Review | Marvel’s Avengers Operation: Kate Bishop – Taking Aim
To say that Marvel’s Avengers had a rocky start might be a bit of an understatement. Depending on who you ask, this is a game that is either fantastic for fans, or a grindfest not worth your time. Of course, back when we reviewed it, we heavily enjoyed the story and even found the combat depth to be very well thought out. Despite this, there was definitely a drop in the player base, some growing tired of the content that was on offer. Well now there’s some fresh new content with Marvel’s Avengers Operation: Kate Bishop – Taking Aim. With a new character and more narrative to play with, it’s definitely worth jumping back in.
Operation: Kate Bishop – Taking Aim starts out with the Avengers investigating unusual AIM activity. After following a trail of destruction, they realize that a former ally, Kate Bishop, is digging into AIM secrets. After meeting up with her, Kate leads the charge on a new string of missions on a search for her mentor, Clint Barton, and SHIELD Director Nick Fury. The story provides a few hours of content, and much like the base game, the plot is incredibly strong. For a free content update, players will definitely find this operation worthwhile. Finishing it will even give players the tease for the next operation, Future Imperfect.
While the story is definitely strong, Kate Bishop is the true star of this show. Ashly Burch jumps into a role that has her name written all over it, and she definitely hits the mark. As a younger hero, much like Kamala Khan, Kate is energetic and full of plenty of spunk. She has an attitude all her own, but she’s still shows she has compassion as well. Ashly’s performance definitely helps to convey the character during the plot, as well as in the action. Speaking of action, Kate’s gameplay is truly something special, and I think I may have found a new main.
As an apprentice of Hawkeye, and even one to take up the mantle, Kate is a master archer. She’s also not too shabby with a sword. After acquiring some AIM technology, she also has plenty of tricks up her sleeve, including teleportation, energy decoys, and quantum abilities. The teleportation aspect is unique to Kate, not only helping her get around, but also to mix up her combat. As you level her up, you’ll unlock several abilities that capitalize on her strengths. Honestly, mastering this character can make her into a real powerhouse for your arsenal of heroes.
Despite the new character and story, we do still retread some old ground here. Environments, while remixed, do get recycled for this content. There isn’t any real new area to coincide with Kate’s debut. With that in mind, that doesn’t mean things aren’t more interesting this time around. If you’ve already been playing the Tachyon Rifts missions, then you’ll have an idea of how things change up. Cool little environmental flourishes are sprinkled throughout this short campaign, making it quite the spectacle. Puzzles also get a remix here, as now they tend to merge different styles together. While it’s nothing exactly new, it does make it feel just different enough.
Of course, the enemies you’ll be facing will be pretty familiar to you already. Even though the AIM soldiers and Synthoids will continue to be a thorn in your side, there is at least one cool new addition. Operation: Kate Bishop – Taking Aim adds a new Marvel villain boss battle with the Super Adaptoid. This modified Adaptoid contains the powers of several of our Avengers, including Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man. We won’t spoil the events leading up to the fight, but we will say it’s a pretty good boss battle. If Super Adaptoid is an example of the villains put into the rotation, then we’ll likely have a lot to look forward to.
One thing that I need to mention is the new Hero Challenges Card Activation feature. Previously, I was fine with the way Hero Challenge Card system. The microtransactions weren’t intrusive enough to bother me in the game, as everything was cosmetic. Part of this was because you could unlock content freely using the Hero Challenge Cards. For new characters though, it seems you have to activate these cards with 1,000 credits. If you complete challenges, you’ll earn these credits back, but the fact I have to spend credits to get all my rewards does leave a bad aftertaste. Thankfully, it’s easy to get credits with the six launch characters, so you shouldn’t need to spend real money.
Not only does Kate come with a new Hero Challenge Card system, but of course, she comes with several new cosmetics of her own. Unlike the rest of the cast, Kate only has one story costume. That means you’ll have to earn all of her other skins either through the Challenge Card, by purchasing them, or by completing her Iconic mission. It’s to be expected, but at least Kate does have some pretty awesome skins to unlock. Either way, this is likely going to be the example for how future heroes will be too. On the bright side, at least her update comes with a nifty new ping system for AI teammates. This makes those pesky doors no longer an issue when out on missions.
Overall, Marvel’s Avengers Operation: Kate Bishop – Taking Aim is a good time. The story continues to gain intrigue and tease more of what’s to come, and Kate herself is a delight both in character and in gameplay. While the new Hero Challenge Card system isn’t ideal, it’s still manageable. No matter how you feel about it, for free DLC, this one hits us with its best shot. It’s a great time to reassemble and continue to save the world.
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10