Is Marvel Rivals Just Another Overwatch Clone? Here’s My Verdict After Playing

Preview Marvel Rivals, Overwatch clone or real nice surprise? I played it and I have an answer!

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First revealed a few months ago, Marvel Rivals has been a game that has been intriguing since its announcement. Developed by NetEase, the title takes the hero shooter format democratized by Overwatch to decline it with the superheroes of the Marvel stable. As part of the Summer Game Fest, I was able to play it and it is clear that Marvel Rivals has an interesting proposition, but that certain things need to be reviewed before its launch.

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Since its announcement, Marvel Rivals has had quite a roller coaster ride. At the beginning, the NetEase title intrigued players with its proposal for a third-person multiplayer hero shooter type game, but with superheroes. If the gameplay promised to be effective, despite a huge resemblance to Overwatch 2, the title experienced a real bad buzz during the launch of its alpha version.

Content creators who could play it revealed that a clause in their agreement prohibited them from speaking ill of the game, which quickly led to anger from players on social media. Ultimately, NetEase reversed this decision, but the damage was already done. Despite all the controversies, what is Marvel Rivals really worth? During the Summer Game Fest, I was able to play it for about an hour to try out different characters and get a first impression on one of Overwatch's most serious competitors.

Did you say Overwatch?

Well, it's difficult to start talking about Marvel Rivals without mentioning Overwatch as it is more than largely inspired by it. Without surprise, the games take the form of a match between two teams of six players composed of characters with different roles, namely tank, DPS and support/healer. Each hero has a basic shot, sometimes a secondary one, in addition to one or more skills and obviously an ultimate ability which recharges over time. Each part is made up of a succession of three very short maps, each with a different objective., whether capturing a point or escorting a convoy. And yes, I'm still talking about Marvel Rivals and not Overmatch!

Despite these obvious similarities, the NetEase title still contains some originalities to stand out from the competition. First of all, Marvel Rivals features destructible environments so levels evolve throughout the game, but also prevent an opponent from hiding behind an element of the decor for example. Then, we find a team-up skill system that triggers based on the heroes present on the field, and obviously, these are characters who have affinities in the comics. Without too much surprise, Rocket Racoon is entitled to one of these abilities with Groot on whose back he can ride. I didn't have time to experiment with this feature during a game, but I imagine that it brings an additional layer of complexity to the gameplay.

Marvel Rivals, Overwatch clone or real nice surprise? I played it and I have an answer!

Visually successful, technically complicated

Okay, you get it, but Marvel Rivals is very similar to Overwatch, even in its hero archetypes and some of their abilities : Hulk works D.Va, Rocket heals like Zenyatta, Scarlet Witch does damage like Moira, the Punisher has a turret like Bastion, Groot creates walls like Mai… and the list goes on. But what makes NetEase's title really stand out? Well first of all by its visual part, because Marvel Rivals offers a magnificent artistic direction reminiscent of the comics and goes even further in the stylized side. The superheroes are treated to exclusive outfits and have been the subject of super detailed models and animations, making the experience very enjoyable to watch in the small details. What struck me in particular is the end-of-combat animations which are particularly successful, which always has a small effect.

However, during this play session, some flaws seemed quite obvious to me. If you have followed the title closely, you may have heard two major criticisms that have been made about it, and I must admit that I will also go in this direction. First of all, Marvel Rivals is currently suffering from performance issues, which is really damaging in a game that offers a competitive dimension.. Lags, slowdowns or even freezes: all of its problems can obviously be attributed to the alpha version and can be corrected by the official launch. I hope that it will be the same for the balance of the game because it is quite clear that not all heroes are in the same boat. Personally, I honestly felt that characters who fight at a distance like the Punisher had a huge advantage over those who fight in close combat like Spider-Man who is not as effective as a Genji from Overwatch despite the similarities. Hoping this will be fixed by then.

Our impressions

Marvel Rivals therefore promises to be an interesting title with its solid gameplay, certainly very inspired by Overwatch, but above all with its respect for the base material. Clearly, the artistic direction and the visual care given to each hero are the big assets of the experience. There remain unanswered questions such as its economic model, its content or even its progression system, but we hope to have answers during the next test phase of the game, whether public or private.

Editorial opinion

Promising

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