The Great Canadian Soft Launch: it’s a tradition for developers and gamers alike. And DeNA, the makers of the upcoming Marvel Mighty Heroes, have once again joined that long lineage of early Canadian releases. Marvel Mighty Heroes released on Google Play in Canada today, and we’ve been playing it.
The verdict? It’s unique, but we’re not quite wowed yet.
When the game was announced last week, it was unclear exactly what sort of gameplay experience Marvel Mighty Heroes would deliver. It didn’t take much hands-on time to learn: Marvel Mighty Heroes is a team-based brawler that’s dependent on taps, swipes, and three other players.
Once the game is in full launch, those other players will be actual players joining you in real-time. For an action-heavy mobile game, that’s a pretty big deal – even in 2015. Right now though, in a launch small enough that I’m ranked 8th in the world after only my first few minutes of play, those spots are filled by AI teammates.
Rather than venturing through lengthy levels or deep dungeons, the initial stages I’ve completed all take place on small maps with single, simple tasks. “Defeat this wave of bad guys,” “Protect those containers.” That sort of thing.
There are also standalone boss levels that offer a fair bit more challenge; so much so, in fact, that I’ve become stuck on the very first one. Try and try again, the fight just isn’t designed for the level of player that first encounters it.
The action itself is little more than a series of taps and swipes. You’ll tap where you want to go, tap who you want to attack, and swipe when you need to dodge. You’ll be able to tap to activate special skills, as well as switch between a roster of three playable characters. With four players on screen at once though, and fairly small arenas to battle in, things end up feeling like more of a cluster@#$% than I think the developers would like.
Much of my time was spent walking towards enemies only to have my partners slay them by the time I arrived. Sometimes when I’d tap to walk towards an enemy, I’d start punching the air instead. My AI teammates would sometimes focus on the wrong goal. Little hiccups like this, both the balancing and the technical, show that Marvel Mighty Heroes will need a fair bit of tweaking if it’s to succeed in its worldwide release.
It’s important to remember that this isn’t meant as a scathing indictment of the game itself; merely the condition that it’s soft launched in. If DeNA can iron the bugs out, there’s a lot of potential for Marvel Mighty Heroes to live up to its name. Certain elements, like different costumes providing different battle skills, even manage to provide that “carrot on a stick” incentive that makes me want to keep playing despite my other struggles with the game.
Will Marvel Mighty Heroes make some much-needed tweaks before it’s worldwide launch? Find out when the game hits the App Store and Google Play later this year.