Here's what you need to know for the first 2 hours of Marvel's Avengers
© Square Enix
Thor he's a jolly good fellow
Avengers Assemble! Square Enix's highly-anticipated hero adventure is finally here, letting you experience the full thrill of life as a bonafide Avenger. Offering a bevvy of heroes to choose from and an exciting – and heartwarming – single-player campaign, while there's plenty of action, it's hard to deny that it's a little overwhelming at first.
So, if you're just getting started and are looking to be the very best superhero you can be, here are some essential beginners tips and tricks you need to know for the first few hours of Marvel's Avengers.
It takes a couple of hours to unlock multiplayer missions
Marvel's Avenger's takes an interesting approach to multiplayer. For the most part, the action game plays very much like a single-player adventure. Even though you have "strike teams" you can populate with AI hero companions of your choosing, you'll only be able to open up the strike team to your pals on certain missions. So, if you'd prefer to play action games like this with a pal or two at your side, make a beeline for your singleplayer campaign and keep on truckin' until you open up the War Table. Only then will you be able to assemble with your besties.
Clock up some training hours in HARM
The Holographic Augmented Reality Machine – HARM – lets you experiment with the different heroes and their bespoke abilities in the relative safety of a simulation. Here you'll learn what your offensive and defensive options are, as well as combos, parrying – more on that later – and how best to take on certain enemies. It's the perfect training environment to get you in tip-top combat condition and given every hero is different, it's best to take each one through HARM training as soon as you unlock them.
Experiment to find your perfect Hero
The Avengers each offer their own special spin on their combat prowess, so experiment as much as possible to find the right Hero for you. Though at first, you'll spend a lot of time with Ms Marvel / Kamala, other Heroes will eventually unlock, too. So while Kamala's a great all-rounder, Hulk is – naturally – stronger, but he's slower and less mobile. So, depending upon your preferred style of play, keep experimenting with all the heroes and their respective skill trees to find your perfect companion.
Loot up, but don't hoard
You'll spend much of your time with Marvel's Avengers in the "gear" sub-menu, sorting through your gear to make sure you've equipped the best stuff you have. While it's tempting to hoard things "just in case", get into the habit of routinely dismantling anything you're not using. You'll regularly find new gear in the world or as end of mission rewards, so be ruthless with your loadout and don't hang on to anything underpowered. The resources they give when dismantled are vital to buffing your epic gear to the max.
Make friends with your factions
Though most of the factions' strongest gear is gated, it's worth grinding a little to build your reputation to access it. Luckily enough, gaining rep points isn't too tricky, and – acting much like Destiny's bounties – they offer bonus XP and gear for activities you're probably doing anyway. Therefore, when you start your play session, make sure you drop by to visit the two factions and stock up on assignments before you head out into the world and start brawling.
Learn to Parry
Those of you who've spent time in Soulsbornes games will likely already know the power of a successful parry, but for those who don't know, parrying is the art of blocking a powerful attack. Enemies about to wail on you will telegraph their moves with an icon above their heads so when you see that, it's time to counter that attack with a well-timed trigger or button press. Parrying will break the defences of Avengers' most irritating shielded foes, enabling you to take them down considerably quicker.
Be careful of any attacks that carry a red icon, though – those can't be countered, only avoided.
Don't worry about levelling up all your Heroes just yet
It's possible you might disagree on this, but given your enemies always scale up – or down – to the Power level of the Hero you're playing, there's no need to level up Heroes you simply don't enjoy playing as.
For instance, Iron Man's aerial skills are a little temperamental, and if you try and get him to sprint, he'll fly instead, which means he's frustrating for some and fun for others. Though you'll have to play as all Heroes eventually, enemies will always be around the same Power as the Hero you're inhabiting, so if Hulking is your thing, for instance, feel free to concentrate on levelling him up. There's no penalty for having underpowered Heroes here.
Spam Up on your D-Pad
Hitting up on your D-Pad will reveal not just your waypoint, but also other areas of interest, too. Often it'll start off as a question mark, but get closer, and they'll reveal themselves to be, say, a chest with rare gear within, or a SHIELD agent in need. It's always worth mopping up the question marks on the map before you complete your objective to maximise your gear and resources.
Marvel's Avengers is out now on PC, PS4, Stadia, and Xbox One.