Note: First in a series where I look at current MMO games from a Free to Play perspective (as I’m too much of a cheapskate to pay for a monthly fee unless the game is REALLY good).
As you know from this site, I’m a big Marvel comics fan. I read them as a kid, especially Iron Man and the Silver Surfer. I watch the movies, I can’t wait for Agents of SHIELD, I’m all in. The chance to play Marvel themed MMO (that I didn’t have to pay $15 a month for) was too good to pass up.
To start the game, you can pick one of five heroes: Hawkeye (who I picked), Storm, Daredevil, Ben Grimm, and the Scarlet Witch. You get one more of these five when you play through the early game content the first time. Other heroes can be purchased, or appear as loot when fighting. Same goes for alternate costumes, though there were some exclusives only available if you bought in to the game ahead of time, and I’ve gotten one Iron Man 3 themed costume (the Mark 17) from a giveaway, so that’ll probably be a thing.
As for the gameplay, it’s an action-RPG, so the Diablo comparisons are right on. Skill trees, waypoints, loot drops, it’s all there. In practice, the heroes and their powers don’t stray far from the usual Melee/Ranged/Magic archetypes, with some customization thanks to the skills. Because it’s a mishmash of so many Marvel heroes, the villains are the same, so you may be fighting HYDRA here, AIM there, the Hand, the Maggia, and so on. I’m several chapters in on the story, and there’s juuuust enough there to keep you interested. The motion comic-style interludes are fun, and a nice change compared to the usual cutscenes.
One quirk is that the leveling is based on the individual character, so each new hero you find starts life (for you) as a level 1 hero. The game allows you to reset the storyline to the beginning and replay it, or you can just hit the waypoints so you are fighting level appropriate enemies. It doesn’t take long to play through, but that’s going to get repetitive quick, unless some new…what, issues? episodes? or whatever come quick.
There seems to be some form of grouping that happens when you enter certain instances or similar areas. I am not doing anything with grouping or guilds beyond that, yet.
“Free” to Play Annoyance Factor: Low. This could shade towards medium if you REALLY want to play as a certain hero and you don’t get them in a drop, ever. But so far there really isn’t a huge amount of paywalled stuff. This game will live or die based on how much you really want to play as Iron Man, or if you MUST have a certain costume or armor. People have been killing Gazillion and Marvel on the pricing for new heroes, but since I’m looking at this as a cheapskate, it bothers me not in the slightest.
I am kind of surprised I’m still playing this, but it’s fun enough. Maybe the fact it’s an action-RPG works in it’s favor, but I’ll probably stick with it for a while. My account is TheTickMS, and you’ll usually see me as Hawkeye. By the way, they totally need the t-shirt/jeans/purple Chuck Taylors ‘costume’ from the current run of Hawkguy.