Since its launch, I’ve logged about twenty hours into Marvel Heroes. And I have to say, as much of a Marvel fan as I am, I’m done. The short version is that’s is an extremely mediocre dungeon crawler with, I’ll admit, a good Marvel skin on it. It’s not terrible by any means, but rather painfully mediocre. If you enjoy Marvel games, you can do much better (Marvel VS Capcom, Wolverine Origins, Marvel Ultimate Alliance). If you enjoy Dungeon Crawlers, you can do better (Torchlight 2, Path of Exile, Skyrim). If you enjoy Massive Online RPGS, you can do better (WOW, EVE, DCUO, LOTR Online). Basically, with a limited amount of time and money it’s hard to see why someone would want to waste with with Marvel Heroes, given the current state of playability.
Before I get into the bad, let me start with good. Visually, I enjoyed the style. The powers and characters look good. I did have fun running around as Cable and Phoenix and blowing things up. Also, I enjoyed the locations and characters. Fighting Taskmaster, meeting the X-Men NPCs at the X-Mansion. It was cool. Lastly, Gazillion is working on it. They are actively trying to make it better. That’s quite admirable, but I’m afraid it will be a case of ‘too little, too late’. Now, the top 5 reasons I’m done with Marvel Heroes.
5) Powers are Too Similar
Each character has approximately twenty skills, some active skills, some passives, some buffs. Not a bad variety on paper. But you slowly start to realize that each character has very similar powers. Ranger character? Fast low damage attack, slow high damage, AOE stun, dodge, move that pushes enemies back and some sort of grenade with a long cooldown. Same thing with melee. Quick low damage, slow high damage, charge, buff to reduce damage, and probably a dodge. They’ll be called different names and look different. But in execution, they’re all essentially the same. Some more variety and uniqueness would be nice.
4) Lack of Build Options
This a big one. With any skill based dungeon crawler, there has to be multiple ways to build a certain class of characters. The reason for this is twofold: it gives player a sense of customization, and it increases replayability. In Torchlight 2, I can spec my engineer to be a bot builder and party buffer, or he can be up front in melee doing massive damage and knockback with a two-handed weapon. Unfortunately with Marvel Heroes, at the current time, there is a definitive best build for each character. If you play Jean, you’re going Phoenix. If you play Rocket, get Groot. For Spidey, go webslinger. That kills alot of the fun for me of discovering builds. If the balance is horribly off and there’s no reason to keep experimenting, why play? I don’t want my character to be the exact same as everyone else’s, but if not doing that will cripple me in the long run, I’m out.
3) Lack of Endgame Content
The average player will complete the game around level 25-30. The level cap is 60. So what is there for players to do from 30-60? Grind, and that’s about it. There’s special simulator missions that are available after beating the main campaign, but they’re mostly remixes of already beaten levels and bosses, just artificially made harder with restrictions in place. There’s really not much to do. I suppose I can grind to try to get another character to drop so I can play again? I’m seriously at a loss here of what to do after I beat the main campaign except grind for the sake of grinding.
2) Lack of Customization Options
It’s a loot based game, you will pick up a ton of items. Lots of loot, it’s the name of the game. But why does my lvl 30 character look exactly like my lvl 1 character? Because what your character looks like is independent of the items you are currently wearing. This kills it for me. I want to see my character develop and look more and more awesome. I want to see the progression. I want to start off as a noob with my rusty sword and broken leather armor and working my way up to the armor of awesome +5. I mean, even Fable III got that right, bombshell of a game that was. But no, in Marvel Heroes character appearance options are restricted to skins that either drop or you can purchase in the horribly overpriced store. If you don’t have any skins, your character will look exactly the same the entire time you are playing it. Why? Why couldn’t this be implemented?
1) Price Model /Drop Rates
Everything is too expensive. They need to drop the prices by 50 to 75 percent. Twenty dollars for a skin or character? Seriously? Who in their right mind thought that was a good idea. Currently, things are on sale by a dollar or two, but it’s not enough. Things are way to expensive and it’s extremely cost restrictive for the average player. They claim that you can play the game without spending money. Theoretically this is true. You can play the campaign with one of the starter character from start to finish. However, if you want anything else, you’re going to need to cough up some cash. Characters and skins do drop in game, but it’s like 0.25%. The apparent drop rate seems to be way lower than one percent. It’s crazy stupid. So yes, theoretically it’s possible to get all the characters and skins without paying. It’s also theoretically I can walk into the White House, demand to see the President and make him order me a taco. It’s possible, but extremely extremely unlikely. I mean, a guard will probably shoot me the moment the word taco leaves my mouth.
It’s all one big scam to separate the fan from his money in a very poorly designed excuse for a game. I’m not made of money, and even if I was, I’d rather give it to Bethesda or Obsidian.
0) No Nightcrawler
Seriously, he’s not in the game at all. Not even a cameo. Put him in and I’ll play.
Marvel Heroes, you make it really hard to defend you. I want to like you, I really do. I love Marvel, and I love dungeon crawlers, but it appears that it was not meant to be. It’s not me, it’s you. It’s totally you. I’ll come by your place in maybe six months see how things are going. But for now, farewell.