Marvel Future Revolution Review – Is It Pay-To-Win
Marvel Future Revolution premiered on August 25 for mobile devices. It’s the sequel to Marvel Future Fight, also for iOS and Android devices.
Developer Netmarble clarifies the game has a live-service design. They promise to release new content for years to come, free of charge. Their post-launch map is full of characters, content, quests, missions, and features.
So, my goal is to tell exactly what this game is.
In 2020, Crystal Dynamics released Marvel’s Avengers, a disappointing live-service hack & slash sort of game. The game has an average of below 1,000 players monthly on Steam, so we could say it wasn’t very popular.
Nevertheless, we’re going to give the franchise another try to impress us with a video-game iteration.
Also, 2021 is the year with the most Marvel Cinematic Universe content ever, so fans are probably expecting a decent Avengers-like game.
If you’re out of the loop, the Spiderman: No Way Home trailer came out on August 23. The movie tampers with the multiverse concept, and so does this game.
Let me start by stating the obvious: this game looks good. But just as it looks good, it can make any Android or iOS device sweat.
The eye-candy and comic-accurate character models take a toll on your device. Even a decent mid-range phone can struggle, so it’s safe to say Future Revolution doesn’t have the best optimization.
If your mobile device is not up to the highest standards, there’s an in-game menu that lets you tweak the graphics further. In Particular, you can swap between low, medium, and high. However, there’re extra options, like frame rate, shadow display, and FX level.
What is Marvel Future Revolution?
Future Revolution is an open-world action RPG, a deep promise for mobile devices. The game is ambitious, but it’s somehow limited by the platform. What I mean is controllers can only get so through a smart device screen.
Be that as it may, you can play as one of the eight available heroes: Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Star-Lord, Storm, and Doctor Strange.
To unlock a new hero, you’ll need to complete the hero’s unique missions. These missions are the best part of the game. They are distinct from anything else Future Revolution has to offer.
Additionally, Marvel Future Revolution is free-to-play. Naturally, Netmarble has added a hefty amount of micro-transactions to support the title.
The game has a fairly long single-player campaign. Marvel writer Marc Sumerak took care of the plot. He created a story arc about “The Convergence,” an event where multiple alternate Earths collide simultaneously.
As with most Marvel video games, Future Revolution starts strong. The multiverse is about to collapse, and heroes must prevent a catastrophe.
Fun and Simple Story Arc
Story-wise, Marvel Future Revolution is quite good. It isn’t impressive by any means, but it can keep you engaged.
The story comes to you in the form of quick events, short cinematic cuts, and the missions you complete.
However, I can understand if you don’t feel a part of the plot, you’re more of a passenger. But because a Marvel writer was in charge of the narrative, it takes inspiration from the New Avengers series.
During the series, Earth 616 heroes find a way to stop the Convergence. Both stories feature a similar ending: they are successful. Still, they must fit pieces of different Earths together to create a new world. As a result, each Earth has alternate versions of events, heroes, and villains.
The game kicks in with a cinematic cut, showing heroes dealing with the Convergence. Soon enough, the game displays one of its features, which is quick-time events. During many cuts, the game will ask you to swipe to do the corresponding action.
You’d be playing with various heroes during the linear prologue. But the game will shower you with tutorials, micro-transactions, and cuts, so it can be hard to follow.
Anyhow, you’ll choose your hero after the prologue to continue the story. These heroes make the Omega Flight team.
Here’s the story trailer video:
A Villain for Every Hero
The main enemy of the game presents itself during the first minutes: M.O.D.O.K. His goal is to destroy the second Earth to save the “original” planet.
However, there’re various antagonists. Nemeses include Red Skull, Loki, Thanos, and Ultron.
As for regions, the game includes New Stark City, Midgardia, Xandearth, Sakaar, and the Hydra Empire. These are open areas, unlike the prologue. Each area has its enemy types, boss villains, missions, and, of course, loot.
In particular, these areas have their own questlines, and you’ll explore these questlines during the campaign chapters.
For example, the Hydra Empire area features an alternative Earth where Hydra won World War II. Because of the Convergence, the USA became Hydramerica, and you must find Captain America to stop the Red Skull.
On Xandearth, survivors of Thanos’ war across the Galaxy created a refugee for themselves on Earth.
On Saakar, the tyrant ruler Maestro leads their people to survive in a savage desert.
There’s also Midgardia, the place where Asgardians settled on Earth after Ragnarok.
Finally, there’s New Stak City, Tony Stark, and Hank Pim are looking for a solution to the Convergence. Here’s where you’ll find the Omega Flight Headquarters, where heroes of different dimensions came together.
Overall, the game might not have a deep story, but it’s fun. More importantly, it comes with a thrilling rooster of Marvel enemies and heroes.
Standard hack&slash mobile gameplay
If you’ve played Marvel Future Fight or any other mobile hack&slash game for that matter, you’d know exactly how this goes.
You’ve got your movement on the left of the screen and the action on the right. There’s the main attack button on the right of the screen and then several smaller buttons for your skills.
On top of that, you’ve got two buttons for quick items, plus a button for a special ability. As you’d expect, the special charges up as you defeat enemies.
More importantly, each hero features distinct pre-animated combo attacks plus an Ultimate ability.
Here’s an official gameplay trailer:
The gameplay would work best on a controller, though. Because buttons cover a huge chunk of the screen, it’s easy to make mistakes and press the buttons you don’t want to press.
Luckily, the game has controller support. You can plug an Xbox, PS5, or any other mobile-compatible controller.
On the downside, heroes are slow, camera controls are clumsy, and damage markers are all over the place. These elements make battle information hard to read. Dodge, damage, and similar markers make it difficult to see your character’s health bar.
As I said, though, the game is limited by the platform. A mobile screen is too tight for the amount of information an RPG game can throw at you during combat.
That’s the “bad” part of the combat. The other side is how the skills look smooth and impressive. In particular, the pre-animated combos and special attacks are the best parts of the game. More importantly, each character feels unique and has plenty of customization options.
RPG Open-world Features
There’s also the RPG element. You fight enemies for loot and experience. As you level, you gain the ability to level up a skill. You use “Crystals” to level the skills from a roster of options you can map on your action buttons.
For better or worse, paying in-game currency to upgrade skills is common on free-to-play mobile RPGs.
Still, you don’t have to think about character builds that much. It’s all a matter of upgrading the skills you like the most. That’s because the game is not too challenging. Enemies have high HP bars, but they hardly move or fight you with strategy or special abilities.
As for the open-world design, it means there’re various open areas in the game. You follow the main quests and then receive more missions from random NPCs on each map. It allows you to explore a large world while completing the main quest and the side quests.
The open-world design grants a fair amount of freedom. Also, the developers will add further areas to explore in future updates.
The next major RPG feature is the ability to customize your characters. It’s one of the best aspects of the game.
In essence, you can unlock armors for your characters. These armors reward buffs and aesthetics. You can pair different items to make your heroes more resilient, stronger, and better-looking.
There’re currently 400 million costume combinations. These include parts and hundreds of themes for each part.
Below is a video of the developers talking about character costume customization. Their looks recreate iconic comic, TV, or movie looks. Otherwise, you can customize parts to your liking.
Is Marvel Future Revolution Pay-To-Win?
The new Marvel Future Revolution has the distinct characteristics of previous Netmarble games. There’re “pay-to-win” elements.
In essence, you can get the game’s main currency, Crystals, through missions, exploration, and combat. Almost everything you buy needs Crystals.
So, Marvel Future Revolutions does something most games of its kind do. That is slowing your progress after a certain level by making everything too expensive.
You can always go to the store and buy Crystals with your real money, though. And there’s an overwhelming amount of micro-transactions available.
For example, you need to buy various “Hero Slots” to have more characters available in your rooster. You even have to buy the action slots for your skills.
Yet, you can play the game, for hours and hours, without Netmarble forcing your wallet. You will earn in-game currency by naturally playing the game, and if you’re a casual player, you’ll see no problem with this.
You could also go to the micro-transaction store simply for aesthetic items, and there’s plenty to choose from. As I said, the customization feature is amazing.
Like most mobile games, you can access the micro-transaction interfaces menu on the game’s hub, the Omega Flight. Similarly, you can access all of the available menus there as well.
Another way to upgrade your character is through specializations. You unlock specializations on raids, one of the multiplayer modes. Other multiplayer modes include Blitz, Omega War, and the Dimension Duel.
Raids, Operations, and Blitz, are 4-player co-op missions. Operations are the distinct mode as it has various modes in itself. It’s a series of super-hero activities that range from defending a position to rescuing civilians.
Then, Omega War features 10v10 PvP. However, PvP will put you against people who spend real money or more money than you. It’s not going to be fun if you’re at a disadvantage. Also, the game is not ready to pit 20 players in a single arena.
Lastly, the Dark Zone is arena 1v1 battles. It has the same potential problems I said below. Performance-wise, though, these are smooth, fluid, and entertaining.
That said, Marvel Future Revolution works as a semi-MMORPG game. Outside of the missions, you’re inside of the Omega Flight helicarrier, where you can see other players running around with you. You can add these players to your friend list or engage in multiplayer activities with them.
Lastly, you go into the story missions through the carries. These missions come to you in the form of chapters and, by the way, you can autoplay your way to the end.
This game might not be for people who don’t like live-service games. If you think the Marvel franchise deserves a proper RPG title, you may not like Marvel Future Revolution.
Still, we have to agree on something. This game is free-to-play, and it offers way more than what we expect from a free-to-play game.
The game has a lengthy game campaign with iconic villains and heroes. The gameplay might not be the holy grail of mobile games, but it’s just as good as you would expect for the platform. Also, graphics and animations are superb.
Then, growing your characters is engaging enough. There’re millions of customization options plus multiple skills to try and upgrade.
Lastly, the co-op modes are the best part of the game. These multiplayer activities are engaging, challenging, and fun.
Overall, Marvel Future Revolution has a lot of promise. Despite some clunky action and its overwhelming micro-transaction store, it’s a fun hack & slash live-service game.