Marvel continues to dominate pop culture, with fourteen films planned over the next five years and new television projects in the works. Their comics top the sales charts month after month, thanks largely to their Star Wars books, and Marvel mobile games are steadily growing in popularity. The company has even partnered with Telltale Games, the creators of the immensely popular The Walking Dead adventure game, to release a superhero project in 2017.
For gamers who don't want to wait for the Telltale game or the next Lego Marvel installment, Marvel's PC game Marvel Heroes 2015 is the best option currently available. The free-to-play action RPG is an MMO designed by the legendary creator David Brevik, the man largely responsible for Diablo and Diablo II. The game is largely fan service, putting players in control of their favorite Marvel characters to run through a story line written by Brian Michael Bendis (creator of Ultimate Spider-Man and the Jessica Jones comics).
Gazillion, the game's developer, recently announced a number of changes coming to Marvel Heroes. The first is that the game will be rebranded as Marvel Heroes 2016, with a focus on bringing the game in line with Marvel's upcoming "All-New, All-Different" comics line. The developer also announced the following:
- A "Secret Invasion" story chapter: After "Civil War" in the comics continuity, it was soon discovered that shape-shifting Skrulls had infiltrated the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Avengers, as well as the governments of the world. This built an overwhelming sense of paranoia as nobody knew who was a human and who was an alien invader. The story chapter will also include the Super-Skrull Kl'rt, a long-requested addition to the game.
- Controller Support: Players will finally be able to play with syncd controllers rather than mouse and keyboard.
- Visual Updates: New, updated looks for the characters
- Leaderboards: A competitive aspect to the game with tournaments planned for the future.
- Savage Land Patrol Zone: The Savage Land is a place in Antarctica inhabited my dinosaurs, mutants, and more. Players will be able to explore the zone and punch them.
- Thanos Raid: Thanos is finally being introduced, ahead of Marvel Cinematic Studios' Phase Three films.
Gazillion also noted that there would be future additions announced in the lead up to the update. Additionally, the developer will continue to add new characters to the game, with the current roster sitting at over 50 different heroes.
Though Marvel Heroes initially launched to middling reviews, the game was successfully rebranded as Marvel Heroes 2015 and fixed many of the issues that plagued the first release. Since the relaunch, the game's metacritic score has skyrocketed and the playerbase has grown steadily. Much like the relaunch of Final Fantasy XIV, the game altered itself to the point it seems like an entirely new experience.
The changes sound interesting, but the most exciting aspect of the update is that Gazillion is listening to the players. The developer noted that most of these changes have long been requested and this is proof that their players' feedback actually matters. The game caters to fans of the comics, films and PC gaming, offering features that appeal to each group separately (as well as to the entirety of the play-base).
Marvel Heroes 2016 launches in December 2015.