Updated Mon, Dec 17, 2012 by jeffprime
Every zone has a waypoint that unlocks when you walk on it. Once a waypoint is unlocked, you can instantly travel there from any other waypoint. Once I finished the introductory mission and defeated the Green Goblin, the action really took off as I continued the storyline into Hell's Kitchen, home of Daredevil and the Kingpin. Hell's Kitchen is a public combat zone, which means it's a sprawling randomized zone literally swarming with enemies, bosses, and side missions.
Marvel Heroes revolves around its Diablo-style combat and it really delivers. I had a blast mowing down evildoers. Most of the enemies you face will be the minion/henchman type and there are hordes of them. Villains serve as bosses, and they'll easily put a hurt upon you. I teamed up with another hero and it took multiple attempts on our part to take down Electro, who was lording around a park in Hell's Kitchen.
While I primarily used my basic attack (which I bumped up my ranks in) when facing one or two opponents, I would switch to my barrage attack or shotgun blast when facing a swarm of bad guys. If an opponent was tougher than normal, I would use my bazooka power to smite him. What makes combat even more fun is that many items are destructible, so you can shoot a car while an enemy is next to it and the explosion will take him out. If you want to feel bad ass, you can pick up the car and throw it at him. (I kept doing this while I was testing out The Thing.)
If you want lots of action, then Marvel Heroes should be up your alley. Here are two tidbits that got me pumped. While I was working my way through Hell's Kitchen, I noticed that a sewer cover was highlighted a bit. I clicked on it and I was suddenly ambushed by a swarm of ninjas from The Hand. At first, there were only four or so, but they kept coming and I kept plugging away, loving every second. Later on, deeper into the zone, I activated an action where an NPC popped up talking about whittling down The Hand. I soon realized I had to face down a horde of 100 ninjas. There was a literal counter going as wave after wave came at me, only to be gunned down by my brutal firepower. I felt like a Viking god of old surrounded by a sea of ninja bodies when the smoke cleared.
Your hero comes with a base appearance. If you want a different look, there are 2 to 3 options per character in the shop at the present time with more options likely for launch. You can swap between heroes at any time. Your missions are not character-centric, but rather account-centric. You can enter a zone as the Punisher, switch to the Hulk, and then switch back to the Punisher when you get to the entrance of an instance. However, each character levels independently.
All in all, I was impressed with what I saw in Marvel Heroes. While there are areas to be worked on (it's still closed beta), the gameplay is addictive and fun. You'll be constantly on the lookout for better gear for your hero, and the game has the potential for nonstop action. Who wouldn't love Diablo-style mayhem set within the Marvel Universe? As The Thing says, "It's clobberin' time!"