At the end of last year, word got out that a Massively multiplayer online game featuring Marvel characters was in the works at Daybreak Game Company, the co-editor of MMOs such as DC Universe Online, The Lord of the Rings Online, and Dungeons & Dragons Online. Development was being led by City of Heroes designer Jack Emmert, but not much else was known about the project. And so this month, it was canceled so that Daybreak could roll out its resources on top of updates to its existing MMOs.
Now, an artist named Ramiro Galan, who claims to have worked on Marvel’s canceled MMO, has shared his work on his character creator (opens in new tab). “The emphasis was on rich, vibrant colors with stylistic undertones that pay homage to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” says Galan.
The screens show a player-character being designed, choosing a faction from four options (the X-Men, Avengers, SHIELD, and Fantastic 4), plus a superpower (in this case, electricity) and some customization.
The possibilities don’t seem as impressive as the ones they did creating a hero in City of Heroes so good. There are head builds and styles, with the example of Aladdin Sane’s lightning bolt to match his electrical powers, then clothing that alters his speed, power, and agility stats, but equates to just a t-shirt, pants, and sneakers. (Sneakers can also be customized.) Presumably the interesting gear, capes and masks and whatnot, would have been unlocked through the game or purchased from the store. There is a link to the store at the top of some of these screens.
Licensed superhero MMOs are a tricky proposition. You can let people play existing characters and accept the fact that you’ll end up with five Hulks running together, which Marvel Heroes did. Or you can have players create their own characters that will inevitably feel like second-strings compared to real heroes, which DC Universe Online has done. It seems that Marvel’s canceled MMO has chosen the second path.
While it’s a shame for the developers who undoubtedly worked hard on this project, it’s hard to feel like we missed out on too much. It doesn’t help that while the art style is described as an homage to Into the Spider-Verse’s bold cartoon look, it ties more closely to DreamWorks. The part at the end where you show your newly designed hero on the cover of issue #1 of your own Marvel comic book is a good idea.
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See More information: Marvel Heroes Could Have Been The Game Marvel’s Avengers Wish It Was