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Columns: Thanos, Tower Defense, Leaderboards and More in ‘2016’ Relaunch

By Michael Bitton on September 16, 2015

Thanos, Tower Defense, Leaderboards and More in ‘2016’ Relaunch

I’m not a huge fan of ‘relaunching’ Marvel Heroes every year with a new title, but nevertheless, Gazillion’s got some exciting plans for the game in the ‘Marvel Heroes 2016’ update this fall.  Revealed in the October issue of Game Informer, Gazillion plans to add a new raid featuring Thanos, a tower defense mode set in the Savage Lands, leaderboards, and more. We don’t have a whole lot of details just yet, but let’s discuss what we do know so far.

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Thanos Raid

Simultaneously curious and exciting, players will be able to do battle against Thanos in an as yet unnamed new, upcoming raid encounter. I say curious because the red version of the existing AXIS raid still hasn’t come online yet, so introducing a brand new raid in the short to intermediate future seems a bit odd. Exciting, because, well, who doesn’t want to fight the mad titan himself? We don’t know anything except for this tidbit right now, but I’m eager to find out how this all pans out. Personally, I’m still chewing on Muspelheim at this point, so I’m likely a long way off from being tough enough to throw the Infinity Gauntlet down with Thanos.

Tower Defense

I tend to be apprehensive about new modes in Marvel Heroes. There are plenty of undercooked existing modes that need revamps, such as X-Defense and Holo-sim.  Heck, even Limbo, which recently got a rework, isn’t in such a great place. I’d like to see the team refocus on executing better on what the game has already. Still, Age of Ultron stands out as one of the better unique game modes in Marvel Heroes, so I do have some hope for Savage Land tower defense.  I’m definitely a fan of tower defense, so if executed well, and fitted with compelling loot, I wouldn’t mind spending considerable time in this mode.

Leaderboards

All we know so far is that Gaz plans to introduce friendlier leaderboards that won’t require you to play 24/7 throughout a season in order to compete. Instead, it sounds like Gaz will focus on shorter sessions with specific conditions and targeted activities.

Like Danger Room, I feel proper execution of leaderboards may be key to the continued success of Marvel Heroes. Games like Path of Exile and Diablo III keep players playing with maps and rifts (Danger Room) and through competitive leaderboards with exciting new and exclusive loot. Specifically, I’m hoping Gaz has some plans to work set items into the game here, even though it’s somewhat of an odd fit for Marvel Heroes. Set items introduced regularly through leaderboard seasons could add another layer of build diversity to the game to keep things exciting. With 50+ heroes in the game, however, this seems fairly unlikely.

Visual Updates

I’ve been discussing the visual inconsistency in Marvel Heroes for a long time now, so I was incredibly glad to learn earlier this year that the studio would be focusing on bringing the older character models and costumes up to the same quality as the more recent stuff. However, I’m not exactly sure what Gaz’s plans are for the fall. Are we getting a huge dump of visual updates all at once? A small batch and a commitment to continue on a more regular basis? Personally, I’m betting we’re looking at the latter here, which is fine. I just hope they’ve prioritized some of the more egregious examples that really need a touch up. I do know Jean is coming, since we’ve already seen what that will look like, but hopefully characters like Storm, Black Widow, and Cyclops are at the very top of the queue. 

 

What’s your take on what’s been revealed so far for the Marvel Heroes 2016 update? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager.