This weeks recommendation comes in the form of a MMO- and one that I’d been dying to play for a long time since it first made it’s way onto PC. Marvel Heroes has finally become available for consoles (XBox on the 30th June- sorry) and I have to say the wait was worth it.
Marvel Heroes Omega (MHO) has been taking a fair chunk of my time this week, obviously when not spending time with the family or devouring wrestling- and while I’ve only managed to make it to level 20 this game is looking like it will be solid long time play for me and let me explain why it should be for you too.
As with most massive multiplayer online games the premise is simply join a community area and team up to take on tasks and mission to earn experience and rewards that can be used to rank up your characters and there powers- however there’s something exceptional special about being able to play as your favourite superhero, such as Rocket Raccoon (my kids loved watching me play as him), Dr Strange, Hulk, Spider-Man or even Squirrel Girl. The amount of heroes available at launch is a massive 38, and while playing the beta I’ve tried most of them and they all feel so different that each one should give you a very unique feel to the game. Alongside the main community areas and the team goals is the story mode, that allows you to transition from the community spaces to a solo/party area that only allows you to undertake missions as you work your way through an intricate story set in the Marvel universe with some very familiar villains. Its this transition between community game play and story mode that makes this so much fun as you suddenly leave behind the 10hulks smashing up Hells Kitchen to undertake a solo mission against Venom and the difficulty really shifts- really making you think about the way to get the job done and when to use those character powers.
The game itself is simply to play, there is an attack related to each of the four controller buttons and then the analogue stick is used to control movement while the right 1 button locks onto a target- and that is as complicated as it gets. The abilities that are attached to each of the buttons can be tailored and changed for more powerful and different powers as you progress and level up- allowing you to unlock these new abilities. And that’s where the fun lies, your able to adapt your character to play more in a style you like- if you want DareDevil to throw his billy club simply level up and change his ability to let him do so, however if you really like the close combat feel from him then add a whirling billy club attack that damages multiple foes in hand-hand combat. The opportunity to add a second set of skills/powers to the Left 2 button allows you to store up-to 8skills when you get to the right level and then the fact you can switch between so many abilities really makes playing as the Sorcerer Supreme, for example, a real treat as you can conjour spells to your hearts content. However with each special ability comes a degree of required power, displayed by a blue bar the bottom of the screen, and once this is empty you can no longer use these abilities but luckily it refills over time- and fairly quickly too. Which means you can easily call on the Eye of Agamoto, followed by throwing some negative zone skulls and then summoning the Bands of time all to deal with your enemies in a swift and devastating manner.
Alongside being able to customise the abilities of your hero you can also change out there basic skills- but more importantly change out the gear associated to your hero in order to make them more powerful and raise their base stats. This is done by collecting items that are left behind when you defeat certain enemies or a level boss is story mode, and the type of gear you get and how good it is depends on the level of the boss, the character you play as and your player level meaning that if you play with a level 20 Cyclops you’ll get gear for him alone that’s pretty good, compared to the gear you would get as a level 1 Storm. This means if you want to deck out all characters with top level gear (characters max out at 60) its going to be a long game full of collecting and grinding to find all the gear. However each piece you add makes a real noticeable change to your character in a very positive way, some gear adds the rate at which you gain Xp and some adds health tot he character so deciding which isn’t always as simple as assigning the highest level piece. Along with the gear is the ability to use in game currency (this can be gained for free or micotransactioned) to buy new costumes for your heroes, so if you want Deadpool in his white X-Force then you can or if you want a Netflix styled Luke Cage then that’s there too- hell even old man Logan here. My favourite so far may well be the World War Hulk as there are a ton of Hulks running around so seeing a different costume feels like a blessing.
This game has everything I would want from a superhero MMO- and plays so smoothly and feels very much like a giant superhero and villain infested world the minute you jump into it. Having base without action like Avengers tower that let you meet with friends or others online and buy/trade gear and skills is also a very nice touch. This helps add another distinct level to the game, and also gives you something to look at spending some time doing if the busyness of the missions gets too much.
Overall this is a game the demands time and demands you play, but you are most certainly rewarded for the fforts with some great gameplay, some very good graphics and a world that feels true Marvel- I mean seeing Rocket Raccoon summon Groot is great. If you need something to fill your time or like online games then this is for you- hell this is for everyone!