REVIEWSZumba Fitness World Party Review
If you were looking for a game, you should probably go somewhere else. As a fitness app, Zumba Fitness World Party is great if you can through the annoying Kinect menus.
Warning: This blog entry may contain spoilers about the Mass Effect trilogy.
About four weeks ago I was bored, really bored. It was a Saturday night and like the loser that I am I was at home bored. I had recently finished Batman: Arkham Origins and wanted to play something else. I...
While Wolverine, Cyclops, the other X-Men, and scores of Marvel super-people have their own Diablo-esque massively multiplayer online game now, you shouldn't expect Gazillion to push gameplay forward. Marvel Heroes makes advancements in its marketplace and accessibility, but not in the hardcore click-fest you'd expect of an action-RPG on PC. That's right, this new Marvel game takes on the superhero team-up genre established in X-Men Legends and Marvel Ultimate Alliance, is free to anyone and everyone, and has a popular selection of free characters to choose from at the outset.
Scarlet Witch, Daredevil, The Thing, Hawkeye… I ignored these to play with Storm and her ranged weather attacks. The developers also gave me roughly $20 of in-game currency and a bonus pack of characters (I went with the Avengers pack) for review purposes, but I was curious to see how much of Marvel Heroes could be enjoyed for the low, low price of $0. In gameplay and design, Marvel Heroes won't turn any heads, but unlockable content and hours of totally free gameplay demand an optic blast or two from PC and comic enthusiasts.
You start off at Avengers tower and immediately get thrust into battle with some of Marvel's iconic super villains. One of these early fights pits you against Green Goblin and his glider, but at no point will genre-newbies feel like that one mutant kid who didn't get accepted to Xavier's. If you're a weathered hand at games like Diablo and Torchlight, you might get bored in the tutorial section, but there's still plenty of Marvel charm to keep you entertained. Players left click to move their character around, left click on enemies to attack, and left click to pick up loot and supplies. A, S, D, F, and so forth control your special abilities, but you'll have to level up to unlock a bar full of powers.
Storm casts lightning and blows enemies away with a gust of wind for primary and secondary attacks (each controlled with left and right mouse buttons respectively). I quickly unlocked a jump-back move that splashed lightning on aggressive enemies, as well as a spacing move that Storm could use to fly into and away from attackers. No matter which character I tried, every attack and animation stayed true to the original Marvel design.
Spider-Man has hand-to-hand moves complimented by web-based abilities, Iron Man uses lasers for offense and armor for defense, but Daredevil is not totally blind, so I tried playing as him next. If you treat Marvel Heroes like a classic SNES-era beat-em-up, it'll ring true with nostalgia. On the streets of Hell's Kitchen, you can pick up cars to fling at mobs of baddies, explore dead-end sewer paths for extra loot, and generally wreck havoc in the name of justice.
I wasted no time in getting addicted to large piles of loot. Taking on a few extra henchmen often results in a chest full of new costume pieces and supplies, to the point where I had to stick with Storm over trying out every character at my disposal. I got too heavily invested in her skill tree and progression to continue playing as anyone else. Still, it'll be up to you to discover a character you can truly love.
While powers and environments look OK, the character models themselves aren't very detailed and lack any real pop. The destructible environments go from not-broken to hey-you-broke-me with one attack and there's nothing really visually appealing about the game. Textures and models look a little muddied compared to genre-contemporaries, but that's to be expected of something you paid no money for. The Raft, New York City, all the Marvel locales you head to look different enough, but don't expect to be wowed by visuals here. Marvel Heroes mostly makes its target audience clear: anyone with a computer and a patient love for the brand will find a wealth of entertaining gameplay here.
Still, I headed to the shop with my credits to see what a modest buy-in can get you in-game. Fan favorites like Spider-Man and his range of costumes seem really over priced compared to lesser known characters, but once you've purchased the character you grew up with, it's hard to give him or her up. There's a huge selection of super heroes to choose from and even more costumes, but the only change in gameplay comes from altered powers and moves.
It's still more fun to take a specific character like Spidey and beat the crap out of character-specific bosses like the aforementioned Green Goblin. Plus, lesser-known heroes like Rocket Raccoon still come complete with skill trees and full move sets, so shelling out for your obscure favorite doesn't mean you'll be lacking in progression. It'll be difficult to completely avoid buying a hero you really love.
Marvel Heroes smartly teases out these purchases through in-game conversations with side-characters like Ben Urich and loot that only certain heroes can use. Picking up a powerful piece of armor for Iron Man practically forced my hand; I just had to try Tony Stark's power suit on with the rare drop I found as Storm. Can you enjoy this game without paying a cent? Absolutely. Will you? Possibly not. I certainly had more fun with Spider-Man over the free picks I tried.
Comic-book-style cutscenes are hit-or-miss and the story won't take very long to complete, but end-game features daily and group missions or survival challenges to push your character further and reward you with more loot and skill tree unlocks. You can also earn keys to unlock more missions, though these drop randomly so it'll take a bit of grinding to see everything Marvel Heroes has to offer. There's also PvP and group instances, all of which is free.
In fact, Marvel Heroes throws open the Avengers Tower doors to an expansive amount of gameplay, whether you pay or not. I applaud the generosity, and fully admit that Gazillion scores a few bonus points for it. It's not the prettiest or deepest dungeon-crawler you'll ever play, but it's free and it'll run on nearly any system. For Marvel fans like me, it doesn't get much better than that.
Code provided by publisher. Exclusive to PC.
Tons of free content
Several free characters
Most of your favorites are expensive
Beat up baddies, loot chests, repeat.
Who am I playing as?
Deep skill trees for paid and free characters
Good for genre newbies
Plenty of Marvel love
Reviews by other members
No member reviews for the game.