Marvel Dimension of Heroes is a brand-new AR experience from Lenovo that puts you in the shoes of six of the most iconic Marvel heroes as the AR follow up to Star Wars: Jedi Challenges.
A few weeks ago Lenovo invited me to an office space in San Francisco, CA to get a look at their latest AR product, which combines the headset they shipped with Star Wars: Jedi Challenges with two brand new Valve Index knuckles-like controllers alongside the Marvel IP. The end result is Marvel Dimension of Heroes, a brand-new AR experience that lets you play as six of the most iconic heroes from the Marvel universe (Captain Marvel, Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Star Lord, Thor, and Captain America) across three game modes.
Marvel Dimension of Heroes AR Trailer:
The three game modes included are Story Mode, Survival Mode, and Co-Op Mode. Predictably, the Story Mode is split into six parts, one for each of the heroes, that has you take control of them and their popular powers to fight off enemies. The plot revolves around the Dread Dormammu, Lord of the Dark Dimension, attacking earth. At the end of each hero’s collection of battles you’ll fight one of their most iconic villains such as Ronan the Accuser for Star Lord, Loki for Thor, and so on.
According to the developers the Story Mode is mostly a series of training scenarios for the Survival Mode which is where they expect most people to spend their time thanks to the leaderboards and replayable format. It’s basically a bunch of wave shooter levels. Finally there’s Co-Op, but it seems to be restricted to dedicated team-up pairs and you can’t just pick any two heroes that you want. It’s also local co-op only, but you both need the full Lenovo AR kit. They recommend standing side-by-side.
To be clear: it certainly sounds a lot more ambitious than it really is in practice, from what I’ve seen. My demo was only a small slice of Star Lord’s campaign, which is promising from a breadth of content perspective, but it certainly feels like it’ll be a pretty shallow affair. I could shoot my guns, move around to dodge incoming attacks, punch enemies, and charge up my blasters for super attacks. As far as I could tell there weren’t any progression mechanics or ability to do anything during levels other than fight.
At the end of the day you’re still basically playing a wave shooter against translucent holograms via a smartphone-powered AR headset using mirrors to reflect the display in front of your eyes. There is a ceiling for quality with this sort of technology and I’m fairly certain we’ve just about reached it here.
In the case of Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, the fantasy of lightsaber combat married with the surprisingly hefty and high-quality lightsaber controller was a great combination of novelty meets functionality. Over time they rolled out new movie tie-in content as well to keep people engaged. In a post-Endgame era and with a lack of actual MCU-relation, Marvel Dimension of Heroes could be too little too late. That being said, I am basing a lot of this off of a brief demo and short 10-minute presentation from the development team.
The ‘Lenovo Mirage AR Device’ package will be available in the US starting tomorrow, September 6, 2019, for $249.99. That price includes the headset, tracking beacon you place on the floor, and two ‘Lenovo Mirage AR Universal Controllers.’ If this is your first foray into Lenovo Mirage AR, this new kit will play both Marvel Dimension of Heroes and the previously released Star Wars: Jedi Challenges experience, both of which are free apps available to download on Google Play and the iOS App Store. You can see a list of compatible smartphones here.
If you already own the original kit, which included the headset, tracking beacon, and a unique lightsaber-shaped controller, then you’ll be able to buy the two new controllers separately to upgrade since they’re required for the Marvel Dimension of Heroes experience.
For more details make sure and keep an eye on the official website!