Here's a look at the canceled Marvel MMO's hero creator

Image for Here's a look at the canceled Marvel MMO's hero creator
(Image credit: Ramiro Galan)

Late last year, word got out that a massively multiplayer online game featuring Marvel characters was in the works at Daybreak Game Company, the co-publisher of MMOs like DC Universe Online, The Lord of the Rings Online, and Dungeons & Dragons Online. Development was being led by City of Heroes designer Jack Emmert, but not much else was known about the project. And then, this month, it was canceled so that Daybreak could spread its resources over updates to its existing MMOs instead.

Now an artist named Ramiro Galan, who claims to have worked on the canceled Marvel MMO, has shared his work on its character creator. "Emphasis was on rich and vibrant colors with stylistic tones that pay homage to Spider-Man Into the Spiderverse", Galan says.

The screens show a player-character being designed, choosing a faction from four options (the X-Men, Avengers, SHIELD, and Fantastic 4), as well as a superpower (in this case, electricity), and some customization.

The possibilities don't seem quite as impressive as the ones that made creating a hero in City of Heroes so great. There are builds and head styles, with the example having an Aladdin Sane lightning bolt to go with his electric powers, then outfits that alter your speed, power, and agility stats, but amount to just a t-shirt, pants, and sneakers. (The sneakers can also be customized.) Presumably the interesting gear, capes and masks and whatnot, would have been unlocked through play or bought from the store. There's a link to the store at the top of some of these screens.

Licensed superhero MMOs are a tricky proposition. You can let people play existing characters and accept the fact you'll end up with five Hulks running around together, which Marvel Heroes did. Or you can have players design their own characters who will inevitably feel like second-stringers compared to the real heroes, which DC Universe Online did. It looks like the canceled Marvel MMO chose the second way.

While it's a shame for the developers who no doubt worked hard on this project, it's tough to feel like we've missed out on much. It doesn't help that while the art style is described as paying homage to the bold cartoon look of Into the Spider-Verse, it comes across closer to DreamWorks. The bit at the end where it shows your newly designed hero on the cover of issue #1 of their own Marvel comic is a neat idea, though.

Read more: Marvel Heroes could've been the game Marvel's Avengers wishes it was

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.