Friday, December 7

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2

Available on: PS3, Xbox 360
Price: Varies second hand
I played on: PS3
Notes: The DS, PS3, PSP, Wii versions of this play slightly differently so although available on these consoles this review doesn’t apply to them.

Ultimate Alliance 2 attempts to tell the classic Civil War story arc from the comics. I believe Civil War to be maybe the best and most well-told story in all of comic book history and this game does a very good job at putting you in the middle of it. Having to pick a side, seeing friends become enemies and innocent lives getting caught up in the middle of a fight that has nothing to do with them is all very powerful. The story is amazing plain and simple, this game does the Civil War story much better than even the MCU did and that says a lot.

The gameplay while similar to the first game has been improved and polished for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. You start by building a team of 4 heroes and then you play as one of these, you’re able to switch heroes at any time and the A.I will take over the other 3. Each hero will have a light and heavy attack as well as 4 powers unique to them and their superpowers, Spidey will use his webbing, Deadpool will use his swords and guns and so on. This has each character feeling very individual and fun to play. As for the changes from the previous game, boosts now apply to the player character and not individual heroes, non-party characters will stay at around your level, outfits no longer get upgraded, you’re able to perform a move with another character in your party that is very powerful called a fusion and lastly each character now only has 4 powers that can be upgraded instead of being able to pick from a long list. I really approve of these changes as I felt freer to change out team members and as such got more variety in heroes during my play-through. This is an experience that any Marvel fan will love and as with the previous game the bigger the fan you are the more enjoyable you will find it.

The graphics and visuals here are honestly amazing for how much is going on at any one time, the heroes all look wonderful and very faithful to their comic book origins, the environments are beautiful and all the powers just blow me away. My one small complaint about the art design comes down to women and their breasts as they are all oversized and feel like they were designed by a 13-year-old boy. Other than that I can’t believe just how much better than the last game this is in terms of audio and visual presentation. The voice acting is all very on point with Iron Man, Captain America and Deadpool standing out for me. The music fits the game very well but I don’t think it’s going to win any awards or be played outside of the game. I had the game stutter while loading areas during certain missions but besides that, I had no performance issues and the frame rate never slowed even during the largest and most populated battles.

Honestly, Ultimate Alliance 2 feels like a love letter from Vicarious Visions to Marvel fans and boy is it sweet. Everything from making your perfect dream team to the retelling of the Civil War story is done so well and has so much polish. Seeing my favourite heroes come together like this is truly special and for that, I will forever love both of the Ultimate Alliance games but this one is clearly superior to its predecessor in every way. Although I was once again disappointed at how the male heroes far outweigh the female ones this is more of a problem with comics and gaming in general however it’s such a shame I’m unable to play as She-Hulk, Power Woman or other characters I love. Despite this, the plain and simple truth is that if you’re a Marvel fan and you own a PS3 or 360 then you need to play this game because there is nothing really like it that’s as good.

Recommendation Rating: 9 out of 10.

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