Game Reviews
Review: Avengers: Battle for Earth
By Sean Booker
November 12, 2012 - 20:49

Studios: Ubisoft
Rating: T (Teen)
Genre: Fighting
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-4

This review is for the Xbox 360 version of the Avengers: Battle for Earth game.


What can only be seen as odd timing to release an Avengers themed video game months after the movie hit the theaters, Avengers: Battle for Earth has recently been released for the Kinect on Xbox 360. As a fully featured Kinect game there are definitely some challenges that are almost inherent at this point but Battle for Earth does a good job of holding itself together from a technical standpoint. And though the game may function well enough, the degree of entertainment you’ll experience is nothing more that questionable; if you can even play all the modes offered.


Battle for Earth loosely follows the Secret Invasion plotline from the Marvel comics in which the shape shifting Skrulls are impersonating a number of different super heroes. The game provides brief narration throughout to help move along the plot but it’s mostly forgettable with the large gameplay sections spread out between each passage. The core concept boils down to heroes fighting other, green skinned versions of the same heroes. It’s a simple enough plot and provides a means to allow for the good guys to be fighting other, typically, good guys.

You’ll play as a team of two characters against an opposing two in a standard fighting game format. In terms of fighting games, you can dodge back and forth in a three dimensional area (such as in Soul Calibur) but your camera angle is situated over the shoulder of your current character. You’ll have a series of icons along the bottom right corner that will show you how to do your individual attacks and super moves as well as being able to switch characters and dodge. Moves such as a super attack might require you to raise both arms over your head and then swing them down to the sides, dodging is simply a lean to either side, changing fighter requires you to raise your left arm, etc.


The Kinect device actually tracks your body very well when attempting to perform each move and navigating the menus isn’t as much of a struggle compared to other Kinect games I’ve encountered. You can even control almost every menu using the Kinect’s voice commands which is a nice bonus. And though there was only a couple fights I experienced where the character wasn’t responding, it was few and far between. This level of control was definitely appreciated; especially in a fighting game where precise movement may be important, but for the most part you’ll find that Battle for Earth doesn’t require this degree of timing.


The difficulty level of this game is just no where near high enough. Since your attack commands are in the corner of the screen you’ll quickly find yourself focusing almost all of your attention to that one area, instead of the enemy in front of you. And though dodging out of the way of your opponents’ moves sounds like a smart move I never really found a moment where I needed to focus on anything other than performing my attacks as quickly as possible. So this causes Battle for Earth to be quite the dull experience. Instead of watching two super powered beings brawl, I ended up looking at simplified arm placement icons for about 90% of the game and the low difficulty never made me feel like I had to change this up. This is extra disappointing since the game actually has a nice cartoon aesthetic to it. And you will find that solely focusing on this one spot and using the same types of attacks over and over cause the game to become very boring. It’s hard to say if this disappointing degree of difficulty was on accident or if it was a trade off in order to have the Kinect able to track well enough.


There are a number of different modes to play through in Avengers: Battle for Earth which actually gives the game a good deal of replay value. Apart from the standard Arcade ladder and campaign (that won’t last you longer than a few hours) you’ll find a series of challenges, tournaments and online play. Most of these can also be played in co-op with a local partner. The tournaments also only allow for local multiplayer but can incorporate up to four people. The online play never actually worked for me as I was never matched with an opponent; whether that be from server issues or something else.

Most interesting is the Challenge modes. These range from tutorial sections up to fights with specific hindrances. While some of the challenges will teach you all of a specific character’s moves and how best to use them, the trials sub-category will pit you against opponents without the use of super attacks, only being able to kick, etc. These varying trials are definitely a good deal more difficult than the campaign and a nice addition to the game.


Unlike a lot of Kinect games, Avengers: Battle for Earth isn’t a bother to play and navigate your way through. The moves are easy to perform and the game keeps pace with you almost 100% of the time. The inclusion of multiple modes is great considering how easy and short the story section ends up being and it’s confusing that I was never able to play against another human online. And though the game has a great look to it, you’ll find yourself ignoring all of that and focusing only on attack icons. This ease in difficulty and the constant corner staring cause Battle to Earth to become boring, monotonous and a short lived thrill.

Rating: 4/10

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