previews\ Sep 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm

PAX Prime 2012: Marvel Heroes hands-on preview

If there is one thing for certain, the Action RPG craze is booming now more than ever. Diablo III, Torchlight II and the just announced Sacred 3, it's obvious that people can't get enough of that isometric, fast paced combat.

While DC Comics already have their universe represented in an MMO in DCU, fans of Marvel still didn't have anything to look forward to in the online universe... until now. Marvel Heroes is essentially a Diablo style game, except with famous Marvel heroes and villains.

Instead of creating your own unique character, you'll actually be able to play as many of the heroes you know and love, such as Iron Man, Hulk, Spider-Man, Wolverine and more. It's an interesting concept, one that I didn't quite understand until I finally got my hands on it.

If you're familiar with any isometric Action RPG thus far, you'll feel right at home with Marvel Heroes. Left clicking will move your character and right click will have a certain power assigned. Of course you'll have more moves at your disposition thanks to hotkeys.

marvel heroes

I played as a few characters, and found that they all play drastically different from each other, something incredibly welcome to see in an ARPG. Iron Man relied on heavy strikes with the occasional rocket and repulsor blast to clear his enemies, Hulk was pure brute force with a charge attack and power-up aura which gave him an increased boost in strength, while Wolvering was extremely agile, dashing to his enemies, closing gaps and using his claws to do some heavy damage.

What's great is that you're never tied down to just a single hero. By simply pressing the T button, your Team menu will display all currently unlocked heroes that you can switch to on the fly, given that you're not being attacked at the time. What's even better is that at the time, there are 22 Marvel characters announced so far, which many more to come.

marvel heroes

Of course what's an ARPG without loot. During my short playtime, I was absolutely showered with various equipment that I could immediately outfit my characters with. While the standard loot won't change the appearance of your hero, it will raise various paramaters and stats.

I also asked whether it's possible to team up with five other friends and all play as the same character. The answer was a resounding yes, which means if you want to make an army of Iron Men, you have that option. To keep things not only interesting, but also to easily distinguish yourself from another player with the same hero, there will be a myriad of costumes that will all completely alter the look of your hero, and many will be pulled directly from the Marvel lore.

marvel heroes

So you're asking, how much will I have to pay to play this game? Absolutely nothing. The game will be entirely Free to Play, which is amazing given the amount of content available. Of course an in game shop will be available, but the items sold won't be pay to win, but instead offer various cosmetic changes, or boosts to XP gain, etc.

The closed beta is scheduled to happen later this year, so if you're itching to take your favorite Marvel hero online and kick some butt, you won't have to wait that long.

About The Author
Mike Splechta GameZone's review copy hoarding D-bag extraordinaire! Follow me @MichaelSplechta
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