There’s no shortage of superhero games waiting to catch your eye online, but for the easiest and most unique of these free games, Hero Zero is the clear winner. With an extraordinarily detailed character creator, excellent artwork, and solid gameplay mechanics, the lovingly crafted superhero sim captures the boundless enthusiasm of a ‘fresh-behind-the-ears’ hero putting on his mask for the first time.
Games that allow you to build your heroes from scratch are surprisingly few and far between these days, considering the seemingly endless possibilities inherent to the genre. DC Universe or Arkham Knight will place you in well-worn shoes of the world’s most familiar heroes, but many players don’t want to live out someone else’s story. They’d rather craft their own costume, define their own powers, and join a league of likeminded crimefighters that’s modeled from their own fantasies.
And that’s exactly what Hero Zero allows you to do. Your hero starts from scratch – rescuing cats and tripping up purse-snatchers – and then it’s off to the big leagues as you fight bank robbers, rogue asteroids, and eventually, supervillains. The biggest threats require cooperation – you’ll need to team up with your online buddies and join a league to take down some of the more powerful opponents.
In that way, Hero Zero most resembles the superhero MMOs of previous decades, like City of Heroes and its darker counterpart City of Villains. Costumes, hair styles, and faces can be customized with an amazing amount of versatility.
The drawbacks of the game involve the somewhat repetitive mission timers, suggesting this Hero Zero might be better suited to a mobile title than its current web iteration. The lack of non-human character options was also a drawback – if you want to create a twisted creature like Fantastic Four’s The Thing, you’ll have to look elsewhere. In some ways, however, this is part of the charm – the game makes you feel more like Peter Parker putting on the Spiderman mask for the first time than his later galaxy-hopping exploits.
You can check out Nutaku’s Hero Zero here.