First off, let me open by saying that today, September 30th in the year 2023, is the last day that you can purchase Marvel’s Avengers – The Definitive Edition from Steam. It is $3.99. It will not be available for purchase on Sunday or, as far as I can tell, any day after that. This is it. So if you have *ANY* curiosity worth $4 to you, any affection for the Avengers worth $4 to you, or even hope to write an essay for a group blog somewhere and doing that would be worth $4 to you, then I suggest you click that link and make the purchase. “So the game is worth $4?”, you ask ?

“Yeah. I guess.”

Okay, first things first, a little background. This game was originally released on September 4th, 2020. “That’s only 3 years ago.”, you may say. “Isn’t it a little early for the publisher to yank support of a AAA game for the only IP that has a shot at taking on Star Wars in the ‘the biggest IP in the world’ fight?”

“Yeah, I guess.”

Here’s the problem: When the game came out, “Avengers: Endgame” was still in the dollar theaters and that movie was on track to make more money than any movie ever in history. Like, it was coming up on Avatar, of all movies. This was arguably the biggest IP in the world (if you took into account the umpteen films that came before that were building up to Endgame). They game the game to a real studio: Crystal Dynamics. THE GUYS WHO MADE BLOOD OMEN: LEGACY OF KAIN! AND TOMB RAIDER! Okay, those were a million years ago and for the PS1 and a lot of stuff has sort of happened between then and 2020 but, seriously, this was a real game studio with actual artists somewhere.

So there was reason to have hope.

Well… the game came out and it was a “Live Service” kinda game. Translated: Pay to win. Pay to get endorphins. Pay to get just enough fun to keep playing next month.

Ugh. And so, right out of the gate, the game flopped.

For one thing, it had the feel of a mobile phone game. There was the in-game purchases, for one… but for two, there was the fact that this was about The Avengers and capitalizing on The Avengers and this new game about The Avengers looked nothing like The Avengers? No Robert Downey Jr. No Chris Evans. No Mark Ruffalo. No Scarlett Johansson. Instead you got the Hydrox version of these Oreos.

As for the game itself, it had a handful of decent enough reviews, but a deluge of “WHAT THE HECK A LIVE SERVICE GAME?” reviews and, well, the studio was stuck between making things right for the players and making things right for the Venture Capitalists and the Venture Capitalists won in the short term and everybody lost in the long term.

Well, except for all of us who pick it up for $4 in the final hours of the game being available, that is!

Here’s the basic idea that I’m picking up from the hour or so of the game that I’ve played: There are two games here. Online Game Mode and Story Mode.

Online Game mode is the one that the founders were obviously betting on. Do raids. Do raids with your friends! Get really close to beating the raid that would have given you a good shot at a chest that might have had a good item in it! Buy this upgrade for a better chance! Buy this other upgrade for a better shot at beating the raid!

I’m sure that the people who have played WoW are familar with the dynamic.

This part of the game does nothing for me. If it does anything for you, you should know that the game will continue to support these sorts of things. They’ve announced: “Limited-Time Events like the Red Room Takeover will continue to run after Sept. 30, 2023. These events will run in a two-week rotation. Reoccurring mission chains, events, and rewards will continue to refresh on the cadences they always have.”

So if you like that sort of thing, that sort of thing will not be yanked away from you.

BUT WHAT ABOUT STORY MODE?, you ask, if you are just like me. Well… Story Mode is still there and, and this is the important part, so is their version of New Game+. So you can play the story and go up against (spoiler) and then do it all over again. And again. And again. And maybe do a raid solo with only your unlocked heroes with their unlocked equipment and unlocked stats to give you a little bit of a breather before doing New Game+ for the fourth time.


Well, there are two questions there, aren’t there? There’s the whole “is it Live Service game good?” question and there’s the whole “is it $4 good?” question.

And, to be quite honest, I’ve only played through Act 1, Scene 1.

But I will say that the game kinda reminds me of a 3D version of Captain America and the Avengers. Oldheads will remember playing it and the cooler oldheads will remember *BEATING* it.

As for the story: You are one of The Avengers. (Specifically, Kamala Khan, going out to try to win the West Coast Avengers Fan Fiction Contest!) You’ve got to go through a fanfest and get ALL OF THE SCWAG! and then, of course, things go awry. You get a brief tutorial on all of the Avengers with names that your Boomer parents have heard of. At the end of the day, the tutorial is something to the effect of this:

Press X to do light hitPress Y do do heavy hit

And since we covered most of that through the tutorial, we’re good!

At which point we find ourselves quickly in a situation where, instead of winning the game, we find ourselves in Act 1, Scene 2.

So it’s more of the same. Until, I assume, we find ourselves in Act 5, Scene 5, where we resolve all of the problems, declare who is not dead, and then say “Go Home” to the audience.

Just like high school.

Anyway. The game, as far as I’ve played it, is worth $4. If you’ve ever thought about playing a gaming-as-a-service game but were hoping that it’d be shut down but the single-player game would go on indefinitely? SERIOUSLY! GET THIS GAME RIGHT NOW!!!

If, instead, you said “I don’t need this game…”, well… you’ll continue to not need this game indefinitely.

But if you think “I’ve got FOUR BUCKS!”, well… maybe you could get it.

The worst thing that happens is that you play through Act 1, Scene 1 and say “this doesn’t tell me anything”.

Which, as worst things go, ain’t that bad. Even if the game itself should never, *EVER*, have come close to the whole GaaS thing. “So. Once everything has fallen apart and now that (spoiler) is going on instead of (spoiler), don’t you wish you’d played something other than The Avengers?!?!?”

“Yeah. I guess.”

So… what are you playing?

(Featured image is the Avengers Character Select Screen. All screenshots taken by the author.)

 The studio was stuck between making things right for the players and making things right for the Venture Capitalists…and everybody lost  Read More