So you want to be a superhero? Now you can.
Just pick your favourite character in the Marvel universe, and Marvel Heroes will take you through an engaging story. You’ll level up as you gain experience, customise your build, and improve your gear via looting, all in a manner eerily similar to Diablo. You’d be forgiven for thinking that though, because the game was developed by David Brevik, who co-founded Blizzard North and developed the Diablo series.
CONTENT IS KING
For a free game, there’s a lot of content in Marvel Heroes. Besides the main story, there are open-world questing zones shared with other players; outdoor bosses and events that are spawned every so often; instanced encounters of various difficulties, layouts and lengths; one-shot stories that are based on individual comic arcs; and even five-man X-defense or two-man Holo-Sim survival games, with enemies that come in waves of increasing difficulty and reward.
In fact, Marvel Heroes 2015 just recently introduced 10-man raiding, making it a full-fledged MMO. Raids will be the most challenging encounters in the game, requiring strategy, tactics, and appropriate gearing. The Gazillion raid design team includes top raiders from many MMOs, including raid leaders from top 10 guilds around the world, so you can expect them to be challenging. Designed for 10-person groups, each encounter will have an optional queue system, with five released upon launch in two difficulties with appropriate rewards and separate achievements for each.
The best part of it all? The developers give you complete freedom to do whatever you enjoy. You don’t have to level via story mode if you don’t want to. You don’t even have to reach level 60 just to start reaping the benefits of hero synergy. Characters and content will also be added in conjunction with releases from Marvel's cinematic universe, which is a nice touch. For example, Thor: The Dark World was accompanied by an entire Asgardian story arc while a 10-day in-game event was launched in conjunction with Guardians of the Galaxy.
Holding out for a hero
As for replay value, you can spend time hunting better gear for your level-capped heroes, or expand your hero roster by unlocking new heroes using in-game currency that's earned simply by playing the game. The Omega System is a new system to Marvel Heroes for those interested in extreme advancement. The goal is to provide an almost endless level of progression, customization, and rewards, meaning you’ll always have something to do, regardless of whether you focus on a single hero or play a wide variety of them. This system rewards players of all levels, contains hundreds of choices to improve both combat and non-combat stats, and applies to all your heroes equally.
There are also loads of weekly hosted world events to immerse yourself in. Of course, you can spend real money to enhance your playing experience and obtain characters, costumes, and various other items instantly, but the addons are purely cosmetic, and aren’t game-breaking no matter how much you pay.
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WITH YOUR POWERS COMBINED, I AM CAPTAIN... AMERICA
The graphics are impressive too. Magic and energy light up your screen, and the ground shakes to the explosions, allowing you to witness the devastation in all its glory. You’re Captain America, and it’s time to execute your Ultimate and assemble the Avengers - Hulk leaps in, Thor flies down from Asgard, and Iron Man fires his repulsors at your shield, allowing you to reflect the beams onto enemies. Everything dies.
Each of the 34 heroes come with unique powers that are faithful to the Marvel universe, with at least one new hero being added into the game every month.
BUILD ME UP BUTTERCUP
We really like the build flexibility for each character - play as a ranged Iron Man and rely on your energy beam to take down enemies from afar, throw punches and be a melee superhero, or go hybrid and do both just as well.
Character-relevant loot drops at a really good rate, and it’s hugely satisfying as your hero improves through gear hunting and takes on harder content - a true test of your skills and endurance against the meanest villains.
Marvel Heroes is accessible to even the most casual players, and yet, there is so much breadth and depth when it comes to attributes and utility powers that we feel it could even satisfy hardcore players, as well as those who enjoy theorycrafting.
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Marvel Heroes 2015 Verdict
The best part about this game is how much the developers listen to and engage with the community, and the breakneck pace new content is released. Looking at how far Marvel Heroes has progressed in mere 12 months, we are excited to see what its future holds.
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