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The superhero genre is one of those that you would think would be prime for the best video games out there, but for years, we’ve seen game studios struggle to really get the essence of said heroes into their games. Sure, there are exceptions like the Batman Arkham series or, more recently, Spider-Man PS4, but on the whole, it’s always been a genre that gaming has struggled to really grasp.
Whether nailing the character’s powers or the feel of the world, you never feel like they quite nail it, but in VR, all that changes. Now, with Marvel Powers United VR, you are the superheroes, and when you look down, you have their hands and access to their powers, and the feeling is something that kids probably dreamed of years ago, but now, it’s a reality.
The game is a fantastic immersive experience, but on the superhero end, that’s where you get the most bang for your buck. All the Avengers are ready to be controlled here, along with some awesome bonus characters as well, and it feels like you’ve been thrust right into the movies.
The game is a little more involved than you might expect for a first-time superhero experience in VR, and in my opinion, this game hasn’t got nearly as much hype as it should’ve. It’s already three years old, but for those itching for some super-powered fun, I strongly suggest you give it a shot. Let’s see what’s on tap in Marvel Powers United VR.
*Disclaimer: This server has been shut down. We are unsure if this is permanent or temporary, but this game is currently unavailable to play. Hopefully, it will get revamped, and people can play again.
Bottom Line Upfront
Marvel Powers United VR is an awesome VR experience that puts you in control of some of the most powerful superheroes in Marvel history.
This game will satisfy almost every power fantasy you could have in the Marvel Universe. Do you want Hulk’s strength? You got it. Everything you could possibly want to experience in Marvel can be done here. You’ve got 18 characters in total here to play with, though a handful of them are unlockable.
You have a training mode to get the hang of the combat system and nine different maps to play through. It’s not the longest game out there, but for what it aims to do, it gives you enough combat to keep you satisfied. You’ll be fighting against some of the biggest names in the Marvel catalog here, like Venom and Thanos.
You control heroes via different forms of movement, such as flying around like Doctor Strange or simply running and jumping via more human characters, like Captain America.
While I wished this game would’ve involved something story-wise that could drive us along, the game is essentially an arena-style combat game with nine different maps to choose from. There are different objectives to complete in each of the maps, so things don’t get too stale, and within each, you’ll be facing off against a solid collection of Marvel villains that puts most games using the Avengers name to shame.
If you were hoping for a long, story-driven game, that sadly isn’t going to be what you’re getting here. Instead, you have a Marvel power fantasy at your fingertips. It has tons of replayability because you can unlock so many different characters, with the majority of them feeling pretty different from each other.
The combat here is fast-paced, if not a little bit repetitive. You will have your virtual body completely look like they do in the movies and comics. That right away is just an incredible feature. Some heroes will be fighting via weapons like Wolverine and his claws or Captain America and his shield, but others like Doctor Strange will have access to magical powers.
You’re going to be battling with all manners of enemies throughout the nine different maps, and while most of it feels similar, the enemies do change, even though they’re rarely more than a nuisance. The real threats come from the named villains like Magneto and Venom, and these are the highlights of the game.
The powers of each character are unique, but they have classes to them. For example, most of the gun-focused characters like Deadpool, Black Widow, and Starlord all kind of feel similar. In contrast, the flying characters like Ice Man and Doctor Strange feel pretty similar too, but what sets them apart are their special abilities.
How Powers Work
Each character has a set of 5 powers, with one of them generally being used to either leap great distances or fly around. The rest of the powers vary wildly between characters. I’ll review a few of the most notable heroes and their powers here. Some are copies of the below heroes, with powers that are effectively the same, like Ice Man and Doctor Strange.
- Ice Shards– You can shoot these by pulling the trigger to shoot them quickly, or you can hold the trigger and fire a much more powerful but slower firing version.
- Ice Blast– This one requires you to put your hands together and hold both triggers on your controllers to shoot out a massive beam of ice. It’s one of the cooler-looking powers in the game, for sure.
- Ice Spikes– This one is pretty simple. You aim at the ground and then, in one motion, pull your hands up while pulling the trigger, and you will cause ice spikes to rise from the ground. This is one of the most immersive moves in the game because it feels like you’re actually creating them.
- Hail Storm– This is Ice Man’s ultimate attack and the most powerful one as well. No motions are needed here; just press X, and you’ll summon an impressive ice storm that deals major damage.
- Shield Throw– Unfortunately, all you can really do with Cap is attack with his shield, which kind of misses the point with him, in my opinion, but regardless, to throw the shield, you grab it off your back and then press the grip button and release it as you throw forward. It will return to your hand after you press the grip button again.
- Shield Lunge– This is the best bet for melee combat when playing as Captain America, and to do it, you use the lunge jumping technique while your shield is out.
- Deflect– This is done by holding your shield up before you. It will not only defend you but also deflect projectiles back at enemies as well.
- Patriot’s Duty– The ultimate for Cap is pretty bland here, and you activate it by pressing X, which gives you and your team a boost to the defense. Captain America deserved better in this game in general, and his ultimate attack speaks to that.
- Lightning Bolts– What’s the God of Thunder without a little bit of lightning? To use this, reach down to your side and grab your hammer, then point at your enemy and pull the trigger. Zap.
- Hammer Spin– This one is awesome; just pull out the hammer and pull the trigger without pointing. Moving near enemies with that will obliterate them.
- Hammer Throw– This iconic move requires you to spin the hammer, then thrust your controller forward. The hammer will fly at your enemies, then return to your hand.
- Hammer Slam– Start spinning the hammer again, but this time, thrust your hand down toward the ground to create an awesome AOE-type attack.
- God of Thunder– This one is a bit underwhelming. I was expecting big-time fireworks here, but instead, hit X and gain more damage per attack. Yawn.
- Draw Claws– This is one of my favorite moves in this game. Drawing the claws lets you tear through enemies with ease and also lets you pick objects up to throw at enemies as well.
- Adamantium Slash– This is just you and your Wolverine instincts kicking in. Slash at your enemies; the harder you swing, the more powerful it gets. Just don’t hurt yourself.
- Cross Slash– This one has you crossing your arms across your chest, then launching a massive projectile at your enemies. It doesn’t really make sense to me, being a fan of the character, but at least it looks pretty cool and does big damage.
- Berserker Rage– This turns Wolverine into a killing machine, doubling your damage while gaining enhanced healing.
- Hulk Grab- This one lets you pick up enemies and throw them anywhere you’d like, including into each other. You press the grip button where you’re near an enemy and let go when you want to throw things or people.
- Seismic Pound– This one is just endless fun to use. Use the grip buttons to form fists and then pound them to the ground, which will cause a huge area of effect style attack.
- Thunder Clap– This one is self-explanatory, but be careful when doing it because you can easily smash your controllers. Clap your hands together, and you’ll smack enemies sky high. Practice this one first before executing it.
- Web Shot– You can do this by pressing grip and aiming your hands. This lets you tie up enemies quickly, where they will be vulnerable to further attacks.
- Web Tether– Use Web Shot to tie up an enemy, then pull your hands toward you to yank them in and punch them to end them for good. You can also throw them into each other or at the wall. This is one of the more fun powers in the game, so play around with it and see what you can come up with. You can also pull objects to you this way as well.
- Spider Drones- By reaching to either wrist, you can grab Spider-Drones that stun enemies, opening them up for further attacks.
- Electro Web– Spiderman’s ultimate ability turns all of your webs electric. This is a great way to deal a lot of damage in a hurry.
- Bola Bombs– These work as grenades, and you can throw them as far as you put strength into throwing them. They detonate after a short time, so learn the timer, and you can set up enemies to walk right into them.
- Vibranium Claws– This is similar to Wolverine’s attack. Just hold the triggers, and the harder you slash, the more damage you’ll do.
- Energy Daggers– The Energy Daggers are the only viable long-range option you have with Black Panther. They are activated by reaching to your hips and throwing them.
- Warrior’s Heart– The ultimate for Black Panther has him send shockwaves at enemies, which do a ton of damage and are particularly great against bosses.
Villains You May Fight
- Venom- The classic Spiderman villain will pop up during your battles and when he comes is anybody’s guess. He has attacked me near the beginning of the levels as well as towards the end, and each time it’s a scary experience as he’s just massive in VR. This goes double for if you’re playing as Rocket Racoon because Venom truly towers over him.
- Magneto- I hope you have a character with decent ranged abilities because he’s a royal pain to deal with up close. Armed with all his classic powers to send metal flying at you, he’s best dealt with at a distance. His flying can also make him tough to hit for melee characters.
- Ultron- I love me some Ultron, and while the actual Marvel’s Avengers game doesn’t seem to get this, at least Marvel Powers United does. He’s a bit less mobile than you expect him to be, but he’s very dangerous. Again, long-range characters work best here.
- Ronan the Accuser- Not an A-lister by any means, but he comes with a big hammer with your name on it, and he can destroy you quickly if you’re not careful. Characters like Wolverine work great against him, and Deadpool is also a solid choice due to his guns and swords mix.
- Dormammu- It’s pretty terrifying when he shows up simply because he’s so big. Ranged characters do wonders against him. I hate trying melee on him because the feeling of being that close to him is pretty off-putting in VR.
- Thanos- If you collect all the pieces of the Cosmic Cube, you’re rewarded with a fight against the ultimate big bad, Thanos. He’s strong at range and up close, and it will take some serious teamwork to take him down. You want a mix of ranged and melee against him and players that know how to deal damage quickly and get out even faster. The battle against him is its own arena, so there isn’t much room to run and hide when fighting.
How Do Bosses Work?
At the end of each level, you will fight a boss, but depending on the power of your team, you will actually face anywhere from 1-2 or more bosses. If your team is particularly high level, you will occasionally fight two bosses at once.
Though some are quite similar, each boss has its own trick to beating it. Bosses range from melee characters like Venom to ones that will attack you at range, such as Magneto. After you beat a boss, you can open some loot boxes to see if you got any new character skins or bonuses.
As you complete each level, you will collect pieces of the Cosmic Cube which, when completed, will unlock the best boss battle of them all, the Mad Titan, Thanos. The fight against Thanos is well-earned and feels epic, but it is a little underwhelming.
He feels similar to Magneto, so by dodging his projectiles and running away from his melee attacks, you will have enough openings to take care of him easily. Your rewards for beating him are subpar at best, so don’t unlock the battle for the grand prize, but the journey it takes to get there.
- New York- One of the levels has you moving throughout the ruined street of Manhattan, and as a resident myself, it feels frighteningly real in VR.
- Wakanda- Black Panther’s homeland is here in all its glory, and it’s one of the more visually striking levels in the game, with golden structures and advanced technology on display.
- Jotunheim- Does anybody want an ice level? Well, here it is. It’s home to the Frost Giants, but really, it’s just a big ice level with not much distinguishing it.
- Sakaar- Sakaar adds some space flavor to the mix, giving you the planet where the Planet Hulk storyline took place in the comics.
You will have to complete objectives while not fighting enemies and bosses. These objectives don’t change all that much and generally revolve around defending a point on the map or collecting power cells. The bosses will appear at random points throughout each map, but in my experience, it’s generally been towards the end of your objective.
You start off with the defending of several relays around the level while you’re fighting off waves and waves of enemies. This is definitely the most fun part of the game as you get to play around with all the powers and combos you can come up with.
The power cells part of the map is probably the most boring but also the most challenging. This tasks someone on your team to go around the map and pick up eight different power cells to power a generator. Carrying around power cells is not a fun activity, and if you’re not connected to other players, you’re going to be the one to have to gather all the cells.
Thankfully, each of the maps you can access have its own personality to them. You’ll be playing ice levels, places from X-Men, and even the streets of New York for the thrilling opening. Unfortunately, each is the same experience, just with a different dressing set. It seems like the setup is preparing us for some grand adventure here, with it being established that the villains are all gathering for some big evil plan. Still, from that point, you have everything available to you, from characters to levels.
After you’ve beaten the nine levels, you’ll probably wonder, “Well, what do I do now, then?” The answer is playing this game with friends.
This game was made for multiplayer, and while you can play single-player with bot companions, they are not very helpful, and it’s nowhere near as fun without friends by your side. Combining your powers to create all sorts of awesome combos is great and having one friend play as Hulk and chuck enemies at you so you can slice them to pieces as Wolverine is just an amazing thing to witness and something that can only be done in VR.
Tips and Tricks
First off, since all the characters are available to play with, definitely experiment here. There are 18 choices of playstyles to choose from, so take your time getting the hang of each character. Certain characters are super fast in movement while others are more calculated, and the height of characters varies wildly too. Hulk, for example, towers over normal-sized characters, while Rocket Racoon is just a tiny little raccoon compared to the gargantuan Hulk.
Start Learning Combos
You can link your powers together in some great ways, like using Ice Man’s Ice Spikes ability in conjunction with Wolverine’s claws or Hulk’s throwing ability with Spiderman’s Webbing strikes. The result feels like an in-unison Avenger’s assault, and it’s part of what makes this game feel so good to play.
Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
I’ve found this game to be one that can wear out pretty fast if you play it too long, so for play sessions, limit yourself to 25 mins to an hour if you can. The content is repetitive, but there is no game like it in VR that lets you live out the Marvel Character power fantasy like this one does.
Question: Is Marvel Powers United VR Online?
Answer: Yes, it’s primarily a multiplayer game, so you need an internet connection to play it.
Question: Does Marvel Powers United VR Have a Campaign?
Answer: It hints at one, but for all intents and purposes, this is an arena, wave-type combat game. The storyline is only hinted at throughout the game, and you’re mostly playing against a random assortment of enemies and bosses.
Question: Is Marvel Powers United VR on all VR Headsets?
Answer: Currently, it’s only on Oculus headsets through PCVR. You can play it through services like Revive, though, and wireless devices like the Oculus Quest 2 through apps like Airlink or Virtual Desktop.
This one-of-a-kind VR experience lets you experience firsthand what it would be like to control Marvel’s awesome cast of superheroes. It’s repetitive, but it’s complex and fun enough to give you a lot of fun. The use of villains is great here too, and you’ll find favorites like Ultron and more obscure ones.
While it’s far from the best VR game out there, getting to unleash my claws as Wolverine and face off against Thanos as Deadpool are things that simply aren’t available in VR, so while it’s being provided. I’m more than happy to indulge in such an experience.
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