We may be preoccupied with big-budget new releases like Gotham Knights and God of War Ragnarök, but did you know that the Marvel’s Avengers game is still a thing? The servers are still kicking and developer Crystal Dynamics continues to drop new content for the live-service spectacle fighter, like adding the Winter Soldier as a playable character later this month.
Marvel’s Avengers is an action-adventure brawler that dropped in September 2020 to middling criticism on review aggregates Metacritic and OpenCritic. Our late Mike Fahey was a fan, but even he acknowledged its many flaws, including the paid experience boosters that have since been removed. This was remedied, and other issues that made the game unplayable in one way or another were ironed out, and Crystal Dynamics kept tinkering with the superhero beat ‘em up. The studio added new missions and playable heroes like Black Panther and Spider-Man back in 2021. Now, the game will get more new stuff not long after Thanksgiving. Solid, Crystal Dynamics. Thanks for giving us something to chew on.
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In a blog post on Marvel’s Avengers official site, Crystal Dynamics announced that update 2.7 will land on November 29. The patch will introduce the new end-game challenge Cloning Lab Omega-Level Threat (with the revived villain MODOK serving as the final boss of this high-level content) as well as James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes (also known as the Winter Soldier and Captain America’s bestie) as a playable character.
Voiced by Scott Porter, who’s maybe best-known as Jason Street in the drama Friday Night Lights and the voice behind the Winter Soldier in other games such as Lego Marvel’s Avengers and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, Bucky is labeled as “an almost purely assault-focused hero.” Apparently, he’ll play a little bit like Black Widow and Captain America, though he’ll have his own animations, a full skill tree, idiosyncratic heroic abilities, and the option to “[deal] damage to his enemies in a variety of ways.” Basically, Bucky can tap into his ranged marksmanship skills and expert hand-to-hand capabilities to show off the deadly super-soldier he’s become.
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Unlike Spider-Man before him, Crystal Dynamics is adding some new missions centered around the Winter Soldier’s introduction. This includes a “heroic mission chain” that sees the Avengers assisting Bucky in accepting his capacity to do good while contending with the trauma of his past. If you finish this series of missions, you’ll get Bucky’s “iconic outfit” as a reward. So, there’s a little bit of incentive for you there.
Crystal Dynamics wrapped up the blog post by saying that the next patch to come out after update 2.7 will “continue with the ongoing revisions and tuning to heroes” that started with the last content drop on September 20. I guess you could say that Marvel’s Avengers isn’t a dead game just yet, although I think it’s worth pointing out that Steam Charts is currently reporting only 243 people are playing the game at the time of this writing.