So, we now know that Avengers has delayed the release of its first post-launch character, Kate Bishop, out of late October into some time in November (please, please be before next-gen launch week).
I don’t begrudge them that. There’s a lot to be fixed with the game and I know they’re working hard on that stuff. But I am using my Doctor Strange-like powers to see into a possible future where an issue with these new characters crops up.
Specifically, Crystal Dynamics has yet to explain something that seems pretty clear about not just the next two characters, but supposedly a bunch more to come.
How is Kate Bishop going to be meaningfully different from Hawkeye, given that both are archers?
But it’s not just this pair. Avengers seems like it’s going to be doing a sort of “echo fighter” thing out of Smash Bros. where you have similar characters that are effectively different versions of each other. We have seen a leaked, very long list of potential upcoming characters the game is considering, with a lot of potential echo pairings in there. Besides Kate and Hawkeye we have:
- Iron Man – War Machine
- Black Widow – Mockingbird
- Captain Marvel – Mar-Vell
And then others that could be echo-ish pairings
- Hulk – She-Hulk
- Captain America – Winter Soldier
- Ant-Man – Wasp (though Wasp can fly)
But the idea is for many of these characters, if they are “echo fighters” they would probably share move sets, albeit perhaps with some tweaks. As in, you can’t really have War Machine without his Gatling Gun, but will he also have Iron Man’s repulsors and rockets?
So that’s the first question the game needs to answer, how these move sets will differ among the echoes. But my question is more based on progress: leveling and gear.
In Smash Bros. you just pick up an echo fighter and play with them. In Avengers, you have to level characters to 50 to unlock their full move set, then you have to gear them up to 150 power, which takes a massive amount of farming and upgrade materials and even time-gated currency like Polychoron for artifacts. Is none of that shared between these echo characters? I cannot imagine spending a massive amount of time getting Kate Bishop to 50/150, only to have Hawkeye arrive a month later and he has like, two different types of arrows, but I still have to start the process all over again.
Again, since we have no answers to any of this yet, I can’t say for sure this is going to be a problem. But it sure has the potential to be a problem if anything I’m worried about comes to pass. I don’t mind the existence of echo characters, but I have played this game a metric ton and only just got my fourth character above 145. That process for each character needs to come way, way down in terms of time investment if the idea is really to have a dozen or more heroes show up over time, including some that are mirrors of each other. Perhaps we’re still too far out for Crystal Dynamics to address this, but I think it’s important all the same.