Marvel’s Avengers Succeeds Where Ultimate Alliance 3 Failed

The road to the release of Square Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers was not only a long one but also a tremendously rocky one. The first official announcement regarding the game was made at E3 2019, but its release didn’t come for well over a year after that. The E3 reveal trailer was not received well, leading to a retooling of character designs. The next controversy was that the game was live service, not the kind of experience fans were expecting. The final result saw a strong story with likable characters, but is still tanking in the sales department.

Avengers Unassembled

Now that the game is on the market, Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have bigger problems. Avengers doesn’t appear to be able to keep the attention of its player base. Apparently, its player count on Steam has dropped by 96% in its first two months. Those behind the game will be hoping the addition of Kate Bishop to the roster this week will remedy that somewhat. The plan is for Avengers to be a long-term project with more and more heroes joining the battle in the coming months and maybe even years.

It’s a little puzzling as to why exactly Avengers is struggling in the way that it has done during its first few months. Just about anything with Marvel’s name attached to it is guaranteed to perform well, especially a game including the same comic book characters as the biggest box office movie ever. Before now, the only real way gamers had to assemble Avengers on a current-gen console was Ultimate Alliance 3.

UA3 is a Nintendo Switch exclusive with an impressive roster of heroes. 46 of them to be exact, including a handful of characters from the Spider-Verse. That gives it a distinct advantage over Avengers which will include Spider-Man in 2021, but only on PlayStation. However, if you ask us, Avengers is better than UA3 in pretty much every other way and should be performing better because of that.

Too Many Heroes Spoil The Serum

Both games task you with building a roster of heroes and selecting what you believe to be the best and most effective team of four at any one time. Even though UA3 has more heroes to choose from, for now, it’s complex and convoluted upgrade system is incredibly off-putting. There are a number of things you need to keep an eye on to make sure your heroes are as good as they can possibly be, and anyone who lets their attention slip even for a second could easily miss something that could render the next boss almost unbeatable.

Striking up a balance between making heroes strong and keeping them leveled up, and actually using the heroes you like the most is also incredibly difficult. When you come across a new hero, which is often, they are almost always at a higher level than the ones you have in your active quartet. That means having to switch them into your active team, even when you don’t want to. Even though UA3 did have later DLC, it felt like the addition of its heroes could have been spread out over a longer period. The heroes come at you so thick and fast that it’s almost impossible to use and get to grips with each one as you go.

Slow And Steady Will Win The Race (We Hope)

Despite Avengers also being accused of having a complicated upgrade system, which is somewhat true, it is not on the same level. There are only six heroes at launch and even though all of them have unique abilities and skillsets, players are given the chance to get to grips with every single one. The campaign’s very first mission requires you to skip between heroes and the game provides information on how to get the best out of all of them. You then rediscover them one by one throughout the campaign and get the chance to use each one. The balance between missions where you select your hero and the hero is selected for you also means they will level up relatively equally throughout the game’s story.

It makes Avengers accessible to not only hardened Marvel fans and gamers, but also MCU moviegoers who want to see what all the fuss is about. The same cannot be said for UA3. The massive roster and the fun cutscenes blind you at first, but if you’re not used to RPGs like this then the action will likely overwhelm you pretty quickly. Even the early bosses are tough to take down. Chances are a lot of people didn’t make it far into the game before giving it up for good.

While UA3 feels like heroes stumbling through a world and accidentally finding more heroes along the way, Avengers tells a story and a compelling one at that. It also gives Kamala Khan a much-deserved platform, which is why it is such a shame that the game already appears to be failing. It’s even possible that those who didn’t like UA3 are fearful that Avengers is more of the same, just with more money pumped into it. Trust us, it most definitely is not. Casual Marvel fan/gamer or not, Avengers is worth your time, and by the sounds of it, the game is only going to improve.

NEXT: Players Hit EA With Lawsuit Over Scripting – Or Changing AI Difficulty To Encourage FUT Spending – In FIFA 21

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Josh has been gaming for as long as he can remember. That love began with a mild childhood addiction to the Sega Genesis, or Mega Drive since he lives in the UK. Back then, Sonic 2 quickly became his favorite game and as you might have guessed from his picture, the franchise has remained close to his heart ever since. Nowadays, he splits his time between his PS4 and his Switch and spends far too much time playing Fortnite. If you’re a fan of gaming, wrestling, and soccer, give him a follow on Twitter @BristolBeadz.

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