Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Marvel Heroes

Go To
Marvel heroes, assemble!

Marvel Heroes (formerly known as Marvel Universe Online, and later rebranded Marvel Heroes 2015, Marvel Heroes 2016, and finally Marvel Heroes Omega) was the House of Ideas' renewed attempt to enter the MMORPG fray, developed by Gazillion Entertainment (also in charge of the kid-friendly Super Hero Squad Online). A previous effort under development was scrapped at the eleventh hour, and became what is now known as Champions Online.

The basic storyline, written by famed Marvel scribe Brian Michael Bendis, in summary: Doctor Doom obtains the Cosmic Cube, and wants to harness its power and conquer the world. He does so while forming alliances with various other villainous factions, such as HYDRA and Mr. Sinister. All the heroes in the Marvel Universe, from street levellers to cosmic entities, must band together to stop Doom and his legion from unleashing a catastrophe.

This free-to-play game was spearheaded by Diablo I & II co-creator David Brevik, and his influence on the gameplay shows. Marvel Heroes can be more accurately described as Diablo in an MMO setting, utilising the Marvel Ultimate Alliance concept of a rotating roster of heroes the player can choose from in their playthroughs. Once Brevik left, the game shifted to a slower and more deliberate Diablo III style of play.

Unlike many other titles, however, players used existing Marvel superheroes instead of creating a character from scratch. Each hero was essentially translated into a mix of one or more classic Fantasy Character Classes, much like Mages, Thieves or, well, Rogues in other games.

Each hero had different levels in 6 statistics (based on the Marvel Power Grid), which can increase with the use of gear and when they level up:

  • Durability
  • Strength
  • Fighting
  • Speed
  • Energy
  • Intelligence

Gazillion had incorporated a range of locales and classic storylines. A huge selection of heroes (there are over 8000 characters in the Marvel universe) were playable, from classic favourites like Iron Man to more offbeat picks such as Squirrel Girl and her army of rodents. Customisation of heroes came in the form of different costumes, stat enhancements and swappable powers to differentiate, say, one player's Hulk from another's. Team ups (secondary characters who acted automatically) were also encouraged, allowing players to either re-enact classic comic book squads or create hilariously unlikely hero combinations (including a hero teaming up with him/herself).

Marvel Heroes launched in late May 2013 for those who pre-ordered the premium and ultimate packs, and officially released on June 4th, 2013. Updates to the game came in 2014, 2015, and 2016, with the 2015 update removing Windows XP support, and console versions were released in June 2017.

On November 15th, 2017, it was announced that the game was going to be closed on December 31st. A week after that, former Gazillion employees said that they'd actually lost the Marvel license on October 23rd, they'd all been let go on the day before Thanksgiving, and it was going to be closed that Friday, November 24th. In the end, it turned out to be neither of those dates, and the game became a Defunct Online Video Game without fanfare on Monday, November 27th, at 10:30 am PST, and the MH website shut down (taking years of forum posts down with it) shortly thereafter. (And two and a half hours after that, Gazillion announced that the game would be closing that day.)

This game provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 


  • Allegedly Free Game: If your favorite hero isn't one of the starting heroes, and you can't be bothered grinding until you get him/her by saving up alternate currency (Eternity Splinters), then you'd better fork up money for 'Gs'. Fortunately, the second day login reward is a free pack of four hundred Eternity Splinters, letting you immediately unlock one of the heroes of your choice. (Eventually, however, every character became a "starting hero", except the most recently released, so you could unlock almost anyone on Day 1, and then a second character on Day 2)
    • There are 3 tiers of hero pricing: 450G/200 Splinters, 900G/400 Splinters and 1350G/600 Splinters. Deadpool, Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider, Iron Man, Rogue and Spider-Man are in the last category.
    • In addition, experience boosts, drop rate boosts, stash size upgrades and costumes are also bought using the same Gs. A number of costumes are also only available via Fortune Cards (less than 1% chance). These Cards cost Gs or drop ever so rarely, essentially a glorified form of gambling.
    • Costumes, Pets, Retcon Devices and Mk 1 Fortune cards all have a small chance of dropping from enemies. Also Eternity Splinters have a small chance to drop 2 at a time or, more infrequently, in groups of 10.
    • Also averted in that, as mentioned, droppable Eternity Splinters can allow you to purchase Heroes and Team-Ups (though not costumes and other items), the Splinters come as rewards during various events and for certain logins. There's also a "Random Hero Box", which only costs 175 Splinters, and can give any hero in the game. Downside is you might get a hero you already have (instead getting a token to upgrade that hero's ultimate power), or a 600 ES hero for roughly one-third the cost.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Each Warskrull copies powers from certain heroes. Avengers Warskrulls copy Captain America's shield, Thor's hammer, Iron Man's armor and Hulk's size and strength. X Warskrulls copy Cyclops' optic beams, Wolverine's claws and Colossus' armor. Infernal Warskrulls copy Doctor Strange's magic, Loki's cloning powers, and Ghost Rider's chains. Cosmic Warskrulls copy Silver Surfer's mastery over the Power Cosmic and Nova's energy beams and pulsars.
    • Rogue is unique among heroes in that (after the Biggest Update Ever) she has one entire skill tree devoted to her "stolen powers," and can retain any power she's stolen to slot into them. Many of the best Rogue builds revolve around using disparate powers from the wide array of heroes and villains in the game to create deadly combinations (such as Magneto's magnetic area attack, which draws enemies in, followed by Clea's magical area attack to wipe the bunched group out).
  • Anti Poop-Socking: There's a hard limit to how many Heroes' and Protectors' Commendations - needed to buy the upper-tier gear - that you can earn per week. Daily quests give out their biggest rewards, as the name implies, only once per day. Daily and weekly Genosha Liberation Force missions also only give out their rewards once per day or week. Raids also only offer their best rewards once per day.
  • Assist Character: Where do we begin?
    • Firstly, there are Team-Ups, buyable assists that can be used actively or passively to complement your hero's playstyle. These are usually less powerful or prominent characters such as Falcon or Firestar (although many playable characters have been made into Team-Ups and vice versa, including Captain America, Iron Man, Wolverine, Punisher, War Machine, Dr. Strange, Dr. Doom, Magik, and Deadpool).
    • A significant number of heroes also have summoning powers. These range from singular abilities, like Gambit's Ultimate (which summons Rogue) and Daredevil (who summons Elektra), to cases where summons are an important part of the hero's playstyle, like Loki (with his illusions), Rocket Raccoon (with his turrets and Groot) and Luke Cage (with the rest of the Heroes for Hire).
    • An assortment of items can summon sidekicks, including cosmic gear, insignias, artifacts and uniques (which can either summon generic mooks like Sentinels, N'Garai demons and Hand ninjas, or specific characters like Cyclops for Emma Frost and Sabertooth for Wolverine).
    • Finally, there are pets like the Iron Buddy and Old Lace, which can be fed items you no longer need to grant stat bonuses. They don't actually fight enemies, but you could have them appear and walk around with you.
  • Boss Rush: Castle Doomstadt, X-Defense, and the SHIELD Holosim often throw lots of bosses at you. Several high-end Holosim scenarios even include full assaults by entire supervillain teams, with your main objective being simply to survive.
  • Cap: Level 60.
    • You can gain up to 6 prestige levels beyond 60 for your heroes (with the 6th prestige requiring 25x as much experience as a regular playthrough), but your maximum level is still reflected as being at 60.
  • Checkpoint: S.H.I.E.L.D. Waypoints are placed in important areas, and allow heroes to travel between all the other Waypoints that they have unlocked. Also serves as a Respawn Point when a hero faints in-game.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Inverted; Deadpool's Ultimate skill allows him to replicate the notorious video game phenomenon of "server lag" and use it on the AI instead. Watch as helpless, "disconnected" mooks jog in place while you lay on the smackdown! The awesome thing is, it also works on bosses! (Though they recover faster than any affected mooks.)
    • Played straight with certain ranged enemies like Doctor Octopus and the frequently recurring A.I.M Bots. They will often target ranged, "glass cannon" heroes with their projectiles rather than the tanks in front of them. This also applies to bosses with Foe Tossing Charges and Flash Steps as they seem to heavily favor weaker targets when aiming their Crosshair Aware attacks.
      • Combine with Interface Screw in a large "raid" like Limbo Survival or Midtown Patrol, where it's extremely hard to see where the boss is aiming due to the number of players filling the screen (and sometimes lag itself), making dodging these moves that will One-Hit Kill a glass cannon hero almost impossible.
    • Certain monster affixes on Bosses can make for unexpected and deadly combos.
      • The Freezing affix on Magneto allows him to trap players in place while his incredibly powerful area affect spell crushes them in seconds.
      • The Kinetic Vortex ability is frustrating to play against; Bosses frequently invoke it in order to interrupt the revival of incapacitated heroes. And it's also normally used to put less durable heroes right next to the Boss where they'll be promptly one or two-shotted.
      • Since higher level bosses can roll more than one affix, it's perfectly possible to face Freezing, Kinetic Vortex Magneto at which point most of the party will simply give up.
      • The Power Cosmic affix creates two large circles of energy that move along the floor and causes great damage over time when stepped on. Melee heroes are usually forced to step on it just to deal damage to the boss, making them mostly useless unless the party knows how to re-position the boss. They also make it nearly impossible to revive anyone if they decide to hover over the downed person.
      • The Quick ability on bosses. As if dodging their attacks is hard enough, making them faster probably isn't gonna help. And Quick on Magneto? Better hope you have split-second reactions and no lag.
      • None of this was as awful as bosses having the ability to heal themselves on top of all these abilities, which made some bosses nigh invincible. Thankfully this ability was removed.
  • Critical Hit Class: Hawkeye has some passive skills that improve critical hit chances and effects.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: Chairs, along with computers, shelves, crates and any number of in-game objects, are entirely destructible and sometimes yield credits in return. Or they might cause a turret or bot to spawn instead...
    • Some optional quests require you to break a certain number of destructibles in a certain level, usually along with defeating a number of mooks and a boss.
  • Difficulty Levels: After beating the main story, you unlock a series of daily missions which include the final area and boss encounters of each chapter. The easiest daily missions are in Avengers' Tower, which unlock harder missions at The X-Mansion, which then unlock the hardest missions at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. This is arguably comparable to the Nightmare, Hell and Inferno difficulty levels in Diablo.
    • As of a patch in July 2013, these missions are no longer unlocked in sequence, but now have a recommended level.
    • As of a patch in September 2013, the normal story mode now has also comes in much tougher flavors: Heroic and Superheroic.
    • 2015 included a story mode revamp that removed the difficulty levels, instead ramping up the expected level requirement in each area as the player progresses and awarding enough XP that by the time the player completes Chapter 10, they should hit the level cap.
    • Terminals are rated at three difficulty levels: Green (easy), Red (moderate) and Cosmic (hard). In addition, each patrol zone has a normal version that matches to your hero's current level and a Cosmic version that is extremely difficult, typically with bosses that can One-Hit KO all but the tankiest of heroes. Finally, raids have Green and Red versions.
    • Danger Room scenarios range from white (doable with a lone hero who just hit level sixty) to cosmic (which typically needs a full team of well-geared heroes to survive).
    • As of 2017, the game has been significantly overhauled, including the addition of a "difficulty slider," which scales any content to one of three difficulty levels: Normal, Heroic, and Cosmic. (The other two planned difficulty levels were never finished before the game shut down)
  • Enemy Summoner: As of the September 2013 patch, bosses and elite mobs can have affixes like "A.I.M. Support", "Hail Hydra!", "Moloid Menace" and "Brood Infested" which would periodically summon different groups of mooks to aid the boss.
    • Mr. Sinister's gimmick besides blasting you with energy bolts, is to summon Mook Makers that spawn clones of the X-Men. This ends up being his Chekhov's Skill. After Sinister survives your boss battle, he goes over to Dr. Doom to give the latter a frozen clone of Bishop.
  • Evolving Attack: More exactly an evolving move. If your character is strong enough to lift heavy objects like cars, when their Strength level increases, they will change from using both hands to one hand.
  • Familiar: Heroes can have pets that tag along wherever they go, but only serve a cosmetic purpose. They include Spider-Ham, Old Lace and H.E.R.B.I.E..
  • Gateless Ghetto: For example, the instance of Midtown Manhattan is completely sealed off by buildings. The only way in/out from/to an outside area is one single street, which is blocked by debris and burning cars.
  • Homing Lasers: Several enemies have energy attacks that can follow heroes around for a distance, including traveling in a curved trajectory.
  • Improvised Weapon: Heroes with superhuman strength or abilities that simulate telekinesis can lift environmental objects and throw them at enemies.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: Health and Spirit (mana) are replenished to full each time a character levels up.
  • Micro-Transactions: As with all free-to-play games, there is a cash shop. Aside from heroes (which can also be bought with in-game resources), most items on sale are purely cosmetic, such as costumes and pets. Late in the game's life they added XP and drop boosts to the store.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The rank names for the various stats (Remarkable, etc.) are a direct shout out to the 1980's Marvel tabletop RPG
    • Spider-Man's ultimate, Maximum Spider shares a name with one of his super moves from the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
      • Psylocke's ultimate, Psionic Maelstrom, has the same name and general effect as one of her supers from the same series of games.
      • Gambit's Signature, 52 Pickup, is literally the Royal Flush from X-Men vs. Street Fighter, right down to the staff toss.
      • Colossus' Signature, Colossal Roar, is lifted from X-Men (1992).
    • Three of Iron Man's moves are shout-outs to each of the character's movies.
      • Jericho Bombarment is named after the missile of the same name Tony Stark was demonstrating in Afghanistan during Iron Man, and the Ten Rings later attempted to force him build it for them.
      • Iron Man's signature the One-Off is the identical move to the one Iron Man used in Iron Man 2 to finish off the Hammer Droids, and is named after the description Tony gave to it: "I can only use it once. It's a one-off."
      • Iron Man's ultimate power House Party Protocol consists of having J.A.R.V.I.S. remotely control numerous Iron Man suits to help him in combat, similar to Iron Man 3.
    • The item quote for the gear Starktech Portal Reactor describes how an infomercial actor was stating that "Tony Stark built this in a cave... and now, you can wear it around you—" before he was interrupted by Iron Man crashing through the wall to reclaim his stolen tech.
    • One of Hawkeye's gear is the "Hawkguy Shades," a reference to Matt Fraction's Hawkeye (2012) series. Additionally, the gear allows you to summon Kate Bishop's Hawkeye to assist you for 30 seconds (or regular Hawkeye if you're paying as Kate Bishop), recreating the team-up forged in said series.
    • Captain America gets a sprinting power called On Your Left, referencing a Running Gag in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
    • The majority of the Winter Soldier's powers are references to his weapons and specific moves he does in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which a few exceptions. His signature power is even the magnetic grenade he used on Nick Fury's vehicle.
    • Silver Surfer's death pose is the same one from the game over screen from his infamously difficult NES game.
    • Nova's (Richard's) "show off" emote has him mimic his poses from the covers of Nova Vol. 4 #1 and Nova Vol 4. #36.
  • Nerf: The developers repeatedly state in their patch notes that they are avoiding nerfing any heroes and items if at all possible. The result is that most patch notes, aside from the requisite bug fixes, seem to be never-ending waves of buffs, with the rare nerf.
    • And then came the Best Update Ever, which slowed down all the characters, limited the number of times one could dodge, dropped the effectiveness of the six basic stats (as well as changing their basic functions), and removed an entire tree of powers from all characters.
  • New Game Plus: Levelling up your character allows you to play through the story again at higher difficulty levels with your gear and skill points intact, as well as opening new difficulty modes. The Story Mode repeats were removed, but the Prestige system allows you to reset your hero to level one and re-play story mode, changing the character's name color to reflect the Prestige level.
  • Non-Player Companion: The game introduced 'Team-Ups' in April 2014, side heroes that can be bought with either Eternity Splinters or cash to complement the main playable characters. Team-Ups can either take the form of a persistent Sidekick, a powerful short-term summon with a cooldown or provide passive benefits but be absent from actual gameplay.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: A rare example that benefits the player. The 'Ignores Defenses' monster and boss affix was gradually and completely removed from the game in June and July 2013 patches, because it made Mighty Glacier characters like Thing or Hulk next to useless fighting these enemies, completely invalidating their role as meat shields for less durable heroes.
    • The "Heals When Injured" affix was later removed as it made certain bosses nigh impossible for some heroes to defeat.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Rhino and Juggernaut's charge attacks. However, they will shout "Out of the way," and "Here I come," respectively, while a red arrow will point out the direction they'll take, giving a chance to escape. Mr. Hyde has a similar move.
    • At lower levels, one of Bullseye's moves becomes this. However, a warning will flash over your character saying 'Take Cover,' giving you time to escape. At higher levels, Bullseye's attack no longer consumes all your character's health, but still deals impressive damage.
  • Ragdoll Physics: The bodies of defeated enemies can fly about when impacted upon, and it is glorious.
  • Randomly Drops: Their system averts Loot Drama. Each player upon defeating an enemy or boss has their own money piles, experience orbs and loot drops that only they can see. (On the other hand, life and energy orbs can be seen and picked up by anyone. The only time an item can be seen by everyone is if it was dropped from inventory.)
  • Rare Random Drop: Heroes and costumes for the heroes drop very, very rarely. (And they are bound on pickup so no trading it to your buddy either.)
    • Eternity Splinters are a new rare currency item added as of August 2013. Save enough and you can finally pick and unlock your favorite hero if you're unwilling to spend real money.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Several powers and artifacts in-game can cause enemies to attack each other in confusion.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: Besides the classic Diablo-style skill trees, each hero also has a rating for various attributes like Strength and Intelligence. Both can be increased with the use of gear.
    • The Omega System adds an alternate experience bar, granting Omega points when filled, which can be used to buy boosts across a wide variety of trees with a wide variety of effects, further allowing customization of individual heroes.
  • Summon Magic: Aside from a number of artifacts and gear that have a chance to summon allies upon use, some heroes have summon powers built into their skills. Several have a full skill tree dedicated to summons, such as Loki, Luke Cage and Squirrel Girl, although all these characters and their summons play very differently.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Various heroes' ultimate skills take a long time to recharge, up 10 minutes. You aren't just gonna use it to annihilate this group of mooks right? Definitely not even on this sub-boss, roaming boss or elite mob. Maybe not even against this stage's boss, what if you'll need it on the next one?

  • Actually a Doombot: During the Midtown Manhattan Patrol, Charles Xavier will inform the heroes that Doctor Doom has made an unscheduled visit to New York. Of course, it turns out when you start fighting him that it's a Doombot. A whole lot of them.
    • When playing Dr. Doom, encountering another Dr. Doom will often have one of the two commenting that the other is the Doombot.
    • The first boss of the game, Ultron, is this and Maria Hill points out there's no way it could be that easy to beat him. She's right.
  • Adaptational Badass: Bob, Agent of HYDRA is a completely average HYDRA mook in the comics. In this game, he's a named Elite Mook who's stronger than the average HYDRA goon, though still fairly easy to beat.
    • Many of the street heroes get this as while they're impressive heroes in their own right, they will get the opportunity to solo everyone from Magneto to Doctor Doom along with many other characters who have faced whole teams of heroes.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the comics, Magik is a particularly vicious Unscrupulous Hero at best and a downright terrifying Villain Protagonist at worst. Here, she's a straight up hero, even if she is more aggressive than the more pleasant heroes.
    • The playable Black Cat is based off her original Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain persona rather than the Ax-Crazy terrorist she became after Superior Spider Man.
    • While she's still somewhat abrasive and snarky, Maria Hill is far less of a Lawful Stupid Knight Templar than she is in the comics.
    • The playable Ultron is pretty much completely unchanged from his villainous incarnation, only this time he's fighting against the various supervillains because they're an obstacle in his path to total world domination.
  • A God Am I: Well, it's Doom we're talking about here... Loki also gets in on this as well, though he's more-or-less not making it up.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Chapter Ten begins with the hero being called to the Helicarrier, and learning that the whole ship has been seized by Skrulls. Later missions involve fighting through the X-Mansion and Avengers Tower, both occupied by Skrulls.
  • Artistic License – Law: What Jean DeWolffe is being blackmailed for in the storyline is actually not only fully within her rights and abilities as a police officer, it's something she'd get a commendation or even medal for in real life, though it's heavily implied that The Kingpin has almost every Judge, Politician and Public Official on his payroll and that DeWolffe would be up against a Kangaroo Court without SHIELD's influence.
    • Stryker claims that he is untouchable once you finally get to him, saying that there is "no evidence" of any crimes and that he's going to sue S.H.I.E.L.D. for "religious persecution." This is after you've been tearing through his Purifiers who were actively trying to genocide the mutants in New York. Fortunately, he gets called on his bullshit immediately, and Cyclops also finds a terribly incriminating video of Stryker selling kidnapped mutants to Mr. Sinister.
    • When the Tablet is recovered from the Hand, the Kingpin uses his lawyers to recover it from S.H.I.E.L.D., citing he has legal documents stating his ownership and threatening to sue S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers if they don't return it. Being a law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over superpowered threats, though, S.H.I.E.L.D. really would be perfectly within their rights to confiscate the Tablet, especially if its a threat to global security. Fortunately, you do eventually end up getting permission from both S.H.I.E.L.D. and the NYPD to recover the Tablet and arrest the Kingpin later on.
  • Ballistic Discount: Madame Hydra turns her goons on The Hood after he offers to sell her the Tablet. Becomes a case of Underestimating Badassery when it's revealed the Hood fully expected this and brought the Hand and Elektra. This triggers a war between the Hand and Hydra. It also makes Madame Hydra look like a fool.
  • Big Bad: Doctor Doom is the pre-expansion Big Bad and the entire game is one of his classic plots to Take Over the World using the Cosmic Cube as well as prevent the heroes (or villains) from gaining any objects which would prevent him from doing so. To this end, he fosters Enemy Civil War and many Unwitting Pawn characters.
    • It becomes a Big Bad Ensemble Along with other Chessmasters of the Marvel Universe like Green Goblin, Magneto, and the Kingpin as they attempt to bring about their own plots in the chaos generated by Doctor Doom's actions. Loki, for example, was next in line after Doom's inevitable defeat at the end of the game. The next big bad after him was Surtur. And after dealing with Loki and Surtur, the Skrulls show up. And they're on the run from Thanos.
    • The Big Bads for One-Shots and Raids include Red Skull, Onslaught, and Ultron.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Deadpool, as always. In addition, S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Lee occasionally complains in a voice over how "This is my cameo!?" (He's an item vendor.)
  • The Chessmaster: Doom's plan is basically to manipulate all of the various supervillain factions against one another in order to create enough chaos the superheroes will be unable to fight him. It almost works too. Loki also gets some of this as he's able to play off Doom's plan for his own gain.
  • Cloning Blues: The clones of various heroes Mister Sinister summons to assist him during his Boss Battle are capable of mimicking their source hero's powers to an extent, but are overall vastly inferior in power level and survivability.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Cosmic Cube powered Dr. Doom does this to Uatu the Watcher in the opening cinematic. Later he does the same thing to Dormammu.
    • Facing bosses with levels vastly lower to your can lead to this.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: When the Kingpin's goons are preparing to kill Speedball. No matter if Robbie is using his Speedball or Penance powerset, being beaten to within an inch of his life with blunt force should in fact be supercharging his kinetic powers.
  • Deal with the Devil: In The Chronicles of Doom prequel videos, Doom attempts to bargain with Dormammu for more power. Dormammu declines and casts Doom out of the Dark Dimension.
  • Distaff Counterpart: If a hero has their own in-universe Distaff Counterpart chances are it is or will soon become an Enhanced costume for them. Current examples include Hawkeye, Black Panther, Thor, Deadpool, Loki, and Ghost Rider.
  • Enemy Civil War: Madripoor is the setting of a war between HYDRA and The Hand, both of whom are after The Tablet of Life and Time.
    • The setting of the one-shot mission "March to AXIS" consists on the return of the Red Skull having caused a civil war inside HYDRA, where the regular green-vested HYDRA (loyal to the Mandarin) fights a new red-vested HYDRA (loyal to the Red Skull).
    • Chapter Ten involves a full-on street war in Madripoor between the Hand and the Skrulls.
  • Enemy Mine: Ghost helps the heroes when entering Doom's castle.
    • Loki offers to team up with the heroes shortly after you defeat his Cosmic Cube-powered self, with Surtur's forces intent on wreaking havoc and the Asgardian forces in shambles after Loki's attempted coup. As he puts it, he was 'merely' intent on claiming the Asgardian throne while Surtur wants everything destroyed.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Magneto gets one in a cutscene where he's strangling Stryker with a piece of metal, giving this speech which tells you everything you need to know about the master of magnetism.
    "You want us at war with the humans, and now you have it. I take no joy in that. I take no pleasure in it. But we either chose to win this war and live free, or lie down and let you enslave us. Torture us. Kill us. Humans and mutants cannot live together in peace. Your God has selected the Mutant as the dominant species on the planet. I am Magneto. I am mutant. And you will not take this world from me."
  • Foreshadowing: In X-defense missions, defeating the Kingpin reveals that he's actually a Skrull imposter. At C 2 E 2 2014, Gazillion revealed that after Asgard, the next major storyline will be Secret Invasion
    • Spencer Smythe appears in a side mission in Hell's Kitchen, enraged at the heroes when they stop the symbiote infestation before he could regain control of the situation and save his reputation. He vows to make the heroes pay. In the first "One-shot" mission he aids in the invasion of Wakanda to use the Vibranium mines to upgrade his Spider Slayers, and throughout Midtown Manhattan Patrol, Spider Slayers will spawn to face the heroes.
  • Freudian Excuse: In The Chronicles of Doom prequel videos, Dormammu taunts Doom by questioning if his desperate grabs for power were the result of his gypsy mother's soul trapped in hell.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The Tablet of Life and Time is used to explain why there are so many copies of the heroes running around, pounding on the various threats.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: While the game itself allows you to play a solo hero who can conquer the entirety of the heroes by themselves, the cutscenes always show collections of heroes working together against the threat.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Loki becomes a playable character (before his boss fight was released, in fact) after he is defeated and Asgard requires his help to stop Surtur's advance, although he's only required in the first place because of all the devastation he's already caused to the Asgardian forces. Juggernaut, Magneto and Venom, who were all bosses, were released as playables in 2014, so far, no in-game story justified their inclusion.
    • Taskmaster also became playable shortly after being announced (along with a slew of other Joke Character announcements) on April First, after debuting as a boss. In a brilliant example of Gameplay and Story Integration, not only is he mentioned as having a contract with S.H.I.E.L.D., his skills are almost entirely copied from Captain America, Spider-Man, Hawkeye, and Daredevil, with a tree of stances and passives called Photogenic Reflexes, after his iconic power (which allows him to perfectly mimic any move he's seen once, albeit at the cost of his own memories).
    • The Juggernaut, Doctor Doom, Magneto, Venom, and Black Cat have all appeared as villains in-game before being released as heroes. In addition, with the release of the Secret Invasion chapter, Skrull versions of several heroes are now available.
    • Ultron, Elektra, and Green Goblin are all bosses in-game, and were released in 2016.
  • Hero Ball: Given that Stryker is immeasurably worse than Magneto, Professor X telling the player to save the former from the latter reminds you why he's the father figure to the X-Men.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Dr. Doom is behind ALL of the events and villains (except Magneto) in the original main story.
    • In the original story's ending, all of Doom's cosmic energy is stolen by Loki.
  • Hold the Line: Several:
    • Several story zone events involve the heroes having to defend certain positions from waves of enemies, such as protecting SHIELD agents from HYDRA troops, mutant civilians from Purifiers, or a landing zone from waves of Doombots.
    • During the Age of Ultron mode, the second phase involves defending an EMP generator from waves of Ultron's drones so that it can neutralize the Ultron drones attacking New York.
    • During the Genosha raid, the second stage involves defending a series of generators from Onslaught's minions until they can fire and disable his shields.
    • In the Wakanda one-shot, early on you have to defend several containers of vibranium ore from waves of Man-Ape's minions.
  • Ironic Echo: When Doom attacks Dormammu in the Dark Dimension in the prologue videos, Dormammu gives Doom a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and casts him out of the Dark Dimension, telling him to learn his place. After obtaining the Cosmic Cube, Doom delivers the same line to Uatu in the opening cutscene.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The Purifiers. Both before and after the chapters focusing them, the other villain organizations, especially AIM and even the Doombots, are shown to have many instances of comedy and otherwise lighthearted moments. The Purifiers, by contrast, are played completely seriously, with nearly every playable hero (including most of the playable super-villains!) show absolute disgust and horror at the Purifiers, and their actions are in no way sugarcoated compared to HYDRA and AIM.
    • Most of the open world events in the other chapters involve either defending a position, taking out unique enemies, or fighting a Super-Villain. The events for the Purifier chapters include stopping them form hunting mutants like animals, or stopping them from graphically burning mutants alive.
  • MacGuffin: The Tablet of Life and Time, a major part of the early part of the game, is hunted after by several parties for its mystical powers - as well as being part of the reason why so many different versions of so many heroes are seen running around. In the end, its actual relevance to the plot boils down to Doom wanting it so he could destroy it and prevent it from being used against him when he finished absorbing the power of the Cosmic Cube.
  • Oh, Crap!: Everyone's reaction when Dr. Doom shows how powerful the Cosmic Cube has made him when he takes down Dormammu, who easily beat Dr. Doom in the prologue videos, and for that matter, hopelessly outclasses most physical (and non-physical) gods.
  • One-Winged Angel: During his boss fight, Doom repeatedly powers up using the Cosmic Cube, tearing his throne room apart bit by bit and becoming bigger and glowing with the raw power of the Cube. Later on, Loki does the same thing, changing his appearance and surrounding himself with a reflective shield that damages anyone who passes through.
  • Put on a Bus: The Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer were removed from the unlockable character roster in June 2017, though Doctor Doom remains a main villain and anyone who had unlocked them previously gets to keep them. Mole Man was also removed as a boss from Midtown Manhattan (making his valuable XP-increasing Medallion unobtainable).
  • Pinball Projectile: Captain America's shield and Daredevil's billy clubs can bounce off multiple enemies. Thing can also throw a manhole cover that does this.
  • Retcon: Lampshaded with the Retcon Device, which was used to respec your characters before respeccing was made something you could do on the fly.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Rocket Raccoon's entrance quotes.
  • Reflecting Laser: A number of heroes have energy attacks that bounce off hordes of enemies, albeit doing less damage after each bounce. They include Cyclops, Loki and Storm.
  • Save the Princess: Averted. From a cutscene in Chapter 3, it appears that Sharon Carter/Agent 13 might be in serious trouble whilst going undercover, and your character is tasked with locating her. It turns out that she simply lost contact because she was busy tracking the Table of Life and Time to the Hand.
  • Sequel Hook: After Doom's defeat, a large portion of the Cosmic Cube's power is taken by Loki.
    • After Loki's defeat, he reveals Surtur has rallied the Fire Demons to assault Asgard, setting the stage for the game's first Raid-level content.
    • Completing the Age of Ultron instance reveals that the Skrulls have already infiltrated Earth, foreshadowing Chapter Ten of the story, where they invade Earth.
    • Finishing the Skrull storyline and defeating Kl'rt the Super Skrull reveals the Skrulls invaded Earth because they're on the run from Thanos, who's collecting Infinity Gems (obviously).
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Emma Frost in her stripperiffic White Queen attire, dating back to her Hellfire Club days.
    • Almost all of Emma's outfits, really. Lampshaded by many, many characters in idle chatter, some asking her if she's cold, and X-23 telling her that her "attire distracts male opponents, a distinct advantage." Funniest of all, Jean Grey cattily comments "You know, Emma, I can read minds with my clothes on." Emma herself will sometimes lampshade it, for instance when near Iceman: "Stand back, dear Robert. Some of us aren't wearing layers."
    • And speaking of Jean Grey, her Black Queen outfit is quite stripperiffic.
    • Storm has a few outfits that qualify also.
    • Rogue's Savage Land costume, which is her classic costume extremely torn; what's left only covers the essentials.
    • X-23's default outfit is fairly scant, though by her personality she's more an Innocent Fanservice Girl.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Detective Jean Dewolff's been dead for decades in the comics. Here, not only is she alive and well, she plays a key role in taking down the Kingpin.
  • Trash Talk: Par for the course, given that it's a game based on comic book characters. Heroes and villains will taunt each other, and even heroes on less-than-friendly terms with each other will spout hostile lines.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Everyone, which is unsurprising when Doctor Doom and Loki are involved. Here's a quick breakdown of how everyone got played:
    • Early on, Doom gives HYDRA a device that will let them bypass Stark Industries' security, and they use this to steal Stark technology and give it to A.I.M. to produce weapons. S.H.I.E.L.D. backtracks the stolen tech to A.I.M., and from there to HYDRA, and Nick Fury orders a massive attack on HYDRA's headquarters. Once the heroes defeat the Mandarin, Doom steals one of his ten rings and uses that to destroy all the artifacts that would threaten him after he absorbed the Cosmic Cube's power.
    • Midway through the plot, Stryker and his Purifiers come into the story, having abducted countless mutants and selling their genetic material to Mr. Sinister. Unbeknownst to the Purifiers, this genetic material allowed Sinister to create a clone of Bishop for Dr. Doom, who used the clone's ability to control energy in a device that would allow him to absorb the Cosmic Cube's power.
    • Finally, there's Loki, who knew from the beginning that Doom was going to be stopped by the heroes, and was standing ready to capture the Cube's power as it left Doom and use it to initiate his invasion of Asgard.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Doctor Doom's entire plan basically ran on the fact that S.H.I.E.L.D would store the Tablet in their vault, where Ghost could steal it, and then that S.H.I.E.L.D. would eventually send both their agents and the heroes after HYDRA and the Mandarin, which would let him steal one of the Mandarin's rings so he could destroy all the artifacts that could pose a threat to him once he absorbed the power of the Cosmic Cube. And then Loki's plan essentially ran on the assumption that the heroes would defeat Doom so Loki could steal the Cosmic Cube's power from him and use it to invade Asgard.