By – Thomas Faust

Marvel Heroes Review He

Marvel Heroes reminds me of the time when Saturday mornings were the best part of the week. Gazillion’s superhero Action-MMO had quite the rocky start two years ago, but it’s more than fair to say the game is back on track. It lacks the grimness of DC licensed games or the complexity of the latest Marvel feature films. Instead, Marvel Heroes feels very much like a gigantic story arc from all of your Saturday morning Marvel cartoons mashed into one.

Whatever the ridiculous pretense to add more bad guys from the rich cosmos of Marvel lore is, you can be sure that the game jumps at every chance to do so. The same logic applies to the roster of currently 50 playable heroes, ranging from fan-favorites to lesser-known characters. Of course, all of the iconic Marvel heroes are here: Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, you name ’em. Whatever superhero you think of first when you hear the word “Marvel”, they are probably playable. What’s more, the game has been branching out into supervillain territory, adding the likes of Doctor Doom and Magneto to the roster as well, so there’s enough potential content for years to come.

The game itself is a fast-paced action RPG. That’s barely surprising, considering that David Brevik, who was one of the lead designers of the first two Diablo games and founder of Blizzard North in the nineties, is Marvel Heroes’ figurehead. All of the genre standards, such as skill trees, loot drops, and crafting, are present and par for the course. Your average evil minions are pretty much cannon fodder, posing little challenge. Boss fights, on the other hand, are a tad harder and require at least some basic tactical approach. A campaign, separated into chapters and introducing you to different locales, leads you all the way to max level, and a fair bit of extra content and regular events keeps you busy when you reached the magic 60.

Marvel Heroes Review He

Of course, you can just start the whole journey over with another hero, which is something the game even encourages by giving you extra stat boosts when a number of your characters have reached certain levels. Instead of having different character slots, you can just turn into another hero on the fly, which is a major convenience. It’s also worth noting that no two heroes play alike. Gazillion really did a bang-up job with the varied roster that caters to just about all kinds of players out there.

Most importantly, the game is fun. I cannot shake the feeling that a lot of the gameplay was conceived with the notion of player enjoyment taking precedence over actual usefulness. That feeling of flying around with Storm, blowing everything in your wake to smithereens, is hard to put in words. The same goes for commanding a huge army of ants as Ant-Man or taking out multiple baddies at once with one throw of your nunchucks as Daredevil. There might be other, more useful skills in your arsenal, but the flashy or silly ones are just too nice to pass over. And this might very well be the core – or rather heart – of Marvel Heroes 2015: it’s a lot of dumb fun, and in my book this is enough to recommend the game.

As a Free to Play game, Marvel Heroes’ business model warrants closer inspection. You get one free hero right from the start, and you can play every single hero up to level 10. Additional heroes usually cost between $5 and $15. However, thanks to log-in rewards on your second day of playing you’ll get another free hero basically right away. If you stick to those starting heroes, it’s entirely possible to play through the whole game without ever paying one single cent. This being a game about spandex-clad superheroes, there just have to be additional costumes, all of which can be unlocked by paying $5 to $10 a pop. Those costumes are in no way mandatory and purely cosmetic.

Marvel Heroes Review He

Additionally, there are several bundles available where you’ll get a new hero, a couple of costumes, and some other fluff for a discount – those usually run you between $15 and $25, and they’re probably a pretty good deal if you really love a particular hero. Another thing probably worth paying for are Team Ups, computer-controlled sidekicks that help you dish out some extra damage on the battlefield or supply you with passive stat boosts when they’re not active. While they do make your life a little easier and are fun to keep around, they are not mandatory. Prices range from $4 to $8.

Experience-boosting potions are also sold for real money. They can be quite helpful when leveling additional characters after you’ve hit the max level of 60 with your main, but I don’t really think that they grant users any unfair advantages over non-paying players. Besides, due to the rather generous showering of log-in rewards, you’ll get a fair amount of those boosters and other paid items for free. If you still want that extra boost in your life, be prepared to shell out $1 for a 50%, two hour experience boost.

That’s not too bad. There are a couple of other convenience items, pets, and $5 mystery boxes that let you gamble away your real money for some unknown rewards. Curiosity got the better of me and I bought a bunch of these boxes, and while their contents are random, you generally do get your money’s worth in items. Still, savvy players might want to avoid this kind of gambling. All in all, I consider Marvel Heroes’ business model to be pretty fair. The game can be enjoyed without spending any cash at all, and most items available for purchase are fair priced. If you want to spend lots of money on in-game fluff, you can definitely do that, but the game is never forcing you. It’s also not the least bit intrusive about its cash shop, never pushing you to check it out except for a splash screen when you log into the game.

Marvel Heroes Review 3

So what’s in store for Marvel Heroes 2015, what does the future bring? Well, for one there’s a rather unimaginative but sensible rebrand as Marvel Heroes 2016 coming soon. With that rebrand come a host of new features, such as a whole new story chapter with new locations, controller support, Steam achievements, and a bunch of visual upgrades to get the old art assets up to date. The Danger Room will be introduced as new game mode, offering a series of maps with random enemies and special victory conditions associated with them.

And then finally there will be leaderboards that work on a short-term basis, which means that everyone will be able to compete for a few hours, and at the end there will be rewards for the winners. I like the sound of that. Other than that, players can expect a generous helping of content updates, the likes of which they are already used to. New characters, new Team Ups, new costumes. The current roster of playable characters is also under constant review in order to be competitive with the new content, keeping the meta-game in constant flux.

Marvel Heroes Review 1

Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Time?

Right now, the game seems healthy enough. The hubs are buzzing with players, and the constant addition of new features bodes well for the future of Marvel Heroes 2015. It’s definitely a good time to start playing or to come back to the game, and thanks to the very fair business model and complete lack of paywalls, nothing is stopping you from giving it a try.

Marvel Heroes 2015 Technical Summary:

Marvel Heroes Review He

  • Time Played – 21 Hours
  • Widescreen Support – Yes
  • Resolution Played – 1920×1080
  • Windowed Mode – Yes
  • Bugs/Crashes Encountered – Slight latency issues at peak times.
  • Control Scheme – Keyboard & Mouse
  • DRM – N/A (Online Title)
  • System Specs – 3.5Ghz AMD FX-6300, AMD Radeon R9 270X, 8GB RAM
  • Game Acquisition Method – Press Account
  • Saved Game Location – N/A (Online Title)
  • Availability – Steam, Official Site
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  • Elle Guapo

    What a complete schlock puff piece. How much did Gazillion pay you to write this “review”? Your “fair” business model is already $100 for just a few things you mentioned. This game is nothing but a huge money suck rip off with repetitive recycled content and all of the different heroes play exactly the same. You don’t even mention you have to pay for stash space. There’s no way you can play game of this type, the whole purpose of which is to collect gear, if you don’t have any place to put the gear.

    This game got off to a real bad start and Gazillion put more resources in the squelching bad reviews, erasing comments by posters on game boards, banning players for negative comments on the forums, and harassing and threatening reviewers into rewriting the reviews, never did and making the game better.

    Their only other focus is to sell you more stuff whether it’s magic find Persians experience potions more costumes more heroes and whatever and they are a lot more intrusive about it and you give them credit for. If you post anything negative about the game on their forum they will ban your account, with you having no recourse at all, no matter how much money you spent with them.

    You want to do a real story go investigate that

    • AdamAmes

      Thomas will be along shortly to address your comments.

      In the meantime, as the owner of TPG, I am extremely offended at your attitude in regards to accusing us of taking money in return for a favorable review. I find those sentiments uniformed, misguided and insulting. We have never taken any a pay off, whether it be financial, or any other sort of back door deals. Frankly, any media outlet that participates in such actions should be banished from the face of the Earth.

      I am annoyed when people like yourself jump to this as the one and only possible reason for a critic to enjoy a game that others do not. If you disagree with a review, everyone at TPG is more than willing to discuss the article in an intelligent and professional manner.

      However, when the accusations of taking a payoff are thrown around, any statement, after or before, are in my opinion, null and void.

      • Elle Guapo

        You had a sloppy guy do a sloppy piece on a sloppy company for your sloppy blog. And you got called on it. You’re not Ted Turner and he isn’t Bob Woodward. Get over yourself.
        Dictated but not read, to my iPad

        • AdamAmes

          Nobody was called out on anything. I take it very seriously when someone attempts to question our integrity. As I said before, we are open to intelligent criticism. In fact, I would argue that every outlet in the world of journalism needs constructive criticism.

          You certainly took a bit of time and energy out of your day to post on a “sloppy blog”, which I also find offensive as it has been my life over the last 3 1/2 years.

    • Thomas Faust

      I am happy to report that Gazillion paid me the total sum of “nothing” to write this review, so there go your claims of this being a piece of advertisement. I did, however, receive access to all currently playable heroes, so I can very confidently claim that they do indeed play differently. How many different heroes have you played? As for inventory space: if you get a hero, you also get a full inventory tab. Collecting gear you don’t need isn’t really something you should do – after all, you won’t ever need it unless you plan on playing a specific hero. And besides, inventory woes aren’t exactly an uncommon thing in F2P games.

      If this was a paid game with microtransactions on top, I could understand your concerns. Hell, I would even share them. As it stands, Marvel Heroes is free to play, and you can indeed play the whole thing without paying a single penny.

      And… honestly? If you behave on someone’s forum the way you did here, I cannot even blame them for showing you the door. (Locking your account seems pretty harsh, though. But then, there’s probably no need to yell at people, no?)

      • Joey Tribbiani

        ” I did, however, receive access to all currently playable heroes”

        So they DID infact give you something, biased review based on the company gave you content that others had to pay for… knowing that you would give them a good review for the free heroes.

        • Thomas Faust

          You are insinuating that I’m biased because someone gave me the tools necessary to do my job? So every reviewer who gets a review copy from the publisher or developer is a biased sell-out? If it’s any consolation, I racked up the first 5 hours of playtime with a regular account, just like everyone else, and my opinion of the game did not really change after that. Having access to all heroes did, however, help in determining whether they play differently or if they’re basically just re-skins. I do think that this is relevant information for anyone looking to spend money on the game.

          • Joey Tribbiani

            Fair enough, my main point was that you stated you were given nothing. Which is untrue, a true UNBIASED review would be to play the game as any NORMAL user would.

            Free access to all heroes has a much different feel to it, and therefore would be a completely different review than if you were to start from scratch with no freebies.

            That was my point.