previews\ Jun 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm

The Avengers: Battle For Earth first impressions


2012 definitely stands as the year of Marvel’s The Avengers, what with Joss Whedon’s big-screen take on the superhero squad cleaning up at the box office with $1.4 billion in ticket sales.  And with the home release already dated for September 25, the fun looks to continue on for months to come.  With that, Ubisoft has finally stepped forward with an Avengers licensed video game, Battle For Earth, which will be knocking heads later this year for Xbox 360 Kinect and Wii U.  The company recently invited us to a behind-closed-doors demo to see how it works.

The concept is pretty similar to Power-Up Heroes, Ubi’s previously released superhero endeavor, but obviously tailor made with the Avengers in mind.  Instead of tying in with events from the film, you’ll be following chapters from the Secret Invasion saga, which means you’ll not only be tangling with the Skrulls, but also super villains like Loki and Magneto.  For that matter, additional characters will be included with the original Avengers team, such as Spider-Man and Wolverine.  (Over 20 will be in the game in all.)

The Avengers: Battle for Earth gameplay

The game works like a one-on-one battle game, where you fight against a specific opponent until one of you falls.  Think of it like a fighting game, but set up with an over-the-shoulder view – and with motion controls.  With your chosen character, you’ll execute attacks by swinging your arms and feet around in the desired motion.

Movement of your character is handled simply by swaying left and right, or pushing forward if you feel like going in for an attack.  You can swing your fists for basic attacks and also initiate an air launch move, leaving them vulnerable for a strike.  But it’s when you introduce special moves into the fray that things really get interesting with Battle For Earth.

Here, you can raise your arm in the air using Thor to initiate a lightning charge, then point at your opponent to hit them with the required voltage.  Or you can play as Hulk, slapping your hands together for a Thunder Clap and watching the sonic waves knock them around like crazy.  (A ground smash is available as well, so don’t be concerned.)  Ubisoft is fine-tuning each character so that their attacks feel natural to the player executing them, and so far, those controls look quite responsive, though there are times small executions aren’t properly received.  It’s still in the works though.

On top of a single player campaign, Battle For Earth will also support two-player co-op, so you can battle with a friend in split-screen fashion, swinging away and using special techniques.  The game will also be online compatible through Xbox Live, so you can battle others.

We noted that Battle For Earth was also headed for Wii U, and while Ubisoft didn’t specifically elaborate on the features for that version, it’s bound to use the touch-screen to some effect, and possibly even the device’s gyrosensors.  Once we know more, we’ll let you know what unfolds…

The avengers: Battle for Earth gameplay

For now, you can rest easy with The Avengers: Battle For Earth.  This isn’t just some rushed Kinect effort that’s taking advantage of the super-hot film franchise, but rather a fighting game that lets you acts out your ultimate superhero desires with 20+ various characters.  Who doesn’t want to perform a shield throw with Captain America or a plasma blast with Iron Man?  We’re game for that.

Look for Battle For Earth later this year.

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