Marvel Avengers Alliance Review
Marvel Avengers Alliance
Playing DC Universe Online earlier this week got me to thinking: why isn’t there an equivalent game set in the Marvel Universe? We know there have been games started (City of Heroes started out as a Marvel game before the deal fell through and it became its own IP), but why has nothing ever been delivered upon? That’s when I came across Avengers Alliance. It’s a different sort of game, to say the least, but is it still a good way of spending time with your favourite heroes? I polished my adamantium claws, suited up and joined the battle to find out.
|Long Story Short: "It’s not on the level of DC Universe Online and the developers don’t want it to be, which is a shame. Still, for the MMORTS crowd, this is a browser game that might shake up your playtime a little."|
Marvel : Avengers Alliance Gameplay Video
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Excelsior! – Avengers Alliance contains more or less all of your favourite heroes and you’ll be able to play as most of them. This is less exciting as it sounds (see the neutrals section below), but in terms of the sheer amount of heroes reference and available, it’s an impressive feat. You’ll need to work hard to get some of your favourites, but fans of the comics and films will love how complete it feels.
Superhero Style – I really like the art style for Avengers Alliance. Although they’ve obviously taken influence from the recent films, the animation style and character portrayals are definitely something fans of the comics will appreciate. There are no moving screens or anything (just battle animations), but I think that adds to the comic book feel of the thing.
Active Time Battle – Say what you want about the random battles in the Final Fantasy series, at least they were never the focus of the game. In Avengers Alliance, your main goal is to fight enemies over and over again. You’ll do this by entering an active time battle over and over again and then you’ll use the same moves over and over again. Seeing a pattern? If you enjoy the style of gameplay, you’ll love each moment of it, but others will find it repetitive and dull.
Mystic Moves – As you come across new heroes, you’ll gain access to some of their iconic moves. Iron Man shoots lasers from his hands, Captain America hits with his hammer and… that’s it.
Spidey-tunes – Music plays constantly in Marvel Avengers Alliance, a kind of long-chorded “we are serious” song that repeats on a loop (over and over again – definitely a pattern). You can turn this off, along with the sound effects, by going into the options menu, but it seems like the developers could have just offered other music.
Outer Ops – To earn silver, you’ll need to send your Avengers out on missions. To do this at its most efficient, you’ll need access to a jet for which you’ll need gold (bought with real money) or friends (see below). Think Assassin’s Creed or Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker and you’ll have an idea at what you’re dealing with, only in this game it seems slightly more important. It’s just another thing to do and probably won’t affect your enjoyment of the game one way or another.
Rinse and Repeat – I don’t mind repeatedly doing the same thing, but then I found out that having any degree of longevity with this game means repeating the repeated things. Going back over old missions to increase your star rating for that mission will net rewards, but its whether you’re happy going over the same enemies, the same bosses and the same texts 10+ times. Personally, I’m not. If you look for an Avengers Alliance walkthrough, find it and you'll see how it's a repetition of the same missions...
Full screen? – What do you think of when you hear the phrase “full screen?” Do you think of a small box in the centre of large black lines? Of course not, but that’s what the developers feel full screen means. If you’re not sure what I’m getting at, check the video above. This would be less annoying if not for the fact that the picture quality seems reduced even when the screen is made only marginally bigger, so this is probably a feature that was half-heartedly done late in development.
FRIENDS! NEED FRIENDS! – This is another of those games in which you’ll be constantly reminded that your friends could be playing with you. Several parts of the game rely on having other people to play with, and the developer would like nothing better than for the people you play with to be people you know. This wouldn’t be so bad – it’s mostly ignorable in other games – but there are screens which don’t allow you to exit unless you share with friends. Don’t play on Facebook, you’ll just annoy people. And if there are too many people playing on Facebook, there will be threads on message boards, players looking for Avengers Alliance hacks.
Marvel Avengers Alliance Review - The Verdict
"Marvel: Avengers Alliance has been quickly thrown together to cash in on the popularity of the film and it shows. "
You can get stuck on screens where you HAVE to tell friends about the game and share your progress or else you have to refresh. This isn’t a rare occurrence, and there’s more than a few annoyances within the game. Still, that doesn’t make it a bad game and I can see there being a lot of entertainment value in here for the right person.
It’s not on the level of DC Universe Online and the developers don’t want it to be, which is a shame. Still, for the MMORTS crowd, this is a browser game that might shake up your playtime a little.