Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fan of Marvel’s Avengers Alliance on Facebook, the turn-based social media game that lets you recruit Marvel characters and send them on missions to beat up the bad guys. The game launched almost a year ago, and it’s still going strong, with new chapters introduced at a steady pace, new player vs. player tournaments providing the opportunity to fight for in-game rewards, and special operations that introduce new characters to your ranks. They do a fairly good job of giving you something new to do at any given time. For instance, as the latest PvP tournament was getting close to completion (with the big prize being early access to recruiting the Punisher to your team), they introduced a new special operations quest “Cry Havok.” As you might have guessed, it introduces Havok … as well as the first “villain” you can recruit, Magneto.
You can unlock Havok the same way you were able to unlock Mockingbird, Ghost Rider and the rest of the “special operations” characters, by completing all the tasks they throw at you before time runs out. I’m enjoying the fact that they used the Living Monolith as the main villain, considering how he’s tied to Havok’s origins in the comic. Great touch.
Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to pick up “Magnetic Lockboxes” that you can open to find random loot inside. Your goal is to find eight different comic covers (featuring Magneto, naturally), which then unlocks the character for you to play. Each time you open the box, you have a 7 percent chance of finding a cover, but if you save up 10 boxes, you are guaranteed to get a cover when you open them up all at once.
Which cover you get is somewhat random, as you won’t get all eight of them in order and could get some duplicates before you find all of them. I didn’t open any single boxes along the way, just sets of 10, and I only got two duplicates before getting that final one. It probably sounds more complicated than it is; I figured I’d end up getting the same cover over and over again, esp. at the end, but was pleasantly surprised when that last one I needed popped up Monday.
Of course, whether Magneto is truly a villain right now is up for debate. He was hanging with Cyclops and his gang of X-Men before Avengers vs. X-Men, and even now he’s still part of the team that includes Cyclops, Magik and Emma Frost … who are outlaws. In the game itself, he’s definitely been a villain, one you’ve had to fight on occasion, and if you check out your Magneto collection, you’ll see a button that lets you hear his story. He talks about not only the character’s comic history, but also why he chose to change sides in the big Avengers vs. The Syndicate plot line that’s been running through the game.
As far as how he plays and whether he’s worth the effort of collecting all those boxes, well, the jury’s still out. I just unlocked him on Monday and haven’t had the chance to level him up yet. Hopefully he’ll stay on the side of angels long enough for me to get to that point …