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Marvel Rivals: First impressions are positive, with a catch

The first impressions of Marvel Rivals are here, but a harsh creator contract has curtailed opinion.
marvel rivals pvp shooter game

Marvel Rivals codes are in the wild, with creators across social media now playing through the Overwatch-like, and sharing first impressions online. There is a major catch with these early details, however, as it appears NetEase has issued a creator contract that strictly prevents “subjective negative reviews of the game” and discourages “malicious comparisons with competitors or belittling the gameplay or differences of Marvel Rivals.

The terms of this contract, which appears to have been issued to all early players of the game, were first shared by Brandon Larned on Twitter / X. In the post, Larned called the contract disappointing, and claimed “Multiple creators asked for key codes to gain access to the playtest and are asked to sign a contract. The contract signs away your right to negatively review the game. Many streamers have signed without reading just to play.”

Since the reveal, Larned’s post has gone viral, with countless voices criticising NetEase and Marvel Games for attempting to prevent negative opinions about the game from being shared. The backlash has been so severe that NetEase has actually now apologised for its contract, recently confirming to PCGamesN that a new one will be drawn up.

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

“The contract is a draft version aiming for long-term cooperation with the creators who are interested in Marvel Rivals,” NetEase said. The company has reportedly now “realised the inappropriate and misleading” nature of the contract, and will revise it to ensure creators can share their feedback accurately.

It appears the new contract and NDA terms haven’t been locked in just yet, but that hasn’t stopped creators from sharing their early impressions online.

In posts on Twitter / X, many creators are sharing enthusiasm for the PvP shooter, with video clips showing off neat abilities – like Doctor Strange’s capacity to create portals that can throw heroes across the game’s map. Other players have also expressed enthusiasm about particular heroes, like Black Panther – who seems to share a gameplay style with Overwatch‘s Genji.

So far, players have also praised the game’s key art and overall style, with characters including Scarlet Witch, Storm, and Rocket Raccoon getting their fair share of the love.

While these impressions need to be taken with a grain of salt, given NetEase’s initial contract terms and the limited nature of the Marvel Rivals alpha, based on gameplay footage, it does appear Marvel Rivals has potential to be something special. For now, we await firmer impressions and previews from players, but in the meantime, there’s already quite a few reasons to keep an eye 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.