There’s a lot to do in Marvel’s Avengers, the new action-adventure game starring Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, who are on a mission to take down MODOK and his Advanced Idea Mechanics, an evil tech corporation hellbent on taking over the world. On top of a single-player campaign with 19 core story missions, there are also over 80 War Zone, Drop Zone, and Iconic multiplayer missions to choose from in the game. And if you want to hit each character’s max power and level cap, you’ll need to do quite a bit of this stuff.
With max power set at 150 and the level cap at 50, the road to maxing out each hero is going to be a very long one. Characters’ power levels are increased by finding and equipping better gear on the field. Each piece of gear comes with a specific power level. Thankfully, resources you find on the field allow you to “boost” a piece of gear to increase its power level. That said, each piece of gear can only be boosted so much so you’ll need to keep finding new stuff and dismantling low power gear to make room in your inventory (pretty much how most loot-based online games work).
Your character’s power level really comes into play when taking on missions on the War Table. Each mission has a recommended power level. Taking on a mission with a lower power level than what is recommended is not ideal and will likely lead to quite a few restarts. That said, you can lower the difficulty of any mission if you get stuck. Overall, I’ve found that power is way more important than your character’s level itself as this number defines just how strong your character is.
Meanwhile, you level up the heroes by completing missions and taking down bad guys, which grant experience points. Each time a character hits a new level, they get a skill point you can redeem for a cool new ability or attack. There’s a pretty diverse skill tree in the game, so figuring out the best way to spend the skill points you earn could involve a bit of thinking and strategy (e.g. do you want your Iron Man to be more of a long-range hero than melee?).
There are certain artifacts you can find in the game that grant boosts on how many experience points you can earn per mission, which should speed up the process of leveling up a little. You should still aspect a long, hard climb to the top, though.
I’m currently playing through the game, completing single-player and War Zone missions with the game’s core team of heroes, and I’ve definitely found that it’s a slow grind to the finish line. With six heroes to choose from at launch — Iron Man, Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, Thor, Hulk, and Captain America — it’s going to take a while to hit the max power and level cap for each. Since each character levels up individually and has their own gear to discover, you’re going to have to vary up who you take out on the field as your playable character from mission to mission.
An early frustration for me is the fact that the heroes don’t level up in tandem like in other RPGs involving parties of characters, which can make dealing with certain hero-specific missions a bit annoying. So, for example, there’s a series of Iron Man-specific missions early on in the game that quickly allow you to raise his power level to 20, but since you’ve spent all this time with Tony, that means Kamala and Hulk have fallen by the wayside. When the Iron Man series of campaign missions lead into a Kamala and Hulk mission, the pair isn’t quite strong enough for the task at hand.
Since most story missions increase in difficulty from one to the next, it’s pretty much pivotal that you’re giving each character in your party as much attention as possible by grinding out better gear. This will mean replaying some missions you’ve completed at higher difficulties in hopes of getting better gear as well as spending some time in HARM training room inside the Chimera, the game’s base of operations.
Fans will be able to finally get their hands on Marvel’s Avengers when the game launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and PC on Sept. 4. The game is coming to Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 at a later date.