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EGM Preview:
Marvel: War of Heroes

Posted on August 6, 2012 AT 09:00am

Marvel may be surging this year due to an amazing run with mega-hit film The Avengers and comic book event Avengers vs. X-Men, but the company is also paying attention to another potential boost in its profile with the mobile gaming crowd. Teaming up with app platform Mobage, the comics publisher is launching a new digital trading card game, Marvel: War of Heroes.

Much like Transformers Battle, the focus of Marvel: War of Heroes revolves around collecting rare cards that can be pitted against other players in quick, pick-up-and-play online battles.

Touting new artwork from various sources within Marvel’s creative teams, the digital trading card app will also host “hundreds” of heroes and villains from the publisher’s extensive collection of series. Six exclusive cards were shown to us at a recent Mobage press event in San Francisco, dedicated to four Marvel superheroes: Iron Man, Black Widow, X-Men member Storm, and Thor.

Collecting your favorite superheroes may the main focus of the game, but the developers wanted to give players multiple reasons for mixing and matching specific cards. Seven levels of “rarity” are appended to the various heroes and villains, and as you build your decks, you’ll be able to evolve each card’s “attack”, “defense”, and “skill” ratings.

Even duplicate cards won’t be a waste, since players can merge and evolve them to get more powerful sets. One example provided to us was with a basic “Black Widow” card—according to the team, combining two of them would yield a rarer, much stronger “Black Widow” card, shown to us with different (and sexier) artwork.

There’s even a rock-paper-scissors mechanic built-in with the PvP combat via an “affinity” system, giving heroes/villains with certain abilities a predetermined edge over others. No examples were given outright, but we assume that logical strengths and weaknesses, like Venom’s vulnerability to heat, may come into play.

Moreover, knowledge of comic book lore can give you deck bonuses. Much like the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance video games, teaming up related heroes and villains can raise your characters’ stats, encouraging players to pair up well-known teams like Spider-Man/Doctor Strange, or perhaps Deadpool/Wolverine.

Doing all of this will help players compete successfully against each other in one-on-one games and team skirmishes, but if your deck isn’t up to snuff, “Quest Line” missions will be provided for solo play practice, letting you level up your cards outside of PvP battles. Each quest will follow a narrative cribbed from popular Marvel comics arcs, although no specifics were noted at the event—but I’m hoping for a Civil War theme.

Marvel: War of Heroes will debut on the Mobage platform this fall (assumedly as a free title, if its other apps are any indication), for both Android and iOS devices, but you can check out a special reveal via http://mobage.com/marvel at 9 p.m., Pacific Standard Time.

McKinley Noble, Contributing Editor
McKinley Noble has been writing about video games for seven years as a blogger and journalist, with each job adding to his painstakingly alphabetized collection of retro gaming memorabilia. When not cracking jokes about the gaming industry, he's a talking encyclopedia when it comes to mixed martial arts and anything MMA related. Follow him on Twitter: @KenTheGreat1. Meet the rest of the crew.

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