MMOments: Marvel Heroes

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Marvel Heroes is a great game, in fact it always was. What launched as a superhero themed Diablo clone, it brought together mindless action, barrels of loot, and Marvel’s signature hero and villain roster. Since then, Marvel Heroes has grown to include more than 30 heroes and has even added in new missions and areas to coincide with the release of Marvel films. The problem, at launch, however was that Gazillion had clearly spent far too much time focusing on promoting the market rather than the actual game. The atmosphere wasn’t so much “play me” as it was “give me more money.”

Marvel Heroes was technically free, my favorite kind of free, in the sense that you chose one hero from a small list and could either purchase more or unlock them via random, extremely rare drops. Since then, Gazillion has made it much easier to obtain heroes and costumes through gameplay. Eternity Splinters drop at a small but steady pace throughout normal leveling and can be used to purchase heroes. I managed to get my hands on 175 splinters in the time it took me to level Hawkeye from 1 to 30 (current level cap 60). You can spend anywhere between 200 and 400 splinters to unlock specific heroes, or you can spend 175 and unlock one at random with the possibility of receiving a hero you already own.

You will still receive two or three random heroes as you progress through the game’s story mode and, by the time of this review, I had gotten my hands on Hawkeye, Captain America, Storm, Scarlet Witch, and then Cyclops via the eternity splinters. Five heroes and I’m not even close to hitting the level cap with the first. Not too shabby for not having spent any money.

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If you played Marvel Heroes at launch and found yourself severely underwhelmed as I did, you are in for a surprise. Thanks to community response and countless patches, Gazillion Entertainment has managed to polish and refine Marvel Heroes into the masterpiece that it is today. Every hero is viable in solo play, even those who draw their powers from up close and personal attacks like the Hulk. There are no longer the “glass cannon” heroes who can push out large amounts of damage but can be killed in one or two hits by most villains and bosses. Content galore has been added to satiate players once they finish the very short campaign.

The story mode in Marvel Heroes is very short, with heroes finishing the latest addition (Asgard) before level 30 with a level cap of 60. Thanks to the new difficulty modes, however, you can go back and play through the campaign over and with higher level foes. Midtown Madness plays out as something of a boss rush, a giant city with just about every event and foe present in Marvel Heroes, with regular appearances by the game’s villain bosses and plenty of loot and experience to go around. Not only are heroes being added at a regular rate, Gazillion is going back to the early roster and tuning them down the the base level to make sure that none become obsolete.

If you have played Marvel Heroes in the past and got fed up with the cash shop or hero system, now is the best time to come back. If you haven’t given Marvel Heroes a try, what are you waiting for? You now have an increased pool of heroes to choose from on new accounts.

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