The Avengers are a pretty potent band of superheroes. Seeing that the comics and movies involving the Avengers have got a pretty huge fanbase, Marvel has moved into creating an episodic mobile game as well. The first in this series of games puts you in the somewhat large shoes of The Hulk. While the thought of having an Avengers based game sounds mouth-watering (it should be epic right?), the final implementation fails on many levels. How so? Read on to find out.
In essence, Avengers Initiative is basically just going up to an enemy and fighting him. There is some story thrown in for good measure, but it’s very thin. The game implements a combat scheme for The Hulk that is vastly reminiscent of games such as Dark Meadow and Blood and Glory. This is the first of many of the game's flaws. I mean, fighting in a locked-down battle where you slash the screen like crazy to attack, and have block and dodge buttons, may not be too bad when a sword or something equivalent is your weapon...but here it just feels wrong with Hulk fighting with his bare hands.
Then we have the story progression that is painfully slow because between moving from one point to another, the Hulk strolls around. You cannot move freely though the world. All you can do is click on some blue circles and you slowly make your way there. The fact that nothing interesting happens as you make your way to one point to another makes you immediately disinterested in the game. It is all very mundane because these cut-scenes are practically repeated throughout the game
I would say the graphics in the game are fair. During the fights, both the Hulk and his adversaries look detailed. But the environment itself is low resolution in some places. Considering what this game has to offer, it is absurd that it takes up 1.5 GB of your storage space. That is madness, simply because I don't see any graphics that make this worthy of such a huge file size. Maybe it is because of all the scenes where Hulk moves from one point to another are pre-scripted, but even then the huge (unwarranted) file size makes this game unappealing in this day and age of facing space constraints on our phones and tablets.
Moving on to the game's performance, by now I’ll sound like a broken tape recorder, but once again a graphically-intensive game performs sluggishly on Android. Frame rates are low, camera movement isn't smooth, and there are apparent lags every now and again. Also, the moment you press the home button on your device, the game shuts down and doesn't get saved into memory like it otherwise should. This is frustrating if you just want to go to your home screen to look at the weather widget, or put your device to sleep for a few moments. And rather long loading times don't help either in this respect if you need to be starting the game from scratch every so often.
What may just be the death knell of Avengers Initiative is its over-exuberance on the IAP front. Early on in the game, you get a pop-up message urging you to get a new skin for Hulk that costs a whooping 100,000 ISO 8 (the in-game currency). In contrast, you earn just about a hundred of ISO 8 from winning a fight. So yeah, from here you get the idea that the game is pushing you towards IAPs. Later on, enemies start getting overpowered, so you can replay the game to build up some ISO 8, or – you guessed it right – make an IAP!
Avengers Initiative is really a one trick pony game. If you feel you could go on slashing your screen all day long, then by all means the game is meant for you, but for everyone else, there’s no real compelling reason to get it (and that includes die-hard Avengers/Hulk fans). Lack of free movement, sub-par performance, a fairly prominent presence of IAPs and repetitive fights all act against the game. If anything, it is nice seeing the Hulk’s finishing moves, but otherwise you want to save up for a game that offers a more holistic experience instead.