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Lenovo made an Avengers game for its Mirage AR headset

Putting the AR in Marvel.
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Lenovo's first AR headset had a strange limitation. It would only play games, and at launch there was just one of them: Star Wars: Jedi Challenges. Sure, that's a massive franchise, but it was hard to believe the company expected people to spend $200 on an AR kit just to play a single game. As it turns out, the Star Wars title will no longer be the Mirage AR's solo offering. Continuing its partnership with Disney, Lenovo is releasing a new Marvel: Avengers game called Dimension of Heroes, along with some new controllers.

Instead of a single lightsaber hilt-like stick like before, the Marvel Dimension of Heroes kit comes with a pair of what Lenovo calls Universe Controllers. These have LEDs at the top end that flash in different colors while you play, and have a semi-circular handle with little joysticks on top. You'll have to put AA batteries in each, which should provide up to eight hours of gameplay. The core technology inside the controllers are the same as before -- the sticks are still tracked by two cameras on the headset. The notable advancement this time is that two controllers can now be tracked in real-time.

Aside from the new controllers, nothing about the original headset's hardware has changed. That means those with the older set can just buy the new accessories and keep the same headset and beacon to play the Marvel game.

Gallery: Lenovo's AR Avengers game hands-on | 8 Photos

In Dimension of Heroes, you can play as Captain Marvel, Thor, Dr. Strange, Star-Lord or Black Panther, and your mission is to go back in time and save the world from Dormamu. If none of these character names mean anything to you, you're probably not going to be interested in buying this game. Those of you paying attention will probably be excited to play the game.

The mechanics are simple. Using weapons like Star Lord's Element Guns or Captain Marvel's blasters, you destroy aliens sent by Dormamu and progress through five timelines before morphing into Dr. Strange and taking on the dark being itself. The controllers are meant for dual-hand combat, so for characters like Thor, who are known for wielding single-handed weapons like Mjolnir (his hammer, for those not well-versed in Marvel), the other hand is used for melee fighting.

You have to calibrate the new controllers with the beacon for accuracy, and during my hands-on we didn't complete this process. For that reason, and not any lack of skill on my part, I had difficulty aiming and killing monsters that came at me in the AR world. I won't spoil the rest of the game for you, but suffice to say that Marvel fans will get a bit of a kick out of playing as their favorite characters and listening for lines that Marvel's comics writers came up with.

Lenovo Mirage AR with Marvel Dimension of Heroes hands-on

Dimension of Heroes also offers a local co-op mode like the Star Wars game did before, so you can play with a friend. You can pair up Thor and Star Lord, for example, and create your own Asgardians of the Galaxy adventure. The game features a realtime leaderboard competition as well, for the added satisfaction of challenging strangers from around the world.

The new Mirage AR kit will be available tomorrow for $240 as an Amazon exclusive (you can also find it on Lenovo.com). Those who only need the new controllers can also get them separately, and though Lenovo hasn't confirmed a price for these yet, a company rep told me the target price is under $100. While a grand total of two games is by no means an impressive library of titles for the Mirage AR, the new content bodes well for the platform. Given Disney's comprehensive catalog of beloved franchises, I wouldn't be surprised if Lenovo eventually builds an AR game for every popular title the entertainment giant owns. Till then, I'll holding my breath for a Frozen karaoke game.

Catch up on all the latest news from IFA 2019 here!

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