Rule the Inhumans with Our Marvel Heroes 2016 Black Bolt Review
There are a lot of different groups populating the Marvel universe of comics, such as mutants, but few are as weirdly unique as the Inhumans. While quietly lurking in the dusty back issue bins of comic book shops, the Inhumans have had a massive resurgence in popularity due in great part to the current Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series on TV. Now they have began to emerge into the Marvel Heroes 2016 mmorpg with the introduction of Black Bolt. Will his sonic cries bring tears of joy or pain while playing him? Find out in our Marvel Heroes 2016 Black Bolt review.
Let's begin our Marvel Heroes 2016 Black Bolt review with the basics. His bio on the game's site reads: "Having experienced terrigenesis before he was born, Blackagar Boltagon was granted frighteningly destructive powers. With a voice strong enough to destroy whole worlds, his parents would isolate and teach him to control his abilities. Finding silent companionship in one of his few visitors, Medusalith Amaquelin, the two’s romance would blossom into marriage. But when Blackagar used his voice to protect the city, many lives of the Inhumans’ leading council were lost--including his parents. Blackagar reluctantly inherited the mantle of King of the Inhumans with Medusalith at his side. Though he justly serves the people of Attilan through the wise words his council, he chooses his own words to protect Attilan from those who would put the Inhumans in danger." I was aware of the Inhumans and Black Bolt long ago (about 30 years ago) from reading the Marvel comics, but I'm not intimately familiar with them as I am with other groups, such as the Uncanny X-Men. Still, I think that Black Bolt is an intriguing character.
Please note that this Marvel Heroes Black Bolt review is not a comprehensive review as I did not play the hero to endgame or experiment with a lot of different builds (due to time constraints). The character was played to about level 40, so this review focuses on how he operated during that timeframe.
Now let's turn our Marvel Heroes 2016 Black Bolt review to his powers. Now that the free mmo has had its major revamp, he has two main power trees for players to pick up as they level: Scion of Attilan and Inhuman Conduit. The old third power tree has been replaced with Talents & Traits, which are used to convert powers from the other two trees into new powers, starting at level 32. The Scion of Attilan tree is essentially composed of melee powers while Inhuman Conduit focuses on ranged powers.
So how does the Marvel Heroes 2016 Black Bolt character work? Most of the powers that he uses consume energy, but he starts off with having zero energy. However, Black Bolt has a number of powers that will generate energy. The ranged power that he starts off with that generates energy is Quasi-sonic Bolt, and this power is actually pretty useful for some time. It's a ranged attack that generates 5% of max energy with every blast and it's range is really long. The other basic power that Black Bolt starts with is Close Combat, which is a melee attack that also generates energy. Personally, I rarely used this power and swapped it out with something more to my liking. While most of the heroes I've played in Marvel Heroes 2016 (which you can play for free here) have quite a few powers I normally didn't care for, I have to admit that Black Bolt actually has a lot of powers that I really enjoyed. One of my favorites to use in combat is Regal Mandate, in which Black Bolt delivers a slew of punches to a foe and restoring some energy while doing so. Split the Sky is another power I enjoyed using, and this ability has Black Bolt soaring up high and then smashing back down after achieving hypersonic speeds. It's a nice AoE attack. A really devastating attack is Killing Word, where Black Bolt devastates an area with just a whisper and restores 50% of max energy.
I found that the Marvel Heroes 2016 Black Bolt hero was one of the more fun characters I've played in the mmo. He has a lot of useful powers, and the player can really do some damage by linking a few together. An example of this is using Terrigen Breath, which is an AoE attack that also sucks enemies towards the center of the attack. I could then follow this up with Inhuman Shockwave (an AoE attack) or with Swooping Strikes (a melee attack that hits enemies that are close but also restores 20% of max energy). There are multiple ways for a player to keep their energy up to really rain down some damage on the bad guys. As for fighting tougher opponents, such as bosses, I would use combinations of Master Blow (an extremely powerful haymaker), Regal Mandate (flurry of punches), and Swooping Strikes (quick AoE that restores energy). There's quite a bit of variety for the player to choose from, and I found Black Bolt to be an excellent combatant that was fun to play.
So, what's the verdict in our Marvel Heroes 2016 Black Bolt review? Personally, I enjoyed playing him and found his range of powers to be useful and fun to use. Of course, he also does not have the usual quips that one hears from heroes in the game as he is pretty silent, which fits in perfectly with his background. Black Bolt is a worthy addition to the game, and I expect more Inhumans will be added as playable characters. My one big hope is that Lockjaw becomes available as a Team-Up as that would be perfect for Black Bolt, not to mention other Inhumans.