Kamala Khan is the first hero you play as in Marvel’s Avengers. She is a dedicated super fan of the Avengers and it becomes quite clear when playing that she knows quite a bit about them. Ironically enough, playing through her lens becomes the catalyst for casual fans who may not know much about the Marvel Universe to gain relevant knowledge.
In the very first mission, Kamala explores an event called Avengers Day, where the player the player is immediately made familiar with different aspects of the Marvel Universe. The game cleverly places different exhibits the player can interact with to learn more about the lingo and culture surrounding it as well. Kamala playfully remarks “Hulk Smash!” while winning a Hulk arcade game; an iconic phrase that even casual fans should recognize. An interactive Iron Man hologram speaks another famous catchphrase “I am Iron Man,” ringing even more bells for casual fans. Then there’s the interactive replicas that explain what things like the Chimera Hellicarrier are and share fun facts, like Tony Stark’s Mark 1 Armor being the first suit he created to become Iron Man.
Players also learn a bit about backstory of the heroes, with Kamala explaining that Captain America once used a shield on display to defeat Hitler in World War II. Further into the game, players can discover easter eggs connected to other Marvel heroes outside of the Avengers. Daily Bungle, a news channel named after the New York newspaper from Spider-Man, can be seen on the televisions in the game. Hawkeye, who is absent from the main story, will become available as DLC; those unfamiliar can get their first glimpse of him in a team photo that can be found exploring the vault as Ms.Marvel. While certain things are hard to spot as easter eggs for casual fans, it balances a level of spoon feeding with subtle nods to fan favorites.
Even the most avid Marvel fan can enjoy the callbacks, while casual fans gain intriguing information. Toward the end of the game, Captain America sneaks into Thors room and tries to pick up his hammer, but he is only able to move it slightly. This is significant because during the first mission, the game teaches the player in a carnival game at Avengers day that only those worthy can pick up the hammer and possess the power of Thor. Casual fans will see the Captain America scene and realize that he was almost deemed worthy, and can now enjoy this tidbit due to the information they learned earlier in the game. Avid fans will recognize this as a reference to the Marvel cinematic universe, where something similar happens early on the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie.
Another easter egg happens in the very first mission where Kamala confronts bullies with a quote from a Captain America: Civil War comic. The line reads “When the mob, and the press, and the whole world tell you to move, you plant yourself like a tree, beside the river of truth, and you say ‘no.’ You move.” While Captain Marvel isn’t a playable character (yet?), she does get a mention and appear in the game on Kamala’s shirt and on the side of an arcade game in the first mission. When Kamala meets Captain America for the first time at Avengers Day, he will notice her shirt and tell her that Captain Marvel is off-planet right now, explaining her absence.
The fifth Avengers movie is rumored to feature Quake from “Agents of S.H.E.L.D”, and this may be supported by a reference to her during the “To Find Olympia” mission where her name D. Johnson is seen on a cell. Other quick references to Marvel characters include drawings of Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, Dr. Doom, and a plush doll of Winter Soldier all seen during gameplay. The game does a good job of feeding information to casual fans while maintaining the attention of those already well versed in the Avengers world. A lot of the missions and even easter eggs are accessible even to those who aren’t Marvel fans, while still giving the avid fans a good pop. Marvel’s Avengers is available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and upcoming next gen systems.