The latest content update for Marvel’s Avengers arrived this week, as announced on the recent Square Enix Presents Spring broadcast. Featuring Clint Barton, or “Hawkeye”, the story picks up where the “Taking AIM” update left off.
Clint has been rescued by the Avengers, and has a vision of an apocalyptic future where Earth has largely been destroyed by an alien race called the Kree. We play as his future self for a time, searching for Nick Fury in an attempt to make amends for abandoning the Avengers in their hour of need. Meanwhile, present-day Clint and Kate find a way travel to that same future to find a way to prevent it.
Future Imperfect is about a two-hour affair that, despite being part of an unfolding story, is breezy and largely self-contained. Clint and Kate take the spotlight while the rest of the Avengers cast tag along in the literal sense. Given the length, it probably doesn’t make much sense to have every Avenger have their moment, but it would have been nice if they had additional, observational dialogue. If you’re like me, and not well-versed with all things Marvel, some plot beats might move along a bit too quickly to land — relying on knowledge of the source material to fill in the character work. From the outside, it’s a bit hard to follow, feeling no more than sufficient.
Hawkeye is ground-based (basically, no flight) but has all the maneuverability options other characters do. Each character has a similar kit when it comes to handling enemies up close and at a distance, but Hawkeye feels right moving between both as the situation demands. Melee attacks can quickly dispatch, and even knockback enemies that can be picked off with bow attacks. Ranged abilities also give Clint enough time to move into melee range finishers and especially when you unlock the grappling hook to zip toward a target. His heroic abilities include an area heal, area damage, and homing arrows that track down enemies for a limited time after it’s activated. It’s most effective when Hawkeye and friends get swarmed, or for dealing damage while moving to a certain point. All in all, he’s pretty fun to play, and probably the best example to underline the game’s solid combat.
Future Imperfect’s scenario quests still rely on moving from point A to B and don’t introduce any new types of objectives, which feels like a bit of a missed opportunity to add some excitement. You may be defending objectives, freeing prisoners, smashing five points to clear an area — nothing new. The boss fight that concludes the scenario, however, was decent fun and kept me on my toes.
All-in-all, these character-based updates are pretty nice stand-alone affairs — something that folks who enjoyed the “Reassembled” campaign would find worth checking out. Beyond that, it’s tough to say. The game’s wobbly post-game ecosystem does a lot of heavy lifting with not much variety or reward, which is still hard to recommend.
Square Enix plan to add additional content in the year to come — leading up to the first expansion: War for Wakanda featuring Black Panther. This includes “AIM Cloning Labs”, “Tachyon Anomalies”, “Red Room Takeover”, “Project Omega”, and “Wasteland Patrol” scheduled from now until summer. New gear and an increased item level cap will be added at some point as well as the ability to replay the ‘Reassembled’ campaign from the start.
You can check out our full playthrough of ‘Future Imperfect’ in the video below!
Marvel’s Avengers is now available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Stadia and PC.