The Average Gamer

Marvel Heroes Hands-On Preview

Marvel Heroes Iron Man
The world of Marvel comics’ popularity has hit an all-time high. Since the first Iron Man movie, leading up to The Avengers, these characters have become household names all over the world. In the video game market, there have been one-on-one beat-’em-ups, team beat-’em-ups, scrolling beat-em-ups, platformers, even sandbox-style games. But like 2011’s DC Universe Online, the question has been posed by many: “What about a Marvel MMO? That would be awesome!”

And here it is, in the form of Marvel Heroes from Gazillion. As a Marvel comic book fan of many years, the world surrounding Marvel Heroes is a familiar one, and stands a chance to be the best of both worlds: a Diablo-esque action-RPG with the ever-enticing loot grind, enclosed in a universe I already understand and enjoy. With the release of Iron Man 3 in Cinemas this past bank holiday weekend, Gazillion kindly provided an open beta for people to try the impending experience, first hand.

Unlike many games of this nature, including DC Universe Online, you play the part of the Marvel favourites, instead of creating your own. In this beta was Captain America, Wolverine, and of course Iron Man, among others. It was only fitting then, with the latest movie release, that I chose Iron Man himself.

As expected, it’s a click-heavy affair, used for movement, attacks and other interactions. But is all very simple, allowing you to get on with the experience and quickly pick it up at your own pace. Using the typical isometric view, you start off in Avengers Tower, collect your intel mission, then take to the jet after speaking with another Avenger, Vision. It’s the little touches like this that fans wanted, me included. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, it’s a case of making your way through, collecting experience orbs and cash as enemies are defeated, to level up.

Levelling up didn’t seem to warrant any obvious changes in the appearance of my robotic-clad super hero, Tony Stark of course having multiple suits over the years, no doubt one just for Sunday best. To give your hero a different look you have to find or craft costumes, and that’s all these are, costumes. More of a tribute than an attribute, if you will.

Marvel Heroes keeps the levelling system on the straight and narrow, allocating X amount of points to apply at your disposal. There are also notably blank weapon slots at the bottom of the screen; these can also be located and applied at will, to a desired keystroke. These also reflect your chosen character, so don’t expect Wolverine to be using Thor’s hammer anytime soon. It all fits around Marvel lore marvellously, and also doesn’t cheapen the experience in any way.

On this evidence, Marvel Heroes is shaping up pretty well. I’m no typical PC gamer, but I found it very easy to pick, and its non-complex levelling and attribute systems leave you free to the Marvel experience many have been longing for. I look forward to the real thing.

Marvel Heroes will be out for PC on 4th June 2013.