That quote echoed throughout the halls and was on the lips of every Marvel and Gazillion Entertainment developer over the entire weekend at the 2012 Comic Con.
I’ll admit, this game initially was on the edge of my radar (trumped by the hype from Halo 4 as well as the acclaimed and long awaited Neverwinter MMO), but WOW what a sleeping giant awaited. This is one of Marvel’s next chief launch titles and will hopefully bring the comic book world back into the main stream video gaming community. Strap yourselves in and grab your old Ultimate Alliance team because here are all of the latest details that we’ve extracted from the very kind and friendly developers at both Gazillion Entertainment and Marvel.
Marvel Heroes *Available for PC and Mac*
This game features a unique twist on the gamer’s character because for the first time ever you will be able to pick and play as your favorite comic superhero!! Unlike the MMO style games of the past, such as City of Heroes, where you picked an extremely awkward and uncharacteristic skill set and super powers who ran/jump/flew around the city with names like “Green Granny” (quite possibly the worst name I’d ever seen in my time playing City of Heroes: and yes I played a flying katana scrapper dressed as a Ninja) this game will allow for you to play any and all of your favorite comic book heroes through new story lines (enhanced by their pasts that you know and love) against our most hated and well-known Super Villians. Here’s a list of the current playable characters.
Big News: THIS GAME IS FREE TO PLAY, NO CATCH!
So many questions were asked when the developers delved into the details at their panel Saturday afternoon, and here’s the deal: All players will have access to the entire game’s story, gameplay, instances, quests, grouping, and loot. The only source mentioned where you can spend real currency (and they obviously need to make some $$ to pay the developers who created and manage the game) is the purchase of new costumes that will only change your characters LOOK. Gear you equip that has different statistics on it will not change how you look, it will only be reflected in your stats. So no more long nights of running around Tatooine (yes a SWTOR and Galaxies reference) with a black cloak, red boots, and orange helmet, and thinking “oh my God, this just feels SOO realistic…”
The character differentiation in the game will feature costumes from throughout your Hero’s journey’s in the real comic books (or movies), and the Developers even hinted at their being a “Crafting Game”(the only crafting system mentioned as of right now) which allows players to craft different sets of customized clothing for you in-game. Though you may think “damn, I don’t want to have to spend real money to have my Hawkeye in his classic costume,” well I have two answers for you:
- 1) The Game is FREE, you are not paying anything to play it… so you should be able to muster up a few coins to buy the costume you want and love.
- 2) If you happen to either be one of those college students who can’t even afford the Ramen noodle Rainbow dinner you’re eating, or you’re religiously against micro transactions then PERFECT! The developers have allowed for you to unlock the costumes as you play through and progress in the game. From the overall layout they seem to be doing a great job of mixing things up while giving you great replay value.
Gaming Experience Details:
The world of Marvel Heroes will be based on a relatively new area of Marvel Lore / Cannon. Each area will be a “Massively Randomized Zone” from where you and other heroes will each be running around through the zone completing various quests. The random aspect to the zone comes into play in regards to your quests and events currently occurring, ex. quests sending you to different places on each play through or zone ‘group’ or ‘raid’ bosses that require multiple heroes teaming up to defeat. Their goal here was to have a game play engine that was not always predictable, and so on your 3rd character play through you don’t have all of the quests memorized and in essence you just zone out on autopilot while you complete them. They do a fairly good job of storyline immersion, and though we can’t fully comment on any of the details in regards to the specifics we’ve experienced during the Closed Beta Testing phase of the game, more of those details will come to light soon enough when Marvel and Gazillion are ready. The stories surrounding each character are considered to be Class C cannon, and do abide by all of the Marvel universe current lore such that there aren’t any interactions that could be considered vastly improbable (this was a big one for us, especially for Jon: He’s a huge comic book fan, and for him to enjoy his time he wants to be able to feel as though the game doesn’t break any prior comic book cannon).
There are currently no announcements about PvP being implemented into the game as far as the day this title launches, but when asked at the panel Saturday evening if Villians will be playable, the developers each looked at each other as if they had never considered the possibilities… then politely mentioned that there were no talks of that at the moment. I feel that the potential of Marvel Heroes, with an awesome expansion “Marvel: Villians,” could be an astounding move to solidify the title’s success, but we will have to see when the game launches.
Not only will Marvel Heroes be fully voiced over, but the developers have confirmed that while running around the world in groups (max is set to 5 members) your character will talk to the other characters in game almost spontaneously!! For those of us who were Real Time Strategy fans, and every game had their own comic relief voice-overs, this is going to be exciting. I guess we’ll have to click on their hero about 25 times to hear the good stuff (Starcraft reference).
The Booth at NYCC
One of the most exciting times of the weekend was not only when we were able to get our hands on the playable demo of the game at Marvel Heroes’ booth, but when we also had the privilege of talking with one of the Associate Production Manager’s at Gazillion Entertainment in regards to the specifics of gameplay. Jonathan Schechter runs the core development for the Boss fight mechanics and accuracy throughout the entire game. It’s his job to not only make each Villain that you encounter fun and challenging, but to to do so in a manner which fits seamlessly into the world of that character’s persona in the comics. A great example he not only gave us, and showed us, was in the Demo where a team of characters took on the Villian Electro. He is a menace that drops consistent electric energy fields around the area, directly on top of any heroes that venture too close, while also having very quick speed to dodge your attacks. The detail and mechanics that they’ve put into designing their special abilities, how they move and act, as well as their taunting gestures is an art form that allows you to get inside the head of the person on screen. For someone like myself, who is a very visual learner, I’m able to witness a completely different side to the comic book characters that I’ve previously known. Feel free to check out this video of Andrew Rudi playing the demo:
Also check out the Game Features Trailer!
Please feel free to post any questions or comments you may have regarding the game, or the Con and we’ll be sure to get back to you as always!! We at VGL also want to give special thanks to Jonathan Schechter and his team at Gazillion for taking the time to show us how much they love what they do, and giving us a tour of what’s to come from Marvel Heroes!!