PAX East 2013: Marvel Heroes’ Brevik & Olebe chat up their improved MMO Action RPG

Marvel Heroes Screenshot - 1133466

The last time I personally saw Marvel Heroes was back at New York Comic Con last October. The game I saw at PAX East 2013 last weekend was almost unrecognizable in comparison. It’s rare that even when I see a game early, the final game looks that different, but I’ll tell you Marvel Heroes is looking awesome. I had a chance to speak with David Brevik, president of Gazillion Entertainment, and Leo Olebe, VP Marketing.

GZ: So you have these motion comic cutscenes in the game now, you have full voice acting, care to talk about that?

Leo Olebe: Yeah actually, you reminded me, we announced yesterday that Steven Blum is the voice of Wolverine. We also have Fred Tatasciore as The Hulk, we’re bringing back Christopher Daniel Barnes as Symbiote Spider-Man. The big announcements yesterday were Keith David as Nick Fury -- he’s awesome, our art director described him as “a chocolate voice in a silky bowl.” We also announced Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson, so he’s reprised his role. The last one we announced was Nolan North as the voice of Deadpool.

GZ: You’ve also announced that you’re adding PvP to the game, correct?

Leo Olebe: Yep, we announced that we’ll have PvP at launch. It’s basically faction-based PvP, hero vs. hero. It’s not dueling though, it’s going to be fully dynamic special PvP zones. There will be event-based activities so there’s a reason that you’re doing it.

David Brevik: There will be objectives. It’s not a match play version of PvP, that’s something that we still could potentially add, but our PvP is going to be zone-wide, three-faction war.

GZ: How are the factions divided up?

David Brevik: There’s a story premise behind it that is not completely ironed out so I don’t want to say it yet, but there will be story reasons and the three factions will be associated with that.

Marvel Heroes

GZ: It seems that PvP and factions open up the potential for playing as villains at some point, right?

David Brevik: It sounds like fun, doesn’t it? (laughs)

GZ: Anything else new announced at PAX?

Leo Olebe: We announced the end game yesterday. We talked about a feature called Ultimate Power. So let’s say you’re playing as Thor and you defeat a boss and another Thor drops but you already have Thor. Well, that turns into a Hero Token that you can use to level up your Ultimate Power, which unlocks at, like, level 30. You use it in high-end content, the end game and whatnot.

GZ: Can we expect the typical end game content you’d get in an MMO?

Leo Olebe: And the high level content you’d expect from an Action RPG as well. Getting epic loot, leveling up your hero to whatever max level is, we haven’t decided yet, leveling up all of your crafting abilities. We’re going to have all of those classic things that you’d find in an Action RPG end game, and then we also have our own end game that we’re bringing to the table.

I don’t think we’ve specifically talked about things like difficulty modes other than to say, the guy who invented them happens to be sitting to your right, and I think he would be fairly interested in something like that, maybe. (laughs)

David Brevik: Oh yeah, I’m interested alright. One of the things we have that’s unique for the end game is this challenge system. It’s a series of challenges that unlock and also rank up in higher and higher difficulties. It’s kind of a web of all sorts of really great events and sequences that you unlock and play.

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Joe Donato Video games became an amazing, artful, interactive story-driven medium for me right around when I played Panzer Dragoon Saga on Sega Saturn. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a part of this industry. Somewhere along the line I, possibly foolishly, decided I'd rather write about them than actually make them. So here I am.
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