Marvel’s Avengers latest event, Red Room Takeover, came and went this week and it wasn’t the usual set of disappointments for the beleaguered superhero brawler. It made players madder than they’ve ever been.
During the Square Enix Presents event last March, developer Crystal Dynamics earned back some faith – or at the bare minimum, some benefit of doubt – when it unveiled a full roadmap of content. They promised new mission types and content leading up to a War for Wakanda event towards the end of this year that will introduce Black Panther to the roster.
The premise of Red Room Takeover is that a mysterious person behind the Rooskaya Protocols has corrupted the Avengers’ HARM Room, the holographic battle simulator aboard their Helicarrier. The Avengers must defeat the threats inside the HARM Room that are no longer mere simulation, but dangerous threats, and regain control. In practice, this means waves of the same enemies in a modified arena that’s red instead of blue.
There are so many questions I had about this event. Why does the event insist you go in single-player with no companions? Are the Avengers lined up in a queue outside the HARM Room? If the mastermind behind the Rooskaya Protocols is Black Widow’s old friend Yelena – according to event text – then why does she have no unique dialogue? If this is being marketed as a Black Widow tie-in event, where’s the movie?
Instead of being anything exciting, Marvel’s Avengers latest event asks players to repeat weirdly unrewarding arenas that do not give satisfying loot with a flimsy premise to justify it. There are bounty-like objectives that encourage players to keep running the event but they’re grindy as hell for a single exotic gear piece. Worse still are the reports that these rewards are glitched for many.
That’s left many players feel like they’ve put in the time for nothing. And the recent community livestream was met with a cold reception by understandably upset players. Community specialists Leyla Karasuma and Andy Wong were given nothing to placate fans, such as an extension on the event, or answers to when cross-platform play will arrive or what new content to expect or new quality of life features.
While it’s tempting to paint the response as player entitlement, Marvel’s Avengers has been struggling to retain its player base since launch. A community livestream that has no good information to provide, and only new cosmetics to show paints the picture of a game that has no interest in meeting expectations. And while it’s true that the hunger for content in service games can seem bottomless, Marvel’s Avengers falls short of what Genshin Impact, Destiny 2 or Final Fantasy XIV are doing and those are games with their fair share of detractors.
You could feel the oxygen and energy seep out of the room during the community livestream. Ultimately, Marvel’s Avengers isn’t respecting its players time with events like Red Room Takeover, and a livestream like the one gives the wrong impression: that honest questions don’t deserve answers and that there’s always time for cosmetics.
I firmly believe that every developer wants to do their best and do right by their fans, but all Marvel’s Avengers is doing is making their fans see red.