First things first… yes, Marvel Heroes is basically Diablo (or Torchlight, or Path of Exile) with superheroes. The game makes no apologies for this. Its Steam page lists reviews from various sites, nearly all of which make the connection, and Gazillion President David Brevik was one of the guiding minds behind Diablo, so the lineage is obvious.

If that’s not an issue for you, slap on some spandex and prepare yourself for some of the most fun you can have with a free-to-play game. And yes, it actually is free-to-play.


The first thing you’ll likely notice is the good production values. Character models and environments are crisp and detailed, many objects in the environment have physics associated with them (thanks, Unreal Engine!), and the voiced and semi-animated cut scenes are lots of fun to watch.

You start by picking one of five “free” heroes – Hawkeye, Storm, Daredevil, Scarlet Witch, or the Thing – with access to other heroes being available via the cash shop (more on that later) or as rare drops in the world.

Gameplay is, well, typically Diablo-like. You have powers bound to your left and right mouse buttons and a few keys, enemies drop loot of various rarities, you advance your hero’s abilities through power trees, there are boss battles with notable Marvel villains – no major surprises here.

So why should you play Marvel Heroes? First, there’s an open world, something that came as a bit of a surprise to me, as I had the total Diablo single-player/small group mentality. World bosses, in the form of super-tough villains like Venom or Electro, occasionally spawn, which require the combined efforts of dozens of heroes to take down.

There are plenty of places to explore alone or with a friend or two, and when you do hit a five-man instance, the game conveniently forms you up in a party with other eager players. Don’t be fooled by its look or subject matter – Marvel Heroes is an MMORPG in every sense of the term.


Naturally, the action can get a little monotonous, as you slay countless mobs, pick up drops, and repeat ad infinitum, but there are at least a decent range of environments for you to explore. I checked out a stream of level 35+ endgame content, in which a 10-man “raid” group wreaked Havok – er, havoc – though hundreds of mobs in minutes, with so many special effects, I could barely differentiate friend from foe. Comes with the territory, I guess.

Another issue people might be troubled by is the lack of customization and individuality. This isn’t City of Heroes or DC Universe Online, where you can customize your character’s look and identity to your heart’s content. If you’re playing as the Hulk, you’ll see plenty of other Hulks wandering around, and maybe even joining your party. You can alter your look somewhat with costumes from the cash shop, and two Hulks might be specced differently, so at least there’s that.

Speaking of the cash shop, it looks as unobtrusive as can be. New heroes will run you about $6 to $12, with a couple (Deadpool and Spider-Man) currently going for $20. New costumes range from $5 to $15, and various pets, XP/loot boosts, extra storage, and other services for around $3-$5. You can also buy high-priced packs that bundle together heroes and costumes and random boosts.

None of this is needed to play the game or experience content. If you like your starting hero, you can play him or her forever and never need to spend a dime. Shelling out a few bucks for a hero you enjoy is hardly overtaxing, and there’s no “pay to win” aspect, unless you count the possibility of a small increase in loot gain chances (5%) as such.

A Worthwhile Gambit

I’ve grown so used to playing in betas lately that I almost forgot that Marvel Heroes was actually launched when I played it. The polish shows, and, as long as I don’t find the wholesale slaughter of Kingpin’s minions too monotonous, I think I’ll be playing it for a good long while. If you like superheroes and this style of gameplay, you’ll want to check it out. It’s a solid win.

By Jason Winter

Michael Dunaway has been part of the MMOBomb team for years and has covered practically every major Free-to-Play title since 2009. In addition to contributing First Look videos and news articles, Michael also serves as the Community Manager for the upcoming MMORPG, Skyforge.


  1. Not sure about Diablo, but comparing THIS with Path of Exile is like comparing Renaissance Italian painting with calendar poster.

    don’t get me wrong – the game isn’t that bad and fairly suitable 4 killing few hours of your life.
    The only issue is – with graphics like THAT – it should be browser based and run on toasters, while it cause troubles even on better systems.

  2. I am first a Marvel fan, next I am a MMO 3d fan. This game would be far far better if they got rid of the Isometric view. Free up the camera. Some feel that may be old school but nothing wrong with old school. The only reason I will keep playing for the next little while is because of the Marvel Heroes. It will do for now but please DEVs make a real Marvel 3d MMO.

    Nuff Said

  3. well written review Jason.

    not sure what ppl were expecting from this game, ive played D2,D3,PoE and some of these comments have me perplexed. what is this depth you are talking about? what exactly does Marvel Heroes lack the others have? im a PoE player, but other than the skill tree its as dull as any other mash mobs and loot games out there.

    as far as the UI goes, i say this to all that feel the need to complain about UIs in games. if it is so frustrating to you, then quick being such a penny pincher and get a nostromo or other gaming device that eliminates any and all failing UIs out there.

    i get the feeling that some players are upset their game of choice may lose some players.

  4. You must’ve gotten paid to write this.

    Jason, I don’t know who you are, but I usually come to mmobomb for accurate reviews. Everyone ACCROSS THE BOARD has agreed this doesn’t even come close to PoE, D2, or EVEN D3… Or TL1/TL2 for that matter.

    Long time reader, disappointed.

    • The game is just fine. You shouldn’t be comparing it to PoE, Diablo, Torchlight, etc.. It’s an Action RPG.. and it’s free. PoE is great to look at, but the game lacks depth. The game play is unvarying. The plot is weak. Same with D3 and Torchlight 2. This is just the nature of ARPG’s. They’re games you play to blow off steam. Kill a horde of mobs and collect loot. In that respect this game is gold. I just wish they would have optimized it better for my system.

      • “You shouldn’t be comparing it to PoE, Diablo, Torchlight, etc.. It’s an Action RPG” …but…but that’s what EVERYONE else has been comparing it to- both fans AND haters.

        Lol… man, trollin’ for days…

    • WTF are you talking about Randyblythe?, not “everyone” agrees with you, don’t assume you have any right to represent yourself with “everyone”, all the games you mentioned are kinda close imo, its all the same to me as ARPGs, its typical with some variations thats all.

  5. BTW, about that BlackScreen and Lag.

    You can look it up on Google, the BlackScreen problem have been there for quite a while. (more than 2 months and they still haven’t fix it, it’s a Resolution problem, mainly if your screen’s resolution is too large, the game won’t run until you turn it smaller)

    The Lag happens to quite an amount of players that isn’t using high demand computers. (also up on Google)

    You can Disagree, but the facts are out there, so… disagree to the facts.

  6. I completely disagree with anip I had never lags in world bosses or parties and I didn’t have ”Blackscreen” I think its a fun game with many pros and a few cons. ( I think boss drop rate is not soooo good but nevermind at least you don’t have to pay and you can get heroes from missions!!!)

  7. I play it, I like it. I did notice that the game can be dreadful if you are stuck playing a character you don’t like. I tried to play storm and I couldn’t get past level 6 or so. But with cap I have been playing quite a bit and having tons of fun. you can get up to 3 characters for free( one at start and up to 2 from quests) plus drops, I got colossus, and wolverine as drops so far.

    While the game may not be for everyone, everyone can try it for free I see no reason not to give it a shot.

  8. my bro introduced me to this game as “Diable-like gameplay you’ll sure to love it”

    didn’t love it.

    Also… to bypass the “Blackscreen” you have to head into the game’s ConfigEngine and change FullScreen to Window and make a smaller Screen Resolution. (else the game won’t run and will freeze up your computer)

    So far… the game isn’t really “that fun”, it may be good pass time to play it once in a while, but not for a long time.
    Not to mention they didn’t tell you “username = in-game character name” so some players had weird names or used some login names they used for other games, basically Identity leaked to public.
    Another thing is as mentioned, the “Heroes” are extremely rare drop, and most of the times… the drops are only Heroes you can already choose at creation screen (the “good Heroes”… I don’t think anyone have obtained them through in-game yet)
    One last thing… is the “Storage room” (you only get 1 box, and the materials they have in this game takes up pretty much 50% of it – because if you’re smart, you save them for Purple Converts instead of using them up for that extra 10 damage…) The other “Boxes” all require money to unlock, you can not unlock any of them through in-game play.

  9. wow i grinded bosses for like 6 hours i got hulk thing and black panther 🙂 im in love …. realy going to fail the test in 2 days at this rate tho…

    • oh and i found out that u need special item precent boost to get heros (if u dont get an item \ equipment with precent u have 0% to get a hero so look at ur stats before grinding)

  10. I have played this Game a Few days know and i feel the review is fairly accurate. Some things in the game do need to be fixed, The Graphics are ok for game of its caliber. I mean come on it is a Diablo clone I feel the Graphics where quite nice for its title. The do well with the marvel brand i would say all tho i will say i have not bought any thing nor will i by another character unless they come down on that price. The Ui while clunky serves its purpose, and yes it needs a bit of polish. But all and all I enjoyed my time and The area Bosses are actually fun. Drop rate is Fairly low ,I’m guessing, for new heroes (I have not got any sept one I got from the first Quest). All so I liked the Voice acting, and the Comic art. both done very well.

  11. this game is something else im a big marvel fan and its just too good this game is so good my only complaint is the shit drop rate for heros any bashes for this game are not looking at the game closely if u want to bash it play it and then bash it dont do it without any real base i didnt like it till i tried and i got iron man (lucky break but then till lvl 30 no heros) so i loved it all the starters arent that good and fun but if u get like spidy or iron man or thor its gonna be great and soooo much fun

  12. Theya are paid. Spunk comes from a site that paid. Mmosite has a paying club. I just got an invite from my gaming blog. So if not paid they might be fan bois. Games dull and comic fans will poke their eyes out.

    • If I was paid by developers for every time I was told that I’m paid by developers for writing good reviews, I’d be so rich that I wouldn’t need to write reviews any more.

  13. My to cents as a player of all diablo games, both torchlight games and path of exile.
    Marvel heroes battle isnt to fluid, comparing to diablo 3 battles, though thats acceptable.
    The itemization is just poor, not many item slots, max 4 mods on each item as I see epic gear.
    The character customization is poor too, not enough skills per character and some of them are just joke. In example Hawkeye skills : shoot 1 arrow, shoot 2 arrows, shoot 3 arrows, shoot volley and another volley. Wery creative I must say…

    But the biggest problem of the game is crappy optimized engine. The loading screens are long as hell, I load faster each LOL game than small map in MH, but LOL map is 30min gameplay not 5minutes. I load faster Skyrim moded with 4k HD textures and other enchancing mods.
    The FPS is radiculusly low when it comes to fighting global bosses, the engine dont have so great garphic yet it got high requiements, something unaceptable. Additionaly the game got poor customization of graphic settings.
    In example there is slider to limit effects of other players, no matter if its max or min I still got exactly the same look on other players and exactly same FPS around them. Like wtf is that?

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who has issues with FPS/ CPU load.. I thought maybe it was not optimized for a quadcore or something? Even so, D3 ran really crappy for me too. Ironically PoE which is way more polished than D3 runs great on max settings, as well as Torchlight 2. I’m not a programmer, but I think maybe it has something to do with how the games are programmed. >.<

      • Badly optimized games are horror of current years. Developers dont care about players and they give system requiements that dont even fit the game at all. Minimum system requiements means that game should run wery smoothly, just as the cost of lowering quality. Thu in games you can have above lowest requiements, set everything on minimum and barely get 20 FPS.
        Its same what was with Skyrim on release. I could play it barely on minimum with 30FPS, that was horror with freezes time to time. After a while some player spoted big holes in the coding of how the games work with on directx. The diffrence was that after fix I can play Skyrim on 60 FPS with 4k HD textures with everything on max and mods that increase the graphic even more.
        So thats the diffrence between badly optimized game vs well optimized one. Marvel heros, I can asure you as old gamer, is superb badly optimized. Steam version sems to have even memory leak, basic problem that appear in only bad games.

        • So you are saying that Skyrim,Batman Arkham City,Remember me and many more games that have had memory leaks in the past(as for remember me it still has,but its not even a month out)are bad games,I think you are trollin.

      • You’re probably right on the optimization — my caveat is that my new video card died on my recently and I’ve had to use my older model, so I’m not quite the best person to judge performance, so I didn’t bring it up at all. Still, other than one Venom fight where there were about 50 players on-screen, I haven’t noticed anything crippingly bad.

  14. Allright ladies and gentlemen I have a friend that played to around level 30+ haven’t spent a dime on the game and still get a kick out of it. you can craft some stuff that makes u look different and if your lucky you can get everything the Cash shop sells as drops. they are rare but hey if u wanna go totally free u need to work for it right 🙂

    All in all i must say that this game is better then D3 for instance and offers more content then D3 and D2 together. that the team behind D2 actually made this game makes it a must play for any diablo fan out there.

    My suggestion is to try it out and have a look a Warning doh the download speed for the client is the worst ever.

    All in all the game gets a good 7/10 from me basically because there are some issues with the CPU and GPU usage of this game but with the newest drivers you can run it steady on recommended settings. Also i might add that the controls are kinda setup weird but you can change the layout

    • “My suggestion is to try it out and have a look a Warning doh the download speed for the client is the worst ever.”

      Self-defeating statement, in my eyes. It never bodes well if they have a hard time giving you the game, let alone getting you to play it. And furthermore, getting you to pay for it.

      Moral of the story: if it has trouble downloading, it doesn’t really want to be played or paid. “No- it’s just hard to download because a lot of people are playing it.” Yeah, I’m sure.

  15. the ui is retarded, the mechanics are so dull you will fall asleep, the chat system is the worst one ive ever seen, great graphics?.. dont make me laugh son

    repetitive in a very very bad way and totally unrewarding

    unless you are a diehard marvel fan, avoid this failure

  16. Sad to see a lot of trolling here. The review was pretty spot on IMO. This is a game for times when you want to run around as a Marvel hero and kill villains; it has no depth, no complexity and requires little skill. And that seems to me absolutely fine. There are plenty of games out there with depth, complexity and much higher skill requirements. Another plus is that (so far) the downloading/entrance to the game has been, for me, near flawless. No-one is going to claim this is one of the great games but if you are a Marvel fan and you want some brainless cheap entertainment for a few hours it works wonderfully well.

  17. HawkeyeI cant understand why so many ppl dont like this game.I have been playing this fron past December and I like it alot.Yes,it can be monotonous,but it is a Diablo clone what did you expect.The graphics are great and the controls are not that bad either.Whats wrong with the controls,plz inform me.Also the drop rate may be painful,but I have found 2 heroes so far,storm and cpt. America,yeah I have played this game for more than 30 hrs and yes I have bought a starter pack,wirh which I got Spiderman,Cyclopes and Jean Grey,with 2 skins for Spiderman and 3 for the other two and all of that for only 16€.So I have Spiderman,Cyclopes,Jean Grey,cpt. America,Storm,Hawkeye and DareDevil(the last 2 you can get for free through story,not only by drops),so 6 heroes and 12 skins and I paid once 16€.Ofcourse now you cant buy the starter packs with the offer that I bought it,but if I got two hero drops within 30 hrs,you cannot say that the drops are so low.Also you can put items to your hero with % special chance that will increase your chance of getting a drop faster,ir always helps.

      • I didnt say that,I was trying ro say that this game is good and fun to play,thats all.The part that I said I “payed for it”,was only to let ppl know that by playing this game without paying you can still get numerous heroes for free

  18. $6-$12 for a hero? That seems a bit much considering in ARPGs characters are generally lackluster and it’s more about the action than the character or the customization itself. Considering there are mmos with higher production values running at $15 for a monthly fee (and a lot more substantial value) I can’t see the prices flying–well, unless they’re aiming for the less discerning customer’s wallet. Not fond of the idea of finding heroes as super rare drops; that basically equates it to “Pay us or grind and HOPE you get to try something new”. I think I’ll just stick to hybrid mmos that have subscription least at $15 I know I don’t get jipped.

  19. ) Told ya. They took such a great title for the game, and BAM! released this bs game. And you saw that prices don’t ya? For “Founder” packs…omg. At least if there were proven facts that this game will not suck, I maybe even bought one…but it was just a insurance for the upcoming fail, based on naive (or rich, or both) gamers. It was awful from start… Honest opinion from person who tried that. And yes, it filled with anger because they fcked up title.

  20. I think that everyone should try it , I mean it is free to play without a pay to win influence…. I mean hey Its not the best by far and some times the controls are clunky and the ui has no chance to get better 🙁 BUT all in all very fun time waster……. just think of all the crap that has came out in the last few months, this is a great go to when my main games are down…..

    • Excellent point. In fact it would be great if MMOBomb did a Top5 ‘go to’ games! These would be games that you could go to when yr main game/s are down or when you just want to play without thinking. The requirements as to what would make a Top5 are so different from what normally count. Number 1 is simplicity – of UI, gameplay etc. – no possibility of making some kind of wrong choice (of character/skill etc.) which you could regret weeks (or months) later.

      Then you must be able to pick it up straight away. Even a comparatively simple game like Vindictus takes me a couple of hours to get back into because of the pace (ok I am very slow! but I think the point holds). In a way Marvel’s limited UI becomes a strength here.

      So once you start to think about it in this way weaknesses can become strengths.

      Any other good ‘go tos’ ?

  21. So bad, so very bad tell the 3 million plus people that are currently still playing to log off cause its so bad so very bad. Bad Marvel Heroes you suck! Loading on my steam to play cause its so bad!

  22. this review is for april 1st ?
    its simply awful.. most boring game ever made, terible controls chat everything


  23. The people bashing this game are those unfamiliar with what ARPGs are. Its so hard to grasp the concept that the ONLY point and objective in an ARPG is to kill and pick up loot, kill more stuff and pick up loot that’s all there is too it.

    • More like the people bashing this game are those familiar with ARPGS and what to expect from them. This game is horrible, no polish at all.

      • There is no difference in gameplay or anything between this and say, Path of Exile. You know what the difference is? Path of Exile trumpeted its pedigree, this game didn’t.

        This is probably one of the best looking, if not best looking, ARPG in a long time, much better looking than PoE or D3.

        You need to get off your bloody high horse of “You guys just don’t know what a good game is” and admit that sometimes people disagree with you.

        • “Best looking ARPG in a long time”

          Not that I agree at all but, this clearly states where your mind is at, OHH SHINY GRAPHICS!!

          A game for mere simpletons, that’s what it is. Enjoy.

          • Cool graphics are cool no matter what you say, people will still love them and it will still pull people in for the cash, its business buddy, its fact and you can’t even appreciate the detailed hard work the graphic designers had to do, graphics ain’t everything but its not something YOU(Ray) simpletons could understand and gameplay isn’t everything either. I’ve seen plenty of games with awesome gameplay but with poor graphics or just not up to par and it just gets unnoticed and lose popularity easily because of its poor graphics. Its sad but its a fact.

          • @Itstheworld- “detailed hard work”? Really? MUA2 had better gfx, and that is an old game by these standards.

            Also, the models looked like they were made with the Saint’s Row:The Third character creator. Seriously, I’m pretty sure I was running around still water as Black Widow WAY before this game came out.

            But if you can’t be honest that this game is, potentially, crap- we can’t have an honest discussion. And I loved MUA+MUA2 (360 version)- despite the latter’s letdown. Compared to those, this looks like garbage. If only they made this into what MUA2 shoulda been- that Mutant Civil War coulda been great.

  24. Such a boring game, i dunno who paid the writer for this review!
    after 20 minutes i got totally bored of it, the UI and controls are so bad

    • No one paid anyone. Jason approached me and asked if he could review it since he was enjoying himself. Even if you feel the ARPG market is saturated (or if you think ARPGS are just boring in general) that doesn’t mean the game lacks polish. It shows in many areas although I do feel the auto attacks are at times lacking.

      • Just take a look at all comments, no one really likes this game, there was a review link on their steam page too, this game is horrible. no matter what you say, now go make some video about it and do your job , call it an AMAZING game, they will pay you ( or your friend) more for it!
        really sorry for mmobomb, it turned into a whole different thing during past months, if it wasn’t for the forum members i wouldn’t check it at all.

        • I guess we aren’t allowed to have different opinions in this day and age hmm? If you watched my first look of the game I was actually fairly critical of its flaws, but I noted what it did alright. Different people different viewpoints. The site didn’t turn into anything, you just read something that was different than your opinion.

          • Excuse me, “Meh”, but I happen to enjoy this game. There are millions of trolls out there looking for their 4 seconds of fame (given that’s how long it takes to read their comment), posting short little explosive “OMG THIS GAME SUCKS”, yet never actually saying why or how. Then there are folks like me. I entered this game knowing what it was. I didn’t expect the 2nd coming of Jesus Nintendo Entertainment System. I enjoyed it for it’s simplicity, it’s fun, it’s crazy special effects, and it’s respect for the world it was placed in, while having it’s own ideas.

            You’re welcome to scream, whine, and cry about how evil this game is. Anyone who enjoys this game is OBVIOUSLY being paid to enjoy it… even though I spent $20 of my money on Ms. Marvel. I will however say this: Give it a month or two and it’ll be just as good, if not better, than Diablo 3. And yes, I’m talking about Diablo 3 without an auction house, since that’s the one feature babyfit throwing basement dwellers seem to grind their face into their keyboard and babble like angry mental institute patients about (frankly, I thought it was just fine, since Gold finally had a use).

        • People would rather view positive and unbiased reviews, rather then negativity and trash comments such as yours. People read your comment, and think “Wow, this guy sounds like someone who I would never want to game with or associate with”. Just because you don’t like a game, doesn’t mean it’s a bad game. Your opinion will just get thrown in the garbage with the rest of the angry biased comments, and no one will bat an eye.

  25. How much did you get paid to write a possitive review of this junk game? It’s a disgrace for ARPGS and if it wasn’t in Marvel universe nobody would care about it…

    • “Marvel Heroes is basically Diablo…The game makes no apologies for this…

      …Gameplay is, well, typically Diablo-like…

      …Naturally, the action can get a little monotonous, as you slay countless mobs, pick up drops, and repeat ad infinitum…

      …a 10-man “raid”… with so many special effects, I could barely differentiate friend from foe

      … the lack of customization and individuality…”

      I’d say he did pointed out the most pushing problems which could turn a player away from the game given these stuffs bug them.


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