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Marvel's Avengers Campaign PlayStation 4 Game Review

Reassemble Earth's mightiest heroes.

Reviewed by on Sep 14, 2020
Rating: 2 Star Rating

When Earths Mightiest Heroes are broken up, it is up to Kamala Khan to bring the team together against a new threat. Check out Kidzworld to see what we thought of Marvels Avengers!

Marvel's Avengers Launch Trailer



Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics had a tall order to fill back when Marvel’s Avengers was announced in 2017. There was a short, cinematic trailer that showcased an ominous reveal of each of the Avengers’ signature weapons and powers, but it wasn’t until a couple of years later that we saw the game in action. By this point, Marvel’s Spider-Man had come out, and it was fantastic. How Insomniac Games was able to convert the Webhead into his greatest game yet, made the idea of a full team of superheroes sound awesome. But, one hero is a lot easier to make than a whole team of them. The A-Day trailer for Avengers had a ton of spectacle as the Golden Gate Bridge was attacked by Task Master, but something seemed off from the start. The characters, even though they donned their iconic costumes, just seemed a little off. We had grown so used to the characters in the movies, that it was tough to not see that beloved cast on the screen. Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order was able to dodge this problem with its cartoony graphics and style, but Avengers wanted to be something more. A game that would grip players in a globe-trotting story from the start that would also be expanded on for years to come with new heroes and storylines. That idea is an even bigger challenge, but if they got it right it could be a Marvel fan’s dream game. How did they do now that the game is here?

Everything changes when A.I.M. enters the world stage.Everything changes when A.I.M. enters the world stage.

A Team and Game Divided

Marvel’s Avengers largely takes place 5 years after A-Day, a catastrophic event where The Avengers end up failing the planet, leading to hundreds of people getting sick, and end up losing the trust of the world. In the aftermath, AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) led by MODOK schemes to replace the need for superheroes with robots and controlled superhumans. It is a good setup and feels like a unique Marvel story. Even though the game was shown off to be a single and multiplayer game hybrid, there is a clearly labeled campaign to experience when you start the game. You can play some of these missions with your friends, but the experience can be played through entirely alone. The campaign sees you playing as a bunch of heroes from Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, the Mighty Thor, Captain America, and Ms. Marvel. Each character controls similarly, but the abilities that they have in combat are all very different. They each have some sort of ranged attack, like Iron Man’s repulsors, Black Widow’s handguns, and Cap’s shield, but my favorites involved Hulk ripping chunks of rock or metal out of the ground below him, and Kamala just rocketing a giant fist wherever you target.

The combat systems by themselves are great, but unfortunately, the situations that the heroes are placed in don’t make the most of what is fun about each character. I was surprised to see that the least “super” heroes are some of the most fun to play. Captain America and Black Widow’s more grounded style of fighting, combining melee with their ranged attacks led to some really fun combat encounters and felt right at home in the inside locations that the story takes you. However, flying characters like Iron Man and Thor only really shined in the wide-open areas of the campaign.

There was a section early on where you are tasked with defending a small area as Iron Man. The problem with Iron Man is that he is known to fly around, shooting rockets and repulsors and ends up covering a lot of ground pretty quickly. In one level Tony was tasked  with defending a tiny circular area, with the game spamming robotic enemies at you, it just was not fun. Hulk, who has had some great video game outings in the past like Hulk Ultimate Destruction, just didn't feel satisfying in this game. The linear levels were too small to let Hulk leap and thrash at his full strength, and the large areas force Hulk to be at a similar speed to his teammates. The strongest Avenger just can’t be let loose in a team-based game I guess.

Before each mission, the team is briefed aboard the Quinjet.Before each mission, the team is briefed aboard the Quinjet.

Single or Multiplayer

There are so many moments throughout the game that give off the feeling that the really good superhero gameplay that Crystal Dynamics made was placed into the wrong type of game. Had Marvel’s Avengers been a linear, single-player experience that could focus on being the best game possible at every moment, I think each character could have gotten the spotlight they deserved. You do play as each Avenger in single player missions, but their strengths are often wasted in levels that don’t show off their powers in the best way possible.

The game takes a solid foundation of fun combat and the spectacle of playing as all these beloved characters and has the player enter uninteresting levels with very similar feeling enemies to battle over and over again. Because of this, there are too many stretches where the game just feels, boring. It isn't just a button masher, there is actually a ton of depth to the combat at times! But most of the encounters you play through don't make the hack-and-slash/beat-em-up as fun as they could be. Even the boss fights don't really shine beyond large health-bar villians that require you to punch a bunch and hit some specific buttons when the game tells you to. 

Abomination is one of the few villains you take on in the campaign.Abomination is one of the few villains you take on in the campaign.

Marvel's Destiny

Instead of being that tight, single-player experience, Avengers wants to be Destiny even in the campaign. Factions that you can level up, various pieces of gear to unlock, and even battle passes for each character (that you can spend real money on) give the impression that you aren’t playing a passion project, but instead a game that is trying to chase what so many other games out there are doing even if it doesn’t always make sense to do so. What feels like a dozen different currencies litter your inventory screen that you are expected to keep track of between the different factions and vendors.

As you progress, you loot gear in missions that you can use to upgrade your heroes, as well as leveling up to select new skills. Because the gear you earn are seperate from the cosmetic costumes you equip your heroes with for looks, the items feel like little more than slight number boosts that you end up auto-equipping whenever you get them. The post-game multiplayer missions see you needing to pay more attention to character builds, where you equip specific gear to counter different enemy types, but as far as the campaign is concerned it feels unnecessary. I actually like keeping looks and stats seperate in most games, but a better system would be a seperate stat and cosmetic inventory system like in DC Universe Online.

In that game, when you unlock a new piece of gear you can equip it to increase your stats. And, you now have access to the look of that specific piece that you can apply to any piece of gear you unlock after that. This means you still get satisfaction from unlocking loot, but also get to choose how you look. I do not know why more games don't use this system. The kind of missions that make a good loot game are rarely the types that make a consistently fun single-player story as well. When when the pace of the game is fast and you are enjoying the banter between the heroes, you are constantly reminded of the RPG side of the game that is working against the game’s best moments.

Thor is not just the God of Hammers in this game.Thor is not just the God of Hammers in this game.

Kamala Khan: Ms. Marvel is the Star

The game is named after The Avengers, but the main character in the story is Kamala Khan. Kamala gives us a relatable way to view the story and the larger than life characters. She is a huge fan of the Avengers and loves just being around it all. It is hard not to love her as a character, and it helps that she is also one of the most fun to play as. After a story event that leads to many people getting powers, she has the power of, Biggening. She can stretch and grow her body at will, which gives her the ability to smash enemies with giant fists and traverse areas by grappling and swinging with her stretchy arms. Her sections unexpectedly felt a lot like Crystal Dynamics’ last series of games, Tomb Raider, where Kamala filled in the role of a super-powered Lara Croft.

There were exploration segments, light stealth as you sneak around AIM robots, and some fun platforming areas where her stretchy arms fill in for Lara’s ice pick. She keeps the story moving forward, and her interactions with the main cast were almost always charming. I ended up liking the majority of the cast, but Bruce Banner played by Troy Baker was a standout. He has a sense of guilt to his voice since he feels directly responsible for the events that set the story into motion, and you get some glimpses of a better time as he interacts with old friends that he hadn’t seen. Bruce gradually coming around on Kamala being part of the team is great, and as always seeing the quiet Banner just makes it more satisfying when the Hulk comes out.

The only character that couldn't totally win me over is Tony Stark. From his design to his voice I just never felt that I was watching or playing as the real Tony Stark. It is probably because we have spent years watching Robert Downey Jr. Play the character in the Cinematic Universe, but also because he is voiced by Nolan North who also has voiced Merc with a Mouth Deadpool in the past. It just never felt right, even though Iron Man has some of the coolest unlockable costumes in the game. If you find you like a particular character, you can play through a unique questline to get their "iconic" costume. These are optional, but offer a great way to progress and spend time with the heroes you enjoy most. 

Kamala's Biggening powers are a lot of fun to use.Kamala's Biggening powers are a lot of fun to use.

Missing the Mark

Even if the entire experience meshed well, unfortunately, the game feels incredibly unfinished right now. I have full faith that one day, Marvel’s Avengers is going to be a solid game. Right now, the game has a lot of room for improvement. As a high-paced action game, you want smooth performance to be able to make the most out of the gameplay. Often in the middle of the game’s most intense moments, the experience slows to a crawl, even on the PlayStation 4 Pro. It makes playing not nearly as fun as it could be. I also saw a ton of visual glitches that took me out of it. Every game is going to have glitches, but between the poor performance and the huge amount of these, it just felt tough to stay invested in the world. Animations outside of combat, especially when the game forces you to walk slowly through story sections, feel stiff and unnatural. These are things that could be fixed over time. Like Destiny before it, I expect Avengers to hopefully drastically improve as updates and fixes release over the coming months and years. As of right now though, it is really hard to recommend Marvel’s Avengers in its current state. I could see this game benefiting bigtime from the next generation of consoles too.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Kamala and Bruce Banner. I really enjoyed the relationship between Kamala and Bruce Banner.

Final Thoughts

Marvel’s Avengers was a bold idea from the start. The concept of making so many different superheroes fun to play, in a story that is compelling from the beginning but has room to be expanded upon for years would be amazing if it came out in great shape. Unfortunately, the game is held back from the design being split between a fun single-player experience and a meaty multiplayer RPG. I feel like one or the other would be much better, but instead, we have a game that doesn’t exactly know what it wants to be. Even though characters like Ms. Marvel make the story engaging, the gameplay suffers from uninteresting design, bad performance when it matters most, and a ton of glitches. One day I hope Avengers turns into a great game, and I think it can! More heroes, storylines, and performance fixes would go such a long way for this one. I am very interested in seeing how the game will look a year from now, and even though I had a hard time enjoying it now, I am optimistic about the game’s future especially in the next generation.

Iron Man starts with a basic suit before donning his iconic red and gold armor.Iron Man starts with a basic suit before donning his iconic red and gold armor.


  • Care for the Marvel Universe
  • Kamala Khan AKA Ms. Marvel
  • Distinct combat styles


  • Poor performance
  • Inconsistent design
  • Often boring to play

Marvel's Avengers Game Rating: 2

Avengers' Box ArtAvengers' Box Art

Available Now for PS4, Xbox One and PC

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