Last year a game was released called Marvels Avengers. A game that proved just how damaging monetization can be as it took a game based on the most successful licence out there and killed it on arrival with some frankly sickening methods to squeeze money out of the players. But we’re not going to talk about that pile of (profanity) instead we are going to review a game that came out a year before it that also used the licence.
The Ultimate Alliance games started around 2006 and had 2 games that were both relatively well received but after the second game (based on the events of the comic book even Civil War) was released the franchise went dark. I’m not going to go into why as I’d need to look into what company did what, which licences lapsed Marvel getting bought by Disney etc. Anyway to people’s excitement a sort of sequel was announced a few years back and so we now have what I’m reviewing today.
Rather than be a true sequel this game is set in a different continuity to the first two (so people still waiting for that cliffhanger with Galactus at the end of the first one are going to be upset) and takes heavy influence from the Infinity Stones saga in the movies and some of the more recent developments in the comics… though yeah more the direction the movies were going in. We all saw Infinity War and Endgame… DONT LIE YOU DID!.
Opening up with the Guardians of the Galaxy, a team that wasn’t really around or at least nowhere near the popularity they are now back when the old games were made, we go through what is basically a tutorial level before the Infinity Stones are scattered as we fight to get them away from villains and try to prevent them getting into the hands of the Black Order who will give them to Thanos. (Now he was important back then but nowhere near as much as now.)
You control a team of 4 heroes (and a few villains that can be unlocked) who have a selection of 4 special abilities as well as basic ones and fight through a series of levels each with several boss fights before an end of stage boss fight who is usually using one of the stones. Your characters each level up while they gain experience and after the Shadowlands level (about level 3) you can equip them with stones to increase their stats further. Your choice of characters can also give stats boosts relating to teams or natures that they share such as going for a full Spiderman team.
Combat however is rather basic and it gets annoying when a heavy goon is able to knock you down a bit easy. But those special powers you have can be combined with people to do far more damaging specials that also lower a stun gauge, when that is gone they are stunned for a moment and take more damage a good time to unleash everyone’s ultimate attack (my main way of beating bosses). And that’s most of the main game barring me going into the plot in more details. It’s mostly rather easy… until you fight Doctor Strange who then gets really frustrating and is a massive difficulty spike.
As well as the main story there is also the Infinity Trials which beating can unlock cosmetic goods and some other characters like Magneto and Loki. These have you face challenges like kill all these sentinels or do this without healing or while taking constant damage or in a set time, or an extra hard version of a boss where they throw more bosses at you too (usually for the unlock the villain character trials).
The game also received dlc, first featuring a few additional challenges that unlock some extra characters in a pseudo story line, before the final one giving a whole additional chapter of the game which introduced the Fantastic 4 and has you face off against Dr Doom (Marvel’s best villain and so hope to see him show up as a Thanos level villain in the MCU) who you all unlock after completing it.
While not the hardest or most in depth the game is still enjoyable and unlocking some of the bonus stuff in Infinity Trials can be a good time sink with those rewards near the end being quite desirable. Also it has Spider-Gwen. Do I need to say more?