Gazillion Entertainment’s Marvel Heroes Omega finally made its way to PS4 and Xbox One at the end of June (having been on PC for years), and we jumped right in to this free-to-play action-RPG starring the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe.
The main story of Marvel Heroes Omega, sees the Avengers calling in everyone when Doctor Doom gains control of the Cosmic Cube, and sets in motion a plan that will take players to a variety of well-known places in the Marvel Universe, like the Savage Land, Asgard, Manhattan, Latveria, and Madripoor. After dealing with a jailbreak, and rounding up several villains, players head through Hell’s Kitchen and face off against Venom and Doctor Octopus, in search of a tablet that eventually finds its way in to the Kingpin’s hands.
As they work to get it back from Kingpin, they get caught up in a deeper conspiracy on the part of Doctor Doom, and after helping Professor Xavier and the mutants from the threat of Purifiers, led by William Stryker, they face off with Magneto and Mister Sinister. Then it is off to Latveria, followed by Asgard, to battle it out with Doom, Malekith, and Loki.
The story is pieced together well, and it gives an excuse for many of the game’s heroes to be involved, although a few still seem a bit out of place, Ghost Rider for example (though I’m not complaining; he was the first character I picked). It was also nice to see the way the story is presented, like a motion comic with voice overs and they did a nice job in capturing the personalities of many fan favorites, like Spider-man and Wolverine. The voice cast does well in bringing the characters to life, and the little comments that you get from characters, sometimes making fun of each other, are entertaining. The game doesn’t wow visually, but it isn’t bad looking either. With an overhead camera angle, it looks good overall, and the animations are smooth, given how many different characters they had to create move sets for and make flow while other players are running around and fighting at the same time.
While the story will likely get your character to the level 60 max, there are plenty of other things for players to do in Marvel Heroes Omega to keep them occupied and bring in more loot instead. Danger Room Scenarios picked up as you play, unlock missions for players to test their abilities in, adding several challenges like higher difficulty, falling objects, or various traps to slow you down, with reward chests waiting after completion. The extra traps and such, make playing through areas you complete in the main campaign worth playing through again and the additional gear and items you pick up along the way don’t hurt either.
Players can also head to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Training Room and try out some of their moves on a variety of dummies. A good place to test out your moves and figure out which ones suit your play style best before heading out in to the harder difficulty areas. To unlock higher difficulty in the game, Trials are available, which range from Heroic, Super Heroic, and Cosmic. As each is completed, the difficulty is open for the game’s missions, with enemies dropping items of that rank, so completing them early is a definite plus, allowing for better gear early on. Cosmic opens-up after completing level 60, while Heroic and Super Heroic open after level 11 and can be completed easy. The drawback with the three difficulties, is that they must be completed with each character. It would have been nice, but too easy, if you only had to complete them once.
Operations and Events let players choose specific story missions to revisit, challenging bosses at higher difficulty if available and completing bounties for more rewards, or legendary missions, which are unlocked later and give you legendary marks, used to purchase items for the Legendary item slot, giving you special bonuses once you have earned a certain amount of experience with the item equipped. Patrols send players to Midtown, where they can fight alongside other players and face off against enemies from all over, as well as some bosses you didn’t encounter during the main story.
The main draw for Marvel Heroes Omega is the characters. At launch for both consoles, the roster boasts over 30 characters, with a few exclusive for the time being, like Iron Fist (players had to purchase all the Founder’s Packs before launch) or War Machine (sold as an exclusive on the PlayStation Network). Players get to choose from many characters, from the expected Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Wolverine, Storm, Spider-man, or Deadpool, to Ghost Rider, She-Hulk, Magik, Angela, Gambit, and Squirrel Girl. Early on, Daredevil, Nightcrawler (as part of a VIP bonus for those that purchase any amount of the game’s currency) and Black Cat (purchased through PSN or Xbox Live) were also added to the roster.
Each character has their own unique playstyle, with moves that are unlocked as you level up to 30, Talents, which can be chosen for different bonuses to those available skills and an Ultimate skill that opens-up at level 60 and does devastating damage. Synergy opens after you get a character to level 25 and 50, giving slight bonuses like additional health or damage depending on which characters you choose, with slots for 10 to be assigned. Infinity Points are earned as you level up, and after reaching 60 with one character, spending them in one of the 6 categories will add bonuses to your character. Once you hit 60, characters can also prestige, earning a little emblem next to your name, resetting talents and requiring 25% more experience each rank to reach 60 once again. But it will give you something to focus on should you not want to spend all your time just working on Infinity Points and Cosmic gear.
Players can set moves to each of the controller’s four buttons, with an additional four available by holding down L2, a heal that recharges with L1, and “run” with R2. Not all the skills are available to use during combat because of the limited number of buttons, but it does flow well and the gameplay feels simple and easy to pick-up. The main thing is finding the right techniques to use, as you build your character and equip them with gear that offer stat bonuses for certain skills.
There are simple options, like gloves, boots, suits, weapons and then there are also artifacts, which offer special bonuses and can even allow for you to summon a pet to help you in combat. This can be anything from a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, to a dinosaur, or even a squirrel. Relics also offer additional bonuses, as well as Catalysts, which can do things like make you invisible for 3 seconds if you must use a Med Kit, or charm enemies when you land a hit. Legendary items I already mentioned.
As you pick up resources during your time in the field, you will be able to craft items as well, from gear and artifacts to enhancements for equipable items that add stat bonuses. The crafting system is surprisingly useful and easy to understand once you take the time to look it over.
While free-to-play, Marvel Heroes Omega does use microtransactions, which aren’t necessary to play, but they certainly do help. By purchasing G (the games currency), you can unlock characters immediately, or you can play each character up to level 10. Experience and other boosters, as well as loot boxes with other currency like Legendary Marks or Marvel Essence, can also be purchased, though again, not necessary if you are willing to put in the work. It can be a bit of a grind, but loot boxes can be earned by getting a character to level 60, with additional boxes up for grabs as you level your first character.
Eternity Splinters are also used to purchase characters, so if you take your time and collect them as you explore, you will be able to buy characters that way. It can be slow and prices vary, so you could need anywhere from 200-750 for each character. Even purchasing with G it can get expensive, as characters range from 500-1350 and it costs about $20 for 2100G. Black Cat and War Machine are characters that need to be purchased separately, so Splinters and G aren’t an option. Costumes can also be purchased, using Marvelous Essence, received from loot boxes. Some characters only have one or two, while others like Iron Man and Spider-man have 5 or more.
Marvel Heroes Omega is an interesting game overall, giving players many characters to choose from as they play through an adventure spanning multiple areas and facing plenty well-known Marvel enemies. The controls are easy to pick up and although it can be a bit of a grind as you level up and collect loot, there are tons to sort through and it can be easy to get drawn in to the game for hours at a time.
Teamwork can play a part in the game, it is an MMO after all; with some area bosses going down much easier with groups, but they aren’t required. You can play alongside friends, co-op locally with a second controller, or solo at any difficulty and not really have too much trouble. I tend to play solo, though I am open to joining up with others. PvE is my preferred way to play online games, and that is exactly what Marvel Heroes Omega offers.
The micro transaction setup isn’t a favorite of mine, and it really can get expensive to buy characters and loot boxes, if that is what you decide to do. Even though I received codes for some of the character packs for the game, I still spent a fair amount of money early on, to purchase some of the characters I wanted to play as. The additional costumes are a nice touch though and using Marvelous Essence to buy them is a much better and cheaper, option than using G to buy them. There are also Enhanced costumes that change the characters voice and other things, allowing for Thor’s optional Jane Foster costume and Spider-man’s Spider-Gwen (hopefully Alejandra Blaze soon). With a roster of over 30 characters, there should be plenty to keep console gamers busy as they try out each character and with a PC version having been out for years, there are plenty of other characters that can make their way eventually, like maybe Carnage, Venom, X-23, Miss Marvel, Loki, Magneto, or Juggernaut.
If a game like Marvel Ultimate Alliance is what you have been in the mood for, Marvel Heroes Omega doesn’t disappoint.
(Marvel Heroes Omega codes for X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers, and Deadpool packs were provided for review purposes. I also purchased Spider-man, War Machine and Black Cat for myself. I currently have 5 level 60 characters, one prestige back to 60 and one completed Cosmic Trial.)