When Ubisoft first announced Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth we joked that it couldn’t be any worse than the publisher’s own Kinect title PowerUp Heroes.
Fortunately for Marvel fans, it isn’t. It is clearly aimed at younger gamers though. If you’re expecting something like Activison’s Amazing Spider-Man tie-in that gamers of all ages can enjoy, then you’re likely to be disappointed.
It’s a one-on-one battle game starring not just the Avengers but Spider-Man, Venom, Wolverine and other characters. Most of the enemies are evil Skrull iterations of the renowned heroes which we assume is to bump the bad-guy roster up a bit.
â€œFollow the icons and lean to avoid attacksâ€ reads the tutorial. That’s pretty much all you need to know â€“ the gestures required to perform attacks are shown down the side of the screen, while jumping in the air performs a special attack. One nice touch is that by yelling a phrase â€“ such as â€œFor Asgard!â€ when playing as Thor â€“ can deal some extra damage to your opponent.
Mastering air-combos takes a degree of skill â€“ launching an enemy into the air requires just a simple kick, but to chain more moves onto that needs some practice. We also like the way you can go mental with punches once an enemy is airborne, much like trying to obliterate the special fruit at the end of Fruit Ninja Kinect.
Visually it’s passable enough. There’s a little bit of flare here and there and the CGI intro helps to get you in the mood for a super-power fuelled ruckus:
The two-player mode is a split-screen affair to give each player a clearer view of their character. We can see this being a little problematic for people with smaller TVs, but being a third-person brawler it would have been impossible to have two-player battles with just one screen.
All signs point it to offering some short-lived colourful fun, but nothing more. Assuming that it’ll be a Wii U launch title, which is highly likely, it’s a little sad to think that it’ll be some people’s first experience on the system.