Much controversy has surrounded Marvel’s Avengers ahead of its release this week, with a number of players shunning its excessive use of in-game monetisation with battle passes for each hero, ample cosmetics and a live-service model that arguably dilutes the narrative superhero experience at its core.
But after spending a number of hours with the game (our full review is coming soon), it does a surprisingly solid job of making you feel like a superhero, stepping into the shoes of so many iconic characters as they seek to overthrow an evil organisation and retain their position in the public spotlight.
However, like many once expected, microtransactions are a core element of the game’s overall progression, and they can be hard to ignore once you start digging into the menus and statistics screen of each respective hero. While they don’t detract from the overall experience, we’ve delved into exactly how microtransactions work in Marvel’s Avengers and what you can expect from them.
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How do microtransactions work in Marvel’s Avengers?
Marvel’s Avengers microtransactions revolve entirely around cosmetics, and there’s currently no way to purchase anything that has a mechanical impact on gameplay. This isn’t pay-to-win in any shape of the word, which is a relief for those who might be jumping into Crystal Dynamic’s superhero epic worrying that might be the case. A news post on the official site breaks down exactly how things will work, and we’ve also done so below.
Cosmetics in Marvel’s Avengers come in four distinct forms: Emotes, Outfits, Takedowns and Nameplates. Many of these will be unlocked naturally throughout the solo campaign and running missions in multiplayer, but some of the very best will only be unlockable through premium means or crafting them back on The Chimera. Some of the skins are lovely, but you aren’t missing out by not having them in your collection.
You’ll need to purchase premium currency before picking up any cosmetics, which operate in the same way as basically every other live service game on the market. I’ve played through a bulk of the campaign, and they’re easy to overlook, and if I’m perfectly honest I struggled to find a costume that really tickled my fancy. The gorgeous nameplates are a different story, but I managed to control my urges.
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Post-launch content such as new missions, heroes and stories will all be available for free, starting with Hawkeye and Kate Bishop later this year. Spider-Man will be exclusive to PlayStation platforms when he launches in 2021 but will, once again, be completely free. It is clear Crystal Dynamics doesn’t want to split the audience, keeping its microtransactions focused on cosmetics and nothing else.
Each hero also has a challenge card, with the six launch characters having their first iteration available for free. This will change going forward, with free and premium tiers coming for each respective pass. Once again – these are just filled with cosmetics such as skins and emotes. It’s a shame so many unlockables will soon be locked behind a paywall, but knowing they make no mechanical difference is a small relief.