Well this new Avengers game is causing quite a stir isn’t it? My timeline seems to be split between people surprised with how great it is or completely disgusted by the sheer amount of micro-transactions and other live service shenanigans. I honestly sit somewhere in the middle and will have my review of the game so far up today so make sure to check that out. This article however is a direct response to a piece Javier put out on Friday, it was very good and I highly suggest you go and read it, but I disagreed with the majority of it and here’s why..
I just can’t be one of those people who sit back and admit defeat on my full price game being full of in-game purchases and a short story with the rest to be drip fed over the coming months and/or years. Before I dive deeper into this, I want to first actually agree with Jav on something. The Avengers campaign, despite its short length, is incredible. The voice acting, writing and just all around Marvel feel is an absolute joy to behold and has undoubtedly been the highlight of my time with the game. With that being said, it’s a shame that I’m often brought crashing back down to earth by having to visit vendors and faction leaders to feel like I’m keeping up as well as having all the costumes I can’t afford shoved in my face every time I access the character menu. All of this is designed to make the player spend more money and although I never will, it still makes me feel uncomfortable.
I will give Avengers credit however, I’ve still been able to have a great time with the game despite all of what I just complained about. This doesn’t have to be pay to win and you can have a hell of a time by just ignoring all the micro-transactions. Unfortunately, if you don’t want to pay to win then you can expect some serious grinding. This is pretty much what Jav said too, in fact I’ll quote the Jav-Man himself, he said –
” People can get all butt hurt about paying for battle passes but you don’t need to! In fact you can treat grinding for the credits (1000 of which are needed for future character’s passes) as just more reason to play the game, and this is still free. Yes you can pay to win but that’s up to you if you want to completely waste your money…” – Javier ‘Embrace The Grind’ Reyeros 2020
I’m not saying this is a personal attack on me, but it totally is because I think paying for these battle passes or having the option for a thousand credit purchase is just greedy corporate bullshit. If you absolutely love every aspect of this game then yes, the grind won’t be too much of an ask but for me it’s a bit too repetitive to justify that amount of time. To put into perspective how hard the grind for 1,000 credits would be, I’ve probably sunk nearly twenty hours into both the campaign and the multiplayer so far and only have 150 credits to show for it. I just don’t have the time or energy to try collect 1,000 credits so I guess that just means I never get the cool extra costumes, takedowns or nameplates for upcoming characters like Hawkeye, Kate Bishop and Spider-Man.. but it’s okay because they’re all free to use! Aren’t they so generous for letting us use characters in a game we paid £60 for.
Yes I can hear you cry that if you complete one of these battle passes then you’ll earn enough credits for the next battle pass, effectively meaning if you sink hours and hours into every new Avenger then you’ll never need to pay. I get why people would see this as a generous offer but if you look at it from the perspective of these passes being nothing more than corporate greed in the first place, it feels more like they’re pissing on us and calling it rain.
I do appreciate that these credits can be earned in pretty quick time by completing the battle passes (challenge cards) for all the free Avengers but I feel a little let down that moving through these cards is fully based on timed daily and weekly challenges. Now these may be a lot of fun for some people but for yours truly, I can’t help but feel a bit of unnecessary pressure there. I’d much rather it was based on challenges that are set in stone and not a system that makes me feel anxious if I don’t try take out 3 dredbots in the next 2 hours and 6 minutes before it all resets and I lose my opportunity to move onto the next part of the card which contains my pretend money.
Another part of Javier’s article I want to address is the end where he said:
“Just get your head of your ass and see this game for what it is, simple fun. I’m actually happy to play and grind more in this game and pay £4 every now and again for characters I really like. This is the way most games will be, but if I’m happy to go out and waste £50 in the pub I’m sure I can spare a few quid for a game I really enjoy. I think we’re all too quick to get angry about spending little bit of money on these games, just chill DUDE.” – Javier “Goes to expensive pubs” Reyeros 2020
He may have a point, I am definitely one of these players to very quickly get angry at the site of any micro-transaction outside of free to play games. Maybe that’s me showing my age, maybe that’s just me being a bit out of touch having avoided the rise of games like Fortnite, Destiny and The Division. What I will say however is that I feel it’s a dangerous game to just sit back and accept it and even worse, praise it. At the end of the day, Avengers is a great game that just happens to have a seedy underbelly which I can ignore while I smash things. Though if we accept this as the norm, then whats next? It’s the same elsewhere too, for example if we accept FIFA Ultimate Team as the norm then what happens to my beloved single player driven career mode in the future? I’m okay with developers and publishers making a bit of extra money for their hard work, but I fear how quickly that could turn to greed and in turn see the single player games and modes I love sacrificed more and more.
I want to finish by reassuring you dear reader that I don’t dislike Marvel’s Avengers at all, there’s way more good than bad (see my upcoming review for more) and I can see myself sinking a lot of time into it in the future. Will it be enough time to earn all those damn credits? Who knows but I’m not playing for credits, I’m playing for great characters and fun gameplay. I just hope it can stay that way for some time longer and we get treated to just as many single player AAA games as we do live service ones in the coming years. I also want to stress how much I respect Javier’s (and others) opinion on the matter and completely understand where he’s coming from and respect that. Who do you side with? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up at @RespawningUK over on Twitter.