Update: Interview with David Brevik.
On June 4th, 2014, Gazillion Games will celebrate the 1 year anniversary of Marvel Heroes: their free-to-play MMO action RPG. Many games come and go without much to remember them by. Good MMOs have a thriving community that not only help you progress, but also allow you to socialize and build friendships. This attribute is a core component to all elements of Marvel Heroes. Community focus is imbued into every patch, every new hero that’s released, and its in the DNA of the team at Gazillion Games. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with a number of Gazillion Games employees that work on Marvel Heroes. More importantly, I’ve spoken with players in the community, including the leader of one of the most amazing Supergroups (guilds) I’ve ever come across: The Raccoonatics!
So, before reading the rest of this retrospective, be sure to enter below for a chance to win a free Hero Pack Key for Rocket Raccoon! We’re giving away 1 key every day through June 6th. The winners will be announced on Saturday, June 7th. We’ll also have other ways to win so be sure to follow us on Twitter.
Marvel Heroes – of course this is what gets people excited. Iron Man, Captain America – all of the most recognizable heroes in the Marvel Universe have been stomping around Marvel Heroes for a year now. Unlike other RPGs, you’re not simply choosing a character class when you select a hero. Each of the 34 heroes is highly varied – even items vary by hero. And when you level a hero up to 25, 50 or 60, you unlock Synergy bonuses that apply to all the heroes you own. So not only can you switch between heroes within seconds and continue battling, you can also feed of the progress you’ve made from one hero to the next. This is a unique feature not found in other games. I’ve personally leveled 5 heroes to 60 and I’m always bumped to start my next hero. Most recently I began a level hunt with Ghost Rider. He’s unlike any other hero I’ve played, which nearly feels like a brand new gaming experience. Of course, playing with your friends makes it even better. Let me introduce you to the Raccoonattics. This is a group of Rocket Raccoon fanatics that party up and quest in the various areas of Marvel Heroes. And they do it all as Rocket Raccoon! Not only are they a great group to play with, they’re also really cool people. They’re very welcoming to new players and can help you learn the lay of the land quickly. Seeing 5 Rocket Raccoons running around is fun, but imagine 5 Spider-Mans in lock step!
It’s certainly possible with the new Team-Ups gameplay option. Presently 1 of 4 heroes is available to fight alongside any of your heroes: Spider-Man, Magik, Firestar and Falcon. There are plenty more coming too. This feature was added in April and is based on the Marvel Team-Up comic series that began running in 1972. There are some options for customization such as unique skills and abilities. They also have their own inventory. A lot more has been added to Marvel Heroes since launch last year.
Leowyld said: And finally, it is an amazing game because of arguably the most responsive and involved company I have ever had the pleasure to encounter: Gazillion. It is so evident that they really care about these customers and that they enjoy playing the game and are as excited about playing the game as we are. That there makes all the difference.
A few months after launch something changed for Marvel Heroes. Suddenly, every Friday there was a small patch for the game. And when I logged in I would find gifts in my inventory. Oftentimes these gifts would yield experience bonuses and unique items. I was thrilled! And every weekend I was pulled back into Marvel Heroes for fun events, which coincided with these gifts. Such as the recent Siege of the Sentinels. Where randomly Sentinels were invading all parts of the game world. Other fun events include Midtown Madness for level 20 heroes and above. During this event, players received login bonuses as well as buffs and bonuses for being in the Midtown Manhattan terminal. While those are examples of weekend-long events, there have also been events that spanned an entire week. For example, Bounty Hunter Week was earlier in May and featured drop bonuses for defeating particular villains with a rotation every few hours. Comic book fans rejoice! Gazillion made it a point to infuse the game with a respectable story, and all new events have some comic tie-in. The Bounty Hunger Week featured A.R.M.O.R. (Alternate Reality Monitoring and Operational Response) drops that can be exchanged for various rewards. I didn’t know these were comic tie-ins until recently when my college Casey Walsh, who runs our Comics team here at GWW, introduced me to comics. It’s added a new interest in my life and I easily recognize the Marvel Heroes content in the comics.
Improvements – by Grant Gustafson
TheTruePunisher said: Been extremely addicted since it launched. Couldn’t participate in beta as my PC couldn’t run the game. Based on feedback from friends that were in beta I bought the Ultimate Founders Pack and then dropped the coin on a gaming laptop. Money well spent. I have other friends who have been waiting for the Mac beta and now one of them is in it. He’s hooked too. The devs do a pretty good job keeping the game fun and making changes when need be. Plus their constant interaction with the forums and us goes along way in “selling” this free game to everyone. Gaz’s customer service is also top notch.
When I was reluctantly dragged into Marvel Heroes for the first time by Joe on June 4th, 2013 I was not impressed. Sure I had my fun for a couple hours but it was not my kind of experience. And I did try to get into it, going as far as to purchase Wolverine for $12. I didn’t know what the game was missing, and I still couldn’t really tell you. Maybe it was me, but things have changed.
On May 29th, 2014 I stare at my logged 202 hours in Marvel Heroes. The game launched with 21 characters, today it boasts 33 and counting. Of the 16 I now currently own, 4 of them I paid for. The rest I got as drops or fragmented drops (eternity splinters) and some giveaways. New characters aside, what has really changed gameplay-wise are the ways Gazillion interacts with its fan-base. Earlier this year they started doing weekend events, free experience boosts etc. Every single weekend! They have even done some week-long events with daily login bonuses and just extra incentive to play; it’s an incredibly engaging experience. That a long with regular content updates and the expansion they released for FREE make Marvel Heroes more exciting now than ever.
What’s To Come – Marvel Heroes 2015
David Brevik, CEO of Gazillion games: “Marvel Heroes 2015 nicely represents everything we have accomplished and intend to accomplish with one name. We’ve come a very long way since our original launch a year ago, and the now imminent release of Marvel Heroes 2015 alongside our massive anniversary celebrations marks the beginning of something even better. Whether it’s defending the X-Mansion or recruiting your favorite superhero as a Team-Up, we’re excited to continue delivering on our community’s expectations. We truly believe we put more improvements into our game than any other iterative release out there. The 2015 moniker reaffirms our commitment to keep doing it.”
Beginning June 4th, Marvel Heroes will enter into its next season, complete with new heroes, villains, an advanced mode, and an Open Beta on Mac. Something the community will be excited to hear about is new end-game raid content that will have heroes square off against the ruler of the fire demons, Surtur! Watch the trailer below for a sneak peak at Marvel Heroes 2015!