Spider-Man Far From Home hit theaters recently and proved to be a great Marvel movie and an awesome sequel to the beloved first part – Homecoming. My theater-going experience was pleasant yet it felt like something was missing.
Upon further pondering on my way home this ‘something’ revealed itself to me as the experience of coming home to a new update to the game Marvel Heroes Omega featuring new content based on the movie which had been routine for me since 2014. A routine which was forcibly ended by an early server shutdown in late 2017 due to Disney severing ties.
What kind of game was Marvel Heroes Omega?
Marvel Heroes was an online ARPG very similar to Diablo 3 with a vast selection of playable superheroes and villains with unique playstyles, lots of different open-world map hubs with countless secrets to explore and as mentioned before: a steady stream of updates and content additions tying in with recent movie releases and comic events.
Being based on a free-to-play model this game managed to be accessible to everyone with a solid internet connection and 26 GigaBytes of hard drive space at the cost of premium costumes added to the game for which one would have to pay for with real-world-currency. They, however, would not add any benefit in gameplay, simply enrich the roleplaying experience as there were outfit changes provided for every single Iron Man armor we ever got to see in the movies for example. ‘Enhanced Costumes’ would even come with different voice lines and animations as they portrayed different characters who had the same power sets as the hero the costume was for. Got tired of playing Thor? Try out the horse-faced alien called ‘Beta Ray Bill’, a fan of the Young Avengers comics? Play as Wiccan instead of Scarlet Witch!
As a fan of obscure comic books as well as an MCU admirer, this game filled all my needs. There were huge events whenever a movie would drop: a big Ultron raid you’d have to team up with your alliance to beat, an extra quest based on the events of Civil War where you’d ultimately have to pick a side et cetera as well as the ability to play as vastly unknown and obscure characters such as Angela, Squirrel Girl and Nova. The latter of which was my favorite one to play out of all over 50 available playable characters.
Remembering the great times I had in the game I can’t help but wonder how the state of the game would be like now, in 2019, if the servers hadn’t shut down two years prior. There would be grand quests about new movies such as Far From Home, Ant-Man and the Wasp and of course Infinity War and Endgame. There would be new skins to fit those new releases alongside new characters and companions. I’m sure there would be fixes to problems and gripes players had with the game such as questionable changes to endgame progression (no pun intended) and movement system.
A painful death of a game
While describing the shutting down of the servers of your favorite game an analogy that comes to mind is one of a break up with a romantic partner – and the break up with Marvel Heroes Omega was an ugly one. While a few days before the shutdown the now-defunct developer studio Gazillion reduced prices in the in-game store drastically so that everyone got to try out the heroes, costumes, companions and other goodies they would never have enough time to grind for players were not consoled and would soon flood the developers with demands for refunds for in-game purchases only a minor fraction of which would be granted.
I myself have been struggling with a Marvel-Heroes-Omega-sized hole in my heart as well. While games like Marvel Ultimate Alliance are based on the same source material and look superficially similar they fall flat in terms of RPG and ARPG elements and games like Diablo and Path of Exile feature very similar gameplay they lack our beloved superheroes.
Will Marvel Heroes Omega ever be revived?
Maybe. Trion previously acquired the assets of the game but never expressed interest in either reconstructing, restoring or reviving the game. After the sale of all assets to gamigo, no one knows what, if anything, the future holds. Sadly private servers are also out of the question since most of the game files and assets were handled server-side with no one except for the owner/publisher having access to them.
The head of development David Brevik himself stated in an email interview with the GameSpace team that “Sadly the game is gone. I miss it too.” In the same interview, Brevik went on to describe the ARPG as “A project I spent 7 years of my life on [that] no one will play again. It’s a bummer.”
A bummer indeed – but there is hope with Marvel movies being as successful at the box office as they are right now and fans still posting Let’s Plays from back in the day on YouTube we could see a revival sometime in the future.