Marvel Heroes Omega Review

marvel heroes omega review

If you discount Rocksteady’s tremendous Batman Arkham games (and quite possibly Insomniac’s forthcoming Spider-Man effort), it’s reasonable to say that games licensed from comic book properties don’t really have the best track record. Luckily developer Gazillion, an outfit made up folks who worked on the legendary Diablo II back in the day, manages to eschew the status quo with Marvel Heroes Omega; an accomplished fusion of traditional dungeon crawler beats and Marvel licensed lore to fashion an effort that duly satisfies both Marvel and Diablo fans alike.

Free to play or pay to win?

Perhaps the most intriguing thing about this fusion of comic book and videogame is that it is completely free to play. Indeed, you can hop straight into Marvel Heroes Omega and get stuck into blasting villains, scooping up that shiny loot, improving your character and then doing the whole thing all over again without paying a single penny or cent. However, developers have to eat, publishers have to eat, and, well, just about everybody else involved in the process of getting a game like Marvel Heroes Omega to market has to eat too, so just where does Gazillion get the Benjamins to keep on going? The answer of course, is in-game premium currency, referred to as ‘Gs’, that can be used to purchase a whole heap of stuff from Marvel Heroes Omega’s digital storefront.

Marvel Heroes Omega

Most of that aforementioned ‘stuff’ generally includes such bits and pieces as experience buffs for your characters, extra inventory space, additional unlockable heroes and special alternate costumes for the ladies and gents on your roster. Now, before the sneer on your face reaches your ear, allow me to put your mind at ease for a bit. You see, in addition to the premium currency, there is another in-game currency called ‘Eternity Splinters’, which quite unlike the Gs, can be looted from the various goons and evil minions that you separate from their mortal coil in the game itself.

Like Gazillon’s premium currency however, these splinters can be used to purchase both new characters and the loot boxes, meaning that with enough grind the majority of these things can be attained through hard graft. Marvel Heroes Omega also allows you to play as any character in the game until level 10, at which point you will need to pay either Gs, or, the requisite balance of Eternity Splinters to fully unlock their progress beyond that. Don’t worry though, because at a minimum you’ll have two fully unlocked characters from the beginning of the game, as Daredevil is free to PS4 owners, while completing the tutorial gives you enough Eternity Splinters to add another character to your roster in addition.

So then, while Marvel Heroes Omega doesn’t require you to dig deep into your pockets to enjoy the game, it is worth remembering that the game’s premium enhanced costumes can only be bought using Gs, or, obtained through limited time, special in-game events. Though the difference is only cosmetic in every case, these costumes have a lot more work put into them than just being mere garment swaps. One of the premium costumes for Thor, for example, turns him into the more recent Jane Foster iteration of that character, complete with her own animation, sound effects, voice work and visual flourishes. Likewise, a special costume for Spider-Man allows players to use a Spider-Gwen skin; again, though she plays identically to the base version of the character, she does come with her own bespoke audiovisual profile; something fans of the character might considering shelling out for.

marvel heroes omega review

Solid dungeon crawling fundamentals

Beyond its sprawling, though ultimately fair free to play model, Marvel Heroes Omega acquits itself rather well as a highly accomplished dungeon crawler, albeit one that seems reticent to stray from the established genre formula. Once you’ve chosen your character and gone through the game’s story-driven tutorial, you are then free to get stuck into the campaign that serves as the narrative backbone for Marvel Heroes Omega.

Penned by Brian Michael Bendis, the real-life author behind the actual Marvel Jessica Jones and Ultimate Spider-Man comics, the plot which underpins the story mode is blissfully cheesy, with the Avengers teaming alongside the other Marvel heroes to prevent the dastardly Doctor Doom from unleashing the power of the mysterious Cosmic Cube upon the world. Told in interconnecting acts which are in turn linked by hand-drawn, comic-book cutscenes, it’s fair to say that Marvel Heroes Omega’s campaign has more in common with the brightly coloured spandex-fests of the Marvel Saturday morning cartoon shows, rather than the glitzy, CG-stuffed, billion dollar motion picture epics that have been the staple of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for nearly ten years now. Not that this is a bad thing at all (especially for long-time fans of the comics), but players who are expecting something a little more glamorous presentation-wise, will have to rein in their expectations a tad.

Nonetheless, fans of both the comics and the movies alike will happily recognise many of the locations that Marvel Heroes Omega uses to stage its many conflicts. From the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, to the X-Men mansion, Stark Tower and even in the ornate halls of Asgard itself, the variance of locales that you will find yourself fighting in is only really equalled by the myriad number of characters you can choose to do so with.

Like any dungeon crawler worth its salt, Marvel Heroes Omega ensures that once the baddie bashing has been done, there is plenty of loot for you to drool over. With multiple equipment slots, consumables, craftables and much, much more besides, Marvel Heroes Omega ensures that the players are often quite literally drowning both in loot, and also in the incentive to pursue it. When it comes to abilities, developer Gazillion Entertainment has ensured that there is ample range of goodness there too, with each of the nearly 40 strong character roster possessing their own unique set of abilities, skill trees and screen-shattering Ultimate abilities to obtain and develop.

Despite how content Marvel Heroes Omega seems to be to stick to the dungeon crawler template, the thrill of being Iron Man and laying waste to a legion of the Kingpin’s goons, alongside the likes of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Deadpool and others, proves to be a thrill indeed; though it is not an evergreen one. Without friends to take with you on your villain and loot hunting expeditions through Marvel Land (either locally or online), Marvel Heroes Omega can start to feel repetitive and faintly stale; the act of killing and looting ad infinitum only truly being livened up in the long-term when a flesh and blood partner is present to partake in the proceedings.

Nonetheless, longevity shouldn’t be viewed as a concern; with a steady stream of content that doesn’t look like to be slowing down anytime soon, Marvel Heroes Omega, much like its immediately comparable counterpart in Diablo III, looks to have legs for many months, or years even. Notably too, Marvel Heroes Omega is a game that you can just sink into; its embrace warm enough to make you forget about the somewhat grinding superstructure that governs its progression and endgame content.

marvel heroes omega review

From a technical point of view, developer Gazillion Entertainment have done a mostly commendable job in bringing Marvel Heroes from its original PC stomping grounds to PS4. A particular highlight is the UI; easily navigable and containing all the pertinent information that a player might want to see, Marvel Heroes Omega certainly doesn’t lose any of its accessibility in its journey from computer to console. Where things aren’t quite so polished is in the visuals, however. Looking like a high resolution PS3 title with the effects work to match, Marvel Heroes Omega certainly makes no case for being an attractive looking PS4 title, something it further distances itself from achieving on account of the slowdown the plagues larger battles and the seeming lack of obvious improvements for PS4 Pro users.

That said, if the most recent extended beta period for the game showed us anything, it’s that the developer is keen to listen and improve going forward. To that end, we should hopefully expect polish-focused updates to manifest themselves alongside the content orientated ones that will no doubt be arriving in the near future.

In Summary
With a deep dungeon crawler offering cleverly masked in a Marvel veneer, Marvel Heroes Omega impresses as a neatly balanced hybrid of traditional hack and slash genre tropes together with a licensed property that just about everybody and their dog can recognise.

As with most other games of a similar ilk, Marvel Heroes Omega undoubtedly remains a game that is best enjoyed with friends, and so long as you don’t expect a groundbreaking take on the genre that Diablo built, Marvel Heroes Omega will scratch that dungeon crawler itch and then some.

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The Final Word

Marvel Heroes Omega is a toweringly enjoyable marriage of dungeon crawling and superhero action that deserves to be embraced by both fans of Diablo and Marvel alike.