Marvel Contest of Champions is a Great Marvel Alt to DC's Injustice
Superman and Sentry, Wolverine and Lobo, Justice League and The Avengers -it is pretty obvious that there are plenty of parallels in Marvel and DC's lineups. The same applies to their properties and licenses too, be it films or games, the two giant rivals of the comic book industry are never more than a step behind each other. And that is why is it is not surprising that after the very successful Injustice mobile app for Warner DC, Marvel also followed suit with none other than Contest of Champions.
The Cosmic Gameboard
The lore behind this game is pretty simple, in this alternate Marvel Universe, the Collector has been able to capture almost all the Marvel heroes and villains. And he now spends his time making them fight each other. Other cosmic powerhouses, such as Kang the Conqueror and Thanos also appear, serving as the Collector's gaming opponents. Their pawns are none other than the members of the Avengers, the X-Men, Spider-Man, the Sinister Six, the Brotherhood of Mutants, and all the other super powered fighters of Earth (and beyond).
As a story, Contest of Champions is quite simple and straightforward. And while it is not an adaptation of any specific storyline, other similar events have been seen in (the first) Secret Wars, and somewhat referenced from one of the more recent post-Incursion Battleworlds storylines. So the short of it is that, everyone in the Marvel Universe has been captured and can be used in team fights -simple as that.
In contrast to Injustice, this storyline simplicity is a double edged sword. It certainly lacks anything special in terms of being compelling or making players want to root for a side. But it does have a huge berth of freedom when it comes to including characters in the playable roster, something that Injustice is a little tied up with considering that it has a five year long backstory that pretty much pushes many DC characters out of the picture.
Tap and Fight
Combat in the game is tap based. Taps for short combos and attacks, drags for smashes, and then tap on the special meter for powerful super moves. This is very reminiscent of Injustice's combat presentation. But Marvel takes it a step further with allowing players to move back and forth manually -allowing for better positioning of attacks (as well as defensive evasions).
Also, while Injustice's gameplay makes use of special attacks as the end-all, be-all of battles (at a certain point, normal punches hardly do anything), Contest of Champions balances out the damage more evenly, requiring players to actively strategize and attack with both normal and special attacks. The ability to manually move back and forth adds a deeper level of strategy in combat as well, as position also becomes a critical part of fights. This makes Contest of Champions a more difficult game in general, but also a little bit more fun as you are not always easily outclassed by a character with a high level special move. Continue Reading
Release Date: 10/12/2014
Bright and Colorful
No, we are not taking a jab at how Zack Snyder tends to desaturate all colors from DC works -with its theme and storyline, it makes perfect sense that Injustice is a whole lot gloomier and more gray than your typical comic book adaptation (but it still has more colors than MoS or BvS). Contest of Champions, not surprisingly, dips in the same vividly colored pool of palettes that are enjoyed by the live action films in the MCU.
Hulk is a healthy green, Iron Man's red and gold suit shines, and Captain America is still the most politically acceptable figure of man punching people while wearing a star spangled flag. The same also goes for the game's backgrounds, from the pits of Mephisto's inferno to the shiny Avengers tower, there is a lot of gloss and shine in this game's world. You will get to visit a lot of interesting locales and major locations that have been part of the Marvel lore for many years (as well as several new locations that have been nicely included into the game).
Unlike the MCU, Contest of Champions has full access to all of Marvel's properties, and this is why you get to see your favorite mutants getting down with the Avengers, Inhumans, and all the other factions of the comic-verse (same goes for Spider-Man as well). We love the fact that characters are shown in their various incarnations (Earth 616, Ultimates, MCU, etc), and that regardless if you are a fan of the movies, the comics, or the animated shows, you will be able to relate to the game.
Pretty Nice App Game
The only downside to Marvel Contest of Champions (especially when compared to Injustice), is that it is too burdened by its F2P features. Sure, both games are kind of grindy and have IAPs, but CoC has a lot more obstacles to deal with. For one thing, the energy bar is for you, the player, not the individual heroes. In Injustice, you can easily swap out Superman for another hero (like Wonder Woman, Batman, or whoever else you have) then bring Supe into the game after a couple of hours when he is back to full. In CoC, you stop playing when you run out of energy, no matter how many heroes you got. The same applies to acquiring new characters, instead of being able to cherry pick special heroes (for a premium price), you will have to rely on the gatch style randomness of pulling new heroes using the special ISO-8 currency.
Putting those aside, Marvel Contest of Champions is still a great game. The combat is deep and engaging. All the heroes and villains are depicted with not only amazing visuals, but very entertaining and satisfying animations too. The roster is huge and varied (which means being able to find a favorite is easy), and there is even a lot of room for new players to stretch their legs in. While it has its pitfalls (which are predictable), it is easy to see why CoC would be a great pick for any Marvel fan.
Marvel Contest of Champions is developed by Kabam.