abam Studios, makers of the movie tie-in RTS The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth, recently had a press event at mega-swank Eventi hotel, and I got to sit down with the creators of some of the most innovative new games coming to your mobile devices and discus their projects. I got to demo dungeon crawlers, RPGs, and a live action creature collector that is as innovative and fun as it could be controversial. Yet out of all the pretty girls in the room of the super classy Mad Men-esque hotel suite, the one that captured my heart was Sam Humphries’…err Marvel’s brand new mobile fighting game from creative director Cuz Perry and WRITTEN by Sam Humphries called Marvel’s Contest of Champions.
MCoC is a fighting game like none I’ve ever played before, mostly because I don’t play fighting games on my phone. Full disclosure: I don’t play mobile games at all. I’m from a generation that got to have the dank glory of arcades packed with experts crowding around machines, placing quarters on screens to signal their intent to battle. Playing what they thought passed for Street Fighter on a phone didn’t interest me. Most attempts at any mobile gaming on anything other than a dedicated device have been met with mixed to laughable results, but fighting games were the worst offenders – Remember One on Nokia’s N-Gage? Nowadays fighting game are played by a hardcore niche community of competitors who count frame rates on hit animations and memorize thousands of variations of combos for their favorite character…and children who play Super Smash Bros.
Marvel’s Contest of Champions is looking to expand the fighter fan base to the casual gamer on the go, and with slick presentation, graphics that look as good as an FMV, and super simple controls, they seem poised to do just that. This arcade style fighting game places you as “The Summoner,” squaring off against classic marvel villain Kang the Conqueror using The Collector (Benicio Del Toro’s Character in Guardians of the Galaxy) and his assortment of marvel superheroes and villains that he has mysteriously kidnapped and forced to take part in this tournament. The game will launch with a staggering roster of 50 playable characters with a promise of more to come that range from the popular fan favorites like Spider-Man and Deadpool, and the new darling of the silver screen Starlord, to hipster bait nerdgasam characters like Black Bolt of the Inhumans, and Gamorra, daughter of the mad titan Thanos.
Because fussing over endless minutia seem to be the wave of the future, RPG elements have been introduced into the fray, allowing players to supe up stock character with bonus powers and abilities for better battle in the arena. There is even an adventure mode where you can play a cosmic game of chess, moving your pieces along a galactic game board, gathering power ups, and doing battle with any hero who crosses your path. Bottom line: The game looks great and plays even better. The big finishers are awesomely rendered and feel rewarding, the levels are well animated eye candy, and the huge roster that only promises to grow with time is an awesome sight to behold.
Kabam swung for the fences with MCoC, and with controls that couldn’t be simpler to pick up, and more than enough depth to really lose yourself in the experience, PLUS graphics that made me rethink my objections to mobile gaming, Contest of Champions is set to be Marvel’s first must play mobile fighter.