I’ve been bad.
For weeks now I’ve been planning to write this article. The problem? I’ve been having too much fun playing Marvel Heroes to write about it. That’s kind of a good thing though…right?
Marvel Heroes is not the game it started off as when I originally reviewed it. I’m not even positive it’s the game that was envisioned. But the amount that has changed since the MMO action-RPG’s launch is truly impressive – it’s very nearly a new game from the ground up, and it is far better for it. To that end, it’s time for a new Marvel Heroes review.
The guys at Gazillion have truly been working their butts off and, with the generous help of player feedback, have created a game I have literally sunk over 200 hours into. In fact, the only reason I’m writing this instead of playing yet more is because the game has gone down for the implementation of yet another big, game-changing patch. But more on that later.
So what’s new? Depending on how long it’s been since you’ve played Marvel Heroes (if ever), quite a lot has changed.
The recent 1.2 patch has reworked the battle system nearly from the ground up. Defense and Dodge have been redone to work synergistically toward creating powerful characters far more able to stand against villainy than ever before. Gone are the days of one and two-hit deaths from bosses and enemies alike, all heroes now have varying degrees of effective armor and passive/buff skills that allow them to go toe-to-toe with anything the game throws at them. That’s not to say the game is easy to solo, either.
Red terminals and other modes, such as Midtown Mayhem and X-Defense, are far easier (and fun) with a team of skilled players. The new changes to the system, however, allow very skilled and well-geared players to dominate all on their own, regardless of choice of hero; that means, yes, Melee heroes are now not only viable, but a hell of a lot of fun (looking at you, Black Panther). Tier 4 Terminals have also been added for those rare few who’ve managed to hit level 58-60, ensuring a challenge with fitting rewards the whole way through.
On that note, several new modes have recently made their way into the game. Midtown Mayhem is a constant wave of enemies and bosses spawning for literal mayhem with barely a moment to breathe. The loot is plenty and the action is intense, feeling very similar to the old boss runs of Diablo where you’re rushing through large hoards of enemies to get at the bosses, but without the constant loading and teleporting. Yay! Story mode has been improved with difficulty levels, up to Super Heroic, which should be familiar to Diablo fans that enjoyed running harder versions of the campaign. X-Defense, the newest addition, is an extremely challenging mode where each ‘round’ of enemies grows in power exponentially, along with the rewards and experience points they offer. My personal best is Wave 10, at which point I fold to Magneto like wet paper. One day…
Loot has been greatly improved, with drop rates tuned to be more rewarding to players. Several new kinds of loot have been my true addiction, most notably that of Eternity Splinters. These babies drop at a consistent rate depending on time played, with additional chances to drop based on your item finding stats. Not only can they be traded for equipment and crafting supplies, you can buy heroes with them! To date, with the splinters I’ve gathered over the last 3 weeks, I’ve gotten Hulk, Hawkeye, and Daredevil, all from the random hero box at a cost of 175 splinters per. Alternatively, you can buy specific heroes at a higher, but still reasonable cost. This has since replaced the Hero Token system, allowing for players to reward themselves with new heroes merely by playing, as was originally promised.
Cosmic and Unique items have also since been added to the game, powerful rare drops that will make even the lowliest hero a practical god, with incoming recipes and rates to make acquiring these items efficient and rewarding.
New heroes have also been added to the game at a consistent rate, including Human Torch and Emma Frost, with Luke Cage due very soon and others, if forum posts are any indication, very nearly on the horizon. Recent requests by devs on the forum for what players would like to see – from Gambit, Psylocke and other iconic heroes – suggest a constant stream of new heroes for a while to come. Meanwhile, heroes currently on the roster have gotten enormous upgrades. Several in fact, have been completely remade, including Scarlet Witch, Iron Man, Jean Grey and more, making them far more effective, versatile and worth loving. Others will continue to update and reform to reflect the growing power of each new hero, in hopes of ensuring that no hero ever becomes redundant or lackluster (this means you, Colossus). Skills have been revamped too, with nearly all ‘synergies’ removed in order to free up skill points. Previous synergy bonuses have been applied to skills naturally, allowing more build diversity.
Most of this is actually old news to people who have been playing the game. The real talk is what’s coming, with a 1.3 patch due soon. New pieces of equipment, new TYPES of equipment, Hero Synergy bonuses, legendary quests and iconic artifacts, etc. Recently the current story mode was updated with cinematic alluding to what’s to come, with Mandarin’s rings dispersing yet only one ending up with Doom, Dormammu making an appearance and finally Lok-…well…I won’t ruin it.
This really only covers the highlights, never mind the changes to engine, experience rates and so on. Marvel Heroes has been updating like a snowball down a hill, adding even more content, refining systems and speeding towards the next update seemingly before the prior one can be fully explored. The game is growing fast, and the constant update and feedback from the development team attests to how closely they listen to the community. Indeed, threads are constantly erected specifically asking for opinions. After all, what better way to ensure an incoming hero is fun to play, than ask how we’d like to play them?
My recent time with Marvel Heroes has been truly exciting and enjoyable, and I can’t wait to see what else is to come. If you’ve never played the game or have since taken a break, there’s never been a better time to jump back into the (growing) hero pool.