Marvel Rivals is a mix of Overwatch and superhero battles

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Marvel’s on a roll with its new game announcements. After teasers and rumors, Marvel Games revealed Marvel Rivals, a 6 v 6 hero shooter that blends the best of Marvel action games like Ultimate Alliance with the tactical multiplayer elements of Overwatch and Valorant.

In Marvel Rivals, players will assemble Avengers, X-Men, Guardians, and a motley crew of heroes and villains throughout the Marvel multiverse. At launch, the roster will be 16 characters including Black Panther, Storm, and Magneto, with developer NetEase promising new heroes with each seasonal update. You can check out the full roster of characters here.

The game is in development for PC, will be free to play, and features destructible environments players can use to alter the battlefield in their favor. Characters will have special moves and ultimate attacks like any hero shooter. Seeing Loki (my fave) shapeshift into Black Panther and start clawing up people gave me my first “Oh, we might be onto something here” moment. But the most interesting element of Rivals are the team-up skills.

In Rivals, two heroes can come together, combining their powers to unleash a devastating duo attack. In the trailer, the Hulk can use his gamma ray powers to charge up Iron Man’s laser attacks. Rocket Raccoon can ride on Groot like Voltron of woodland creatures just like they do in the movies. Hero shooters always need that one special something that makes them stand out. The prospect of playing your favorite Marvel characters while being able to smash their powers together like kids playing with action figures is an intoxicating offer. Though Colossus and Wolverine are not yet on the roster, if they ever are added (and let’s be honest, they will) their team-up skill better be a Fastball Special, or NetEase will be hearing from my lawyers. It’s just the rules.

To be honest, I’m pretty burnt out on hero shooters and the greater Marvel universe. But between the trailer, the fact it’s being developed for PC, and the admittedly cool team-up attacks, Marvel Rivals does look like it’ll be interesting enough to try out. There’s no release window yet, but there is a closed alpha in May, and players interested in participating in the beta can sign up here.

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