Games Radar reviewed the new Avengers computer game built on the very forced casting of the politically-created Muslim Ms. Marvel, and their review is middling, though as can be seen in some other reviews of this sort, there’s elements of political correctness abound, as they seem to be trying hard not to make their disappointment too obvious, as though they have to be “fair” to the game to begin with. Though there is this rather laughable part at the beginning:
If Marvel’s Avengers is an Iron Man suit, Kamala Khan is its arc reactor, propelling the story forward and providing necessary emotional torque. She should have been featured in the marketing materials far more than she was, because she really is *the* Avenger in this game. Her story and the simultaneous story of the Avengers we know and love overcoming failure and crippling self-doubt in order to reassemble is a rock-solid one (and I dare say better than one or two of the Avengers films).
With that kind of propaganda creation involved? Get out of town. How odd they’re not interested in making Scarlet Witch the prime arc reactor, or the Wasp. And from the footage I’ve seen, I’m not sure I’d call these the Avengers I knew and loved from up to the turn of the century. Anyway, here’s where they admit something’s wrong:
But it’s what comes after the campaign that causes Marvel’s Avengers to stretch at the seams until it bursts. There’s simply just too much – too much insignificant gear and confusing numbers, too many rinse-and-repeat multiplayer missions that are full of too much punching and kicking enveloped in too many pulsing, over-saturated colors. Each side mission is like a souped-up Honda street racer that went overboard with extras – neon lights, glowing gauges, explosions, reflective metal, and pithy catchphrases slapping against your ears like a surplus of bumper stickers on a rear window.
With Marvel’s Avengers, there’s a tight, emotionally resonant campaign… and then there’s everything else. Like Kamala Khan struggling with her new Inhuman identity after exposure to Terrigen mist, this game can’t figure out what the hell it is.
And that’s bound to be saying something. Unfortunately, here’s where the review slips into a propaganda angle tilted in favor of a character built on political/religious propaganda:
In Kamala Khan, Marvel’s Avengers gives us a beloved character not yet seen outside of the comics – that she’s a Pakistani-American teenage girl dealing with social ostracization because of her Inhuman status only makes her story more relevant and poignant. Using her as the hub from which the plot spokes extend works well.
Kamala opens the game at an Avengers event, where she takes a stand against some gatekeeping assholes, meets a few Avengers In the flesh, and shows off her pure and plucky nature. It’s immediately after this warm, tingly opening that you’re thrust into the A-Day tragedy – the same part from the beta. Once the “Test Drive the Avengers” portion is over, you’re back in Kamala’s world – let it wrap around you like a warm blanket that will be abruptly ripped off of you in your sleep.
It’s a shame that this isn’t a standalone Kamala Khan game with fun (playable) cameos from other Avengers. While the rest of the team is played to uncanny valley perfection by a veritable who’s-who of iconic VO actors, it’s their interactions with Kamala that humanize them and make them unique characters outside of – but still tangential to – the MCU. Bruce Banner (Troy Baker) sees Kamala (Sandra Saad) as a problem to offload on someone else before seeing her as a peer with more courage than him. Tony (Nolan North) relishes her willingness to laugh at his one-liners, and gives her an early superhero costume pep talk that involves a promise to jazz up her burkini. Natasha (Laura Bailey) openly hates kids, but ends up giving Kamala her own version of a stunted, broken approval speech. And Thor (Travis Willingham), well, he remembers her from A-Day, which is honestly quite touching.
Let’s just skip over the fact that the next patch to the game will boast over 1000 fixes to the videogame.
It’s clear from this they see nothing wrong with the Religion of Peace, despite what it’s built on, which Marvel’s SJW-pandering series conveniently whitewashes while depicting ordinary whites negatively. Though a fictional character isn’t to blame for how he/she is characterized and what ideas they’re built on, when they’re developed as badly as Khan happens to be, with their structures waved around so blatantly, it becomes hard to separate all those components from the character when they’re cast in an extended merchandise product. No “pure and plucky” persona can compensate when you have such an embarrassment as this whole joke has been for the past several years, kept in print as it’s been solely for propaganda boosting. And now, as the mention of a burkini confirms, the propaganda continues in this lousy looking game. It’ll be very hard to recreate the character in a less politicized way, if that could one day provide improvement.
Each one of these heroes has a moment where they need reassurance and validation, and Kamala rises to the occasion, reassembling the Avengers both physically and emotionally in a surprisingly good campaign – surprising not only because it’s great, but because no one really knew it existed in the first place.
And when Khan is depicted so obviously as the one who reunites all the other heroes, you know this is all pretty forced. If Dani Moonstar were the unifier, that’d work better, because a character like her was never written for the propaganda tactics Khan was created for. The bias certainly shows whenever Khan is in discussion here.
Once you wrap up the core campaign, Marvel’s Avengers’ cracks begin to show – and those cracks become chasms faster than you can say “assemble”. As someone who doesn’t play live-service loot games or min-max until I’m blue in the face, I chose to focus on the initial story first before returning to the myriad side missions, HARM room training options, and the daunting task of navigating menus with bad UI. This proved to be an issue, as my endgame was a confusing one.
Marvel’s Avengers’ post-game content is convoluted, to say the least. After completing the story, I couldn’t figure out how to get back to the Avengers’ ship because of the confusing UI and was stuck at the War Table until I reset the game. But upon getting back to the War Table, I’m greeted with (brace yourself) a few locations from which to choose, within which several mission options pop up for various types of missions for me to select (including faction quests, Drop Zones, Iconic Missions, Villain Sectors, and more). Then I’m thrust into a pre-match menu with various heroes and their various gear to pick from, upon which I’m dropped into a mission and immediately told that I have unequipped higher-level gear available. Are you exhausted? I am.
What really exhausts me is the unfortunate bias in favor of Khan’s components from the comics – not actually mentioned here, but not hard to guess the reviewers are aware of it. What can be additionally exhausting is when you think about how low the overall industry’s fallen, to the point where they won’t produce video games or comics about battling terrorism, and a game like this pushing a character who adheres to a religion built on terrorism is but an example of how twisted everything’s become in production outfits. Now, they’ve turned entertainment into whole swathes of propaganda vehicles instead of escapism, challenge, let alone something that can make you think. If the game’s controls are crummy, that could be due to how more was invested in a propaganda angle than in actually making an enjoyable product, to say nothing of the sad staple in past years where a diversity quota is almost entirely mandatory.