I started playing Marvel Heroes this weekend and to say it plays like Diablo 3 would be an understatement. It does not play like Diablo 3, it is Diablo 3. I am actually quite surprised that Blizzard does not have a team of lawyers already on their back about it. But that is not saying Marvel Heroes is bad because it isn't. Diablo 3 was a hit and was enjoyable and Marvel Heroes has the potential to be as well.
I have not hit max level and don't expect to for quite some time. There is really no need to. The game is over by the time you reach level 30 even if you over level yourself through it. You can finish the storyline comfortably between level 22-25 without much of an issue. The level cap is 60 but the post story line game is nothing but a grind game. Grinding for gear and drops.
There are plenty of characters you can play as, my starting character is Daredevil. During the course of the story line you will get another hero drop after finishing the starting solo quests and a second after finishing the story line. The heroes you get as quest rewards will always be one of the starter free choices.
The starter characters are just fine and so is the rest of the game as a free to play game. I can't see anything you would actually feel the need to spend real money on unless you are dead set on playing one of the characters that are not part of the starting choices. If you are like me however you might want some extra storage space and that is the only thing that actually makes me consider spending a little cash.
If you want to play one of the other classes you can get them as random world drops. To use the word random might give the impression they are easy to get if you grind enough and I do not want to give off that impression. I've gotten one random world drop but from looking around it would seem I was one of the rare lucky ones. The drops do not come frequently so finding a character you want to play might take time. As my luck has it from other games it carries to this one. My one character find was the thing. The thing was also the free character I was given as a quest reward. Oh well, so I have doubles, but it is worth saving them. Or so I have heard, so it is in my storage. I hope to find out what having 2 of the same characters can do for me later on.
As I said the game is Diablo 3 but it is Diablo 3 with a twist of MMO added in for good measure. There will be little zones off the world map you can enter that will be just for you. Not all of them are there all the time, just like in Diablo 3. They could have elite mobs or champion mobs, just like Diablo 3. When out in the world map however, unlike Diablo 3, everyone is there with you.
One interesting addition to the game with the MMO aspect is that there are event bosses like Venom or Rhino attacking and you need to group up with everyone together to get them down. I ran into Rhino spawning the other day and was the only one there. Needless to say it was quite the adventure. I survived, with some heavy movement tactics, until more could come to join me fighting him. From that I noticed that these boss mobs and event mobs are actually easier when you are alone. At least for me.
With all the graphics it becomes near impossible to see the event boss you are supposed to be attacking. While I do admit it is kind of fun doing the fight with what seems like 100s of people all attacking the same mob the visuals are a bit to visual and really cloud your view. Even with the even mobs being slightly larger than a standard mob when there are so many people around and so many visual effects going on you still can not see them.
When the fight is over loot drops just like Diablo 3. However, unlike Diablo 3 it seems (I can not be 100% sure) that the loot that drops is a free for all. While defeating Venom will assure everyone can get a Venom metal the gear he drops seems to be on a first come first serve basis. I could swear I have seen things pop on my screen and disappear before I picked it up. Oh well, chalk this one up to something I can say I dislike about the game. A free for all on loot that drops does not seem to support the idea that people should work together.
In dungeons, which you will encounter when leveling, I do not believe the loot system is the same. I think what drops is yours. I have even tested it as best I could by seeing something good drop and not grabbing it and noticing no one else did whereas if I saw something good drop on an event boss and did not pick it up it would disappear in a matter of seconds. If you drop something however, someone else can pick it up.
That seems to be the only way to trade in game at the moment. There is no auction house. There is no trade function. There is no mail system. Dropping it on the floor for someone else to pick up seems to be the only way to trade, so if you work a trade with someone make sure you are in an area alone when you trade because anyone that walks by can grab it.
The dungeons seem to be an auto grouping system when doing them. I've been put in full groups, half groups, groups with people that were not even in the dungeon. For the most part it seems to work well but they probably need to work on it a little more. One dungeon I did I was the only one in it. I am guessing that mean no one else was joining it when I was. I ended up running the whole thing myself, albeit slowly, and defeating the last boss, juggernaut in this case, solo. It took a fair deal of time as I was a melee and he hits like a truck, but his moves are all telegrapher and with a little bit of timing and a lot of running, I was able to only attack him when he was in charge mode from behind and then get away. Like I said, solo it is a lot easier for me to see the visuals of what he is going to do. With a group I most likely would have went splat. All those effects do seem to cover off the baddies ground effects.
From that experience it showed me that this game can be enjoyed on a solo level or a group level. Even out in the world all mobs are shared mobs. So you will see people helping you as they pass by and you can help them as you pass by. You will both be able to get the experience from them.
The one odd thing I found about the game is one of my favorites. I love breaking everything. Did it in Diablo and do it here. I destroy everything everywhere I go. But we are supposed to be playing heroes. Shouldn't we be going around protecting people and keeping property safe instead of blocking up cars and breaking into offices and destroying all the furniture. Kind of add that I attack four guys just standing around talking because they are the bad guys yet I just came from beating on 6 cars until they blew up and took a bunch of machines with them. Who actually is the bad guy here?
I can see myself playing this game from time to time. I can also see myself spending a few dollar real money to get some more bag space. They really do not give enough to the free user in my opinion. But over all the game still has a lot of growing to do.
It feels it was released in an unfinished state. Content ends at 25-30. Even if there are daily dungeons and other things to do after that it is just to grind looting for gear and character drops. There is just not enough in the game to support going from 30 to the level cap of 60 at the moment but I feel this game has a great deal of room to grow.
Final Grade: B-
I like the Diablo 3 game play for a fun, just to pass the time, sort of game. It loses points for being unfinished but gets bonus points for having so many character options, even if you might need to buy them to get them at some point. Based on an interview, they plan to be adding new stuff to it often. Perhaps that will be the missing content and it can move up to a solid B. Only time will tell.
I say, if you have some free time and are looking for some brainless fun. Go for it. Just don't be surprised when you are fighting an event boss as Daredevil and there are 25 other Daredevils there and with all that moving around you forget which one of them is you. Yeah, happened to me.