In my long history of playing games, I’ve never seriously played an MMORPG. Sure, I played Phantasy Star Online to death on my GameCube, and flirted with Blue Burst when it was in free open beta. Yeah, I played a tiny bit of SWTOR during a free weekend. And, of course, I (along with MANY people I know) had a brief bout of MapleStory obsession.
(To make everything squeaky clean with the developer, Gazillion, this is the part where I make it clear that I’m just rehashing publicly available information and there’s no closed beta NDA breaking going on here)
I don’t remember when/where I first heard about Marvel Heroes, but I DO know that I first got a chance to play it at PAX last year and loved it from the start. It feels like the lovechild of one of the old Ultimate Alliance games and a loot-based RPG like Diablo or Torchlight. You play as an existing Marvel hero (instead of creating your own character) and utilize different item drops to make them your own. Initially, you choose from a set of starter heroes (Daredevil, Storm, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, or Thing) but you can find/buy other heroes in the game.
The different characters are like different classes in other MMORPGS, each with a few different power trees and such. That ensures that even in a clan full of Wolverines, no two are exactly alike. Loot is literally EVERYWHERE, much like the games I mentioned above, and consists of things like ability boosting items, full costumes, and maybe even entire characters.
I can’t speak much to the actual gameplay, but Massively did a good write-up.
While the game is totally free-to-play, they have to make money somehow. Currently they’re doing so via a Founders Program which allows you to purchase extra heroes and costumes ahead of release. I feel like the game is worth $60 (like most console titles on release), so I’ll be buying one of the premium packs before the game launches.
So, yeah, this is going to be a time suck for me going forward. I’m hoping that more people I know will jump in on the action and that this game can be something I play for quite a while. The game is supposed to launch sometime in “Spring 2013”, but I’m hoping to put together a good group to play with before the game actually launches. If it looks like this might be your cup of tea, let me know and we’ll plan to play!