I honestly didn’t come into Black Panther: War for Wakanda expecting to beat up a dead horse. I already knew that Marvel’s Avengers wasn’t received very well, but I still wanted to experience its content before it was completely delisted from digital platforms.
Black Panther: War for Wakanda centers around Black Panther begrudgingly accepting the help of the Avengers to deal with Ulysses Klaue, an arms dealer who has invaded Wakanda for its vibranium. It starts off with Black Panther finding some of Klaue’s soldiers and stalking them for answers.
The idea that Klaue’s men would be foot soldiers had me excited at first, but this barely lasts before we go back to beating up on unresponsive robots, something that Marvel’s Avengers is known for. But it’s not like it matters, anyway since the humanoid enemies are equally unflinching and unresponsive as the robots.
Marvel’s Avengers – Black Panther: War For Wakanda
Developer: Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal
Publisher: Crystal Dynamics
Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Microsoft Windows (Reviewed)
Release Date: August 17th, 2021
Price: Added to the game for free
It becomes painfully clear as we move through parts of the jungle and underground temples that most of the assets created for this DLC can be viewed in the introduction mission. The bare minimum was done here, and we’ll see these temples and forest map being reused a lot, despite the fact that the DLC only consists of 7 missions.
Most of the missions are spent in the jungle, and we only get glimpses of Wakanda through cutscenes. The only part outside of the jungle we get to visit is the throne room, which serves as the Wakanda faction hub for the game.
One of the biggest issues that Marvel’s Avengers had was the fact that most missions centered around doing menial tasks, and now would be the best opportunity to have different mission types, but in the DLC we are still just capturing points A, B, and C or killing enemies until the game tells us to stop.
Black Panther controls fine, but the camera feels way more unruly when playing as him than any other character. His movement speed is fast enough, and he even feels more agile than Iron Man, who was supposed to be the most mobile character, but his gameplay is also really bland.
His mechanics are somewhat lackluster and suffer from the standardization that most characters in Marvel’s Avengers have been put through. His gimmick consists of throwing vibranium knives at enemies to make them weaker and then finishing them off in melee combat.
Much like the rest of the game, the DLC looks graphically impressive, but extremely weak in art direction. Black Panther’s outfits are all nicely detailed, which is expected since they were originally sold as micro-transactions. His characterization is pretty decent, and he has a few bits of banter with his sister, which are nice.
The plot in War for Wakanda isn’t fantastic, and constantly dumbs down character decisions to make the story happen; for example, despite being very protective of Wakanda and even angry at the Avengers showing up, Black Panther constantly lets Klaue go for some reason.
Klaue is in possession of a cloaking device, which almost lets him teleport around at will, but Black Panther manages to swipe at him every time he shows up, usually wounding him and knocking him to the ground. He then just watches as Klaue gets to safety and blows up some more buildings on his way out, without doing anything.
Despite that, Klaue is characterized pretty well in the DLC; he recognizes that he can compensate for his losses in manpower by tormenting Black Panther with very personal threats, while fully believing that he is in the right.
The conflict eventually escalates into Klaue kidnapping multiple citizens from Wakanda, whom he kills when destroying an ancient temple. AIM eventually withdraws the troops working under Klaue, since they believe his vendetta against Wakanda is not useful anymore.
In a desperate maneuver after losing AIM support, Klaue marches straight into a vibranium mine, where he has a confrontation with Black Panther that ends with him falling deep inside the mine and emerging as a giant being of pure sonic energy.
The game almost hints at a fun fight against a giant version of Klaue, but he is quickly reduced in size for a very mediocre encounter. Klaue suffers from what every other boss in the games does: an inflated health bar and a lack of any interesting or challenging moves.
Overall, this DLC is another piece of bland content on top of an already mediocre game. From broken quest triggers to a dumbed-down plot and repetitive missions, Black Panther: War for Wakanda just doesn’t manage to deliver anything remotely interesting.
The rest of the content after we finish the DLC boils down to high-level farming missions where we fight the giant robots we’ve already fought multiple times before, which I’ll gladly pass on since I’ve already had my fill.
We have a review for the base game as well, if you want to know more about Marvel’s Avengers. I’ll be covering some of the other DLC next, since my time with this game is sadly far from over.
You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Marvel’s Avengers is set to be delisted on September 30th, 2023, but for now it is available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Microsoft Windows (through Steam).