This past weekend saw players who had pre-ordered Marvel’s Avengers on PlayStation 4 take part in a beta for the new superhero looter/fighter. Whilst there was a limit to what you could do, it gave fans a chance to see how the game would work. If you’re keen to find out how it is shaping up, you should read our opinion on the beta, and if you want to get an understanding of how it all works before the full release on September 4th, check out our 10 beginner’s tips to help you get to grips with Crystal Dynamics’ take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. There’s a fair amount to understand about how combat works, as well as how gear and resources play a role, so buckle up and take note.
1. Don’t be drawn to your favourite
It’s a given that you’ll be drawn to your favourite superhero, but what Marvel’s Avengers does very well is provide very different move sets for each one. Hulk is a beast, and whilst he isn’t exactly slow, there’re other Avengers that move around the maps a lot easier. Iron Man is a great choice for traversal, as he can fly around and fire at enemies from the air. Ms. Marvel is a nice mix between the two because of her range attacks and power when up close. She can also reach ledges and platforms from angles others can’t because of her ability to stretch her arms. Black Widow is perhaps the fastest of the characters we’ve seen so far, and her Grapple ability is the coolest of them all. You’ll find that every Avenger has its benefits, and it’s not always a good move to settle for your favourite.
2. Experiment in the HARM Room
Following on from this, the best way to experiment between the available Avengers is to take part in the HARM challenges on board the Chimera Helicarrier. Each of the three challenges are a succession of 10 waves where you’ll fight different enemies. AIM agents with guns, flying drones, large armoured robots, and melee experts will all feature in these waves, giving you a perfect opportunity to play around with each Avenger. Before you start to take part in the other missions on the War Table, it makes sense to spend time in the HARM Room because they last a while and force you to make use of every ability you have, as well as easing you in to the traversal options you have.
3. Listen to Jarvis
When you’re out in the field, certain areas have a lot going on, and it can be easy to miss something important. If you’re facing tons of enemies, it can be easy to ignore Tony Stark’s famous AI creation, but he actually holds a lot of valuable information. He’ll reveal the location of new gear, enemy hideouts, and valuable resources, giving you a third eye when exploring. He will also give you vital information about your mission.
4. Tactical Awareness is your best friend
Battling the hordes of enemies that AIM throw at you can provide a challenge. Your health will deteriorate, turrets might be missed, and you may lose your bearings. Pressing up on the D-pad activates Tactical Awareness, which essentially scans the area around you. It will highlight any health drops, nearby enemies and turrets, and any other loot you may have missed. If there is anything explosive in the vicinity, it’ll point it out so that you can use it to cause a healthy amount of damage to any enemies close to it, and if you aren’t sure where you need to go next, it’ll send a glowing white orb in the direction of your next objective.
5. Play to your strengths
One of the coolest things about the combat in Marvel’s Avengers is how it forces you to play to your strengths. Enemies come in all shapes and sizes, and from a variety of different directions. You’ll never succeed as a team if you all just bash the buttons and try to wipe out the healthy waves of enemy soldiers. Iron Man can go from being grounded to flying into the air, so using him to take out the flying drones or high-up turrets is much more effective. Hulk is incredibly powerful, and using him on the ground in CQC whilst Ms. Marvel attacks from a distance is a great way to take out the biggest, baddest enemies in the confrontation. Black Widow is nimble and an expert with her pistols, so using her to pick off soldiers that attack from the perimeter of the fight is much more effective than having her just run into the eye of the storm.
6. How Gear works: a brief guide
You’ll find lots of different gear for your Avenger throughout. There are different levels of gear, and its rarity is highlighted by the colour (green, blue, purple, and orange). Each piece has a level to it, and the better your equipment, the better your ability levels become. If you’d rather automatically equip the best gear in your inventory, press L2/LT to equip it. If you’re finding that you’ve got gear you don’t want anymore, you can dismantle it, and this will give you additional resources. Common and uncommon items can be Power Boosted, whilst rare, epic, and legendary can be upgraded, and this is done by using the Resources you find. Each piece of gear has a detailed description that shows whether it has any perks to be unlocked, so it’s worth spending time reading this before you decide whether it is worth keeping.
7. Check out the mission modifiers
Certain missions have modifiers that can make them particularly challenging if you don’t have the right gear. On the War Table, you can see if a mission has a particular modifier. For example, one of the missions has a Blizzard modifier, meaning enemies can do freeze damage to you, so making sure you equip any gear that can deal with this particular type of damage can make a huge difference.
8. How Resources Work: a brief guide
It can be confusing trying to understand how the four different types of resources work, but in actual fact it’s rather straightforward. Each of the resources you find will allow you to boost or upgrade your gear providing you have the required amount. When you pull up the menu for your chosen Avenger, you can swap and select the gear for each of the four gear parts (melee, ranged, defensive, and heroic) of your character. In each description, it will show you the amount needed to upgrade or Power Boost.
9. Don’t struggle for the sake of it
Some missions can be difficult if you’re not at the required level. If you’re finding that you keep dying, change the difficulty to make it less stressful. It won’t stop you from unlocking the mission reward, and it will be the difference between struggling through a mission and completing it comfortably. Loot might not drop as frequently than at a higher level, but it’ll make the experience more fun for you.
10. Never leave a teammate behind
If you haven’t noticed by now, combat in Marvel’s Avengers can be a bit chaotic, and at times challenging. Your teammates may fall, but it’s much easier to revive them than in many other games. Instead of pressing a button prompt when near a downed friend, you simply need to stand in the green circle that surrounds them for around six or seven seconds to bring them back from the brink of death. It’s also worth noting that if a fellow Avenger falls in combat, the amount of stars you’ll receive for a mission will reduce, so always keep an eye on how your teammates are fairing in battle.