Indeed, when I reviewed Marvel Puzzle Quest earlier this month (spoiler alert: I loved it), I spent so long defending the freemium element that I kinda forgot to touch on the multiplayer stuff. But I’m about to right that particular wrong right now, baby.
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, there are sudden difficulty spikes in Marvel Puzzle Quest’s Prologue (story mode) that make it – in the game’s own words – “Impossible” to continue. Until you level up, that is.
At that point you can go back and replay Prologue missions, or – you guessed it – dive into Marvel Puzzle Quest’s various multiplayer options.
At times it feels like Marvel Puzzle Quest’s multiplayer modes mindlessly throw goodies at you (ISO-8, Hero Points, comic covers), and obviously that’s a good thing, the ultimate goal here being to enhance your team and crack on with the single player mode.
One of the main thingies is actually nestled within the Prologue screen, namely S.H.I.E.L.D. Versus. That’s because it’s an ongoing mode, while the other multiplayer games are timed Events.
In S.H.I.E.L.D. Versus (also referred to as S.H.I.E.L.D. Simulator and S.H.I.E.L.D. Training), you have a choice of five opponents at any one time. The teams are put together from real player rosters, though you’re really battling the AI.
Likewise, other players can battle a representation of your team, and you have no control over the outcome.
Each team has what’s called a Rating Reward, which is weighted according to the strength of the team. The tougher the challenge, the higher the Rating Reward. Makes sense to me.
As you progress up the Leaderboard Awards, you’ll unlock stuff at fixed points, be it ISO-8 or Hero Points or whatever. Nicely, it's all laid out under Event Awards, so you know exactly what you need to do to grab a particular reward.
The good thing here is that you get three chances to beat each S.H.I.E.L.D. Versus team, and – more importantly - the damage is cumulative, so even a trio of absolute beasts is surmountable with a generous dash of skill and patience.
The more interesting side of Marvel Puzzle Quest’s multiplayer, for my money, is Events. Occasionally they follow the S.H.I.E.L.D. Versus layout, with a choice of opponents, though other times you’ll get a whole new branch of delicious story.
In either case the rewards are twofold: you get Leaderboard Awards as before, and in addition a prize depending on your overall rank when the Event closes. Nice.
And that’s Marvel Puzzle Quest’s multiplayer in a nutshell. Again, great for levelling up your team, and in the case of Events, you often get to control characters that – chances are – aren’t included in your own team. Pretty cool.
For my full Marvel Puzzle Quest review, click the blue words, friend.