I haven't put in a whole lot of time into the game yet. I have Ms. Marvel up to level nine and it's been a fun ride so far.
Characters - I paid no real attention to which characters you can choose from to start. I know Hawkeye and Storm are two of them, but I went in to this game wanting to play Ms. Marvel so that's exactly what I did. Additional characters and costumes can be purchased or unlocked through mob/boss drops if you are lucky enough to get one. I've had The Thing drop from a mob early on.
Gear and Vendors - Gear drops like any rpg. Most of the gear dropped will be for the character you playing as, but you will get drops for others as well. So far I have gotten two purple (epic level) items for Thor, a blue (rare level) item for Iron man and Storm. Vendors can be upgraded by trading in the gear that has dropped instead of selling it, this improves the quality of the gear that they sell to you.
Crafting - I haven't messed around with this. I don't care for crafting of any kind in rpg's like this and Diablo.
Open Areas - There are open areas to explore and where mini-events take place like having to protect a police barricade, stopping an arsonist, or taking down a world boss supervillain. This has been a lot of fun, the only problem has been the number of people in these areas that is causing a whole lot of lag issues. You will also see that you automatically get added to a group of other players who are working on the same objectives in a particular area or fighting a boss level villain.
Cut Scenes - The cut scenes between missions are cool, I really like how they're done. The Taskmaster scene is especially fun. A lot of the voice actors are veterans from various animated Marvel shows and movies. Steve Blum reprises his role as Wolverine and Keith David voices Nick Fury, that is way cool in my book.
Hoping to get some more time in to play. Where at now in the story, i either need some better gear or I need to level up because I'm taking a beating. If you are playing look me up as HowIGeek.