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Meet the heroes and villains of Marvel's Avengers

Marvel Avengers characters
(Image credit: Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix)

How do the Marvel's Avengers game characters fare in combat? If you're keen to test your skills as the most popular superheroes on the planet, it's a good idea to get a feel for their strengths and abilities. Even the league of Earth's best defenders need to train, y'know. With Crystal Dynamics' next action game right around the corner, there's no time to waste in narrowing down the heroes that best suit your playstyle.

So I'm here to help you school up on each character's move sets and confidently breeze through the early missions. Whether a particular member of the gang has caught your attention, or you're excited to spend more time with the heroes that have had less airtime so far, let's get acquainted with each of Marvel's Avengers game heroes and villains, and take a closer look at their individual strengths and abilities.

Marvel's Avengers game characters: Every playable hero

(Image credit: Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix)

Hulk

As you'd expect, the big green guy's move set spans a variety of smashing attacks. Like the other Avengers, you can string consecutive light attacks together to whittle down enemy health bars quicker. When surrounded by multiple hostiles, you can also grab one and use their puny human body as a tool against others before finishing them off with a prompt ground slam.

Close encounters are generally a mixture of wide swipes from his huge fists, but he can also perform a charged 'power attack' to break enemy shields. Following this up with an upwards sweep then knocks mobs backwards. Activating his Rage meter rewards a hyper-aggressive approach, boosting the damage of successful attacks while healing him. Hulk's Stranglehold Heroic sees him charge forward to land a dramatic smash into the ground, whereas his Thunderclap Heroic sends out a shockwave to injure and push back opponents.        

Hulk feels surprisingly weak considering his size, and he still needs to dodge enemy fire and small projectiles. In these situations it's best to use his Cannonball attack, which targets enemies from afar by tearing up the ground and tossing the rubble at foes positioned just out of reach. For an additional Skill Point, you can unlock the Meteor variant that deals more damage. Several of his unlockable attack upgrades focus on using aftershocks to knock opponents back.

(Image credit: Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix)

Ms Marvel

Ms Marvel has a flexible move set, quite literally. She's melee-oriented, extending her arms and legs like a human rubber band to punch and kick her way through any obstacle. She can also swing across short distances to slink between enemies and pick fights. Dealing with smaller threats like flying robots, or taking out security cameras requires just a few flicks from her Whip Fist ability. 

Most of Kamala Khan's abilities cause her hands and feet to bloat as she charges up her attack. Her stretchy Spin Kick allows her to plough towards an enemy and disorient them in preparation of a surprise follow-up attack. There are plenty of opportunities to capitalise on her heavy and ranged attacks. Moves like Whirling Wallop launch hostiles into the air with a series of quick uppercuts, whereas Morning Star can be activated immediately after a successful parry to send threats flying.

(Image credit: Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix)

Black Widow

Black Widow is a sprightly hero that excels in fast, flowing combat. Her Grappling Hook lets her cover ground quickly, while letting her zip directly towards targets. Widow's Line propels her to an enemy, automatically triggering an explosive strike that's powerful enough to affect other hostiles nearby. Some of her heavy attacks feature batons, but she's not afraid to deliver a swift kick to an enemy jaw, either. 

In addition to melee attacks, Black Widow's snappy pistols can be upgraded to increase their magazine and ammo capacity. After acquiring her High-Caliber Shot skill—which switches out her dual pistols for a heavy handgun—her Perforator ability lets her charge up an ionised bullet that can eliminate multiple targets in a single shot. Guns aside, her Veil of Shadows Heroic ability turns her invisible, allowing her to stealthily seek out and defeat opponents before they know what's hit them.

(Image credit: Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix)

Iron Man

Taking flight as Tony Stark broadens your combat abilities, unlocking mid-air dashes, guard-shattering uppercuts, and dicey dives. With him you can zoom around and blast enemies out of your path, but the tech genius' lasers and rockets are worth testing, too.

If you fancy putting on your own explosive light show, moves like Photon Samurai and Whirling Tempest provide sufficient showmanship. Photon Samurai has Stark swinging his arms forward to cut and stun opponents. Rapidly pressing the heavy attack transforms this move into a combo, with the final hit landing additional damage. Whirling Tempest sees Iron Man spin to slice through nearby enemies. While this ability is quite slow, it covers a wide radius around the hero.

(Image credit: Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics)

Thor

Thor feels like one of the most versatile Avengers, so far. We spent a limited amount of time with him in The Light That Failed mission, but there was a brief opportunity to clang into enemies with his hammer, Mjölnir. He can propel it into opponents from afar, and recall his weapon to smash into enemies upon its return. Mjölnir's powers also grant him aerial capabilities that enable him to soar through the air, before performing charged attacks.

Thor's Warrior's Fury Heroic ability launches him into the air to channel his lightning powers and blast unlucky opponents that happen to be standing a bit too close. His attacks are buffed while in this state, so he can chain multiple light and heavy attacks to clear a wave of enemies in no time.

(Image credit: Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix)

Captain America

Captain America relies on his shield to do serious damage, but he naturally packs a punch against human enemies when he needs to.

Cap's Steamroller Heroic ability sees him glow red before throwing his shield like a ricocheting boomerang that can collide with multiple targets. His finishers are also particularly satisfying: With it you can grab enemies and slam them onto the ground. Good ol' Steve can use his shield to block incoming attacks, and can even vault over enemies with shields to land behind them and strike from behind.

Which characters can we look forward to post-launch?

(Image credit: Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix)

Post-launch characters

Hawkeye was announced during the last War Table presentation as a free DLC character. While he won't be available at launch, we can make a few educated guesses of what he'll be like to play. Resident sharpshooter, Clint Barton, knows his way around a bow and arrow, so he'll likely focus on ranged attacks. In his reveal trailer his 'shock arrow' is mentioned, but I think it's fair to assume that he'll have an arsenal of specialised arrows up his sleeve. He's also bound to have a few melee options for close encounters, too, like Iron Man.

There's little information on Ant-Man, but this Pym Particles trailer from E3 2019 suggests that he'll play a part in Marvel's Avengers in some form. It'll be interesting to see whether he's a playable character, or whether his role is just a small cameo.

And as much as we'd love to spend time spinning webs and flying through the air as the arachnid-inspired hero, Spider-Man is a PlayStation exclusive hero.

Villains we're destined to defeat in Marvel's Avengers

(Image credit: Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix)

Taskmaster

You encounter Taskmaster towards the end of The Light That Failed mission, in which his phases are split into manageable chunks so you can get a feel for Black Widow's abilities. He has a jet pack that you can target, but he also wields a shield and fiery sword that he mixes into varied melee attacks. He'll toss a few explosives into the fight for good measure, too. When you see a blue or yellow indicator above his head, it means his move can be countered. Note: He can also parry you.

(Image credit: Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix)

Abomination

The big, scaly brute's move shares more than just a striking resemblance to the Hulk. His light swipes and charged smashes mirror the green giant's, and he can bound towards you in a long rolling animation. His advances can also daze you, which temporarily obscures your hero's vision. The second phase of his boss battle also buffs his moves and has him stomping and launching himself at you more often. Overall, his moves feel quite slow, which gives you a lot of time to block or interrupt his incoming attacks.

(Image credit: Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix)

MODOK

According to Fraser, MODOK (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing) is one of the Marvel comics' weirdest villains. Judging by his reveal trailer, The Modok Threat doesn't appear to be the friendliest of fellows, and he sounds the embodiment of a mad scientist gone haywire. Marvel's Avengers' story challenges the Avengers to take down AIM—a group that has moved in since the team fell out of the limelight—and naturally, George Tarleton is at the helm of the dodgy organisation.