Marvel’s Avengers hasn’t immediately enjoyed the sort of post-launch success that Square Enix would have been hoping. The game received at best middling reception from critics and players upon release, while support for it following that has not been the best either. The fact that there has only been one major DLC drop for it in six months has done its ever-dwindling playerbase no favours- but soon, a second major content drop is coming.
A Hawkeye DLC has been announced for Marvel’s Avengers for a long time now, and soon, he will be joining the game’s roster of playable superheroes, bringing with him new playable content, new story, and more. With Clint Barton’s arrival now days away, in this feature, we’ll be going over the most crucial details you should know about this DLC.
Crystal Dynamics set up Clint Barton’s arrival a few months ago in the Kate Bishop DLC, giving us an idea of what to expect when he takes centerstage in his own story- but what can we expect from how the story is going to play out in the upcoming DLC, titled Operation: Future Imperfect? Well, fans of the “My Life as a Weapon” and “Old Man Hawkeye” stories will find a lot of familiar stuff here.
Involving time-bending shenanigans, a trip into a darker, alternate reality future, and more, Operation: Future Imperfect is looking like it’s going to be quite the eventful affair. Players are going to travel to a new area, a completely new biome called the Wasteland- which, as its name suggests, is a desolate and destroyed location in a post-apocalyptic version of the Earth. Hawkeye, who is on the lookout for none other than Nick Fury, is going to be fighting to ensure that the end of the world he’s trudging through never comes to pass in his own reality.
What’s most interesting about Operation: Future Imperfect is who’s going to take the spotlight as the villain. Maestro, an alternate version of Hulk, who has the intelligence of Bruce Banner but the terrifying brute strength of his big green alter ego, is going to be Hawkeye’s primary foe in this new chapter, and we’re quite curious to see how that plays out.
Given the fact that Hawkeye is a ranged fighter, and one who’s significantly less overflowing with innate superpowered abilities than most other Avengers, it goes without saying that his fighting style is going to be a little different. There will be an equal focus on both his abilities as a master archer, as well as his equally impressive abilities as a Ronin for up-close and melee combat.
Several examples of both have also been detailed by Crystal Dynamics. Quickdraw Reflex, for instance, will allow Clint to sidestep an incoming move and instantly respond with his own shot, staggering the enemy. Using Ranger’s Momentum, he can instantly snap to targets and focus on their weak points for increased damage. Then there’s his Dead Eye Skill, which enables him to focus on and single out a single enemy and increase damage on it with razor arrows.
All in all, players can expect Hawkeye to be quite different from the other playable characters. While his skillset will be similar to that of Kate Bishop, the two will control quite differently. While Kate is much more mobile and quick, Hawkeye is going to be a lot more impactful even when he’s standing his ground against enemies.
Of course, ranged combat is the bread and butter of anything and everything to do with Clint Barton, which means players can expect to find several different kinds of arrows to use when playing as him, each with their own unique effects and advantages. Grapple Arrows allow you to traverse environments, but can also be used in combat to pull yourself in closer to enemies and then attack them with your sword. Rocket Arrows can attach to enemies and then send them flying, literally so.
Implosion Arrows pull groups of enemies in on each other, making them a great crowd control tool. Pulsar Arrows can be attached to surfaces, and build up energy before exploding, with the explosion being bigger and deadlier the longer the arrows are allowed to build up energy. Tripwire Arrows, as the name suggests, are perfect for staggering, and can even be used to push back larger, more formidable foes. Again, this seems like a good crowd control weapon. Finally, there’s Boomerang Arrows- which is pretty self-explanatory.
But that’s not all. Even when it comes to Heroic Abilities, Clint Barton seems to have plenty of stuff up his sleeve.
Each character in Marvel’s Avengers also comes, of course, with their own unique abilities, called Heroic Abilities, that can be used on a cooldown. So what can players expect from Hawkeye in this area? Well, there seems to be a good balance here. The Assault Heroic, called Nightstorm Arrows, sees Clint shooting explosive arrows into the air, after which they land down on enemies below in clusters to deal AoE damage.
His Support Heroic ability is something that a lot of Avengers players will be glad to see. Called Recovery Arrow, as its name suggests, Hawkeye’s Support Heroic will allow him to shoot nanobots through arrows at his allies and heal them up in the midst of combat. In a game that hasn’t put a lot of emphasis on support classes or healer classes so far, that’s a welcome addition.
Finally, there’s his Ultimate Heroic, called Hunter’s Arrow. Once fired, it will be guided by an AI and will flit through the battlefield on its own, piercing through enemies as long as it is activated. Players can also upgrade the Hunter’s Arrow in several ways to make it more effective, from being able to fire two of them at a time, to commanding it to target specific foes, to even adding explosive charges to it in order to deal greater damage.
With a new playable character, new story content, a new biome to explore and traverse, and new abilities to master, it’s clear that Operation: Future Imperfect looks like a pretty meaty content drop- which is long overdue for this game, honestly. But as you’d expect, that’s not all either. The DLC is also going to bring some other stuff. For starters, where the actual content is concerned, in addition to the main story missions, you can also obviously expect new side missions and villain sectors and what have you.
In addition to that, there will also be some new cosmetic content. Hawkeye will, of course, have his own set of outfits for you to look through. Crystal Dynamics have already shown glimpses of a few of the many outfits they’re going to add for the characters, and there seems to be plenty of variety, pulling in various different looks for the character from across years of appearances. Finally, there will also be new emotes for players to unlock and make use of.