Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Marvel Heroes: There's nothing to marvel at actually

When I first saw Marvel Heroes being available for download on Steam, I was excited. Having played DC Universe previously, I was curious on what Marvel has to offer to counter DC. I enjoyed DC Universe a lot, from the customizability to the party quests to the storyline to game setting itself, and I thought that Marvel would have more tricks up its gaming sleeve as the game came out much later than DC Universe, which means that it should be able to pick up both DC Universe's strengths and weakness to improve on it.

Well, the sad fact is that reality is far from the ideal situation. There are very few games in which I would give up after a day of playing, and Marvel Heroes is sadly one of them.




Far from being the game where you can carve out your own existence in game, Marvel Heroes is one game where you are running around with everyone being the same hero as you, which kinda takes the fun away from it. I remember playing Storm, one of the starter characters available, and everywhere I went, there were 3 to 5 other Storms fighting monsters besides me, using the same abilities as me. I know how in other games you have tons of other people sharing the same class as you, but that somehow feels different because it's a class, rather than an identity, and even that you can still customize your own looks. Having another player looks just like you... that's just weird.

But having people who share your character was not the biggest turnoff in the game. The biggest turnoff I would think is the mediocrity of the gameplay itself. Despite having so many chances to learn from previous superhero games, Marvel Heroes feels like a cheap rip off of Diablo 3, from the way you control your character to how you use your skills to interacting with the environment, and even with that I felt that Diablo 3 had better graphics. The only difference is that you're just controlling a Marvel hero character.




Just from looking at the snapshot above I bet you could name at least 5 things that reminds you of Diablo 3, down to the position of the minimap itself. While many games employ this type of interface, I really felt like that there was nothing new that Marvel Heroes is offering. A lot of gameplay mechanics reminded me of Diablo 3, which might explain why I got bored so incredibly fast in the game.

Other than that, the choices of hero that you can play is also painfully limited. While you can unlock other heroes as you progress into the game, I dreaded it because when you unlock a new hero, you basically have to retrain the hero from scratch again and undergo the same tutorial without having the option to skip (with the exception that you can retain the same mission that your other character is having, which is stupid since you need a higher level character for a higher level quest). I find that exceptionally tiring, and it's like you at most can try three different characters if you want to go far in game. That's how I felt initially.

And the worst part? The items dropped by the mobs, the equipments at least, are hero specific. I understand the logic of Spiderman not being able to use a different variant of Thor's hammer, but with so many different heroes in game, what are the odds of finding your character's equipment? Maybe the game has an algorithm for it, but I was too lazy to find out about it.




There was also crafting available in the game but by then, I am already feeling that the game was too complex and uninteresting for my liking. Sure there was a simple storyline with some awesome comic strip to accompany the game, but the voice acting didn't left much of an impression on me to continue on the game.

In short, Marvel Heroes is perhaps one of the worst MMOs that I have come to experience this year. Not because it was really that bad, but coming from someone like Marvel, you would have at least expected more from it. The feeling that I got from the game was that Marvel wanted to do an MMO just for the sake of having an MMO to earn some quick bucks, rather than really engaging us gamers in building up the universe, like what DC at least attempted. It felt unrefined, amateurish and downright rude. Which was why I uninstalled the game after just 2 hours plus of gaming. Because it's just not worth my time.


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