In lieu of an all-encompassing Marvel Games panel, this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego instead played host to one dedicated specifically to “Marvel Heroes 2015,” the free-to-play action-packed role-laying PC game from Gazillion Entertainment — which was probably for the best, given the figuratively speaking gazillion announcements the Gazillion gang made during the Friday night panel.
Hosted by game journalist and podcaster Jeff Canata, the panel featured Gazillion CEO David Brevik (best known as one of the creators of “Diablo”), creative designer and community manager Ryan Collins, game designer Bridget MacFarland, gameplay engineer Andrew Hair and senior social media manager Chris Baker.
To start, the panelists announced a $25,000 giveaway. “Not in-game money,” Brevik noted, “but real money if you find these golden tickets in the game, of which there will be five; they’re each worth $5,000.” And yes, Brevik admitted where he came up with golden ticket idea.
The next announcement was for a small event. “I know it’s a big surprise,” Brevik joked, “but we’re going to put Ant-Man in the game.” They then showed a video that showed the size-changing hero getting small, growing big, controlling ants and doing what can best be described as an “Ant-nado.”
Also announced, the game’s 50th playable character — War Machine. “It will be coming very soon,” Collins said, “sometime after Ant-Man. But he’s not like Iron Man. He has a really great turret. So much mini-gun.”
This was followed by Baker announcing four more upcoming playable characters — Blade, Kitty Pryde, Iron Fist and Black Cat — with a fifth to be chosen by the fans. Players can go to marvelheroes.com to pick between Green Goblin, Nick Fury, Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales, Magik and Wasp.
They developer is also adding a number of non-player characters to the game, including Carnage, Agent Venom and Spider-Gwen, the latter of whom will be voiced by Ashley Johnson, known for her work on “The Last of Us.”
Not content just to add new characters, there are plenty of new costumes arriving in the coming months. First up was Symbiote Rocket Raccoon, “and when you use it,” Brevik noted, “it summons Symbiote Groot.” Also getting new outfits are Jean Grey (whose new costume is based on Morrison’s “New X-Men” run), Cable, Juggernaut, Loki, as well as a Jane Foster Thor and an outfit for Squirrel Girl based upon her current “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl” series. Tying into current events of the comic book variety, Gazillion announced God Emperor Doctor Doom from “Secret Wars,” noting that it was already available for gamers.
From costumes to locales, there’s more of everything in “Marvel Heroes 2015.” The upcoming Danger Room addition features a number of different (and randomly generated) scenarios, as well as a revamped version of Limbo, now called Infernal Limbo.
Gameplay in “Marvel Heroes 2015” is also getting an upgrade in the form of leaderboards. “But they’re going to much friendlier than leaderboards in other games,” Brevik noted. The story will also undergo some changes including new enemies and reworking some parts they felt could work better.
The next chapter coming is the Marvel Games version of “Secret Invasion.” “Our mission team has gone nuts with this,” Hair said. “Like you might go talk to someone, but then, when you turn your back to them, BAM!, they’re a Skrull.”
With so many announcements, there wasn’t much time for questions, but the Q&A section did reveal plans an upcoming update to the game’s unique items. Soon players will be able to upgrade and customize these items, leading to new combat options.
Finally, a fan of “Runaways” asked if the fan-favorite team would be added to the game, to which Collins said, “It may take a while, but I love The Runaways, too.”
“Marvel Heroes 2015” is available now on PC and Mac.
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