Saturday, August 10

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 - The Black Order Review

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 – The Black Order, Review

The version played for review: Switch
Available on: Switch
The price I paid: £50
Other Notes: N/A

10 years after the last entry in this series, we get a sequel bringing Ultimate Alliance back from the grave.

Plotwise this is an entirely new universe with more up-to-date versions of Marvel's wide cast than the previous 2 games. Nick Fury is now the Samuel L Jackson inspired incarnation over the older white man he was before. Captain Marvel is no longer Mar-Vell instead that title is held by the post-Avengers vs X-men Carol Danvers. If you've been reading the comics or even just watching the MCU over the past 10 years then you will know most of these characters. Indeed a lot of inspiration has been taken from the MCU in terms of characters and plot. Thanos is after the 6 Infinity Stones and you need to create an Ultimate Alliance to stop him. Although this isn't the MCU and Ultimate Alliance 3 mixes sources up creating this wonderful hybrid of comic and MCU lore. Personally, I love this and found the characters very enjoyable and charming.

Gameplay wise you have 4 heroes to play from at a time in a simple, light + heavy attack beat-em-up system. You can use your superpowers with R or if you're close enough to a partner you can combine your superpowered attacks with ZR. As you take out enemies you build up your ultimate meter which can be unleashed for a powerful attack, this can also be combined with your teammates' ultimates. This is pretty much the same as Ultimate Alliance 1 & 2 but without the ability to grab enemies and throw them across the room. It feels simple but fun. Webbing up enemies as Spidey or throwing Caps shield across the room feels amazing. Certain characters such as Spider-Gwen and Spider-man feel similar but small touches keep them feeling different enough for me to enjoy both.

One of my minor issues with the game is the leveling system. Everything is based around percentages increases to stats instead of unlocking new moves, combos or outfits. This makes leveling feel really dull and almost uneventful. During the previous games, I would always look forward to customizing my move set, stats, and costume bonuses. Now not so much. The lack of any real alternate costumes also feels disappointing. All of the unlockable outfits are simply pallet swaps of their base color scheme.

Has the last 10 years of game design, Marvel lore and tech made this the best game in the series? Sadly no, I think that honor goes to the PS3 and Xbox 360 version of Ultimate Alliance 2. But that doesn't mean this new entry is a waste of time. It's certainly the best Ultimate Alliance to play on the go beating the previous games' GBA, DS, and PSP incarnations. The graphics and world are fun to explore and interact with. Lastly, it's just really satisfying to build your dream team of Marvel heroes to kick Thanos' butt with. This is a must-play for any Marvel fans out there but for those of you who just want a fun beat-em-up, I'd wait for a price drop.

Recommendation Rating: 8 out of 10

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