Well I have been playing a bit when I should have been working on my next book. On the face of it the game seems pretty simple and good fun. You can tell one of the bigwigs behind it was responsible for Diablo 1 & 2 (great games in my view). Marvel Heroes Online is fairly similar to the feel, look and playability of these – lots of barrels and stuff to break. A little odd that Heroes would be ok with mindless property damage but meh!
It’s called a MMO but for me it doesn’t have the whole MMO feel to it that other games have. It is more a co-op feel like teaming up in Dawn of War 2 for the campaign modes. Not just because of the player’s view but there is no ‘looking for group’ system in the game. This said, at times I go into a building or a new map part and BANG people are teamed up with me. I never invited these heroes or accepted a party invite but for some reason they are there.
The look – 7/10
Well for me the look of the game is nice – Marvel are not ones on big artwork and this helps the designers in the game. What I do like is the choice of costumes as I have the ‘Ultimate Pack‘ hugely expensive for a ‘Free to Play’ game BUT it gave you a lot. One big advantage was the 5% XP boost on all characters and all the costumes unlocked. This gives a nice feel to the game also, it is good seeing different Spidermen walking around not just the red, blue and black types.
It makes working out who is who difficult at times in Marvel Online as there are some rare older style costumes to choose from with most characters. Cable’s original one looks awful…It is authentic though so credit where it is due, this game looks and feels as the Marvel characters do.
The scenery is pretty good for a first release and the graphics scroll pretty well on my high spec machine.
The Cost – 2/10 (Will be adjusted shortly)
Ok, there are some bugs in the game so hence the low score. As I mentioned it is a ‘Free to Play’ game but many people have paid for early access and other things. Sadly we are not getting this very well due to maintenance issues. The support team are not helping by giving advice as to when it will come back online and they are missing every time. They are constantly having to backtrack as to when it will come online which makes my £129 investment look shocking! Come on Marvel Online!!
I took Tuesday PM off (release day) and it was down in the afternoon. I then took this afternoon off also (Friday) and it is down again. Not a good start. They have promised compensation to people but they haven’t said what this will be. Hopefully a new hero or two free. Sadly it has been down now for 10 hours at least….
Game Play – 7/10
It is early days for the game so I am sure a lot more functionality will come over time. It is pretty addictive as like with the Diablo games before you realise it, 6 hours are gone. It is a mouse heavy game and delivers well in this area. I realise that saying it is repetitive yet giving it 7/10 may seem odd but with the cool scope of characters to choose from it does remove the ‘grind’ feel a lot.
Each character has equipment slots, an ok if not basic crafting system is in place as well. Character development follows the tried and tested online game pattern – Blue for Rare Items, Purple for Epic and Orange for artefact level stuff. Tried, tested and it works well with this genre as well. It leaves Marvel Heroes with a friendly feel to it and it is easy to get the hang of from the start. A power/skill tree to develop your character how you want him which fits nicely. For example, Wolverine could have insane Regeneration and lower damage for solo play OR high damage and lower regen for when you need to kick butt.
The characters are essentially broken down to a few archetypes.
Melee Scrappers – Black Panther, Daredevil, Wolverine etc
Tankers – Hulk, Thing, Colossus
Ranged – Ironman, Jean Grey, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Storm, Cable
Utility – Thor, Captain America, Cyclops (Punchclopse someone called him)
These are all different enough to make them interesting and there are other characters around as well like Deadpool, Rocket Raccoon (why…) with others coming.
All in all shortly there will be 26 playable characters but 22 of them are there now to play if you have the full pack. Starting choices of characters is limited for people who haven’t upgraded but Daredevil and Thing are good solid heroes from the start.
Characters I have played so far are – Daredevil (good, solid and fun), Wolverine (Great Regen, a bit low damage wise), Cable (one of my favourites who just is too weak with low damage – very poor!), Punisher (Seems ok), Hulk (way overpowered he is so easy to play and hard out of the box), Spiderman (Good from the start as well, seems well balanced), Thor (Great AOE Damage and hardy as well), The Thing (OK, hard as rock, literally and good damage) but for me the winner so far is Colossus (hard, tough, good auras to boost him and others and good damage dealing – just slow).