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Marvel Heroes Omega Review (PS4, Beta)

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This is based on the PS4 beta version of the game, not the PC version. The two are vastly different from one another.

Story:

The game begins with, who has somehow gotten his hands on a Cosmic Cube and sets forth trying to get other items, employing HYDRA to do so. As a result of this, Nick Fury tries to figure out what is going on and tasks you, the player to discover what the heck is going on. The interference with the Cosmic Cube has allowed multiple copies of Heroes to exist simultaneously (explaining all the players in a brilliant hand wave). This leads to an epic crossover where you journey through the Marvel world to track down clues to figure out what is going on. The main story ends with a showdown against Dr. Doom and you find out about his plan to empower himself using all the things that he has collected over the course of the game.

Graphics:

The graphics of the game are decent. Character models look rather detailed on the title screen, but you will barely notice it when you play because of the near overhead angle that you see everything from. There's no character customization for looks without spending money as far as I can tell, so everyone is going to look the same sadly. A lot of enemies also look like re-skins of one another. The bosses are the unique ones and the showdown with each of them can be quite amazing if it were not for the poor controls. The mix of clearly newer looking 3D character models talking and 2D cartoony story scenes stills create an odd contrast as well, making it feel like there were two different teams working on different projects and they ended up mashing them together. It just feels and looks rather strange. Luckily, each character does look like their Marvel counterpart and is not too far off. There are skins that are based on the different Marvel worlds, like the Cinematic Universe skins. It is just too bad it requires real money to get any of them.

Gameplay:

This is where we hit the first snag. The game feels extremely awkward with a controller. Even though the characters can move in what feels like 360, the attacks are much harder to direct outside of the basic eight directions, making it seem very awkward for rangedcharacters. On top of that, ranged attacks feel "off" due to an arbitrary distance limit for some characters. Gun and bow based characters seem to have long range seems much further because a lot of ranged characters feel like their skills and abilities force them to cast directly on the enemy or directly on you while they just spray in a general direction. It would have helped if there was a targetting indicator for ranged characters so you could tell when something was in range and which one you were targetting in that direction. Because of how many enemies there might be sometimes (a lot), it just feels "off" when you try to fight because of the difficulty targetting an enemy. Overall, it somehow feels worse than X-Men Legends and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Marvel Heroes Omega feels a lot like the next installment, but has gone to cash shop instead of just releasing a standard full priced game, which would have been a far better option. I have tried using the equip menu screen as practice to aim because the high number of items on that screen allows me to see how to tilt the control stick, but even then, it is difficult and I find it strange trying to use the analog to target for range characters. Melee characters feel a lot better with the controller though where you do not have this problem and it is much easier to just aim at a location and attack. It also does not help that the pause button is not "options" or the old "start button." Instead, it is the giant touchpad and it feels weird having to use that thing.

There are clear imbalanced between the characters with some being insanely strong while others being weak. This is discouraging as you see the stronger characters literally burn through everything before you can finish a group of enemies off. Luckily, they let you play any character up to level 10, but to get beyond that, you need to use Eternity Splinters to "uncap" a Hero. The more you play, the more of them you get, but it takes quite a while to unlock a character (it takes roughly 40 hours to collect enough Eternity Splinters not including multiple drops or special events that give away more to unlock each character). Do not expect to be able to unlock all of them without having to spend real money. Just keep that in mind. The most important thing for most Heroes are their area clearing abilities, followed by high mobility. They are the most important and are usually effective against single enemies as well and it just puts single target focused characters at a disadvantage unless they are assassin type characters that get a massive critical boost using certain skills AND have high mobility that comes from those skills. The greatest game breaker though, are high mobility types as they can get around fast and do not have the strange delay for using movement skills because they can move around with different attack skills. Whenever most characters use a movement skill, there's a strange delay before it responds, but some characters can use their attacks as movement without any delay. At first, I thought the delay was just game lag, but then some characters have it and some do not. It just feels very awkward whenever I use a movement skill and that is VERY frequent. The fact that it only has three charges, forcing you to wait several seconds between dashes just makes it feel very awkward. And because of this, a character like Daredevil and Spiderman, who have superior movement skills feel like they have an absurd advantage over other characters because it is much easier for them to reposition themselves without a delay.

A lot of the characters feel unique and different. Their resources act differently, working under different conditions, but eventually boil down to three types. For some characters, it is a resource that depletes as you use, eventually locking you out of skills. For others, it operates the complete opposite, where you have to use other attacks to build up that resource so you can use your stronger attacks. Others have charge up time that require you to do certain actions or wait, acting as a pseudo resource. This creates a decent variety in the characters. Character skills do have traits that can be used to empower certain skills, sometimes at the cost of others. This is similar to Diablo 3, but it feels poorly done here. They force you to use certain skill sets and they often do not work together very well. The lack of uptime on a lot of abilities also creates strange rotations that are literally affected by the number of enemies on the screen.

The most interesting part of the game for me are the boss battles. There are different kinds. If you encounter them in special areas during the main story, they're called "Showdowns." If you encounter them through the Waypoint in special areas, they're called "Trials." Then, there are also events as part of the "Patrol" areas like Midtown. Each boss utilizes different attacks that make them feel unique and some are good representations of the character's overall personality from the series. The problem is that when you fight them in Midtown, there's like 4 to 6 of them at once and it's just a giant mess that makes it hard to tell what is going on, especially when there are like eight other people trying to fight those bosses at the same time. You end up with literally a dozen different area skills layered on top of one another. The only way I can tell what is going on is that there are exclamation marks on top of the bosses.

Each of the game's difficulty modes are locked behind a "Trial." The current levels are Normal, Heroic, Superheroic, and Cosmic (there's a fifth red option that cannot be selected yet). It is highly advantageous to do these as early as possible. It is possible to complete Superheroic at level 10 quite easily, but at higher levels, it gets harder because better gear is harder to find. Higher quality items (blue and yellow) are more likely to appear at higher difficulties even though they do appear at lower difficulties if you can find a special type of enemy called a Doop to kill. You will most likely stay with the standard difficulty until you at least complete the story mode and perhaps even into the low 50s because you level up fairly quickly. It is only when leveling gets slow that better gear helps.

Even though the game is still in a beta, there are way too many things that attempt to "monetize" the game. For a beta that is probably testing out new things, you only get one free character and don't expect to get more unless you're a hardcore player or there are more promotional events that give out characters (I got Daredevil for free). The rest have to be purchased with the exception of a few free promotional characters (many require you to spend money to earn that promotional stuff). The inventory is very small (50 total items) and you need to spend real money to enlarge it. Storage is limited so if you plan on playing more than two or three characters, you will probably need to drop money on that as well. For reference, it takes about 500 Eternity Splinters in order to unlock a character (on the PC version, a large number of characters are less than half that price, and unlockable in about twenty hours of gameplay). You might get one every ten minutes or so. In short, it takes more gameplay time than it takes for someone to clear a traditional RPG than it does to unlock another character, so you better make your first choice count because it is probably going to be your only character. Your maximum inventory starts off at 40 and most of those slots are going to be dedicated to random drops that you need to collect if you ever plan on using the NPCs to craft something. There are so many different types of materials that function as different currencies and it just gets ridiculous pretty fast. They need to streamline the number of materials so that it does not take up most of your inventory.

Overall: 3/10

Considering that the previous entry to a game like this was Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, Marvel Heroes Omega feels like several steps back. They somehow made the controls of an action rpg feel very awkward. The normal "start" or "options" button on the PS4 is used for gameplay and audio settings. The touch pad is used for the main menu. Sometimes you get a pop up that lets you press up on the D-pad to open the equipment menu, the rest of the time you have to use the touch pad and activate the equipment menu from there. I find myself thinking that up on the D-pad is to access the equipment menu, but it is not. You also will likely not unlock more than one character outside of special conditions and with a roster of something like 40 characters, it just feels disappointing that they gated the characters in a way that makes it hard to unlock anything. The story might be interesting if you are a fan of the Marvel Universe, but it is not something memorable. Rather than drop $60 for just 6 characters (they don't even give you all of them), I highly recommend you take your money and go buy Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 for $40. It is a far better game with better controls and all the characters are free. Even though Ultimate Alliance 2 only has half as many characters to play as, they are better designed and more enjoyable. Marvel Heroes Omega just feels like a mashup of two existing games to scavenge whatever resources they had left to make something out of it.

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About Blanchimontone of us since 10:18 PM on 09.14.2008

I studied to be a teacher, but I only have a tutoring job right now that has very few hours. When I'm not busy, I'm trying out random games that get my interest and writing reviews about them. Keep in mind that these reviews are based on my own opinion and what I think about the game. I generally dislike F2P features that exclude players by making the top items only obtainable with real money or are absurdly expensive and P2P games that limit a player's ability to play with something like fatigue or stamina systems. I also tend to be late with reviews as I only purchase games when I have the time to actually play them.