Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Preview: Marvel Avengers: The Battle for Earth (360, Wii U)

The Marvel Universe and video games go hand-in-glove. Besides the usual iterations of Marvel vs. Capcom games, there's been plenty of other properties that have had digital iterations like The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, Captain America: The First Avenger, the Marvel Ultimate Alliance games, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Iron Man, and, of course, Spider-Man.

It was somewhat surprising that there was no suitable Avengers tie-in game when the film launched this summer, though with the closure of the studio making the game it's not like the news was going to take anyone off-balance. With the home video release of the Avengers quickly approaching, we finally get some kind of tie-in, even if it only trades on the name "Marvel Avengers" rather than sourcing the film.

Taking place during the Skrull "Secret Invasion" storyline, Marvel Avengers: The Battle for Earth is touting itself as a fighting game featuring the likes of Venom, Thor, Iceman, Doctor Doom, Magneto, Loki, Black Widow, and Wolverine. The roster is set to include "20 classic Marvel characters" each with "four unique superpowers: Super Attacks, Velocity Boost, Breaker, or Frenzy."

Modes include Co-op, Campaign, Arcade, Challenges, Versus, and Tournament.

Four? That sounds anaemic until you take into account that Battle for Earth is all about motion controls.

And the game was announced in May of this year and it's expected at the end of October?

Based on those two material facts, my initial reaction may be typical of most gamers: Shovelware. But I'm hesitant to cast judgement before playing the game if only because there may actually be some involvement of physical buttons, which might not be a game-changer but it might help the game sidestep the label of "Spastic Motion Controls a la Eternal Champions using the Sega Activator." That would be just about the worst kind of box quote imaginable.

Expected Release: October 30, 2012

- Aaron Simmer