After a too long hiatus without internet, I find myself back online and faced with the wide and varying offerings of Free-to-Play games. My first concern was to zoom straight back into Star Wars: The Old Republic but found that my enthusiasm paled quite a bit with the prospect of playing its F2P version. It’s obviously not an easy aspect to crack for an MMO but I think it’s safe to say that SWTOR has a lot of cracking to do before its F2P services stop feeling like it’s hammering your face into your wallet like a puppy with a shameful carpet stain.
So where do you go when you’re broke, want to play a game for free and not be treated like a bum? I know of no better gaming home-away-from-home than Gazillion’s Marvel Heroes 2016. And unsurprisingly that makes it the only F2P game I’ve dropped money on freely and happily. Go figure!
If you’ve never played it, the game in very short is much like Diablo 2 except prettier, faster, smarter and simultaneously easier and harder. Confused? Well, it’s free to play so why not spend an evening trying it out?
It does help if you are also, as I am, a fan of Marvel’s roster of heroes. Interestingly, this is one of if not THE only game to include both Xmen and Avengers in the same game. Usually this is not the case, thanks to Fox Studios owning the rights to certain heroes including Xmen and Fantastic Four (which is why they keep pumping out terribad FF4 movies so the rights don’t reverse to Marvel who is proving so adept at making superhero movies).
There are different ways you can spend your time playing in this game. You can play the story which feels a lot like walking through the pages of a comic book. You can train in simulators such as the Xmen’s Danger Room or S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Holosim, you can battle bad guys in different constantly running areas of the world or you can go raiding with a big group of people (once you have a toon at the appropriate level).
And you never have to buy anything to play. That’s not to say there aren’t things for sale. Gazillion’s employees have to eat too. And boy is there stuff worth spending money* on from inventory space to, pets, to team-up heroes, to a wealth of costumes from throughout a character’s evolution on and off screen. Personally, I have spent money on inventory size and a movie version costume for Scarlet Witch because I never was a fan of the swimsuit look. And the Bamf pet because it’s too adorable to resist!
My preference so far has been to level heroes one after the other and discover which ones I like playing the best. So far, my favorites include but are not limited to:
Scarlet Witch for her life drain and huge hoover ball of destruction.
Psylocke because pink killer butterflies are epic!
Deadpool because he stands on one hand and shoots if you hold the shoot key down long enough and he has the best lines of course.
The last hero I got through a random hero box (which I saved up for by simply playing!) was Iron Man. I have a huge weak spot for Tony Stark because he’s an engineer and a scientist and portrayed with a hugely flippant attitude towards superstition and magic and downright derogatory towards anti-intellectualism. What’s not to like? Ok so he’s also (in the comics) a womanizing alcoholic dick with more money than manners, but that makes him seem more real to me. He’s flawed, he’s real and he stands up for things very important to me: Knowledge over ignorance. Science, discovery and exploration over fearful regression into medieval ignorance.
I have a huge weak spot for Tony Stark because he’s an engineer and a scientist and portrayed with a hugely flippant attitude towards superstition and magic and downright derogatory towards anti-intellectualism. What’s not to like? Ok so he’s also (in the comics) a womanizing alcoholic dick with more money than manners, but that makes him seem more real to me. He’s flawed, he’s real and he stands up for things very important to me: Knowledge over ignorance. Science, discovery and exploration over fearful regression into medieval ignorance. Yeay!
So I went into leveling Iron Man with the expectation that I would like playing him and on the bonus side his voice and lines are every bit as funny and awesome as Deadpool’s.
His flight ability too was as smooth and enjoyable as I’d expected.It really can mess with my enjoyment of a character if their Go-Fast-ability is jarring or annoying. Hulk’s old Bound, for example, was just short of nauseating in my opinion.
But as for the rest of his gameplay, I felt he was a bit limp in truth. With the exception of his signature ability The One Off, his abilities weren’t really that spectacular to look at and I suppose I’d expected him to pack a lot more punch and in particular efficiency in his AOE’s.
This may come down to not having tried enough builds and were we not facing a soonish huge update in the game that’s likely to completely change how abilities work in the game I’d have spent more time experimenting. But in a way that’s what I’m expressing my hopes about here:
I hope MHO will give Iron Man an extra once-over as they are working through all the heroes. He deserves to be A Big Deal in the line-up of Marvel Heroes and he should feel like the entirety of modern artillery packed into a Ferrari red vehicle, that cuts tomatoes and folds and fits beneath your bed. And alternates witty comebacks with juvenile na-na’s at his fallen enemies!
I think therefore that Iron Man will be one of the first characters I try out once this update finally hits. The drop date of that is yet to be determined, but from the comments the dev’s have made on the forums, and in their (really good, find them on Twitch!) live streams, these updates are incredibly far reaching and are consuming a lot of man hours. So it’s both understandable if the date is still a bit wooly and IMO wholly acceptable as well!
With that let me end this post with a gorgeous piece of fan art by MaryRiotJane that deserves all your likes and shares:
- That link isn’t actually great for showing off what you can buy in the game. The in-game store is a lot, LOT bigger and more fun. You’ll just have to go look for yourselves, sorry!