Marvel Rivals Puts a Superhero Spin on Overwatch

The Marvel universe expands.

Marvel Rivals

If you ever thought Marvel and Overwatch sounded like a match made in heaven, first off, that’s oddly specific, and second of all, you’re in luck, because that exact game now exists. Marvel Games and NetEase have announced Marvel Rivals, a free-to-play 6 versus 6 hero shooter starring a wide array of heroes, from Spider-Man to X-Men’s Magik. A closed alpha test is currently planned for May 2024, and Marvel Rivals is coming to PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store.

At first glance, Marvel Rivals appears incredibly similar to Overwatch or Valorant, right down to the colorful highly stylized art and fast-paced antics. However, the teaser trailer shows quite a few unique ideas that Rivals brings to the stage, including destructible environments.

Unlike most hero shooters, Marvel Rivals is played entirely from a third-person perspective, with each hero having their own unique weapons, skills, and ultimate. Where things get interesting is with the team-up attacks, where two heroes on a team can combine their powers.

For example, Rocket Racoon can climb up Groot’s back for a deadly ranged and melee combo, or Hulk can use Gamma Rays to superpower Iron Man’s repulsor beams. These team-up skills have devastating effects and combined with destructive environments, matches look incredibly hectic, but in a good way.

Marvel Rivals also heralds the return of an obscure, forgotten character. At the end of the trailer, we see an anime-esque female version of Galactus, but that’s actually the villain’s daughter Galacta. The character had a short-lived run with her one-shot comic in 2009, but hasn’t appeared in anything since. While we don’t know Galacta’s full role yet, it looks like she’ll be some kind of orchestrator behind whatever is bringing all these heroes and villains together.

Marvel Rivals brings back the intensely obscure character Galacta, daughter of Galactus.


One other interesting detail is The Hulk, who seemingly starts as Bruce Banner. Some of the art for the game shows Bruce wielding a kind of laser weapon before he transforms into the Hulk, but it’s unclear exactly how that happens. There are a total of 18 playable characters revealed in the trailer.

  • Black Panther
  • Bruce Banner and Hulk
  • Doctor Strange
  • Iron Man
  • Spider-Man
  • Luna Snow
  • Groot
  • Rocket Racoon
  • Loki
  • Namor
  • Peni Parker
  • Magik
  • Scarlet Witch
  • Magneto
  • Storm
  • Star-Lord
  • Mantis
  • The Punisher

This isn’t the first Marvel game developed by NetEase, as the studio previously made the mobile title Marvel Duel.

Rivals is also the latest in a huge push Marvel is seemingly making to produce more games. The last few years have given us Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Snap, Spider-Man 2, Midnight Suns, and Marvel Future Fight. That’s not to mention the Marvel games currently in development, which include Insomniac’s Wolverine, Arkane’s Blade, and Marvel 1943: Rise of Hydra.

It’ll be interesting to see how Marvel Rivals fits into the continuously competitive hero shooter spaces. The space has typically been dominated by the likes of Overwatch, Apex Legends, and Valorant, with new contenders like Gundam Evolution shutting down after just one or two years. Even Overwatch 2 has had a rough go of things, with Blizzard announcing it’s completely scrapping the previously planned PvE (players vs enemy) content.

There’s certainly room for a new game to break into the zeitgeist, but it’ll likely depend on what kind of post-launch support NetEase can provide for Marvel Rivals to see if it can hold fans’ attention over time.

Marvel Rivals is currently in development for PC. There’s currently no word on a console version.

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