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Oh My: Marvel Heroes MMO Sounds Superb

AND NOW, WE HUG.

Isn’t this just like Marvel? DC puts the weight of an entire movie on one hero, and Marvel fires back with six (seven, if you count Hulk twice – which you should). Then DC shows off an excellent-looking Lego beat ’em up with 50 heroes, and Marvel rains on its superpowered parade with 8,000 of its own. That’s Marvel Heroes in a nutshell. Actually, no it’s not. Marvel Heroes in a nutshell is “Diablo II – not Diablo III – slipping into spandex and fighting crime after being bitten by a radioactive MMO.” Also, you’re not playing as some lawsuit-baiting Wolverine wannabe. Rather, you can swap between big names and lesser-known defenders of, er, whatever Squirrel Girl defends on the fly. Get it? Fly. That’s a thing superheroes do.

First up, the gist, straight from Secret Identity Studios, which is, promisingly, headed up by former Blizzard North co-founder David Brevik:

“Drawing upon the 8,000-plus heroes and villains in the Marvel Universe, Marvel Heroes allows players to become their favorite Marvel Super Heroes – from the popular Iron Man, Thor, Storm and Black Widow to the lesser known Squirrel Girl and Cable. Fans will be able to completely customize their characters by constructing costumes taken from each hero’s rich history, choosing from a huge array of super powers for each character, and finding thousands of other items.”

So that sounds nice, but obviously, in practice it could be a total disaster. IGN, however, got to quiz Brevik and co about the smaller strokes of this almost unbelievably big picture, and there’s definitely promise here. While the jury’s still out on how swapping between (once you’ve collected them) every hero ever will work, Marvel Heroes’ approach to traditional MMO structure sounds like something I can get behind. The short version? No more chores.

“We want this game to be less about having a giant to-do list of missions and more about pursuing a heroic task and having smaller stuff that you discover along the way,” said studio director Jeff Lind. Brevik then cited the “Christmas tree effect” quest hubs in other MMOs present, saying that Heroes will instead be “very much like Diablo II where you had a bunch of quests that led you along the path and told a story.”

The story, meanwhile, will be told through fully voiced comic book sequences and written by, among others, the absurdly prolific Brian Michael Bendis. And apparently, Deadpool will make “you died of dysentery” jokes when party members bite the big one, because Deadpool.

So then, Marvel Heroes sounds very impressive on paper. Admittedly, its first few weeks will probably look more like World of Yep-Everyone’s-Wolverine-Craft, but I can’t say I often get excited about superhero games or MMOs. Heroes, honestly, has me feeling pretty good about both. But, for those of you who don’t take my opinion as Gospel from on high (say, due to some crippling mental disorder), here’s a trailer.

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Nathan Grayson

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