After two years of action, Marvel Strike Force has turned into a rather solid mobile experience. It’s essentially a fusion between chess and gacha game mechanics, with the meat and potatoes of its gameplay being a five on five clash of heroes and villains. Between the main campaign, Alliance Raids, Blitz battles and regular events, there’s a whole of battling to do every single day as you rack up points, orbs and new characters.
Heading into its third year, Marvel Strike Force is about to unleash its biggest new addition yet: Proper PVP. While you can regularly battle teams created by other flesh and blood players from across the world, the AI in charge of those Marvel mobs is usually a bit predictable. They throw strategy out the window, never truly using the crafted characters in front of them to devastating effect and rely on brute force to get the job done.
The new VS Battle mode will finally allow players to send their mightiest teams into real-time synced PvP battles, with a slight twist. Each player brings in their roster of unlocked characters, with their final team being determined by a draft that establishes their final five line-up. “We experimented with a lot of different drafting techniques, and we will likely develop a bunch of different kinds of drafting in the future because we found a bunch of fun ways to do it,” creative director Jason Bender said to Game Informer.
We’ll launch with a good, steady way to do it, and then we’ll get into more interesting ones over time. You can’t always build the same team, and you can’t rely on having access to all of these characters. So sure, you might want Captain Marvel, but if I ban Captain Marvel, you’re going to have to find an alternative for the structure you’re building.
And that introduces a whole bunch of new hybrid teams you haven’t had to worry about before. What happens if you get two-thirds of the way through building Asgardians and then I knock out Hela? What kind of drafting strategies are resilient when it comes to the other person trying to spoil it for you? These are really fun things to learn, and it always changes.
Come launch day for the mode, the stakes and the payouts will be low as developer FoxNext finetunes the experience. The eventual hope, is that VS. Battle mode will lead to some truly epic encounters with loot to match the scale of the battles. “We’re toying with launching with some achievements, just to encourage people to try the feature out,” game director Jonathan Durr explained.
We’ve got ideas on our side: doing rewards, doing leagues and tiers, and stuff like that; you could move through the ranks, battling people out. But you know, one of the things I’m also excited about doing, maybe much further down the road, would be events within the Alliance, where the Alliance has a tournament feature.
If you’ve got the mobile hardware that can run it, Marvel Strike Force is still surprisingly addictive stuff. The reward system feels great, unlocking new characters has now hit a nice balance between generous and earned, and the game still looks gorgeous even two years later. The last two years have seen tremendous growth for the title, and year three doesn’t look like it’ll disappoint at all.
Last Updated: April 6, 2020