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Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth Review

Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth Review

Some of you may or may not have seen pre-alpha footage for an Avengers game that surfaced around the time the movie was released in theatres. It was only a few minutes worth, but the concept looked great. It showed off a four-player cooperative game played from the first person perspective, where you could play as Thor, Iron Man, Captain America or the Hulk. Sadly the project was ditched for whatever the reason and Ubisoft took on the mantle and changed the game entirely. Originally released as a Kinect title, Avengers: Battle for Earth has been re-released for the Wii U. The game completely ditched the first-person idea in favour of a third-person brawler and while it has its moments, Avengers: Battle for Earth ultimately feels like a missed opportunity.

The story is actually pretty decent. It sets to retell The Secret Invasion comic-book storyline. In a nutshell, the Skrulls invade Earth and it's up to our mightiest heroes to stop them. You'll only get a glimpse of the overall story, as the game's campaign will last you the better part of two hours - it's rather insulting.

There are 5 maps, each containing 10 levels that are all completely identical. You're given your team that you will fight, and you'll face Skrull doppelgangers of the character roster. It gets tedious after the first few rounds. Aside from the main story there's tournament mode, arcade mode, challenges and trials for individual characters and cooperative play.

The game has a modest sized character selection, with 20 Marvel characters including Thor, Hulk, Loki, Spider-man, Wolverine, Storm, Doctor Strange, Venom and Doctor Doom. Since the roster itself shows this game has ditched the idea of being Avengers-centric, it would have been great to see more Marvel characters incorporated; it's not like they're starving for choices. What's worse is that they even show you characters like Iron Fist in the cutscenes, but for some reason didn't want to include them.

To say the gameplay is formulaic and simplistic would be an understatement. Now, to be fair this is a game that was made for the Kinect, so I wasn't expecting it to be incredibly deep; I just hoped that the transition to a console with button input would have made for more of a rethinking on how the game is played. Instead, combat is done almost entirely on the Gamepad by swiping the screen in various curves and shapes.

Every character has 3 "unique" attacks and two standard attacks, but there's also a meter to build for ultra moves or the break attack which works well in a pinch. The core mechanics are based on Rock, Paper, and Scissors. Your three moves all work well against one attack and are vulnerable to another. You can chain your attacks into a total of five hits, making use of what your character has to offer, and tagging in your partner to continue the chain. When it works, it's pretty cool to see the tag-team effect, but it's rarely needed as some individual attacks can deal a lot of damage, and the enemy AI is rather dumb.

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