Namor the Sub-Mariner is finally getting some Marvel video game love with an appearance in the free-to-play mobile fighting game, Marvel Contest of Champions. Marvel's first superhero is the latest addition to an impressive lineup of characters spanning the entire Marvel Universe, including the Avengers, the X-Men, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Defenders, the Inhumans, and the Spider-Verse.
Developed by Kabam for iOS and Android, Marvel Contest of Champions launched in December of 2014. The game allows players to assemble teams of Marvel heroes and villains to battle their way through enemies on a map that's set up like a board game. 3D character models fight it out on a 2D plane. Strategy plays an important role in gameplay, as characters are grouped in classes complete with distinct advantages and disadvantages. Pulling from multiple corners of the Marvel Universe, Contest of Champions includes Marvel's most popular characters, as well as lesser-known heroes such as Darkhawk and Hyperion.
After being confirmed in May, Namor has officially joined Marvel Contest of Champions. In the game, Namor is an offensive character in the "Mutant" class whose attacks focus on Neptune's trident and his hydrokinetic abilities, which is actually a very recent addition to Namor's skillset in the comics. Namor's infamously short temper also comes into play in Contest of Champions. When failing to apply a "Debuff" to an enemy, Namor gradually generates "Outrage". When his Outrage reaches a certain level, Namor accesses "Imperius Rex", which gives him a massive boost in power and the chance to input several special attacks back-to-back.
The inclusion of the Avenging Son in Marvel Contest of Champions is good news for Namor fans who have long felt that Marvel's oldest superhero has been severely neglected in terms of TV shows, movies and video games. Namor is one of the most important Marvel characters yet to appear in the MCU. While Namor continues to have a strong presence in the comic books, Namor is completely avoided in Marvel cartoons and games released over the last decade, even when his kingdom, Atlantis, plays a role in the story.
As for why this is, merchandising and licensing rights could be the root of the problem. Though it's been said that rights to Namor, which belonged to Universal Studios, have since reverted back to Marvel, the situation remains complicated. However, a recent appearance in Marvel Puzzle Quest and becoming a playable character in Marvel Contest of Champions could be signs that things are looking up for the Sub-Mariner, and that more roles in Marvel video games are in the pipeline.
Namor the Sub-Mariner is available now in Marvel Contest of Champions.