Marvel Heroes Review – The Terrible Truth



By Tagspeech

Marvel Heroes Review 1

Marvel Heroes could have ridden the tidal wave of success created by the blockbusters film "The Avengers" and made itself into a truly great, successful, and highly profitable online game on brand recognition alone.  All they would have to do is make the game not terrible, and capable of holding the attention and devotion of Marvel fans.  I don't consider myself a Marvel fan, but I like many of the characters in that universe, and I especially like smash-tastic smash-fests inspired by the Diablo franchise (namely, the Diablo franchise itself).

So, did Marvel Heroes succeed?  No.  Not even close.  A metascore of 58, as of this review, is not something anyone wants to see associated with their game.  Even Penny Arcade slammed the game hard with a hilarious comic that pointed out the very serious problem of being able to see someone else running around as your selected hero.  The entire point of the game is to take on the mantle of a superhero from your favorite franchise and smash evil.  That fun is diminished by seeing your twins jogging along next to you.

But apparently the recent release of a major content patch will fix all of these issues and more.  Will it prove to lift this game back up into success?  Or will it just be another futile effort in turd-polishing?

Marvel Heroes Review 2

You Are Grounded.

In the first ten minutes of playing the game, something just felt wrong.  While I was initially pleased that one of the free hero options was my favorite Marvel character, Storm, once I got on the ground with her I just felt... strange.  I jogged around for a while, clicking on enemies and roasting them with lightning.  Soon a Deadpool crossed my path and sliced up some things, only to jog off in his own direction.  A Thor and an Iron Man jogged by me and punched some thugs in the face, then jogged away in an opposite direction.  As I continued to jog, I realized something.

Why are all of these powerful, iconic heroes jogging?!  Half of these people can fly.  In fact, in the case of Storm, you almost NEVER see her touching the ground in a fight.  This might sound like nitpicking, but half the fun of a video game is immersion, and the only people who are going to be buying this game are Marvel fans.  Ergo, it's going to break a Marvel fan's immersion when they see that their hero has been reduced to mundanely sweating out the miles as they fight crime.  This game could have been so cool if it had been given a AAA budget and development team, but instead of being Classic Coke, it's some off-brand swill.

A game with this kind of brand recognition deserves the star treatment.  This is not, as one reviewer is quoted saying on the game's steam page, "... the best of the MMO genre and the best of the action-RPG genre."  I wonder if that person has played either genre, at all.   Because boring combat, a misused franchise, and unacceptably shoddy animations and graphics do not a 2013 MMO blockbuster make.  It's just bad.  Terribly, terribly bad.  And I had to continue playing it.  For YOU, reader.  I hope you're happy.

 Marvel Heroes Review 3

JUST LET IT END, PLEASE.

The first thing this game wants you to do is go stop a bank robbery.  Uninspiring, but classic.  I don't know why legions of Earth's finest meta-humans are all simultaneously bothering with this kind of ground-level mayhem, but I'll play ball.  On my way to the bank, I fry a few thugs, and some random HYDRA agents.  I realized those agents were being lead by a boss enemy, a la Diablo, and relished in the chance to smite him.

Of course, as a boss, he was mostly immune to my knockback attack.  So after killing his minions, I just sort of sat there holding down my left mouse button, watching his health shave off in little bits over the course of about forty seconds.  That may not sound like very long, but when you're supposed to be playing a game and enjoying yourself, forty seconds of just staring at a green-spandex-clad, limber, floating weirdo being zapped by the exact same bolt of lightning over and over again gets dull.  He didn't exactly challenge me.  He just made me want to give up and move on.

Anyways, he exploded like any other obedient loot pinata, and I continued on my quest.  Once inside the bank, I zapped mercenaries, and was confronted by Black Cat.  The fight with her was standard fare; don't stand in the green poison cloud she makes, kite, hit with attacks, kill additional mercenaries that appear periodically.  Not exactly complicated stuff for an experienced MMO gamer (which I assume pretty much everyone is at this point).

But here's the thing.  That fight took me four minutes to complete.  Four minutes.  No phases, no explosions, no changes, no exciting clashes.  Just four minutes of exactly what I described earlier.  Over.  And over.  And over.  Forever.  The game lacks Diablo 3's graphical panache and crunchy combat.  Some of the environment is destructible, but surely not enough of it.  It's amusing to be able to lift cars and throw them at enemies, but the result is surprisingly lackluster without ragdoll physics.  How can you make a game like this and not have ragdoll physics?  Half the fun is watching your foes and their charred bits pinwheel through the air and skid across pavement.

Marvel Heroes Review 4

Who plays you?!

That's the question I feel like I've been asking in a lot of my reviews lately, and it's especially relevant here.  I feel like this is a game that was made (poorly) with the intention of appealing to Marvel fans who also like Diablo and light WoW-esque MMORPG elements.  But it fails to appeal to Marvel fans by stupidly, stupidly making the game an open-world affair wherein you'll meet your character's twin multiple times within the first ten minutes of gameplay (would have been easily remedied by making the game lobby-based, instead).  It especially fails to appeal to Diablo fans by lacking any sort of graphical intensity, meaningful combat, or satisfying violence.  Ragdoll physics on death and force application for attacks is sort of action game 101, and has been an industry standard for years now.

Of course, we can't forget that it fails to appeal to MMORPG fans by being a stiff, isometric-camera affair with no real open world or sense of exploration and immersion.  The developers of this game seemed to think that just allowing players to randomly run into each other, shoe-horning in a barebones crafting system, and adding useless cosmetic pets was going to somehow drive up business and interest.  It's not.  You guys.  It's not, and I almost feel bad about pointing all of this out, because clearly the people who made this game are just very new to the whole process.

 Marvel Heroes Review 5

The Cash Trap

We can't truly ever know the exact mantra that the developers of Marvel Heroes were chanting when they designed the game's free-to-play model, but given the way the game is designed now, it was probably something along the lines of "GIMMIE URRRRR MOOOONEEEEEY!!!1!!!1"  Because that's what it wants.  I'm sorry, $49.99 for a hero pack that only has four actual heroes in it and a bunch of stupid skins?  Ten bucks for an individual hero?

We'd all be happier if the game would just admit to the fact that it exists solely to cash in on the fanaticism of comic book/gamer enthusiasts.  The game's design is deceptively free-to-play, given the only saving grace of the entire title is the ability to play as your favorite Marvel character, and people are going to be more than willing to pay money to get their favorites.  It's like charging for action figures, except the action figures don't actually exist, and they're not going to accrue value over time.  Also, no new toy smell.  Remember new toy smell?  Digital characters that cost ten bucks each don't even have new toy smell.  You can't even pick them up and make them fly.  You just have to watch them jog around like weight-loss reality show contestants, stiffly waving their arms in a boring, cardboard diorama of a world.

Marvel Heroes Review 6

Final Verdict: Ugh.

I cannot in good conscience recommend this game to anyone, anywhere, for any reason.  The latest patch did nothing to address this game's lackluster core gameplay, which is its biggest fault. If you like Diablo, then go play Diablo 3.  I hear they're removing that stupid auction house system soon and going back to a more old-school approach.  If you like MMORPGs, then just play Guild Wars 2 or WoW or something.  Yes, you will have to pay money for those titles.  And yes, Marvel Heroes is "Free to play."

But if your attraction to the game is based on a love for the setting and a specific hero or heroine, then expect to pay a pound of flesh; either in time-investment to unlock the character by grinding as one you don't give a crap about, or by just shelling out the cash to unlock your favorites.  If you do either of those things, the sense of accomplishment and reward will be immediately diminished by running into your favorite character with the username "sloppyseconds" over their head.

Tagspeech is the alias of author W.B. Wemyss, who was responsible for the bizarre cyberpunk fever dream called Children of Athena

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Comments

  • XDefX

    What’s new? Another irresponsible reviewer who didn’t bother to actually play the game. What level did you reach? Don’t you know that any ARPG is slow at lower levels? Your screenshots show what level….five? Some of your gripes are actually already fixed or being talked about by the DEVS in their forum.

    Irresponsible reviewer not presenting a game for what it actually is. Sad.

  • Phaerius

    If you had bothered to play more than an hour you would have found that every hero in the game that should have flight does, some also have teleportation, leaping, dashing, rolling etc. You’ll only find people jogging pre-level five or six.

    In the future the devs will be ensuring all heroes who regularly hover will do so in place of running as well. While still keeping the flight powers which are already in the game.

  • Perceptor

    I think you make some valid points, but your review seems to focus on the early part of the game instead of an endgame build which is more reflective of the state of the game. Maybe if you played longer, you’d learn that the toons who can fly learn to fly and that the team is working on getting characters who hover to do such things. It’s irresponsible reviewing that you didn’t even bother to mention that Iron Man was a character who had his “jogging” changed to hovering. To me, the failure to discuss that piece makes your review seem unprofessional

    • Malarki

      IDK, when I played it I saw like three jogging Iron Mans. Apparently that was the case here, as well. Why would anyone want to play a game where you jog around as what is basically a cosplay of your favorite hero in one giant, boring convention?

  • Likewise

    Please tell me you didn’t get paid for this lazy review. My god you left out all the real issues people care about in their ARPGs and focus on those I-don’t-like-this when apparently you didn’t even play the game for more than a couple of hrs… What’s this? Some kinda feedback survey?

  • not even level 5…

    wow, really? it looks like you played the game for about 20 minutes…

  • Beast

    Saddens me to think that someone might come here and take this seriously, but then again, anyone with half a functioning brain will understand this review lacks depth and valid criticism of the really important aspects in an ARPG game. Like loot and experience. The whole review looks like a major whine fest as well, please stop reviewing games if all you are willing to put into the game is less than 1 hour, call it quits because “I see cloned people” and “Oh no, my level 3 character is not hovering!”, those are arguments a bad critic would make, but then again, this is a bad review.

    • Malarki

      It’s just a bad game. The criticisms in the review are all core gameplay issues that can’t really be patched out – the franchise is just poorly used. She points out, accurately, that there are other Marvel mashup titles and action RPGs that are just simply more fun to play. Have you even played Marvel Heroes? It’s just… not fun. If the game feels like work, it isn’t fun. In this time of intense competition between titles, why play something that isn’t immediately engaging?

      • Barbzilla

        What criticisms are in the review that can’t be patched out other than the fact that you all basically run around as the same character?

        Yes I have played Marvel Heroes, it is fun, and it is engaging. The only time the game has ever felt like work, was right after the patch with the huge XP nerf causing it to take much longer to level up. If you find Marvel Heroes to be work, I hate to see what you think of most other MMOs that take weeks to level up…

        • reader

          The fact that the game play didn’t compel the reviewer to get “deep enough” into the game in it’s self speaks volumes about the game. Good games hook you and make you want more.

  • ZERO BANG

    reviewer sins:

    - 5-10 minutes playing the game, 2 Eternity Splinters… Level 3… only screenshots from the very first zone that takes about 5-10 minutes… maybe 15 if you can’t follow the minimap… thinks he has an opinion already.

    - 15 minutes reading other peoples reviews… achievement unlocked: found metacritic score

    - 20 minutes typing down what he thinks is “the Truth” [lol rly?], while it isn’t even a valid first impression.

    - promoting Diablo 3 instead … lol rly? Blizzard paying you for this BS?

    - claims Dev is new to F2P Market, obviously is not aware of “Super Hero Squad Online”, the other Marvel Hero game from Gazilion (for kids… around 5).

    - Reviewer is part of the instant gratification generation “i want it all, i want it all, i want it now!”
    you can unlock any Hero you want by simply PLAYING (no need to pay for any Hero / Class what-so-ever! And that system got improved from random RNG drops at random times to a steady grind and the option to decide yourself what Hero you unlock next…). What you will want to pay for are Costumes to look different (selling visual fluff = F2P) and Bank slots (you probably will want some space after some time to save your better loot.).

    Final Verdict:
    just go to youtube and watch 3 gameplay videos… you will have build more of an opinion about the game yourself than this dude has for his “review”. Or just download the client and play it yourself for a bit… it is Free 2 Play after all, doesn’t hurt to take a look if already interested.

  • Mr. Poochy

    Terrible, unprofessional review.

  • SloppySeconds

    I’ve been considering trying to get a job reviewing video games on the side. Could you tell me, sir, does Blizzard pay well to trash their competitors?

  • Eve

    They didn’t pay you enough eh?

  • Maxximus

    You’re an idiot.

  • Rob

    What a shockingly unprofessional and biased review. The reviewer comes to the game with predisposed feelings on what they wanted to write and literally spends 10m playing it without even looking at the skill trees or doing the slightest bit of research before writing their review.

    The problem with the review isn’t that it’s negative, its quite possible to write a good negative review which still comes across as well-informed and professional. This reviewer is either hopelessly lazy or lacks the mental capacity to write such a review.

    Absolutely shocking and frankly if I was your editor you would’ve been fired on the spot for this piece of ‘work’, it’s an insult to your profession.

  • I tell the truth

    Yes this game is a crap.

    Only fanatic white paladins with momys wallets can think this game is “good”

    Bad game, ridiculous company and one of the worsts communitys ever, the perfect pack for a failure game is here.

    • Rob

      Doesn’t matter whether the game is good or bad, a professional reviewer is supposed to produce an objective and reasoned piece of work after having played and experienced a game to reasonable levels.

      That was not the case with this review. Regardless of what you think of the game, or any other game for that matter, a professional is expected to give an unbiased and informed review.

      There are plenty of negative reviews of this game, but most of them at least played it for more than 10m at the time they did the review. Some of them played it for many hours and I doubt anybody could have an issue with those writers whether they agreed with their opinion or not. This review is simply unprofessional and should never have been published.

      Neither the writer, nor the editor of this site, did their job here. If the editor was doing theirs this review would’ve been sent right back to the writer with a stern warning to actually play the game they’re reviewing.

    • Barbzilla

      Lol, I would hardly call myself a white night, nor would I say I get to play with mommy’s wallet, yet I call the game decent with a good amount of potential. I would have had no issues with this review, had he actually taken the time to at least read the forums and write about actual issues instead of reading a cartoon as his source material.

  • FrodoFraggins

    Your review reeks of having an agenda. You clearly spent more time reading reviews of the game than actually playing it at least til level 25.

  • Barbzilla

    Good job on making it to level 3 and then thinking you had what it takes to describe the game. I don’t mean to attack your credibility here, but generally speaking a reviewer goes on more than just the introduction material to judge a game by. This would be like me hopping on WoW and saying it sucks because there was absolutely nothing to do with a raid group at level 5, my skills sucked because I only had 3 of them, and I didn’t have any talent points to make myself better.

    To top that off, the Devs for Marvel Heroes have been among the most communicative I have ever seen within their community. There are almost always constant updates in the dev corner from Devs talking about upcoming fixes, talking about balance issues, or just chatting with their players.

    Did Marvel Heroes release way too early and unprepared? Yes, they most certainly did. That said, they have spent every week since release trying to fix the mistakes they have made while listening to the community for new content. Do they continue to make mistakes? Yes, but they also work their collective buttocks off to fix any mistakes they do make.

    I agree that the game isn’t where it is supposed to be yet, and that the cost vs entertainment ratio is thin at the beginning, but after I purchased my second character, I haven’t had to purchase another since (and I am up to 16). With the splinter system they have ensured that if you are willing to play your starter character long enough, you can get the hero you want to play, even if that is one of the $15 heroes.

    Most of your complaints are either old, or irrelevant to the overall state of the game, and I can’t believe anyone would publish a review this unprofessional and incomplete. Hell, your best argument against the game is from another reviewer all together, and that was back during launch.

    • Malarki

      .”.. your best argument against the game is from another reviewer all together, and that was back during launch.” Which argument is this? It seems the reviewer was criticizing core game content, not end-game stuff, which no reviewer (particularly not free-lance ones) can accurately assess in an MMORPG without 80+ hours of investment. That’d be well over a thousand dollars just to make it to the game’s elder content. Professional reviewers tend to play for a few hours maximum and then assess the core gameplay. That’s the only thing that distinguishes these games any more; raids, group content, crafting, etc. are all pretty much a given now.

      • Barbzilla

        I’m sorry, it wasn’t another reviewer, but from a Penny Arcade cartoon, that being the fact that you see countless clones of yourself running about.

        Now as for the rest of your statement, any reviewer worth their salt will get far enough into the game to be able to comment on the core mechanics of the game itself. By level 3, you can only comment on the core mechanic of…. basic attack, and putting points into skills. You haven’t discovered itemization, customization, theory crafting, skill progression, or any other of the countless features in a game like this.

        I openly admit that the game needs work, but so do the developers, and they are working their buttocks off to get the game to the state it needs to be in. Meanwhile your reviewer, doesn’t even bother to get past level 3 as far as I can see, which takes all of 10 minutes at most. As far as being able to access all of the content, there are guides out there to get you to 60 in as little as 16 hours (though that would do his readers a disservice as well, since he would skip the story), but if he wanted to consider himself a journalist, he would get through the story at the very least (and perhaps run some team based content).

        I know professional reviewers personally, in fact I had a good chat with a few at the escapist Expo not too long ago, and they devote the majority of their time to actually experiencing as much of the game as possible before releasing a review. I do understand editorial times however, and I will say that it isn’t always feasible to complete every game before reviewing (though, those games tend to have massive technical flaws that prevent decent gameplay to begin with). This reviewer’s biggest complaints, I don’t hover/fly (which hovering is being addressed with the next patch, and flight is already in the game, and it isn’t that deep in the skill tree for Storm), and that everyone is the same as me; well he’d have to talk to marvel about that decision (well Disney actually).

        This game is primarily ARPG at its core, and its main storyline (which gets you to 25 or so, and a few terminal (group) runs gets you to 30 where you have access to all of your skills). This is not some typical MMO, and it wouldn’t take him hundreds or even dozens of hours to get a good feel for the game. As you can see from all of the other readers bashing his review, this is nothing more than a slam job. He was either too lazy to do his work (in which case he should be fired or not paid), or he doesn’t understand the basic functions of said games (in which case he should be fired or not paid) (though I suppose it could be that onrpg has an issue with MarvelHeroes for some reason or another and wanted a crap review).

        Other than that, the only thing I can think of, is he read a bunch of other reviews from the release, played a couple minutes to say he did (and to take some screen shots), and then started his slam job. GG

        • Malarki

          She, the reviewer is a she. And she made much bigger points, such as the lack of really fun action (no ragdoll physics, no real sense of impact in the combat), and the fact that who gives a crap about loot and exp when the first hour of the game makes you want to bash your head against a wall? You do not need to play a game for more than an hour or two to get a sense of how the core mechanics work; like, how the graphics are, the sound, how the combat feels. None of that is going to change over the course of the game. It’s a BAD GAME. And this is not a bad review, it just has extremely volatile rhetoric surrounding cogent points. “Boring action, boring combat, boring visuals, lame RP value, why play this when you can play better action RPGs like D3 or Torchlight?” It’s a very good question. It’s weird that you’re defending such a shit game so adamantly when you, like everyone else, are going to be sick of it in 6-12 months at best.

          • Barbzilla

            She (I apologize, I am unable to determine sex from a screen name), didn’t name many of the complaints you have though. I am not blinding defending the game, instead I’m combating poor a poor review. Believe it, or not, I think that Marvel Heroes has a lot of flaws, and it isn’t currently in a great state, however a paragraph about how many people run around looking just like you, and how long it takes to down a boss/elite, isn’t a full review. That is barely scratching the surface of a review.

            I don’t mean to say that those things shouldn’t be included in her review either, they should if she feels they are pertinent, but they should be backed up and followed by a more in depth review of the mechanics as a whole, and a showing of what the game has to offer (or doesn’t have as it may be).

            I have a feeling you and I got off on the wrong foot here, I’m not trying to argue with you about the state of the game, only that a reviewer worth their salt tries to get as strong of a grasp on the concept behind the game in the short time that they have to play it, and then conveys that feeling to their readers.

            I take no personal issues with the scores, mainly because everyone has their own tastes (hell, I personally loved Daikatana, which is a horrible game by all accounts, and did not like Bioshock, which was a great game by all accounts). Where I take things personally is that reviewers have a personal duty to their readers to convey enough information to their readers for them to make an informed decision to get the game or not, instead she gave us a couple of examples clouded by the history of the game and a lot of fluff, then said she couldn’t recommend the game.

            If her feelings are that the game isn’t worth recommending, fine, no worries. However, I would like to know how it plays, what the story is like, how are the characters designed, how does the combat system work, are there other games like it, ect. These are all elements that allow readers to make solid in their minds the type of game it is, and if the game is for them.

  • Ybd

    Loot does suck pretty bad. Exp is not far behind.

  • Belacose

    Seems to me you spent much more time writing about the game than actually playing it. This has to be one of the most ignorant reviews of any game I have ever read. Most likely you’re just jumping on the sheep band wagon of months past.

  • Barbzilla

    The sad part is, there are plenty of valid concerns when it comes to Marvel Heroes, and had this “journalist” actually done his job he could have had an article that hit the head on the nail (so to speak) with directing his opinion and guiding his readers to, or away from, the game as is the case by their desires vs their dislikes. Meanwhile it would seem as if this guy goes and reads a few cartoons about the game and thinks himself qualified to write a review, so he downloads the game and plays 5-15 minutes to justify his opinions.

    I am honestly surprised this reviewer isn’t working for IGN as that is usually where these slam jobs come from (or surprisingly inflated reviews done as a favor). So Tagspeech, if you want to come justify your review, I would love to hear it.

    • Tagspeech

      Sure, I’ll bite. But just this once.

      My process:

      Game gets 60-90 minutes of my time, maximum. If it engages me for longer than that, it’s because I was actually enjoying myself (making it an actual game, instead of a chore). If a game fails to engage a jaded gamer in the first hour, it’s already failed. That’s a critical period. First impressions, competitive genre, most important to engage swiftly, etc.

      Marvel Heroes made me bored and sad. I played for about 45 minutes before I just had to stop. I simply did not care, not about my character, not about the community, not about the gameplay or anything else. If the game fails to make me care, then I don’t care about the game, and therefore don’t care to give it a good score. I am comfortable with that logic.

      Similar games I’ve enjoyed thoroughly (20+ hours of playtime):

      Torchlight 1 & 2

      Diablo 1, 2 & 3

      Orcs Must Die! 2 (Great game, though not quite the same)

      The question the reviewer has to ask: while I’m playing this game, am I fantasizing about playing a different, but similar game that I had much more fun with? If the answer is “Yes” then the game isn’t fun compared to its competition, and therefore does not deserve a good score.

      That’s my process. Next time, I’ll be sure to spell it out for everyone, in addition to flaming the game (if it blows). One hour minimum (unless the game is especially painful to play), and if the game makes me want to play more, then (WHOA!) it’s actually fun. That’s why we play games. To have fun. If I’m not having fun, and I don’t want to play, then it isn’t a good game to me. That’s it.

      Your experiences may be different from mine. I’ve been doing this for a very long time. My expectations are high, and my frame of reference is broad. I do not review these games with the fresh, naive eyes of a youngster new to video games. I am old. When I was a teenager I played JRPGs to death instead of studying. Looking back now, it was all incredibly stupid. I have to wonder what on earth I thought was so great about breeding chocobos in Final Fantasy VII.

      Anyways, that was young fangirl me. Now I’m old, cranky me. If you don’t like the results of that, that is what the comments section is for.

      I appreciate you all coming out and showing your support for Marvel Heroes. The devs of that game are lucky to have such zealous people on their side.

      As to the individual who asked me if Blizzard paid well to slam their competition, the answer is that I have no idea. But I don’t really think they consider Marvel Heroes competition. Hardly a blip on their radar, I imagine.

      That’s all from me for now. Thanks for your comments!

      • Barbzilla

        First off Tag, thank you for taking the time to address my post. I will actually forward this to the Marvel Heroes community, and that may assuage their venomous stares and voodoo rituals for a bit (your review became a small topic of discussion on the forums, and that is how you have come to be bombarded with these comments defending the game).

        I don’t want to give the wrong impression that I think your review is wrong. Wrong isn’t the right word. As I said, I do know a number of professional game reviewers, and they will all tell you that a review score is nothing more than one person’s opinion of the game. If you didn’t enjoy the game, than I would expect you to convey that in your review. There is nothing wrong with that from my end.

        What I felt was wrong was the half effort that was put into trying the game. I don’t know if the game just didn’t mesh with you, if it just isn’t the type of game for you, or even if you were just having a bad day (believe me, that will taint a playthrough quickly). Forty-Five minutes is not a substantial amount of time to spend to give a solid opinion on something however.

        When I first loaded the game up (after launch, beta was a whole other experience), I was sorely disappointed in the game. I knew from being a tester that this game was no where near in shape to be released, I even pleaded with the Devs to hold back (though I suspect they were being pushed forward by a higher power) the release date. The game was not much of anything at the time, you clicked an enemy it died, you gained experience, and you got new skills that did different things… yay.

        Drop rates were low, and prices were high, and we all felt sorely abused in our wallet region, then the devs did something I hadn’t seen any other game company do… They actually started open lines of communication. I won’t pretend that their communication is perfect, but they do try to listen and discuss the game with their fans/players, as well as use the feedback as a guide stone. One of the developers even responded to a statement I made a while back as to this basically being in the open beta stage by saying that is a fair assertion.

        So, if you feel like the game could have something, give it some time and see what happens. I have this sneaking suspicion that the devs were forced to release the game long before it was ready to generate revenue streams, and don’t want to say so because the decision was most likely forced down from upon high (I.E. Disney owns the Marvel License).

        As for your review technique. I don’t know if you are a professional reviewer, or a hobbyist, but for many games you are still basically in tutorial mode in the first hour or so of the game. I know some professional online reviewers (who shall not be named) spend at minimum 4 hours on a game when they review it, and physical media reviewers are usually required to finish the game (if it is feasible in the time frame allotted) before making a review. This is so they can have an actual opinion on how the game actually operates.

        To make this into an example, had I gone with your review system for Diablo 3 on PC when it launched, I would have given it a 9.5, because the first hour saw Deckard Cain back, it had a solid story to that point, the graphics were beautiful, and the combat visceral. However, after having completed just Normal mode the score would have dropped due to shodding writing and rushed level/enemy design. That is the difference between amateur and professional reviews, the more you know about the game, the more qualified you are to talk about it.

        The final score will always be subjective to the individual, but the process should be similar for everyone. You need to take the time to learn the systems, see what is available to you, and review all aspects of the game, not just if you liked the first 45 minutes or not.

        • Tagspeech

          That’s all fair. And I hope you enjoy the book. Much appreciated. :)

          I’m freelance. I get paid a flat amount per article. I’ve been doing this a long time, since my University days, as a means of just supplementing my income so I don’t starve. It is not a lot of money, but I like my editor a lot. I keep my method simple. If I’m entertained, it’s good. If I’m not, it’s bad. That’s just me. If you disagree, that’s fine too. Usually what I’m looking for in a game is a good aesthetic, fun combat, and just generally popping gameplay. If I get bored of it in 20 hours, that’s one thing. If I feel pained in the first 20 minutes, things do not bode well.

          Let me direct you to how a food critic works, for example. They go into a restaurant. They take in the decor, the ambiance, the general “feel” of the place. This is a VERY subjective thing. Then, they order what seems most appetizing. If the first bite tastes like ass, they are not going to finish their meal, and the chef cannot come out and say “well if you’d eaten all of it, you’d have found out there was candy hidden in the middle!”

          The simple fact is, a well-constructed, pleasurable experience is pleasurable from start to finish. Developers should front-load the entertainment factor into the first hours of gameplay with an MMORPG. There have been plenty of games I’ve reviewed that kept me entertained for hours and hours before I wrote anything. And others that drove me away, fast. After about a hundred of these over the years, I’ve developed a bit of a sensitive palette. You’re free to trust it, or not.

          The simple fact of the matter with Marvel Heroes is that I think many of the core design decisions, that are still present in the game when I played it, are ass. I think seeing your hero clone run around and having very limited control over your character’s look completely defeats the purpose of it being an RPG altogether. That one fact makes me not want to have anything to do with the game; the whole point of an RPG (to me) is developing a state of immersion and attachment to your avatar. Having zero control over that avatar, or feeling like a clone of other people, destroys that.

          For other people, RPG simply means stats, loot, gear, metagame, number crunching. For me, that comes second to immersion and becoming attached to your avatar/character. I despise people who use the word “toon” for example. Could just be cause I’m a girl, idk. Let’s not generalize too much.

          Anyways, this is all in addition to the fact that the combat just isn’t nearly as fun as it could be, and that at its core, it’s an inferior Diablo clone that’s using the fanaticism of the Marvel fanbase to carry itself. Torchlight is a better ARPG. DIablo 3, while having a completely crap story (I wanted to smash that Mary Sue’s head in so hard, so often), was just a fantastically solid, fun game to play. Just turn the voices off and get to smashing. It’s gratifying gameplay. It’s tactile, it’s juicy, it’s bloody, it’s delightful. Marvel Heroes simply did not have any of that. It lacked Torchlight’s charm and D3′s satisfying combat.

          What does that leave it with? The weak “MMO” factor, and the Marvel franchise. I like the Marvel universe just fine. But it was simply mishandled here, and I realize that’s not the fault of the devs themselves; you’re likely right that things were pushed out prematurely for the sake of paying bills. But the problem still remains that the core design decisions they made for the game, that are not easily fixed, remain. It’s just not a fun game. It brings nothing new to its genre, and even fails to reach the standards already set by the competition.

          Marvel fans are being exploited here. I appreciate the fervor of the community being displayed in these comments, but I have nothing to apologize for. I’ve seen better games than this crash and burn over the past twelve years. You’ll forgive me if I don’t see your enthusiasm for the title completely misplaced.

          But I appreciate your feedback all the same. But I work with what I’m given, and so instincts, first impressions, and sheer “fun factor” are the biggest deciders for me. Given that these are video games and not video jobs, the MMO genre included, I don’t feel that’s a totally unreasonable stance to take.

          Take it easy, and you can always send me a PM on the site if you want to keep talking.

      • Barbzilla

        By the way, now that I know who you are, and since you did the the courtesy of responding to my request, I will be purchasing your book “The New Pantheons”. I’ll give it a go and see if I enjoy it, I do tend to like cyberpunk though, so it shouldn’t be too hard to enjoy.

  • Matrix_omega

    For anyone that is interested ..

    When you finish the tutorial you are awarded 100 splinters. When you beat the campaign you are awarded an additional 100 splinters. Takes about 10 hours to run through the campaign which will net you an additional 100 splinters (aprox)

    If you choose the Random Box (175 splinters) by the time you finish the Story (and a tiny bit more grinding through terminals etc) you will be able to get 2 more Characters. Its completely random, anywhere from big expensive Deadpool to starter Daredevil.

    And by the time you finish the story on these new ones you will have enough for another character. And so on.

    (You can buy specific characters if you want but they are 200 for starter and 400 for higher tier)

    The biggest issue with this game is endgame (they are constantly patching and adding more content) – And the Price of Costumes. If you are a comic fan you might want specific one. Although its possible for them to drop in game, its very unlikely as rate is very low. Price to buy them is gonna be anywhere from $5 to $20.

    How much have I spent? $15 total. I purchased storage space and some random cards (gamble to get costume). I did NOT buy any toons and all areas are free.
    I have Seven (7) Toons right now. All unlocked through splinters Randomly. (Thing, Scarlet Witch, Rocket Raccoon, Thor, Punisher, Black Widow and Iron Man)