Marvel Heroes has been a game that I’ve adamantiumly (pun intended) been pushing since I heard of its creation a year ago. As a free-to-play MMO that uses Marvel characters, I cannot express my enthusiasm. Now as we approach the middle of 2013, a final release date has been revealed and the final code pushed to the beta testers, yours truly included! Plugging into the server this past Saturday, I was greeted with a message saying it was required to uninstall Marvel Heroes and redownload the new client. Happily, I obliged and several hours later (it is a large game) I was met with a Play button. Ironically, the launcher page is extremely similar to Diablo 3 so if you’re familiar with that updater and launcher, then you will be more than at home here. Another great feature is the ability to play the game before the entire download has been completed. This means it will download in the background as you play, but no need to wait forever to start up the MMO goodness that is Marvel Heroes.
When I started the new version, I was met with something almost tragic, my previous characters had been removed and I had to start over with the beginner choices. They include Hawkeye, The Thing, Storm, Daredevil, and Scarlet Witch. If any of you know me, then you’d know my immediate decision was Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch. She is one of my favorite characters and definitely a staple in the Marvel Universe since her introduction in X-men #4. As the game begins, you start off in the Raft (another Marvel video game tentpole) as you fight your way through against Hydra agents who have released villains from their prison. The gameplay portions are bookended with motion comic style animatics done by the fantastic guys over at Marvel Knights Animation that follow a story written by Brian Michael Bendis. Now, if you’ve been following the variables given here, you’d know this game is already starting off at a great pace for my standards.
The gameplay style is an isometric view clicker. By that, the game is essentially Diablo with Marvel Characters. Yes, the game has been created by Diablo 1 and 2 designer David Brevik. He has been heading the production of Marvel Heroes at Gazillion entertainment from the get go. Using the Unreal 3 engine, the game on highest settings is absolutely beautiful and smooth. The hex bolts and hex blobs I cast with a left and a right click are full realized as they tear into the masses of Hydra, AIM, and street thugs who willingly run into my fists. Also impressive are the subtle features, such as when my character lifts up a car with her hex magic and it floats as she aims it around the screen.
As of right now, my biggest complaint is the compatibility of the game. The game and client are currently only available for Windows PCs, however at C2E2, I personally asked Brevik of the availability of a Mac client. He responded that since he personally uses a Mac in the office and the final game code is finishing up, a Mac version has been pushed to the forefront of production! This excites me, as I truly despise Windows 8 and boot camp all at the same time.
Lastly, for non-founders, the release date is…June 4! So get your clicking fingers ready and prepare to loot the Marvel Universe as one of your favorite characters as the date draws ever closer. Characters playable at release will be as follows: Black Panther, Black Widow, Cable, Captain America, Colossus, Cyclops, Daredevil, Deadpool, Hawkeye, Hulk, Iron Man, Jean Grey, Ms. Marvel, Punisher, Rocket Raccoon, Scarlet Witch, Spider-man, Storm, The Thing, Thor and Wolverine. Other characters that will be released include: Emma Frost, Human Torch, Luke Cage, Nova, and Squirrel Girl, with more to come in the future.
Stay tuned as I upload some screenshots and let you Marvel (pun) in the awesomeness that will be Free-to-play.