Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
Following the success of its X-Men: Legends games, Activision's taking no chances with this latest tie-in.
Xbox 360, Multi
Vicarious Visions / Raven
Fans of the comic powerhouse will be pleased to see a wide range of characters in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, the latest superhero title from Activision, including the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man and many of the X-Men are available as playable characters, from the very start of start. Unfortunately the Punisher and Hulk, are unavailable due to licence restrictions.
Of course, this host of heroes would have no problems dealing with middle eastern terrorist cells or nuclear armed rogue state dictators. A new threat has risen his metal face in a plan for global domination - Dr Doom. Having formed a group of super-powered villains to aid him, Dr Doom leads the Masters of Evil as they start a campaign for control of the planet Earth and beyond. His first target is S.H.I.E.L.D.'s mobile carrier, and knowing he has a tough task ahead S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Colonel Nick Fury calls on the aid of our much-loved heroes.
"Ultimate Alliance is at its best with friends; four of you can play together online or offline."
Getting stuck in is exactly what Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is all about. Although claiming to be an 'action-RPG' the RPG element of the game are limited to talking to surrounding characters between missions as they ask you to bring them items back and levelling up your characters by smashing your enemies. The game basically relies on your light attack, heavy attack and grab buttons. Three hit combos fly out with a quick mash of the buttons.
Your super powers are released by holding the right trigger down and pressing the relevant button. You can block and dodge, however I managed to clear half the game without it. This is non-stop, arcade action from start to finish. Later Boss battles involve set pieces where you need to hit buttons in order as they flash up on screen. This was refreshing at first and injects something new into the game, however it is overused and actually makes some of the later bosses too easy to defeat.
Viewed from a top-down isometric perspective (the best choice to maximise what your 4 characters can see), Ultimate Alliance is a better looking than its X-Men predecessors but is not going to give things like Call of Duty 3 any worries. Sticking to what they know works, Activision keep it tight, bright and full of action all the way through. The camera can be a little annoying when enemies or CPU controlled team mates are hidden behind walls but this has little effect on gameplay. The CPU controlled characters behave well; they are rarely killed falling off edges or by enemies, although they don't kill half as many baddies as your friends will if they are playing alongside you.
Ultimate Alliance is at its best with friends; four of you can play together online or offline (if you can agree to travel in the same direction) and you can play through the entire campaign with your buddies. Unfortunately there's no versus option, although Arcade mode awards points to the player who kills the most enemies, bringing in a competitive element.
When destroyed, your enemies drop cash, health and energy for you to pick up. You need not worry about having that last health potion in your inventory anymore, simply pick on one of the smaller members of the oppositions and bash his lights out! While this makes gameplay a lot smoother, it can be a little unbalancing, especially if your character has levelled up some of his powers. One minute you will be on the brink of death; the next you are an unstoppable wrecking ball, dishing out broken bones and cracked skulls to henchmen with ease. Given its comic licence, this could be construed appropriate.
"The story is quickly paced and reaches a fantastic climax which will have Marvel fans everywhere super-excited."
The voice acting throughout Ultimate Alliance is superb, and the heroes and villains all have over-the-top catch phrases they utter when meeting or dispatching foes. The soundtrack to the game is extremely well composed and adds a lot of atmosphere and drama. This is especially true as the game begins to reach its climax in later levels.
While Marvel: Ultimate Alliance offers absolutely nothing new in terms of gameplay, it is an instantly playable and action-packed adventure. The puzzles in the game are far too basic and the boss battle system is overly used for the last few fights but without these elements the game would have been even shallower. The story is quickly paced and reaches a fantastic climax which will have Marvel fans everywhere super-excited. The game is also the perfect length, not outstaying its welcome but delivering replay value with different characters and secondary missions you may have missed first time through.
It doesn't warrant the superlative use of adjectives Stan Lee would give it, but Ultimate Alliance is none the less a worthy title for action and comic fans alike.
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Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
Direct feed trailer (Multi - Activision)
|01:44||112MB||DF, HD, 16:9
Marvel Ultimate Alliance
Direct feed trailer (regular) (Multi - Activision)
|01:30||26MB||DF, SD, 16:9