As for the actual fighting controls, players can choose from a handful of regular and super moves to perform. Punching in the air fires projectiles (characters who don’t normally shoot things will throw rocks), while a knee kick causes your character to dash forward and possibly initiate a kick combo, if the kick meter has charged enough. Moving your body left or right dodges, while jumping performs a Breaker move, knocking down the opponent (if the Breaker meter has the charge for it).
Each character has three super moves available. A super consists of two specific poses; do both and you’ll pull off the move. Memorizing the moves isn’t strictly necessary as icons for the poses appear at the bottom corner of the screen. Moves have cooldowns so you can’t do the same one repeatedly. Performing a series of moves fast enough keeps the opponent stunned in a combo. Oh, and jumping when the Breaker meter fills completely performs an Ultra move – basically the Super Combos from Marvel vs. Capcom, though less varied.
Battle for Earth also offers an online versus mode for 2-4 players. It works exactly like a normal offline battle and can be a fun diversion, though the lack of depth means it won’t hold your attention for long. The game considers a team of two local players hopping online to be playing in “Co-Op,” though our website’s definition of co-op doesn’t extend to player-versus-player competitions of any sort.
Physical exercise aside, the real reason anyone would want to play Battle for Earth is its presentation and variety of characters. The graphics don’t exactly push the system, but the characters and environments still look better than what you’d see in SEGA’s movie games. There may not be a lot of levels, but some memorable locations like the SHIELD Helicarrier and The Savage Land show up in fine form.
The character roster includes not only all the core avengers from the film (no Ant Man or Wasp, sadly), but also Spider-Man, a few X-Men, and others – plus Skrull versions as well. See the full roster here. You can unlock multiple costumes per character, including movie costumes for the core Avengers. The movie versions don’t attempt to mimic the actors’ faces though, lessening the authenticity a tad.
Marvel’s Avengers: Battle for Earth is not the ultimate Avengers game that fans deserve. The rushed development schedule and motion controls keep it from greatness. You can only mine so much depth from a versus game with about six total moves per character. Still, it plays pretty well for a Kinect game that aspires to be a fighting game. With 20 different characters representing a fair breadth of the Marvel universe, it will certainly please Marvel fans who don’t mind jumping and flailing around while they play. Let’s hope a more traditional Avengers game comes along eventually as well.
The Co-Op Experience: Player Campaign or Arcade mode in tag-team co-op. When the active player raises his or her arm, the inactive player jumps in. The inactive player can perform the same super move as the active player to help the active player do more damage. If either player runs out of life, the team loses the round.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.