Marvel’s Avengers has an incredible single-player story, which made it very strange that Square Enix chose to heavily market the game Crystal Dynamics as a multiplayer experience. With so much focus on playing with friends, the Marvel game’s endgame component left little to be desired. Many felt that the grind was not worth the effort, an issue that games like Destiny 2 have faced, and the answer to those complaints being to make the title even. After of a grind, we couldn’t help but wonder what the hell the studio is doing and come up with a few things we’d love to see to help them turn the tide.
How can Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics make Marvel’s Avengers good again?
The single-player story of Marvel’s Avengers, despite initial reservations about the character models, has been a huge success for many players. He offered a different perspective from some of our favorite heroes and also gave the charming “adorable” Kamala Khan a spotlight that this character deserved. History was not the problem. The problem was, Square Enix put the story aside when it released the title’s pre-launch, so when it was finally released, gamers were expecting that jaw-dropping multiplayer endgame experience. and fully fleshed out. What they got was an endless repeating cycle that didn’t feel like there was any real gain. The grind was real. It was also Real Boring ™.
Responding to criticism that the grind was just too heavy and that the endgame experience was lacking, Crystal Dynamics announced a new round of changes. The answer? No more grinding! Now the studio is making leveling up even harder and doesn’t even offer an XP boost up to level 25. The vanilla version of the game made grinding at level 50 slow (seemingly endless) and unrewarded. . The decision to make progress even slower, even harder to achieve was the exact opposite of the change this team should have implemented.
To accentuate the disconnect the studio seems to have with what gamers want, our own Andrew Reiner noted in his review that the content of the end of the game did not correspond to the intended objective. He said, “It doesn’t have the competitive hooks of similarly designed games like Destiny. A steady drop of new stories and missions will be needed with the heroes announced.”
While we’ve seen new characters join the fight, and more along the way, that’s not enough. The number of concurrent players for Marvel’s Avengers has dropped significantly since launch, a problem an online game never wants to face. So what can the team do differently? Ready for a controversial statement? Here we are: Square Enix needs to take a page from the Destiny 2 playbook.
Destiny 2 received a mixed reaction from gamers surrounding its launch. Game critics disputed the rewards locked behind paywalls, the lackluster endgame, cheats galore, and a disconnect between story expansions all painted a grim picture for the future of Bungie’s space franchise. Then Bungie split from Activision and we as players started to see the change happen. Did positive change happen overnight? Absolutely not. Is the game perfect now? Still no. Between the woes of Trials of Osiris and the mixed reception from Stasis, Bungie still has a lot of work to do. The difference is that the work Bungie has done so far has breathed new life into the community – a community that once again has a significant number of active players and is jumping even more all the time.
What Crystal Dynamics (and Square Enix as publisher) needs to do is Listen. The decision to make the game even more difficult came from the creative director mentionsg that he thought the players felt this because they were “confused”. What Bungie has done, and what others have done as well, like Ubisoft with The Division 2, is listen without presumption and plan accordingly. It’s caused a few missteps along the way, especially with a community like Destiny where players seem divided over what they want, but what’s important is that they never stopped trying. The game available now is very different from the launch title. The real turning point was the Forsaken DLC, an expansion that made the risky move of killing one of the most beloved characters in franchise history. What many thought was the last nail in the coffin of Destiny 2 actually acted as a catalyst for a bright new future. Bungie has invested heavily in endgame experiences (we’re ignoring trials here, because good god is this a mess) and Square Enix / Crystal Dynamics must do the same.
Instead of making the grind even more at a snail’s pace, Crystal Dynamics must instead focus on solving the most glaring technical issues that still prevail, especially those involving Kate Bishop. Between the delayed arrival of Hawkeye and the lack of significant changes at the end of the game, Marvel’s Avengers is in a dangerous position to slip into the trap for good. this hymn made. But it’s not too late.
They must also reverse the plans for the slowed progression. This is not the way to go in any reality and will only further hurt other ongoing improvements.
Crystal Dynamics needs to adopt more consistent content planning. The scarcity and sporadic release of anything new makes it difficult for gamers who lose confidence to stay focused on the game. Personally, I would like to see the studio release a new hero and villain every 3 -4 months approximately. This will keep players interested long enough to wait for any “online boredom” to be over. while waiting for new arrivals. It will also keep those who switch to other games a reason to come back, and a reason to keep jump back.
But the new characters won’t be enough, especially with the number of players steadily declining. In addition to a new rotation of good versus bad, the team is also expected to invest in multi-zone expansions on a frequent scale. While I understand this might not be as doable as it once was, especially with COVID-19, any content that is deliberately withheld needs to come to the fore if it’s ready.
New skill trees to invest time in, meaningful skill trees that look new and exciting. New areas to explore that hide rewards players will care about, new little Easter egg vocal lines that players can stumble upon and want to talk about. More comedy, more lightness. People want to laugh now. They need laugh right away. So make them laugh, this is a bunch of all-star heroes that we grew up loving and yearning for. The MCU and the comics have proven time and time again that Marvel has a unique advantage when it comes to comic layering, even during severe arcs, and Square Enix should encourage Crystal Dynamics to look into that.
Is it worth it?
Should Square and Crystal keep throwing money at a game that continues to deteriorate? He’s still technically making a profit, so it’s not in the position BioWare found himself with Anthem, but that does not mean that the same future is not a distinct possibility. What the company needs to do now is show it is listening. Tap into its inner bungie and put action behind the words: “We hear you, we listen, we will do better,” then actually do better. Players want content. The company has more content than most IP addresses to work with. Use it. Use it. Deliver it and we might just see a 180 that the game needs to thrive.