This article has been archived and may have some errors due to a previous design of MGL. None of the review has been altered however. Freemium games are at times not something that I personally enjoy, however when I heard about a Marvel beat em up that was a ‘Free to Play’ freemium game I had to give it a go.
The Collector has summoned Marvel heroes and villains to fight the mighty Kang the conqueror. That is really the extent to the story line here, the game is made up of several acts which each contain a few chapters. Each chapter has 6 levels with various different paths to take and several different fights. Each level tells a small portion of the story but there honestly isn’t much of one and although it was made with a top Marvel writer its not really in the same league as other fighting games and no where near the standard of a top Marvel storyline.
However where this game shines is it in variation of characters you get the usual of Cap, Thor, Hulk and Spidey but this game includes characters that to my knowledge have not been used very often by Marvel such as Vision, Rhino, Drax and Captain Marvel. This is what I love about this game however your choice of character does not effect the story unfortunately.
So although Contest of Champions is a Free to Play game and you can access all the games features without paying a single penny a lot of the game you do have to pay for to progress quicker or to unlock that character that you really want. However I would not recommend paying for anything, if you take you time with this game you can pretty much get everything overtime anyways so whats the point.
Characters cost money, the more powerful a character the more expensive weak characters are 50 credits(do not buy the cheaper characters its a waste of money) and for the chance to gain a strong character it costs 100(essential for later levels). These are earned by completing chapters and gaining a 100% exploration rate in levels. On top of this every 24 hours you get a free character these can be the same one from time to time (I have had like 4 Hawkeyes already) but when you get the character you want its one of the best things ever(I got Juggernaut last night!!!). Characters are unlocked at random its like putting a coin into a slot machine and where the pointer lands that’s what you get.
The fights are easy to control with movement and defensive controlled with the left hand side of the screen and offence is on the right. Finger swipes and taps are used to determine what actions you take with certain attacks breaking blocks and visa versa. Special moves depend on the characters level with the first move being the weakest and tends to be used by similar characters where as the later special moves are unique to the individual. The game itself is very easy in the first Act and most of you should be able to complete it without loosing a single fight, but for the other Acts you ideally need a level 3-5 star character to stand a chance. You can buy these if you really want (Deadpool is on offer at the moment) but with luck and patience you will get these in time. Each character also has a class Fighter, Mutant, Science etc…. each works well against certain types and is weaker against others a lot like Pokémon so getting the mix right is essential.
Multiplayer works well and the player finding system is great and easy to do, however you do get a lot of spam friend requests through Gamecentre and a lot of nonsense pops up in chat that I wish you could block, but its easy to ignore. I have had a few server problems causing fights not to load or the game to get stuck on the loading screen this is annoying but when the game works its quick and easy.
Graphics do look great, character design is spot on using the current looks of Marvel characters i.e. Storms Mohawk and they could not really have done a better job on the iOS it looks amazing. Levels are OK although they are very samey with it just essentially being the same level just with a different background design and although it technically has destructive environments you cant break through them.
Sound is where this game falls flat on its face, there are no voices at all, No grunts, roars or anything…. it really does not help when you are playing as the likes of the Hulk and he is as quiet as a mouse. With the story also being text based it made me not really care about what was happening. The music is the same kind of heroic adrenalin fuelled track going on and on which is OK but would have been nice to have different music for different levels.
Combat is very easy at first so yes it does get repetitive however the more time you put into it the more enjoyable it becomes. With tons of characters to unlock and level up this does add a lot of depth to the game although certain fighters are clones of others, Hawkeye and Punisher for example are essentially the same. There is a lot of Acts to play though over 50 at the moment with more coming soon and with the energy meter you can only move a certain amount of spaces during a period of time so it will make you come back for more. Plus with a new character unlocked every 24hours it is the first thing I do when I get home from work.
For a Freemium game Marvel Contest of Champions is well worth a download, early levels are easy to play and there is plenty of Marvel content for fans. I highly recommend this game for any age group but I would recommend disabling in-app purchases if you get this for a younger gamer as they are kind of in your face with the special offers and it would be very easy to order something.
Although not as in-depth as a lot of fighters there is enough to keep you busy over the holiday period and you don’t have to spend any money to play. And nothing beats the feeling of finally unlocking that character that you really wanted.