Avengers is a warning for future 'games as a service' models
You’d think the gaming world would have known better. If anything has been a warning sign in the past for this god awful way to create a videogame, it was Anthem’s disastrous release in 2019. That release showed the world 5 key reasons a game such as this could fail. First, pretty doesn’t equal good. Just because the graphics are nice to look at, does not mean the gameplay is compelling. Second, is that a loot-based system MUST be compelling if the basis of the game is collecting said loot. Thirdly, story matters, and treating it like a side plot for the Power Rangers to take care of is both insulting to the people who work on the game and the people who pay money to play it. Fourth, if a game is designed around multiplayer, make the multiplayer feel necessary and feel like it’s needed. Don’t just throw in the ability to play with a friend without making that part of the game feel different than the single-player. And finally, the mission structure. If you’re going to build a game around a compelling story, which Anthem actually had at the start, but put the best part of the game inside of cutscenes and lore, while you’re forced to do the same boring ass seek and destroy style missions that haven’t been fun literally ever, then you’re asking for your playerbase to disappear within the blink of an eye.
So, we’ve come to Avengers which does its best to copy the sins of its father. Instead of seeking out the clear blueprint for success that Destiny 2 (eventually) figured out, they went to Anthem and were like
They thought that they could take the Anthem model and make it their own. Which is kind of like finding mummy and thinking you could bring it back to life. It’s not like Avengers didn’t start with the best intentions. The main story is pretty solid actually, but you know what isn’t solid about the main campaign? It lasted for about 10 hours. That used to be okay 15 years ago, but now it comes off lazy, uninspired, and worst of all, rushed. Rushed is a word that Avengers seems to suffer from. Rushing of the story, rushing of the release without a proper roster of avengers to choose from, and rushing to appease the legions of fans whose distaste with the franchise has resulted in a mass exodus from the online servers. The atrocity of the Avengers situation lies in the multiplayer execution. Whether it’s the completely cheap way they have used the Avenger’s initiative mode to trick you into doing the same 4 missions over and over again or the way they’re using DLC promises to get you to cling on to what little interest you may have left in the game at this point. Look, if you like the game, I’m not going to convince you that you shouldn’t. But....
On the surface, there is a lot to like, great voiceover performances, great graphics, an underutilized villain, and the promise of a great, new world to explore. That promise however is a lie. That world doesn’t exist and honestly makes Anthem look like friggin Skyrim by comparison. You are not wrong for liking the game, but you’re wrong for forgiving the game for tricking you. It’s brainwashing at its finest when it comes to Avengers. You want to believe new characters will bring incredibly unique stories with each DLC character they apparently have waiting. You want to believe that you’re not going to be fighting Abomination and Taskmaster until your eyes fall out. This really isn’t an Avengers problem, it’s a games as a service problem. This concept just does not work. Selling half a game at full price does not work. Having a fully working game a year after its release (Destiny, Destiny 2) does not work. Let’s look at a similar genre like MMORPGs. MMORPG’s work, do you know why? Because the content is there at the start. That content is substantial and although it is based on a similar gameplay loop, there is purpose and variety within it. Avengers has nothing resembling variety and once you get to the Avengers initiative, there is no purpose.
This game is a warning to all games coming that might follow the same games as service model like the upcoming Outriders for example. Look at what this game is, and why it has failed. Study the mistakes, do not seek to just tweak them a bit, seek to destroy them. Make your multiplayer worthwhile. Make the end game content something new and interesting, not something that will alienate you within hours. Load your title up with content, but don’t put the same god damn enemy types in over and over and expect them to be entertained. Build your world with the thought that within each new world, comes new foes. This is videogames 101. Crystal Dynamics is better than this. We’re all better than this. What can save this dumpster fire? It’s three words. Free. To Play. That is the only solution to save one of the most underachieving hype trains of all time from going fully off the rails and crashing into a pit of hell where Anthem’s corpse currently resides. So, what do you think about Avengers or the games as a service model? Is this really the future of gaming? Or just a terrible detour that will die off shortly? Let’s talk about it below.