I had installed Marvel Heroes during a Beta Weekend, and it had been continually updated, so when it actually came out at ten yesterday morning I was in a very good position to play it.
I emerged from the introduction more impressed than I expected to be - far more. As Daredevil, my clubs really seemed to be hitting these jagoffs and they were not fans. What’s more, there was a nice loop where I could strike multiple jagoffs, conferring a slowing effect, which I could then capitalize on with an attack I’d just skilled into that hit all opponents and did extra damage to those who had been slowed. Then I hit some other guys, and I hit the Green Goblin, and then I left.
Gabriel had a similarly enjoyable time in his own shard of that universe, and we immediately tried to get into the next missions together. The icon you’d think would let you add and interact with friends is actually the list of all the superheroes you don’t own; the actual friends list looks like two speech bubbles and is over by the chat window, which is like… I don’t even know what it’s like. Maybe it was a test. Anyway, we passed it, and entered a mission.
That is the moment we have collected in the strip.
Some of the weirdness is almost certainly in the first interactable screen you see: there are five free characters. You’re given a choice between Daredevil, Storm, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and The Thing. So you can’t really be too suprised one some level when you get in there and you see a panoply of stone dudes. I was granted another hero very quickly, Hawkeye, also from the basic collection. If you see Iron Man, let’s be very clear - that person payed twenty dollars for the privilege. Which is how Free To Play works, I get it. I’m not dumb. I’m just not likely to do it. What’s funny is that I’d probably spend thirty dollars playing some kind of slot machine for a chance to get Iron Man. Right? I’m incredibly easy to manipulate; just make it look like it might be a game and The Squirrel - my collector-self - will manifest.
What’s funny is that this is The Marvel Universe - they could fix this “problem” in a purely narrative way, and because Comic Logic™ you could choke it down. They should just own the whole multiversal/Diffractor Beam/clone virus/Horaam The Refractor thing and ride it out. On the other hand, I saw a lot of these twenty-dollar Iron Men. So it’s entirely possible that they’re winning the game they intended to play.