more advanced enemy types – should not they give Cap a harder time, as he can not just blow them away? – but it seemed they were no bigger challenge for Cap than for Thor.
Black Widow gameplay in Marvel's Avengers
In the last part of the demo, the controller changes to Black Widow, as she faces the level boss Taskmaster. It begins with Widow jumping on Taskmaster and being taken on a wild ride as the bridge begins to explode, and as chaos appears, the other avengers appear in time to catch a falling bus full of people and otherwise avert the catastrophe. During a quick event, Black Widow beats the Taskmaster and evades his attacks.
This was the "Battle of New York" moment where most Avengers are shown in action in a shot, which really shows that in this game you have the experience of essentially playing through an Avengers movie. Instead of this action-packed sequence, which is organically derived from the gameplay, you are better equipped for driving with strong scripting and occasionally pressing a button.
After coming to a crash landing, Black Widow has to dodge the Taskmaster by avoiding his attacks and responding with martial arts moves, electrified truncheons, and a set of double pistols. She can also do her signature movement, putting her legs around his neck and knocking him down, of course. The Taskmaster can copy and counter any movement he sees, so that Black Widow uses a stealth device to become invisible, so that it can sneak up and shut it down forever-not copy what you can not see !
After seeing someone as the most powerful avenger with an arsenal of crazy incredible abilities, it felt a bit anticlimactic to be able to cope with a hero who is just a normal human being – even with such a cool figure as Black Widow their choice of devices.
General thoughts on Marvel's Avengers gameplay
Although we have not yet been able to play ourselves, Marvel's avengers definitely work when it comes to living the fantasy of fighting evil as the most famous avengers. They can do the coolest moves and witness as they perform in a stunning cinematic way.
While the graphics were flawless during the fight, the short cutscenes did not seem so polished – Thor's hair looks particularly odd when they blow in the wind – and the team jokes were not particularly funny or memorable. In particular, Thor stands out like a sore thumb because he speaks a lot in the original Chris Hemsworth cadence before the character of Ragnarok was excitingly and hilariously reinvented. Although this is obviously a demo of a game still in progress that will not be released for nearly a year, there's still plenty of theoretical time left to improve on some of these things.
While Thor, Hulk and Iron Man were so different that they felt almost like characters from different games, Cap and Widow understandably felt a bit similar as they talk about melee combat with no obvious super powers. Still, it was an eventful time to see the Avengers responding to a rogue attack and do what they do best.
There was no insight into what kind of game this will be beyond the demo. Therefore, we must wait until there are details of progress, adaptation and other elements. As for this demo, the initial gameplay looks solid despite some obvious flaws.
Learn more about the game as the developers of the Avengers game gave hope to Hawkeye fans and what they had to say about a possible crossover between Avengers and Spider-Man games.
Joshua is Senior Features Editor at IGN. If your vocabulary often includes Pokémon, Green Lantern, or Game of Thrones, you want to follow him Twitter @JoshuaYehl and IGN.