Marvel Heroes

Marvel Heroes died on the 27th of November 2017. I have not played it since 2016 and it still ranks as my second most played game on Steam (Payday 2 has the top spot). Except for cosmetic changes, my review will be here, left untouched for historical reading.

Battle through the Marvel Universe with your favourite heroes in this free to play action packed massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

Release Date

June 2013.

Pros

Marvel Heroes is free to play, get it from the official game site or Steam.

The game is very easy to pick-up and play. The prologue mission also doubles as a tutorial and is played in single-player mode only.

There are random events that you can participate in. It is pretty much an excuse to do some extra villain bashing, but is still something different.

Like all good RPGs, there is plenty of loot and also lots of different types of upgrades for the equipment. There is also a good crafting system where you can improve your stuff or make new stuff. Come to think of it the whole game feels and plays like an enhanced version of Torchlight with super heroes.

The action is great. There are plenty of low level goons to beat up and the super villains put up a great fight. If your character is high enough level, you can take on the super villains solo, but generally it is a better idea to team up with other players.

The maps are well designed and big enough to make exploration fun and yet not so big that it is tedious to get from place to place. Sometimes I replay a level/map and I still find it fun.

It is nice to see other super heroes running around, sometimes helping out and sometimes doing their own thing.

When you are defeated, you can wait for others to come and revive you. In turn you can revive others that have fallen. A nice touch to the game I reckon. It is your choice whether to accept a revival and if there is no one around you can either wait a certain amount of time or manually select to return to the last waypoint.

The player vs environment campaign is large enough with eight-plus chapters, each with multiple areas to get through. When this main campaign is completed, special group, daily and survival missions are unlocked along with player vs player functionality.

The post campaign group, daily and survival missions are a lot of fun in their own right. There is no plot as such for them and the locations are the same as the main story campaign, but all the enemies are higher level including the super villains and it is simply great fun to beat up loads of bad guys.

The different heroes are very different. Even heroes of the same class are different enough to make the game interesting. Before, I thought Dare Devil would play roughly the same as Captain America, being the agile fighter type. After playing both characters, it was clear they play very differently. This adds to the variety even when you are playing through the same story.

Gazillion Entertainment have done a great job adding new stuff and improving the game. There are periods of time where I stopped playing Marvel Heroes. Each time I return to the game, I find Gazillion have added a lot more content including a new chapter for the campaign, more challenges, new loot and also more heroes. To make things even better, bugs get fixed along side the adding of new stuff.

Player vs player is still in beta, but it is good fun. Two teams duke it out to overrun the other’s base and at the end you get rewards for your efforts. The heroes’ powers work slightly differently in PvP than in PvE, but it is still good fun.

You can trial all starter heroes to level ten. Then you can choose one to uncap the level to progress further. It looks like Gazillion Entertainment swap the starter heroes now and then so different people may get different heroes to trial. For the latest information, check out the Marvel Heroes Forum.

The ‘w’ key can be used to move. Basically it works like left clicking to move, but does not attack if your cursor is on an enemy. I like this a lot since it means I do not have to keep left clicking every where or hold down the mouse button.

Cons

Except for the introduction, the rest of the cutscenes are presented as a “motion comic”. If they were presented as still comic images, it would have been great. If they were presented as a fully animated cartoon, it would have been great also. I have never seen a motion comic before and this first experience makes me feel like they wanted to do an animation, but were too cheap to go through with it properly. It just looked wrong to me.

If you do not have Steam then you have to use the horrible BitRaider Web Client to download and play the game. I was installing Marvel Heroes on a friend’s PC and encountered two problems. First the download was abysmally slow averaging around 60Kb/s. On Steam I was getting 400Kb/s. Second problem was part way, the download just plain stopped and would not continue. I had to uninstall everything and reinstall from scratch and start the slow download again. After about thirty-six hours of downloading the play button became green and I could actually start the game even though it was only about 25% downloaded.

The BitRaider Web Client is just as slow when downloading patches which means more waiting, because patches are released regularly.

Other Points

There are only two ways to get new heroes after your first selection. One way is to collect Eternity Splinters from defeated enemies and use them to get heroes. The cheapest purchase is the Random Hero Unlock at 175 Splinters with specific hero choices costing more. On average I get three Eternity Splinters in one hour of play, but there are so many special events and bonuses that collecting Splinters is faster than expected. Of course there is the second way of getting a hero which is to fork out real money and buy one. Much quicker if you are willing to pay for it.

Heroes are not the only thing you can buy with real money though. There are also costumes, pet/follower type entities, extra stash storage and special items. Also all these items are not bought directly with real money. You have to purchase Gs and use Gs to buy the items.

Due to my slow ping of 350-700ms, some of the actions I perform gets a delayed reaction from the enemies in the game. It spoils the good action animations of the game, but at the same time I found it amusing. No point complaining since there is nothing I can do about the slow ping times.

The slow ping time also causes jumps and freezes about half the time. The other half plays quite smoothly with other players’ actions moving nicely.

The sounds sound good and the music sounds OK, but they are nothing special. There is some humorous chit-chat between heroes, but once again, nothing special.

In general the frame rate of the game has been good on my PC averaging around 35 FPS, but when there are too many super heroes on the same screen doing their stuff, the FPS drops real fast to about 12 FPS. This always happens during a super villain fight. This is with graphics set to the absolute minimum.

When you get a new hero, they always start at level one and the story progression also starts from the prologue. Each hero has their own story progression tracking, so there is no need to remember where you left off.

Apart from the usual MMO functionality of being able to chat and invite people to form a party, there is also an optional auto join party functionality when you enter certain areas.

The story is standard super hero fare. Doctor Doom has stolen a super duper item that can help him rule the world(or maybe universe) so it’s up to the super heroes to stop him. Of course they do not know what has happened yet, so they have to find out first. I did not pay that much attention to the story because I was too busy beating up the bad guys, and loving it!

Biases

Reviewed versions 1.10.1.14 to 1.30.0.92 of the game.

I have never played any of the Diablo games, but I do like Torchlight tremendously.

Playing Marvel Heroes also brought back good memories of Marvel Ultimate Alliance which I played on PS2. I chose Thing as my initial character because I enjoyed using Thing in Marvel Ultimate Allinace. He was a much better fighter back then than in Marvel Heroes though.

I downloaded and played the game through Steam. I also got to try out the BitRaider Web Client which is required to download and play the game if Steam is not installed.

The screen shots are with graphics set to absolute minimum.

Although I have not read any Marvel comics, I do enjoy watching the cartoons like X-Men and Ultimate Avengers and also most of the movies like X-Men, Iron Man and The Avengers.

I have completed the player vs environment campaign using Thing.

I have also been playing using Dare Devil and Captain America.

DRM

It is a MMORPG. An email address is required for an account and of course a constant connection to the Internet is required to play. I am not sure if this is classified as DRM since it is free to play any way.

Patches

Patches are downloaded automatically.

Patches are released regularly to add new stuff as well as fix existing bugs and balancing issues.

Minimum Requirements (as stated on official game site)

  • CPU: Core 2 DUO 2.1 GHz / AMD Athlon X2 2.1 GHZ or better
  • Graphics Card: DirectX10 Compatible Graphics Card with 512 MB VRAM or higher
  • System RAM: 2Gb or higher
  • Hard Disk Space: 10Gb or higher
  • OS: Windows XP 32 bit or higher

Computer Played On

  • Windows 7 64 bit.
  • Intel Core i5 2.3GHz
  • 4Gb RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M 1Gb RAM
  • Conexant SmartAudio with egg speakers or earphones. Or Logitech G35.
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

Handy Tips

my Winamp causes Marvel Heroes to crash on start up. Nothing needs to be playing in Winamp, as long as it is running, Marvel Heroes just keeps crashing. I am not sure if all versions of Winamp causes this crash or just mine.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.