I have stuck with Marvel’s Avengers through thick and thin. I was hyped for the game before it was released, stayed with the game through its rocky post-launch window, and have returned for weeks on end after every hero release. Even for me, though, the wait between Spider-Man and Jane Foster’s Mighty Thor was rough. That gap between heroes was about seven months, and the only significant updates between then and now have been a couple of missions and some quality of life changes, most of which were in a March update that didn’t work on PS5 for over a day.
Because of this dearth of updates, I eagerly jumped back in when Jane Foster’s Mighty Thor was added on June 28. While I can clearly see how Marvel’s Avengers has improved since September 2020 and still think there is a really fun action game at its core, I can no longer forgive it for failing me as a live service game. Like every update of Marvel’s Avengers, Jane Foster’s addition comes with its own set of problems, and I just don’t have the faith that the developer can turn things around anymore.
You won’t behold in breathless wonder
Thor is the Marvel’s Avengers character I’ve probably played the least of, which did help make Jane Foster’s Mighty Thor feel a bit fresh to me. Still, there’s no denying that her update feels a bit light compared to previous hero drops, and the sentiment among the player base is that she’s too similar to the version of Thor that’s been available since launch.
The hero update is missing basic features like a training room, loading screen animation, or even more substantial in-game cutscenes that even the controversial Spider-Man update had. This version of Jane Foster was also randomly teleported over from another universe and it doesn’t come with much story content, which plays further into the feeling of her being shoehorned in.
That’s disappointing, as Zehra Fazal gives a good performance and the audio logs feature some strong writing as you learn about her alternate timeline and why she feels empowered by taking on the Mighty Thor mantle. The narrative is one place where Marvel’s Avengers still shines but has never really been able to put enough focus on. It appears that’s something no update will change. Her challenge card also doesn’t contain anything too special either, so there’s not much pushing me to spend money on her or to engage with the game in the long term in order to unlock more items.
The lack of new content puts a lot of pressure on how Jane Foster’s Mighty Thor plays, but this will probably be a bit of a letdown for hardcore players, especially those who frequently use Thor. Thor and Jane share a lot of abilities and even some takedowns. The biggest differences are that Jane has a little more range than Thor; she uses All Mother’s Blessing instead of the Odinforce to counter and charge attacks. Plus, her Ultimate Heroic Ability The All-Weapons is more similar to Hawkeye’s Ultimate, as Mjolnir flies around on its own and hits several enemies.
Because The All-Weapon is a fun Ultimate ability to use and I tend to prefer ranged characters in Marvel’s Avengers, I do actually like playing Jane a little bit more than Thor. I’m okay with “echo characters” in games that try to have large rosters, but when it’s the game’s only new character in seven months (10 months if you aren’t on PlayStation), then a character that mostly feels like a clone and doesn’t bring any substantial story mission content is a going to be a disappointment.
I’ve wanted this service to live
Playing this update, it’s clear that she’s primarily a clone character made to tie in with the impending release of Thor: Love and Thunder, which is a tough pill to swallow when Marvel’s Avengers has been so inconsistent as a live service. I’ve put dozens of hours into Marvel’s Avengers since launch, but ever since I got through the War for Wakanda expansion, updates have been sporadic and felt like less than what came before. Spider-Man and Jane Foster had a decreasing amount of new content surrounding them, and Crystal Dynamics has mostly focused on onboarding updates that aren’t super relevant to players like me who have stuck with the game since launch.
I’m finally ready to let go of Marvel’s Avengers. It fails to keep me consistently engaged with compelling content, something that is critical to making a live service game successful. I’ve supported Crystal Dynamics’ sporadic updates as I hoped it was building toward a more consistent live-serviced schedule. Things do seem like they might start getting a bit better following Jane Foster’s addition, as July’s first big update has been detailed and a developer is already teasing the next hero. That said, when the developer continues to disappoint in updates, was sold off by Square Enix, and publicly won’t commit to releasing a long-term roadmap, this Jane Foster update feels like too little too late for an inconsistently updated game.
It’s easy to dogpile on Marvel’s Avengers; a lot of people have done that since its launch. I’ve resisted doing that for a long time as I want to love Marvel’s Avengers and make it one of my eternal live service games. Unfortunately, it’s never felt like the game has given me enough back as a player for that to be the case. I hope the release of Jane Foster’s Mighty Thor is the start of more frequent support outside new concepts, but I’m not holding my breath over it anymore. Unless Marvel’s Avengers gets a more consistent stream of new, substantial content, I doubt I’ll ever do much more than return to try a new hero for a day or two.
As we get further and further removed from launch and hero updates have gotten worse and worse though, I’ve finally succumbed to the Marvel’s Avengers issues that burnt out others long ago.