There are many things I do not like about Marvel’s Avengers, one of the best comic book video games I’ve played.
I don’t like grinding missions to earn more powerful equipment so I can take on more difficult missions. I don’t like my heroes’ inventories slowly filling with junk until I have to pause the game and spend 30 seconds dismantling useless garbage. I don’t like having to pick up faction missions in two different social spaces separated by minutes of loading. I don’t like spending five minutes traveling to a mission location only to have the game lock up completely, forcing me to restart. I don’t like endlessly repeating the same handful of boss battles against foes a full team of seasoned Avengers should be able to make short work of.
But none of that can top the feeling of Thor’s hammer slamming into a robot’s metal body, Captain America’s shield flying true, Iron Man’s rockets hitting home, the Hulk’s Earth-shaking rage, Black Widow’s sting, and Ms. Marvel’s shapeshifting fists and feet. In the heat of battle, even a battle I’ve fought a dozen times, the sheer joy of being one of Earth’s mightiest heroes drowns out all of those little irritations. When I play Marvel’s Avengers I am a superhero. That’s exactly what I wanted out of Crystal Dynamics’ third-person comic book adventure.