We’ve seen this same design sensibility before in previous character images of Wolverine, Cable, and Deadpool, but now it’s time to get to the real stars of the Marvel universe: the Avengers. Yes, the Thing is also one of the characters on display, but the real focus should be the designs of Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man.
Each carries a certain design sensibility that is much more cartoony than something seen in any of this year’s Marvel movie tie-ins. These Marvel characters actually look like they are ripped from the pages of the comics, rather than a real world interpretation.
Captain America, for example, dons the traditional winged, full-body suit that Marvel fans have come to know and love — this is no Marvel Studios reimagining. It actually feels like, although the game will be tied to the Marvel universe, the company let Gazillion give each character their own personality, at least visually.
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It’s actually pretty neat to see some of Marvel’s most iconic characters in a faux-360 view, but it’s unfortunate that there isn’t any more context provided in the way of scenery, enemies, etc. So far, all we know about Marvel Universe Online are some brief story points (Dr. Doom is the villain) and that head writing duties belong to Brian Michael Bendis, a true veteran of the Marvel Comics world.
There’s certainly a significant amount of risk involved with Marvel Universe Online, especially after DC Universe Online failed to deliver and ended up having to go free-to-play (a move that has paid off with a huge jump in members). Marvel Universe is trying to cut out that failure by going free-to-play out of the gate, and has a substantial advantage by allowing players to play as, not with, their favorite superhero characters, but it's still risky with Star Wars: The Old Republic scratching that new MMO itch. We’ll just have to wait and see how this whole thing comes together.
What do you think of the character designs for Thor, the Thing, Captain America, and Iron Man in Marvel Universe Online? How would you like to see Gazillion separate this MMO from DCUO?