I love Nintendo. I have extremely high hopes for them regardless of how much I think they are screwing up. I think they are doing a lot of things right, but I also think they are doing a lot of things wrong. With just a couple of tweaks here and there, I think they could be doing everything right.
Is Marvel Heroes Worth Playing in 2014?
Marvel Heroes released back in June and before that had a lengthy beta testing period. To be honest, the game was a few twists and turns away from being a full fledged train wreck at release. Nearly every aspect of the game felt unfinished and character balancing was way out of whack.
With that said, Gazillion Entertainment took on the familiar adage of “it’s not over until the fat lady sings” and began working to better its free-to-play game. It’s now January and the question needs to be answered: is Marvel Heroes worth playing in 2014? Let’s delve into it.
Just What is Marvel Heroes?
Before we get into the meat and potatoes, some of you may not know what this game is all about. It’s quite simple, really. Think Diablo, Torchlight, or other similar Action RPGs but throw it inside of the Marvel universe. Add a free-to-play model with a pay store and you have yourself Marvel Heroes.
I know that many reading may immediately run away when reading “free-to-play with pay store” but don’t rush to slam the door shut on Gazillion just yet. The studio has done a fantastic job with making just about every piece of content obtainable in the game for free… and with patience. Characters can be unlocked quickly with cash money but they can also be added to your roster for free with your time and the acquisition of a dropped item called Eternity Splinters.
Eternity Splinters drop roughly every 6 minutes (Ninja edit: this has been confirmed to be roughly 8 minutes, not 6) and the timer can be shortened or the chance for drop can be elevated with Special Find gear and making sure you always go into dungeons you find on the maps and heading back to headquarters every now and then. Basically, map jumping can increase your Eternity Splinter findings.
With the inclusion of Eternity Splinters and other rare drops that fall under the Special Item category, the store doesn’t really even need to be touched if you don’t wish to break out the wallet. Just have some patience, equip some Special Find, and get to killin’ some Purifiers and AIM lackeys.
Marvel Heroes does a fantastic job at delivering a Diablo-like experience with characters you should be familiar with and enjoy. Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, and even Squirrel Girl are all here and the variety of characters, abilities, and features found throughout the game can lead to some lost hours and a lot of fun.
Improvements Since Launch
With the rough launch of Marvel Heroes, I actually stopped playing back in August. I got my Iron Man to level 27 and left him in the Savage Land. I came back to the game with Patch 2.1, which introduced the Siege storyline.
Patch 2.1 showed fans of the game just how they plan on adding to the game by allowing players to go past the original game’s ending and right into conflict with Loki and the enemies of Asgard. 2.1 also brought along a lot of changes and additions to the game. Since it’s been months since my last play session, I was introduced to a lot of new as I finally popped back into the role of Iron Man and made my way across the Savage Land.
To make a brief statement about Gazillion’s efforts here, Marvel Heroes is a greatly improved game and I’m having a blast with it. In fact, it feels like a completely different game. Almost just like the transition from PC Diablo 3 to console Diablo 3, Marvel Heroes in its current state compared to the launch product is one hell of an upgrade and an experience that all Action RPG fans should at least install and delve into once.
That isn’t to say that the game still doesn’t have its bugs and issues. However, compared to June’s product, you almost have to stand up and applaud what Gazillion has done with Marvel Heroes.
While some strange lag still appears in certain sections of the game, it is a much smoother game. Character balance is at a great place right now and the team is still evaluating each and every ability and two stats they have coined as Time to Kill (TTK) and Time to Live (TTL). Every character is getting a review where Gazillion goes through each ability, gets rid of bad ones, improves most of them, and they may even add a couple of new skills. Some characters have already received these reviews and are a lot of fun now.
These are just some of the changes and improvements Gazillion has made but as you can see, they are putting a lot of effort into Marvel Heroes to make it a must play game.
New Additions and Characters
Marvel Heroes launched with just about 20 character back in June and by the end of 2014 the game will have near 40. 2013 saw the release of Emma Frost, Gambit, Ghost Rider, Human Torch, Loki, Luke Cage, and Squirrel Girl. 2014 is looking to add at least 12 new characters in Doctor Strange, Invisible Woman, Juggernaut, Magento, Moon Knight, Nightcrawler, Nova, Psylocke, Silver Surfer, Star-Lord, and Venom.
There is even talk of other characters that may hit in 2014 but look more likely for 2015 like X-23, Beast, Reed Richards, and more.
The point here is that with each character addition to Marvel Heroes, the game gains a new way to play. Each character has their own playstyle, skills, and experience. The story and features may stay the same but after playing through the game with over 10 heroes, I found it fresh each time thanks to the amount of variety and effort put into each hero.
Even existing heroes such as The Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye, and the others are going to be reviewed to be better playable characters and enrich the experience of those who own them, creating even more replay value.
Aside from heroes, Marvel Heroes will continue to add new story chapters (the next one is teased at the end of the new Siege content) and new ways for players to experience the game while leveling or after hitting level 60. Already, players have the options of running Midtown Manhattan patrols, defending the X-Mansion from waves of enemies, running dungeons with varying difficulties through Terminals, and the now-released-but-still-in-beta PvP.
Gazillion has teased some upcoming content but mostly talked about adding a new type of Terminal called Cosmic Terminals. Cosmic is a term used in-game for a high type of item rarity, which suggested that Cosmic Terminals will be a great way to find end game loot and gear for your heroes if they can survive tough challenges.
With all of this talk about content for 2014, there’s no way you can deny that Gazillion has all hands on deck to make this year huge for Marvel Heroes.
2014 Season Pass
Gazillion is offering a way for die hard fans of Marvel Heroes to snatch the upcoming 2014 heroes for a great price. Considering that each new hero costs anywhere between $9 and $15 to unlock via the cash option, and the fact that the season pass comes with each hero’s special inventory space and a lot of other items, the prices may seem high to some but the bargain lies beyond the price tag.
For instance, the Deluxe Advanced Pack for 2014 includes all 12 heroes announced for 2014 (two of which have not been unveiled yet), 12 special S.T.A.S.H. inventories for each new hero, one extra costume for each new hero, two special costumes (Wolverine “Fear Itself” and Gambit “As Death” Enhanced) given to pack owners one month before release in the store, and 24 Fortune Cards for three of the upcoming card packs (Mark IV, V, and VI). That pack costs $129.99 and has an approximate value of $425.00.
Obviously that sort of spending is for huge fans and if you’re looking for just the heroes and none of the extras, there is another Advanced Pack for $99.99 and has an approximate value of $215.00. You can read more about these 2014 Advance Packs (which are more like Season Passes) here.
Is Marvel Heroes Worth Playing in 2014?
If you couldn’t tell by now, I am excited at what Gazillion has in store for this game in 2014. This team has done a lot to improve their product and deliver an exciting experience for Action RPG fans and Marvel fans.
Is Marvel Heroes worth playing in 2014? Absolutely. Head to Steam, install the game, and pick your free hero to start beating up AIM and a bunch of other established villains in the Marvel universe. You have free pickings at one beginner hero and they are Black Panther, Black Widow, Captain America, Colossus, Hawkeye, Human Torch, Luke Cage, Punisher, Storm, and Thing.
I definitely suggest using Steam as your game launcher as it will keep your client updated all the time and is generally easier to use.
If you decide to give Marvel Heroes a fair shake, look me up in-game under the player name Cennus and we’ll patrol Manhattan together and hunt some Doops.
Check out some related Marvel Heroes content with the below links: