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Lightning Strikes Twice with Storm

Michael Bitton Posted:
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Gazillion has steadily undertaken the task of reviewing and reworking each and every hero in Marvel Heroes over the past year, with priority given to the starter characters players choose from when entering the game. This massive slate of reviews is nearing completion and the latest review to hit was for everyone’s favorite weather witch: Storm.

When Marvel Heroes originally released, characters featured a power progression from levels 1-30, with an ultimate power earned at the end of said progression. Months later, Gazillion began releasing new characters with power progression up to level 52, with roughly five additional powers per character earned along the way, including a new Signature ability (earned at level 30) and the character’s ultimate acquired at 52.

Since Storm was one of the game’s launch characters, she’s only had a power progression from 1-30 up until this point, but still remained a fairly interesting and viable character nonetheless. Even prior to her rework, Storm had a full suite of visually impressive powers at her disposal, and aside from being squishy, could clear packs of mobs better than most. The character did lack a reliable boss shredder, but her largest flaw was probably her kit’s focus being on a single ability: Thundering Maelstrom. If geared properly, Storm players could basically fly around the map zapping everything while holding just a single button. Thundering Maelstrom was visually impressive to be sure, but like anything else, it got old, and there wasn’t a whole lot of depth or nuance to her gameplay pattern.

With Storm’s level 52 review, Gazillion has maintained the power in Thundering Maelstrom, but they have also given the character a whole lot more options, including a viable wind tree for players who prefer conjuring tornadoes to lightning storms. A new boss shredder in Electrocute does wonders for fighting bosses, though channeling this ability can put you at risk of dying. It looks too cool not to use, even if I do put myself at risk. Imagine Emperor Palpatine frying someone with force lightning and you’ve basically got Electrocute. Microburst, a new single target wind power, is a bit underwhelming as an alternative, but I could see it working with some numbers tweaks.

Storm’s new Signature ability conjures up a powerful Typhoon. It does some impressive damage, provided enemies stay within the radius. Venom isn’t much of a fan though and will often swing right out, much to my frustration.  An irresistible slow would probably help a bit here. Sudden Tornadoes, a new power that can conjure up roaming tornadoes to create havoc on the battlefield, is awesome once you’ve got all five going, but it can be a real chore casting the ability five times every 10 seconds or so just to keep these things going. Common feedback, and I would be inclined to agree, suggests that Gazillion change the power so Storm players summon all five tornadoes at once.  

The retooled tempest powers, toggled abilities that provide various effects, are mostly a welcome change. I do feel that Arcing Tempest, Storm’s lightning themed toggle, is a bit underwhelming due to the erratic damage it deals, and could certainly be spruced up a bit. Freezing Tempest is probably my favorite due to its interaction with Storm’s new crowd control breaker, Storm Surge. With Freezing Tempest active, Storm players can activate Storm Surge to pulse out a massive irresistible stun. At high ranks, this can stun a pack of mobs for long enough to dispatch them completely and even lock up a boss for a little while.  Going this route will lock you out of some consistent projectile protection offered by her wind toggle, but I think it’s probably worth it.

Aside from all the new gameplay additions, Storm’s VFX and SFX have also been improved across the board. Some have complained about the appearance of Storm’s wind powers, but they look fine to me given the VFX soup that Marvel Heroes tends to end up being, especially while playing Storm. If the wind powers looked proper you probably wouldn’t be able to see most of the stuff going on in the game. My favorite addition to Storm’s aesthetics, aside from the aforementioned Electrocute, is the rolling thunder sound added to Thundering Maelstrom. Yes, TM actually thunders now. Woot!

Have you played the new Storm? What’s your take? Share your thoughts 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. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB



Michael Bitton

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. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB