Marvel Heroes 2016 (Win|Mac)
Marvel Heroes is a free-to-play dungeon crawler that has you running levels as your favorite superheroes, beating up thugs and super villains, and gathering loot.
The basics are simple, you control your hero dashing around the screen flattening the forces of evil. An over-head perspective gives you a great view of the action, as you utilize your powers to blast, shoot, lightening, magic, or just smash your way to victory.
Take Cap for example, his shield powers offer him protection buffs, or he can fling his shield to ricochet around the screen. Depending on how you build his abilities, stats, and equipment his abilities can alter wildly, meaning that playing with another Captain America in the multiplayer does not restrict your tactical options.
There are more than 50 heroes - ranging from Avengers to X-Men. You can play as any of these champions but you only gain access to their base abilities. To fully level-up and experience the full majesty of a hero’s level 60 skills you must unlock them. Fortunately, you get your first character free, but after that you do have to pay.
What makes Marvel Heroes so good is that is keeps improving. Every year since it 2013 release has seen huge improvements and expansions. New characters, synergies between characters, costumes, levels, missions, and other content, plus it is nearly all available for free.
It is a loot game, so expect to grind if you want to get every item you desire – but with so much for free, paying for a few extras doesn’t seem so bad.
Marvel Contest of Champions (Android|iOS)
Okay, since Marvel vs Capcom 4 probably isn’t coming any time soon, Marvel Contest of Champions is going to have to suffice. Which is no bad thing!
This one-on-one, free-to-play fighter, has you build up a team of Marvel stars. Thanks to The Collector both heroes and villains from across the comic’s Universe are all gathered in a single place, allowing you to create a squad as diverse as Deadpool, Juggernaut, and Star Lord.
Your three character’s must fight your opponent’s characters one at a time. The stripped back combat has you control blocks and dodges on one side of the screen, while the other unleashes light, medium, and heavy strikes. Each fighter has their own set of moves, and knowing how to best utilize faster characters against stronger ones (and vice versa) is key. It is more simple than traditional fighters, but the system is perfect for mobile and touch devices.
The problem is the difficult curve – or rather the lack of one. In the single player game your only barrier to success is an energy system gating how often you can play, and your characters being too weak to have a chance. Thus, if you want to progress, you either have to pay to upgrade or slowly. On the plus side, the multiplayer game, and multiple paths through the campaign does ensure variety if you do choose to grind.
Despite this, Marvel Contest of Champions offers action packed Marvel fun with all your favorite characters.
Marvel Avengers Alliance 2 (Win|And|iOS|WP)
Finally we have Marvel Avengers Alliance 2. Using a formula similar to Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, this fast-paced RPG gives you a squad of three heroes to take into battle against the evils of the marvel universe. Look out Hydra, my teams coming.
In terms of action it does little to surprise, particularly if you have ever played a similar free-to-play RPG… or indeed any menu based RPG game. All you have to do is wait for your characters’s turn, pick a move, and then tap on a target to execute.
There are the usual thugs to tackle and, of course, iconic Marvel villains like Dr. Octopus to take down.
Yes its predictable, but there is something to having Hawk Eye use his various arrows, telling Gamora to teleport behind her opponent to use her assassin skill, and having Spider-Man use his Spider-Sense to improve his evasion.
You know what is coming here - the free to play nature slows progress at points. But, that said, Marvel Avengers Alliance 2 actually does a pretty good job ensuring that you never run out of things to do. With lots of missions, side content, and multiplayer, you should have lots to keep you busy even if you don’t want to pay – only having to commit some cash if you want to access specific characters or skills more quickly.
Marvel Avengers Alliance 2 offers some nice, slower paced action for comic fans who want to play with their heroes.