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Tom’s Guide
Tom’s Guide
Alyse Stanley

Suit up for Marvel Rivals: Everything we know about Marvel's free Overwatch-like PVP shooter

Marvel Rivals.

Don't leave the multiverse-hopping hijinks to the MCU shows and movies. Marvel has officially unveiled "Marvel Rivals," a new team-based, player-vs-player shooter packed with your favorite Marvel characters. Developed by NetEase Games in collaboration with Marvel Games, the upcoming free-to-play PC title sees teams of six heroes and villains from the Marvel universe face off in battles across multiple worlds from Asgard to the Tokyo of 2099. 

Judging from the first gameplay trailer, which you can check out below, "Marvel Rivals" is very reminiscent of another team-based, 6v6 PVP shooter you're likely already familiar with: Blizzard's "Overwatch." But there are a few noticeable differences that should shake things up in interesting ways.

For starters, "Marvel Rivals" is played in third-person rather than a first-person POV like in "Overwatch." Also setting it apart are partially destructible environments, which should change the flow of battle so that each map plays out differently from match to match. And there are unique power and team-up abilities for characters on the same team with close ties to each other in the comics.

Right now you can wishlist "Marvel Rivals" on both Steam and the Epic Games Store. There's no word yet on whether the game will be coming to consoles or when it will be released. Here's the game's official description via Marvel

“NetEase Games and Marvel Games are excited to announce their latest collaboration: Marvel Rivals, a cooperative, Super Hero team-based PVP shooter! Players can assemble an ever-evolving all-star squad of Super Heroes and Super Villains, while battling with unique super powers across a dynamic lineup of destructible maps from across the Marvel Multiverse. Marvel Rivals is in development for PC by a NetEase team composed of global talent, who previously worked on hit franchises such as Call of Duty and Battlefield.”

Marvel Rivals trailer and plot

In true comic book fashion, the game's story revolves around Doctor Doom and his 2099 counterpart forcing the Marvel multiverse to collide in the Timestream Entanglement, with heroes and villains from across the multiverse teaming up to put a stop to their nefarious plans. 

As with other team-based hero shooters, the plot's really just an excuse to get all these superpowered fighters together in one place and trade punches. There’s a lot to process in the trailer. We catch a glimpse of Bruce Banner transforming into Hulk mid-battle, Doctor Strange conjuring a Sling Ring to transport Spider-Man and other superheroes into the thick of fighting elsewhere on the map, and Black Panther summoning Bast. 

Marvel Rivals release date

Marvel has yet to announce an official release date for "Marvel Rivals." The game will be free-to-play when it launches on PC, and Marvel teased updates like seasonal drops, new superheroes, and more new content after its release. "Marvel Rivals" can currently be wishlisted on both Steam and the Epic Games Store.

Confirmed playable characters in Marvel Rivals

As for the game's roster, Marvel has confirmed the following 18 characters will be playable from the start: 

  • Rocket Racoon
  • Groot
  • Doctor Strange
  • Black Panther
  • Iron Man
  • Spider-Man
  • Star Lord
  • Scarlet Witch
  • Loki
  • Namor
  • Magneto
  • Magik
  • Storm
  • Peni Parker
  • Luna Snow
  • Hulk
  • Mantis
  • The Punisher

How to sign up for Marvel Rivals' alpha playtest

If you're itching to put Marvel's take on "Overwatch" through its paces, you're in luck. "Marvel Rivals" will be available to play in a closed alpha test starting in May, and registration is officially open. 

To sign up for the "Marvel Rivals" closed alpha, first you'll need to fill out this registration form and answer questions about what game genres you play the most, your favorite PVP shooters, and how familiar you are with Marvel comics, movies, and shows. 

Don’t feel pressured to give a specific response — there's no "right" answer, as development teams are often looking for players with a diverse range of experiences during these kinds of early tests. Developer NetEase says the focus will be to test out game mechanics, flag bugs, and gather feedback from players. Invites to the playtest will go out via email, so be sure to keep an eye on your inbox. 

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