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Marvel’s latest game is a free-to-play superhero PvP shooter

Marvel Games and NetEase have announced Marvel Rivals, a new Overwatch-like shooter.
marvel rivals pvp shooter game

Marvel Games and NetEase have officially revealed joint project Marvel Rivals, a new free-to-play PvP shooter starring some of Marvel’s most popular heroes. The game is currently in development for PC, and will begin Closed Alpha testing in May 2024. For now, there’s no firm release date – but there are plenty of details to analyse in the meantime.

As revealed, Marvel Rivals appears to take several notes from Overwatch, in the design and layout of its 6v6 battles. Players will work in teams to take down other players, wielding an array of special abilities to cause havoc on the battlefield.

The first batch of heroes for the game includes: Scarlet Witch, Loki, Namor, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Magneto, Magik, Storm, Spider-Man, Groot, Mantis, Punisher, Peni Parker, Luna Snow, Rocket Racoon, Star Lord, and Black Panther.

I’d also like to call out the inclusion of the Hulk / Bruce Banner separately, as they have a sweet-looking dynamic in the game. As shown off in gameplay footage, players will be able to travel as Bruce Banner wielding a ray gun (hopefully not charged with gamma rays), and then transform mid-battle into the Hulk for heavy-hitting melee attacks.

Magik appears to have a similar ability, as she’ll be able to transform into her demon form to wield new abilities in battle. We’ll have to wait to see how these heroes change up gameplay – but for now, they look very cool in action.

Read: Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 was crafted with reverence – Interview

Players will have access to a base array of heroes in the game, and will then be able to unlock new heroes as they complete battles, and earn experience. Given the game’s nature as a free-to-play game, we can also expect microtransactions in the form of new skins, collectibles, or new playable heroes.

In each round of the game, it appears players will be fighting for victory against a backdrop of familiar Marvel locations – including “multiverse” areas like the world of Marvel 2099. Each season will introduce new locations and new heroes, adding to the number of maps available to players, and hopefully keeping the action fresh.

Per story details, the loose framing device for Marvel Rivals is this:

“The merciless clash between the tyrannical dictator Doctor Doom and his future counterpart from the year 2099 has forced countless universes to collide in the Timestream Entanglement, creating new worlds and crises still unknown.

Now, Super Heroes and Super Villains from across the multiverse must fight together and against one another as disparate groups seek to defeat both Dooms before one achieves domination of these realities.”

Galactus also becomes involved in this plot at some point – although it should be noticed that he’s depicted as a cute girl here, which is unexpected and fun. Once you’ve been an incorporeal, gaseous cloud, you can be anything, really.

We’ll likely learn more about Marvel Rivals following its Closed Alpha tests in May 2024. Stay tuned for more on this upcoming game.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.