Prepare For An All Out Brawl with the Global Release of 'MARVEL Realm of Champions'
Marvel.com talks to the creative team about the new real-time mobile multiplayer action-RPG brawler!
The day has arrived — it’s time to choose a side!
The worldwide release of the highly anticipated, real-time mobile multiplayer action-RPG brawler MARVEL Realm of Champions is upon us! Download the game in the App Store and Google Play now. MARVEL Realm of Champions is a bold, new imagining of the Marvel Universe that transports players to Battleworld, a mysterious, war-ravaged planet forged from many realities. The factions of Battleworld had been kept in isolation until Maestro marched over the land and forced the houses to unify into a single Realm, keeping a tenuous peace on the planet. The Maestro’s reign was cut short when he was mysteriously murdered, causing massive unrest and the threat of imminent war. In a last-ditch effort, a group of the House Leaders gathered and agreed to fight in a secret war to prevent an open war.
Marvel.com had the opportunity to have an in-depth talk to Gabriel Frizzera, the creative/art direct for MARVEL Realm of Champions as well as MARVEL Contest of Champions, about this brand-new brawler and what players can expect from the story and gameplay! Read on below, and don't miss out on your first look at the game as Gabriel also joined today's Marvel Let's Play LIVE!
Marvel.com: We’ve been on the edge of our seat since MARVEL Realm of Champions was announced at NYCC 2019, and as its global launch is finally here, can you share with us how the game came to be?
Gabriel Frizzera: In a nutshell, MROC started as a story. We have been exploring so many corners of the Marvel Multiverse in our game Contest of Champions for the past few years, and we knew we would eventually touch on SECRET WARS storyline, which is such a perfect concept for a game dealing with the convergence of heroes and villains from alternate realities. Because we like to play the long game, pretty early planted the seed of the existence of Secret Wars’ Battleworld inside of the Contest, and occasionally hinted at its existence in the story and visuals of the game.
Eventually, we realized that even Contest couldn’t do justice to such a sprawling concept, and decided to pitch it as a sister game to Contest, one that would share much of its DNA but be a completely different experience. At that point we had fleshed out much of the game’s world and basic conflict (blending SECRET WARS to with many different alternate-reality storylines like EARTH X, HOUSE OF M and AGE OF APOCALYPSE), but we were still finding the perfect gameplay for it, which developed gradually in the last couple of years, culminating in the high-energy multiplayer experience we have now.
Marvel.com: What is the story behind MROC? Who are the 12 Barons? And what’s at stake with the Secret War?
Gabriel Frizzera: The basic story of Realm of Champions starts in Battleworld, a patchwork planet composed of alternate realities governed by Warrior Houses representing the many facets of the Marvel Multiverse. They have evolved in semi-isolation until the Maestro (which people might remember as the deranged Hulk conqueror and the main villain in Contest of Champions) conquered the planet and unified the lands, creating a single Realm. But his reign didn’t last long as he was mysteriously assassinated. The brutal emperor was gone, but also the fragile peace he kept by force. Without a central power keeping them in check, the Houses started to fight for control of Battleworld.
At the top of each House are the Barons, Powerful alternate versions of well-known characters in the Marvel lore. The twelve initial Barons we meet are gathered in a secret council to try and avoid open war between the Houses… or transform it into a smaller conflict they can control, a kind of “Secret War”.
Marvel.com: Who are the original 8 Barons and who are the new 4? What are the different Super Hero houses?
Gabriel Frizzera: The first eight Barons we see in this secret council are:
- STARK PRIME (CEO OF THE HOUSE OF IRON) - An A.I. version of Tony Stark that took over his House after the original Tony has gone missing. Same over-the-top personality and ego.
- MADAME WEB (MASTER WEAVER OF THE SPIDER-GUILD) - An older version of Gwen Stacy that leads a society of information dealers and spies with a secret agenda. She’s like an older punk rocker that took her spider-powers to the next level.
- PRESIDENT PEGGY CARTER - A version of Peggy Carter that has become the president of the Patriot Garrison. As president of her land, she carries the shield of a fallen Steve Rogers and has the grit and experience of Nick Fury.
- SKAAR - The strongest there is, even in a land full of armed-to-the-teeth post-apocalyptic Barbarian Hulks. He doesn’t care about what other Houses think, he just wants to smash.
- ANCIENT ONE - An alternate version of Stephen Strange who’s been exploring the limits of the Time Stone for hundreds of years, to the point where it replaced his own sight. Now he sees millions of alternate possibilities all at once, unable to discern a single reality.
- WAR THOR - She’s the warrior-queen of a changed Asgard that was forced to isolate from the world after the Maestro’s attack. To represent the multiple peoples she governs, she carries one hammer made of Eternal Flame, and another made of the frost of Ancient Winters.
- QUEEN SHURI - Shuri was pushed into leadership after her brother T’Challa sacrificed himself to save the Wakandan people against the Maestro. Now the young queen must combine her tech savvy with the ancient traditions of her people to rebuild her land.
- APOCALYPSE - Leader of a land populated by powerful cybernetically enhanced mutants, En Sabah Nur considers his to be the only advanced culture in a land of savages. The extent of his powers and of his Horsemen is still unknown, and even the mighty tremble in his presence.
The four new Barons we introduced in the latest cinematic are:
- LOGAN - A warlord trapped between his violent instincts and the desire to progress his land from a savage collection of clans to a truly civilized country.
- VISION PRIME - Representative of the Ultron Network, a hive-mind fighting for recognition as a sovereign nation among the Houses of Battleworld.
- KING GROOT - One of the most powerful beings on the planet, he single-handedly protects and shelters a whole country full of outlaws, smugglers and rogues.
- DEADPOOL SUPREME - The mad leader of the exceedingly wealthy Pirates of Deadpool Island, the other Houses wish they could ignore him… but he invited himself to the council.
Marvel.com: Realm is not like anything we’ve ever seen before. What has it been like collaborating on this reimagining of the Marvel Universe? As well as now offering up a real-time RPG game?
Gabriel Frizzera: Our aim was always to create a fresh experience for Marvel fans, both on the creative side as well as the gameplay. Our partners at Marvel Games have always encouraged us to push the limits, knowing how much we love the Marvel Universe. We had been flirting with small-scale reimaginings of Marvel characters in Contest, but MROC definitely is much more ambitious. We hope to do justice to this unprecedented opportunity to create a brand-new universe that will be cherished by many people around the world, and on top of that offer a fresh multiplayer gameplay experience that can be enjoyed in real-time by players.
Marvel.com: What are some of the worlds will players get to explore?
Gabriel Frizzera: Each of the lands in Battleworld is a representation of a Marvel family of characters, both in culture and history, the way people dress, the architecture, you name it. So you’ll see places like the IRON MONGERY, where the House of Iron develops their newest armor models; THE BADLANDS, the Gamma-irradiated desert where a downed Maestro helicarrier now serves as battle arena; MUTOPIA, where the floating pyramids of Apocalypse watch over the mutant nation; and also twisted alternate versions of familiar locations like WARRIOR FALLS, DAILY BUGLE, THE ASTRAL PLANE, and many more. We expect to introduce new environments on a regular basis to offer a variety of visual and gameplay layouts to the players.
Marvel.com: How is the Realm of Champions experience similar or different from Contest? What about the three modes players can pick from?
Gabriel Frizzera: They’re very different experiences. While Contest is a single-player, asynchronous fighting game with light RPG elements, MROC was built from the ground up to be a co-op real-time multiplayer game with deep customization elements. The game sessions are meant to be fast-paced and short. People who played the beta had a blast.
We have three modes currently available for players: ARENA CONQUEST, a 3v3 Arena battle with lots of twist and turns; STRONGHOLD, a PVE more where you and two teammates defend an energy core against wave after hungry wave of increasingly powerful enemies; and our newest DEATHMATCH mode, where 3 teams of two Champions go head-to-head in an environment full of powerful artifacts that can buff your Champion with different power-ups.
Marvel.com: An exciting feature of the game is the ability to fully customize the Marvel Champions – what does that entail? What can players pick from?
Gabriel Frizzera: We put a lot of thought into the customization feature, which sits at the core of the MROC experience. We didn’t want to have a one-size-fits-all customization feature; we wanted to respect the individuality of each House, represented by their own unique gear and weapons and even which of the six slots are available to be customized on each Champion. We looked for inspiration in 80 years of Marvel lore, from the most famous to the most obscure, to create our gear sets, and it’s up to the player to mix and match the pieces to create their own version of their favorite characters.
Customization in our game isn’t only an aesthetic statement — it’s part of the gameplay experience as well, and each decision the player makes modifies the way their Champion plays. Each piece of gear modifies not only that stats of the Champion, but can be combined as well for powerful synergies. The weapons each character carry the most powerful modifiers of all, with different weapons changing the moves, FX and ultimately the role of each Champion in battle.
Marvel.com: Who are the Champions fans can play?
Gabriel Frizzera: We currently have six Champions, each representing a different House, and each with a different role in the battlefield:
- IRON LEGIONNAIRE (HOUSE OF IRON)
- WEB WARRIOR (SPIDER-GUILD)
- HULK (GAMMA HORDE)
- SORCERER SUPREME (TEMPLE OF VISHANTI)
- BLACK PANTHER (KINGDOM OF WAKANDA)
- STORM (PYRAMID X)
We also have two more Champions coming soon!
But that’s not the end. We aim to keep introducing new Champions and Houses to the game in the foreseeable future.
Marvel.com: What are the three roles and how do they work in a team setting?
Gabriel Frizzera: We have big, beefy Tanks like Hulk that excel at soaking up enemy damage to protect their allies, and at disrupting enemies at close range. Damage-dealers like Black Panther are agile, elusive, and extremely deadly. The third role is Support, who are best in the back lines where they can safely amplify their allies and control their enemies. A Champion's Role is determined by the Weapon they equip, which allows players to customize their combat abilities, and then fine-tuned by the Gear and Synergies they use to augment their role.
In a team setting, we recommend to balance one of each Role: one Tank, one Support, and then one Damage-dealer focused on a high damage-per-second (“DPS”). This ensures your team has the offense to threaten opponents, the defenses to counter enemy attacks, and the utility to set up powerful combos and disrupt enemy strategies. Of course, this is a game about exploring the breadth of customization options, so there are also some effective builds out there that don't follow this balanced approach. We can't wait to see what exciting combinations players come up with!
Marvel.com: When planning out your team, what’s the best strategy for players to consider?
Gabriel Frizzera: Teamwork makes the dream work. While virtually every combination of Champions, Weapons, and Gear can be effective in the right hands, players can eke out additional advantages by pairing up with teammates that cover each others' weaknesses. For example, Iron Legionnaire's Super Laser is one of the most damaging Weapons in the game, but he's fragile and easy for enemies to dodge. Pair him up with a Hulk to initiate and soak damage, and a Storm to freeze enemies in place, so enemies can feel the full force of a Tri-Beam Blast.
Marvel.com: Can you give us a rundown on Arena Conquest?
Gabriel Frizzera: The Arena Conquest game mode is the best place to prove yourself on the battlefield and earn the glory of the Realm. It's a 3v3 arena with a large center area between two opposing B.O.D.O.K.S – Baron Oracles Designed Only for Killing. These are holographic projections of a House's Baron, designed by Stark Prime to act as projections of Baron power in his "ISO-Games".
To win, players must defeat the enemy B.O.D.O.K. while protecting their own. Be careful — each B.O.D.O.K. is quite powerful and cannot be taken down directly...unless your team is Supercharged! Capture the center area for your team by defeating or pushing back all enemies, and then use the boost provided to assault the enemy B.O.D.O.K. They're so strong; it might take a few tries!
Marvel.com: Tell us why everyone should join us on the Battleworld!
Gabriel Frizzera: I think that if you love Marvel like we do, and love playing fast-paced action games with your friends, we might have built the perfect experience for you. We think players are going to be intrigued by this unique twist on the Marvel Universe, and the opportunity to take classic characters in unexpected directions through customization. We have many plans to build this world into something unlike anyone has seen before, something to be enjoyed for years to come... a Marvel story told by players as much as by us, the developers.
Marvel.com: Last question, whose House did you choose and why?
Gabriel Frizzera: I choose Vishanti, because they have already won the war. At least in some of the many alternate timelines out there… ;)
MARVEL Realm of Champions is now available as a free download (with in-app purchases) on the App Store and Google Play. For more information on MARVEL Realm of Champions, including updates on future patches, content, and in-game enhancements, please visit the official site or follow the official Facebook page and Twitter page.
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