April 20, 2013
Marvel Heroes: A Look at Beta Testing
Marvel fans have something new and exciting to look forward to June 4th; the release of the Marvel’s MMO (massive multiplayer online) game, Marvel Heroes. With it being just a little less than 2 months away, many anticipated gamers and comic fans are eagerly waiting to play this free game, and with good reason. With the end of this past weekend’s closed beta testing, I have been able to play (along with thousands of other beta testers) this new game before it comes out on its release date.
For those unfamiliar with beta testing, this simply means that the creators of any game allows interested individuals to play the game months in advance in order to find minor (or in rare cases, major) bugs, glitches, and other technical difficulties within the game, so that it will be more enjoyable and less problematic on release date. As a tester, it is important to play, not only for my own nerdy satisfaction, but to let the developers know how I see the game and to give constructive feedback so that they may improve the gaming experience for others. Being a beta tester, I got first-hand experience on how the game looked, a glimpse of the story line, and to test the difficulty of the game.
For the comic book fan, we expect a good story line. Marvel has written some of the greatest series’ of all time, some lasting in pop culture for years; Spider-man, X-Men, the Fantastic Four, The Avengers, etc. So as such, we expect nothing less than amazing, uncanny, fantastic. Of course, Marvel fulfilled this expectation and more. Lead writer Michael Bendis, writer of such popular events like House of M, Secret War, Secret Invasion, and Siege, has given the game a storyline to match the complexity of his previous works. The story revolves around Dr. Doom trying to control the Cosmic Cube, a device of formidable power that allows the wielder to reshape and alter reality to their slightest whim. Just as one would expect from a good comic book, the story takes complex twists and turns, with numerous villains (such as Venom, Task Master, Living Laser, etc.) throughout multiple well-known regions, some real and some comics-based, ranging from New York City to the Savage Land.
The playable heroes are varied and diverse. We have classics including Captain America, Wolverine, and Spider-man, popular anti-heroes Deadpool and Punisher, and the quirkier Marvel heroes such as Rocket Raccoon and Squirrel Girl, plus many more. All characters stay true their original comic designs and even go as far as providing short commentary around other heroes that one would expect from their distinct personalities. For those concerned that there may be a level of redundancy in heroes and play style, the designers have allowed each hero to be unique as the player so that no two Daredevils or any two heroes for that matter are exactly the same. This diversity is great for those wishing to be more creative in their play style.
For the gamer, the mechanics are not too difficult yet varied for each hero, allowing for an expansive gaming experience. The early levels are easy enough for the novice to get a full understanding of how to play while each chapter quickly increases in difficulty, providing a challenge for those seeking it. The Marvel theme doesn’t restrict the game in any way and is arguably as entertaining as any other MMO out there. The big bonus is that the game is free, so for those wishing to save their pocket change towards other things, no monetary sacrifice is required. Of course, there are packs for those interested players who wish to access the game earlier and buy heroes, but these benefits are not mandatory or necessary if one wants to play for entertainment. For a list of available pack see: https://presale.marvelheroes.com/
This game will assuredly set a landmark in Marvel history, not just as a game, but an interactive form of social media for all ages. The closed beta has allowed for a lot of sneak peeks and while I can’t give away too many spoilers, I can promise that there is something to enjoy whether one is simply a comic fan or just an avid gamer. If your inner nerd is looking for something to do this summer, mark your calendar for June 4th.
Image Credit: Marvel