Suit Up As Your Favorite Marvel Super Hero and Take on a Host of The Best Super Villains Ever Created
Originally released on June 4, 2013 as Marvel Heroes, the game had its fair share of mishaps and a less than stellar launch. However, it has since been rebranded and reborn as Marvel Heroes 2015, making it worth a new look by any gaming fan that loves the idea of zipping around the Marvel Universe bashing bad guys as they go.
Windows Minimum System Requirements
|OS Version||Windows Vista 32/64, Windows 7 32/64, Windows 8 32/64||Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8 64-bit|
|CPU||Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1GHz / AMD Athlon X2 2.1GHz||Current Generation Quad Core (Intel Core i7, Core i5 or AMD FX Series)|
|Graphics Card||Shader Model 3.0 Compatible with 512MB VRAM (Nvidia 8800 Series, ATI HD3800 Series, Intel HD 3000)||Discrete video card with 2GB of VRAM (Nvidia GTX 600 or 700 Series, AMD R9 or HD7900 Series)|
|RAM||3 GB||8 GB|
|Storage||30 GB*||30 GB*|
|Network Speed||Broadband (DSL or Cable)||Broadband (DSL or Cable)|
Mac System Requirements
|OS Version||OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion||OSX 10.9 Mavericks|
|CPU||Intel Core 2 Duo||Current Generation Quad Core (Intel Core i7, Core i5, Xeon)|
|Graphics Card||Discrete or Onboard GPU with 512MB VRAM (Nvidia 9600m GT, Intel HD 4000)||Discrete GPU with 2GB of VRAM (Nvidia GTX Series, AMD FirePro Series)|
|RAM||4 GB||8 GB|
|Storage||30 GB*||30 GB*|
|Network Speed||Broadband (DSL or Cable)||Broadband (DSL or Cable)|
*30GB is required for installation. After installation, Marvel Heroes will require 15GB of storage.
Marvel Heroes 2015 is a free to play massively multiplayer online action role playing game. What does that mean? Think Diablo. In fact, the gameplay will definitely remind you of Diablo as you move around the map destroying everything in your path. Of course, unlike Diablo, Marvel Heroes allows you to play as your favorite superhero. As you progress through the game, you gain levels which will give you access to even more powers that you can customize to fit your play style.
The game itself is built around an overall story involving Doctor Doom. It seems he is up to know good again as he has obtained Cosmic Cube and has built himself an army of some of the best supervillains in the Marvel Universe to prevent you from stopping him.
While I must admit I have not completed the entire story, the overall story arc, while a little thin in my opinion, is enough to keep the game going. I was pleased to find that even early in the game you must take on some of the most iconic Marvel bad guys ever to grace the pages of the comic books. Although, I must admit, I always thought Doc Oc was much more powerful than he turned out to be in the game.
Let’s face it, no matter how good the story is, if the rest of the game gives you a bad experience, it doesn’t matter if the story is good enough to win a Pulitzer, you will still hate the game. So let’s take a look at the user experience of the game starting at the beginning.
As you probably already noticed, the game itself is free so you can create an account on the website and download the client installer. This installer took only a copule of seconds to download.
Once you launch it, then the real download begins. If you, like me, are coming a little late to this game, you will have a lot of updates to download. This isn’t my first time to the online game party, so that didn’t surprise me. What I did find annoying, however, was how long these downloads took.
I began my installation at around 9 a.m. I figured if I start early I would be playing by the evening. Right? Wrong! The download and installation of every single patch didn’t finish up until around 9 p.m. that night. That is 12 hours of installation. During that time I found the download speeds to be quite slow and not even coming close to maxing out my connection speeds. What made matters worse was that during the installation process the downloads failed pausing it while it reset itself to start up again. This drastically increased the install time.
I’m pleased to report that while it did take a crazy amount of time to download the install, the installation and download did at least perform without errors and was only a couple of clicks in total making it one of the easiest installations I have ever performed.
Graphics and Sound
You are in for a real treat with both the graphics and the sound. Now, they do not push the envelope in any way and will even run on budget or older gaming laptops. But, the graphics and clear and crisp and done in such a way that I felt like I was a part of the world. This isn’t a traditional MMO interface, however.
Like Diablo, Marvel Heroes 2015 gives you an isometric view of your environments and heroes. This view is somewhat zoomed out by default although you can go in for a closer look. Still, it is easier to move around, at least in my opinion, by keeping the interface zoomed out.
Still, the environments look like something straight out of the cartoons or comics and the characters sport some of the classic looks and you can even buy alternate costumes from different versions of the characters over the years.
Sound wise you will find that some of the powers may end up coming off as a bit repetitive. However, the heroes all say some of their classic lines and interject and some of the funniest times adding a little bit of color to the world. The dialog of the characters is well done and the music rests comfortably in the background where it should be, adding just enough to increase the excitement of the game but not too much where it interferes with the experience.
Gameplay and Controls
The gameplay is done much like Diablo where you must defeat waves of enemies as you move through a map until you reach a boss. The enemies you face are usually just thugs that are easily defeated by your super powers while the enemy will be a classic super villain from the Marvel Universe such as the Green Goblin. The environments are interesting and varied and each boss has his own unique set of moves and can be difficult to defeat if you are not prepared offering challenging gameplay that is both fun and unique.
The controls are fairly easy to master. The left mouse button allows you to move around the maps easily and is also your main default attack button while the right mouse button is another, often more powerful attack. In addition, as you level you gain access to new powers and special abilities that are mapped to hot keys and can be found in a hot bar. In most hot bars, the keys are mapped by default to the numbers on your keyboard. However, in Marvel Heroes 2015, the default setup maps these keys to the home row of keys such as “ASDF.” While easy enough to get used to I did find it a bit awkward at first as my gaming habits have been groomed over the years of playing MMORPGs to button mash the number keys. It’s an interesting choice by the developers and in many ways one has to wonder why they set it up like this. As I said, after a single gaming session you will most likely be used to it but, if you are like me, you will mess up in the beginning by trying to hit the number keys instead of your home row for your special abilities.
Free to Play
As I have said, Marvel Heroes 2015 is free to play and it does a great job of staying free if that is what you want. However, when you begin the game, you start with a very limited pool of superheroes with most of the fan favorites tucked neatly away for you to earn or buy. This is how the game makers make money. These heroes can be purchased from a store using an in game currency that is very difficult to collect or by simply entering your credit card. Each hero is around $20 bucks with some being more and some being less. There are also costumes you can purchase to change the looks.
Still, it would be nice if many of these characters were available without having to spend hours grinding away or spending your money. Maybe if they were little cheaper that would be better because, at least for me, I have a hard time investing $20 just for a character in a video game.
Let me preface this by saying that this section is totally my opinion and isn’t really based on any sort of facts other than how playing this game makes me feel. Some of you may agree, while others vehemently disagree, and that’s okay. I’m still going to share these opinions anyway.
One of the main problems I see with this game is it just doesn’t feel epic enough. I mean, you are a superhero after all. Why in the world would you need someone to ferry you from place to place. When playing as a superhero, one of the first things anyone wants to do is soar high in the clouds with your flying abilities or swing from building to building. Unfortunately, because of the play style of Marvel Heroes 2015, you simply can’t do that. If you fly, you simply hover just above the ground as you navigate the maps. This leaves you with an underwhelming sense of accomplishment and power, in my opinion. While I admit that isn’t really what this game is about, it’s tough to feel like a super hero when you are asking for a ride to go anywhere.
Another thing I believe would be a nice addition to the game is the ability to craft your own super hero within the confines of the Marvel universe. Again, the whole point of this game is to play as one of the classic superheroes from Marvel, and I get that. Still, when you see 5 Captain Americas running around it really takes away from the immersion level of the game. The ability to create your own unique superhero I believe would add a whole new depth to this game and keep players coming back for more.
All of the villains in this game are controlled by the game and not by the players. Imagine a world where you could choose a side with a whole set of missions designed for the villains as well. Just think about the PVP possibilities this creates as well as super heroes and villains line up to face each other in epic PVP battles that could yield their own unique set of rewards.
Overall, Marvel Heroes 2015 accomplishes essentially what it set out to do, allow players to be a Marvel superhero of their choosing and defeat the villains to be the hero. The game is engaging and unique and the game play is fun, fast paced and challenged. However, it does lack in a few key areas especially in regards to its immersion capabilities as it is truly hard to really feel like you are playing that superhero. This could be because of the design choices the developers took that limit your mobility and power and remove any open world features found in many MMO’s today.
Still, if you are looking for a chance to suit up like your favorite superhero, then Marvel Heroes 2015 is the game for you as it gives you the chance to play almost any superhero you can think of and do battle with some of the best super villains ever created in a game that can be fun and challenging for any gamer regardless of their skill.