You may not think that the gaming world needs another MMORPG, but how about one based on the Marvel Comics universe that lets you play as practically any of their characters? Well, then how about one by David Brevik, co-creator of Diablo? What if I told you it was completely free to download and play? Now you're intrigued, right? Well, Gazillion was showing off Marvel Heroes at New York Comic Con 2012, and it's already looking good.
Gameplay is from an overhead isometric viewpoint, and the graphics use the Unreal Engine, so they're very pretty with nice special effects. A couple dozen characters have been revealed so far, and there will be more on the way. You can even swap between heroes during gameplay as your whims decide. The storyline of the game is being penned by acclaimed Marvel Comics scribe Brian Michael Bendis (IMO, the best writer they've got right now), and Brevik promises that instead of fetch quests, the missions will be storyline driven and have more of a purpose. They were inspired by the Ultimate Alliance and X-Men Legends games, and it shows. Also? Those are really good inspirations for super hero games.
There will be single-player and MMO levels, that are randomly generated. If more than one person wants to play the same hero, there's no worries. In the history of Marvel Comics, characters have had more than enough costume variations that you'll be able to distinguish your Iron Man from someone else's. Some missions can be undertaken by yourself, but others will require teaming up with other heroes. And as a bonus, when enemies drop items/power-ups/bonuses/etc, the ones you see on your screen are yours. Other players get their own, so there's no fighting over the spoils of battle!
The game will be completely free to play, making their money through microtransactions instead. And they're promising no limits like the usual free-to-play MMO, with level caps and such. You'll be able to play the whole game without spending a cent.
After a demonstration, I was able to get my hands on the game myself, and it played just as easily as they promised. You basically can play the game with just the two mouse buttons, clicking on the map to move and enemies to fight. Obviously, you can use the keyboard, but they weren't kidding when they said it was easy to get into. I saw some single player areas, and then a multiplayer area where the people on the floor were all running rampant in a city area defeating thugs and supervillains that popped up.
It all looks like a whole lot of fun, although there's still no release date ready to announce yet. Still, if you're interested, you can head on over to Marvel Heroes' website and sign up for the closed beta. Right now it's set to release on PC, but hopefully they'll do a port for the Mac. I doubted my cheap netbook could handle the game, but Brevik insisted that they're deliberately making the game accessible to older machines so as many people who want to play can get into it. So maybe I'll have to test that theory out...