Reviewed on PS5
Crystal Dynamic’s Marvel’s Avengers (what a mouth full) had a rocky start, despite my excellent review score, it couldn’t be helped that the aspiration to grind was met with empty hands. Elements like not being able to replay the campaign, lack of unique endgame/raid content, and clunky UI really set Avengers back. So much so, that player count took a significant nose dive. Its been almost a year, and despite the pandemic halting development pacing, Crystal Dynamics released a slew of content and quality to life changes that reignites great potential for what Avenger’s can ultimately become. War for Wakanda is a far denser and much richer content than the previous DLCs with changes so welcoming, I had no choice but to grind T’Challa to Power 150.
The way I started playing Avengers after a long break was diving into Avenger’s Initiative and choosing Black Panther right off the bat. I went straight to Wakanda not realizing that dialogues and interactions would spoil some of the plot points in this expansion; do not make this mistake. From the start of the screen choose Operations and from there you’ll see all active expansions – obviously select War for Wakanda and from there you would have to finish a single-player mission to continue the expansion.
When I booted up Avengers on my PS5, I wanted immersion. In the visual settings, I selected Quality Mode which pumped its game graphical fidelity to match ultra settings, 4K resolution and 30fps. This mode also increased the destruction particles that is otherwise nonexistent in Performance Mode. With Quality Mode, it felt as if I was playing a CGI version of Marvel’s Avengers with almost nonexistent frame stutters and I recommend doing this at least until you finish the campaign because this really brings out the beauty of this game’s engine and character models.
You start off in the forest of Wakanda taking down new baddies wielding altered Vibranium weapons. Soon enough you find out that Ulysses Klaue is behind the invasion of Wakanda and somehow corrupting the natural resources that makes the biome. It doesn’t take long to realize that the new enemies are wielding new abilities as well, like Sonic, a sound element that can only be combated if you have Vibranium equipped in your gear. Some emit pulsing elements, others over shield and even drones to damage you; honestly it’s a welcoming change of pace – there are some enemy types I don’t want to entirely spoil here.
Soon after you are done with the first mission, the game welcomes co-op play with Avengers invited to Wakanda. You will then explore Wakanda’s social hub which invites all of the pinnacle characters you’d expect from Black Panther like Shuri, Okoye and Zawavari, the spiritual counselor. You immediately see the sense of love and care put into this expansion with immense detail and craft – each character is well designed and voice acted with great production value towards a number of cutscenes; there’s one moment I didn’t expect to see which took me back, I give high praise to the writer for actually going through with it. No, I won’t spoil it – see for yourself.
The campaign will run you about 4hrs to complete but it is filled with side missions within the biome, even if it’s repeated routine of old contents.
On your quest to get new loot, you will find that the tried and true method of exploring optional paths would net you chest to open – and the way to unlocking some locations has some neat thematic twist, which I hope is a sneak peak to bringing new puzzle mechanics in future contents. There is one new public side mission to do which is destroying corrupted Vibranium; you just simply bash your fist against it, but the way it’s designed looks so good that it feels fresh. I do like the direction Crystal Dynamic is going with this and I hope they expand and iterate better things moving forward.
However, once you are done experiencing the new content, you are left with the repeated grind routine of doing Threat Sectors, some Hives and then Omega-content which is Avenger’s version of a raid, but even that’s not too exciting.
Thankfully though, Black Panther’s move set is so incredible that grinding to hit cap just to craft your build is EXCELLENT – his Kimoyo Beads can be altered to be aggressive or support, which is designed to hone towards enemies and attack during your combos – the Vibranium Spear can pierce through multiple enemies and then altered to either increase its radius or create a concussive blast, AOE-ing all around it. Then his Intrinsic ability is the Percussive Blast that shields him while attacking – it’s so awesome to use him; I haven’t had this kind of excitement since going for the Platinum.
Some quality to life changes came with this expansion like a UI overhaul that makes loot management SO MUCH BETTER! You can mass dismantle and even send loot to your vault, lock gear and more! Truthfully, this was the most cumbersome experience in Avengers and I am so happy this has been fixed.
Wakanda is Family
Black Panther: War for Wakanda is an exceptional premium content, given to players for free. The cosmetics are great, the Hero Card is rich if you have the credits for it and the overhaul to the games UI and game elements is welcoming – for those who hasn’t played since before Kate Bishops DLC, content like this and Omega-Threat Raid’s will keep you busy for many many hours to come. Truthfully, Crystal Dynamics may have proven to me that there is hope for Marvel’s Avengers, and they’re asking you to trust them.
REVIEW SCORE: 7/10
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