Marvel Ultimate Alliance Review
Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance has been re-released this classic game from 2006 on PC, Xbox One and PS4, featuring a wide selection of Marvel heroes including the Avengers, Fantastic Four, X-Men and many more such as Doctor Strange, Deadpool, Luke Cage, Blade, Ghost Rider and extra characters are coming in the upcoming free DLC update.
The game features a “Diablo” style top down view, allowing players to switch between four heroes, taking on enemies and collecting items. While every hero has a basic move set, each hero has different abilities depending on their superpowers and special move. Characters can also be customed with skill points, though I didn’t find this to be too interesting and not necessary.
The main focus of the story is seeing the heroes trying to stop Dr Doom and his group of super villain partners, the Masters Of Evil, which include Ultron, Loki and The Mandarin. There is a lot of text to read while going through the story, with extra information being given in side conversations, rather than movie cut scenes that you’d expect nowadays.
This game features a very large cast of characters from the comic books and with such a large roster, which back in 2006, would have been considered low tier characters that weren’t as well known, with the explosion of the MCU, characters like Doctor Strange, Luke Cage, Thor, Black Widow and Iron Man are much more well known.
There is also co-op and online play available, plus extra unlockable missions, all of which add extra replay value. Plus going through unlocking all the characters and costumes.
With the 2016 re-release only being available as a digital download, it does mean the price isn’t that competitive for a game that’s 10 years old and hasn’t been given too much of a face lift. The price does seem a bit high, though if purchased in the bundle with its 2009 sequel, it is slightly cheaper and that made this game feel a little more better value for money for me, but it’s still overpriced for what is a port rather than a remaster. It didn’t look amazing on the PS4, especially considering the price, however it did run pretty smoothly bar the odd little glitch. Though the PC launch did suffer from major issues and many players have complained about the port, but since then been this has been patched.
Having never played these when they were originally released, I did have a lot of fun playing through this game since its re-release. Had I played the game originally, I’m not sure this would be worth the price to play again, but for new players like myself, it’s a easy recommendation for those wanting a Marvel fix.
Jumping between so many characters is pretty good, especially seeing characters from the Fantastic Four and X-Men at the forefront of Marvel was great, since nowadays they’ve taken a backseat due to the movie issue. But ten years on, its become pretty normal to see so many Marvel characters as many recent games like Disney Infinity, Contest of Champions and Marvel Heroes, include many characters.
Some might see this re-release as a cheap cash grab, especially considering how it does seem like the team put any effort into upgrading the game. Unlike other remasters that go back and fix issues, upgrade the graphics and maybe offering something better over the original, but there isn’t any of that in this game and that’s where the cash grabbing feels like it has come in, had this game been priced around $10 to $15, it would be easier to accept these ports. I’d love to see more classic Marvel games brought to modern systems, but Activision and Marvel have hopefully learned from the mistakes. And with Xbox One having backwards compatibility options for the 360, this game could have been made available like other companies have been doing, making Xbox One fans a little more annoyed.
This is where my review splits into two halves, for new players coming into the franchise, this can be an enjoyable experience and worth playing, but if you played it the first time or already own it, it might not be a worthwhile download until its discounted.
I enjoyed playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance, its not amazing when its compared to today’s games, it does look pretty dated and is overpriced, but its still a lot of fun and enjoyable, yet its a real shame more effort wasn’t put into the game to bring up some of the elements to today’s standards.
What do you think of Marvel Ultimate Alliance?
Here is some gameplay footage of my trying the game for the first time: