09 Apr 2021 3:19 PM +00:00

Marvel's Avengers Doesn't Have A Hero Problem – It Has A Villain One

We're now a few months on from Marvel's Avengers' launch, and while it would be fair to say it didn't have players the world over picking it up in droves, there's clearly been some positive sentiment over the last month or so – or maybe it's just too big to fail.

Black Panther arrives later this year, and we've already got Clint Barton and Kate Bishop. The trouble, though, is that we need to take the fight to new enemies.

Read More: Is Marvel's Avengers Worth Playing In 2021?

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Marvel's Avengers Doesn't Have A Hero Problem – It Has A Villain One

When I first played the Marvel's Avengers beta before it was released, I'd attempted to do so as unspoiled as possible. That's why bumping into Abomination, and fighting him as the Hulk, felt like such a treat.

Here was a B-tier villain (that I quite liked), appearing out of nowhere (literally, he ambushes Banner and Kamala in an early mission) for a boss fight. Ok, so the fight itself was nothing special, really, but it was flashy and graphically impressive.

"Who else could make an appearance?" I thought to myself.

Well, as it happens, it's just Abomination, M.O.D.O.K. and Taskmaster, while Monica Rappaccini pulls the strings. Sure, I wasn't expecting Doctor Doom, Magneto, or Thanos, but it still felt like a missed opportunity.

No subtle hints at Loki's existence, no Crossbones, and, as you'd expect, no Spider-Man villains.

That's a real shame, but at least more baddies appear to be on the way. The Black Panther DLC will introduce Ulysses Klaue, and rumours suggest that Ultron could be on his way.

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I'm not expecting Thanos-levels of baddie to kick things off, by the way, but it's hard not to look at the game's dull enemy types and think they'd be even a tiny bit more exciting with, say, a new skin that shows they're allied with Baron Zemo, or something.

Adding new villains may actually be just as exciting as the new heroes supposedly still coming. Will Peter Parker's arrival introduce Norman Osborn, for example?

For now, the game's roadmap suggests we're going to keep fighting Monica Rappaccini for a while yet, albeit with the power of the Cosmic Cube. I wonder how much of Avengers' scope was limited by the pandemic, though – could we have had a larger roster of enemies in the main campaign?

Thankfully, there is precedent for games to improve over time, particularly when paired with a new villain. Destiny famously had no real focal point until its sequel introduced Ghaul, and since then we've gone toe-to-toe with Eramis and, most recently, Caiatl.

Come on Crystal Dynamics – give us the 'bad guys'.