Marvel Rivals stands apart from Overwatch with a battlefield-altering mechanic

by 24britishtvMay 11, 2024, 7 p.m. 22
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Hero shooters are everywhere these days. Overwatch 2. Apex Legends. Valorant. Rainbow Six Siege. You can’t move without stubbing your toe on one. This is why the upcoming Marvel Rivals, which leverages decades of comic lore and successful films for its characters, has a herculean task ahead of it. Even with that though, the shooter has just detailed a destruction system that could be a piece of the puzzle that helps it find a dedicated audience.

With playtests for the upcoming Marvel Rivals ongoing, the Overwatch 2 competitor is going to need to do a lot to find itself a space in an already crowded market. The third-person shooter is aiming for the team-based tactics of FPS games like Valorant, Counter-Strike, and Apex Legends, just with a space raccoon fighting a mutant that can control the skies instead.

It looks like Marvel Rivals is using more than just the world’s most popular superheroes to set itself apart from the competition, though, as the game has quite the twist on the destruction mechanics we’ve seen in bombastic shooters like Battlefield.

“We want to be able to tear down buildings and structures with our awesome superpowers, but because this is a team-based PvP shooter, we needed those blocks to exist for strategic showdowns,” Marvel Rivals community manager ‘James’ writes on Discord.

To find this balance, developer NetEase will make sure that some environments are destructive to “open new pathways” in a firefight, while others “that serve as blockades in the levels” will remain untouchable.

That’s not all though, as the ‘Thematic Environmental System’ is what truly sets Marvel Rivals apart from the destructive effects of Battlefield and The Finals. This system will see lore-friendly rebuilds of the destructive environments, creating a push-and-pull effect in battle that I can’t wait to see in action.

Examples like Loki rebuilding Yggsgard and Spider-bots reforming Tokyo 99 are detailed, with the next test for Marvel Rivals debuting the mechanic. It aims to make sure the “environmental destruction differs from that of other games” and feels “more Marvel,” according to NetEase. If done right, with key strategic positions coming and going while we destroy parts of each map, this could be one of the coolest shooter mechanics of recent years.

The team adds that it’s using the Unreal Engine 5 Chaos destruction system alongside Lumen’s global dynamic lighting to make sure these effects look as good as possible, with a particular focus on how they work client-side. This is to ensure that every player has their physics simulations synchronized while playing, which is incredibly important for a competitive shooter. You don’t want one player blocked by rubble while the rest can still pop off some shots, after all.

With Battlefield and The Finals cornering the market of mass destruction in shooters, I’m optimistically waiting to see what Marvel Rivals has got cooking. Having some of the destruction repaired sounds like a fascinating way to make every firefight in the same location feel different while creating some great tactical opportunities too. I just want Hulk to freely smash whatever he can, though, which is never too much of an ask.

The full Marvel Rivals characters list will tell you who has been confirmed as playable in the Overwatch 2 rival, while our breakdown of the best multiplayer games will keep you busy if you missed the superhero shooter’s alpha playtest.

You can also follow us on Google News for daily PC games news, reviews, and guides, or grab our PCGN deals tracker to net yourself some bargains.

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