While Spider-Man: Miles Morales is undoubtedly the big Marvel gaming property right now, Marvel's Avengers can be found at steep discounts.
A drastic drop in its player count since launch and the delay of both the game's DLC and next-gen upgrades may have players wondering if it's worth jumping into.
The truth is that actually, yes it is.
Marvel's Avengers Isn't Dead Yet
As we noted in our review at launch, Marvel's Avengers is split between wanting to offer a story-focused campaign and a live-service multiplayer suite that keeps players returning, and in the former of those aims it definitely succeeds.
Kamala Khan is likeable and effortlessly charming, a perfect lens to frame a new interpretation of 'Earth's Mightiest Heroes'.
She's earnest, vulnerable, and a relatable foil for players in a world of superheroes and robot armies. If you can find the game on sale, you may find the campaign alone is worth your investment.
Production values throughout feel sky high, and with fixes released to fix frequent framerate hitches, the game plays much better than it did in September.
Once you've finished the game's storyline, the 'Avengers Initiative' opens up and thrusts players into missions that can be played solo (with AI teammates) or with other players.
While the game undoubtedly loses steam when you're pushing through the same identikit AIM facilities, if you've got a group of friends then nothing comes close to shooting the breeze as a quartet of comic book icons.
"Play your way" is inarguably overused marketing speak at this point, but being able to play one mission as Iron Man, firing rockets and lasers, then switching to Thor the next to swing Mjolnir around before smashing everyone and everything as Hulk makes a refreshing change from other "games as a service" titles like Destiny where classes play very similarly to each other.
That roster is only going to grow, too, with Black Panther seemingly the worst-kept secret and Kate Bishop joining the roster today before Clint Barton joins in the coming weeks. Even taking away the disappointing Spider-Man exclusivity deal, imagine being able to play as the likes of Captain Marvel in the future.
While the game's PS5 and Xbox Series X (and S) upgrades have been pushed into 2021, Marvel's Avengers is frequently incredible to look at. Playing on PS5 (unoptimised), the game's lengthy loading times are massively reduced, while the framerate is much more regular. I'm excited to see what Crystal Dynamics can do with the game once the optimisations roll out.
All of this is to say that yes, Marvel's Avengers underperformed – but there's plenty to like. "Getting in on the ground floor" now could see the game grow into a comic-book fan's dream in the next few months.
There's also an argument to be made that a game carrying the Marvel name is almost too big to fail, and while Square Enix is looking to recoup its investment, the company has promised "ample additional content". Unlike something like Anthem, Avengers has characters that are recognisable the world over, and if Crystal Dynamics can add some fan-favourites to its roster, it could bounce back big time.
Surely it's worth jumping in just to see what that entails?