‘Marvel Heroes’: Developer Talks Balance

'Marvel Heroes' developer Gazillion focused on balance

Marvel Heroes developer Gazillion says it’s focusing on keeping the game balanced.

When you make a videogame based on Marvel Comics, you’re expected to provide an experience that’s true to the lore of a storyline that people have kept track of for decades. However, that’s the responsibility that comes with the power of one of the most marketable franchises in history.

Gazillion is being challenged with ignoring canon just enough to focus on making each Marvel Heroes character as formidable as the rest. Every major character has powers that may be technically more impressive than others, but it can’t feel that way in the game. Thor (God of thunder) can’t feel obviously more powerful than Daredevil (blind lawyer with ramped-up senses), even though in canon, they are very obviously different levels of strength.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance had the same expectations about it, and both of those games did it well. In the end, Hulk didn’t feel superior to Spider-Man or vice versa.

The main story of Marvel Heroes centers around five characters including Spider-Man and Wolverine, all iconic characters. A short motion comic shows the story in progress with the five characters, and the others will always be just off-camera for these scenes. Marvel Heroes shares gameplay comparisons with Torchlight and Diablo III, other action RPG games that may have been inspirations.

Gazillion’s community director Stephen Reid said:

“Some of those games [like Diablo] have online modes, but none of them are fully online all the time like we are. So most of the game is played in large persistent public spaces. We have instances where you go in with your friends for story-based stuff, but those instances are relatively short. The difference for us is that you’re in a public combat zone with potentially dozens of people at once, so it’s a very different gameplay experience than the usual solo action RPG.”

As for the roster of Marvel Heroes, they say characters like Rocket Raccoon are indicative of how deep the lineup can go, and with DLC taking the spotlight in games lately, the sky is the limit.

How do you feel about Gazillion’s emphasis on balance for Marvel Heroes?