Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 Review

The world’s greatest superheroes have come together again, this time to tear each other apart, in an amazingly fun Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2. There are few things more satisfying than zapping enemies with super powers while playing as your favorite heroes, and that’s exactly what this game is about. The game is very similar to its predecessor, which is both a good and bad thing. The same fun button mashing encounters are there, but so are some technical issues that nagged players in the original.

The game’s story is based upon the Secret War and Civil War comic series. Nick Fury has led a group of heroes featuring Iron Man, Captain America, Spiderman, and Wolverine into Latveria to defeat Prime Minister Lucia von Bardas, who has been the elected leader of the country since Dr. Doom’s defeat in the original. The tensions and repercussions from the mission lead to the Marvel Civil War, for which the game has created a new ending, as well as taken other liberties with the storyline.

Who will you team up with in this latest Marvel action-RPG?

The gameplay is just fun, plain and simple, and will easily suck you in. The button mashing and use of powers are the same, but the best addition to this iteration in the Ultimate Alliance series are the new Fusion Attacks.  These replace the special attacks from the first game and are done much better. Two players or heroes in a team will combine powers to create a super attack that can deal immense damage to a boss, clear an area of enemies, or plow through enemies in your way. There are 276 of these Fusion Attacks in the game, so there is definitely diversity, and several of them will make your eyes pop with just how cool they look.

The game has placed more emphasis on action and less on RPG elements, as customization has been noticeable decreased compared to the first game. Each character only has four powers to use and upgrade instead of the variety provided in the original. Abilities are upgraded on their own, while powers use ability points and are not affected by which costume a character wears. Instead of creating your own custom team and upgrading its abilities, you are given a list of unlockable boosts to choose from that will increase your team’s stats. It makes customization feel more shallow, but the simplicity helps you stay in the game’s action more often.

The graphics are a much needed upgrade from the original and character models and environments look nice. However, they are far from the best looking graphics in a game from this generation. The sound effects and soundtrack are great and sound better than some of the cheesy sound effects from the original. They do a good job to help immerse you in the game itself. Voice acting on the other hand is very hit-and-miss. Some of the voices, like Nick Fury, Iron Man, and Deadpool, are great. Others, a primary example being Thor, are just atrocious.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2

The character list is a tad disappointing. While additions like The Thunderbolts (Green Goblin, Venom, Penance, and Songbird) are great, it would have been nice to see characters like The Punisher, Doctor Strange, The Young Avengers, and The Runawaysincluded, as they all played roles in the comic storyline. It also would have been nice if several of the heroes who appear as bosses or NPCs based on what side you choose had been unlockable to play as after finishing that side’s story. Hopefully downloadable content will expand this roster in the future.

The dialogue in the game is presented better than before, with character close-ups and choices for players to make during conversations. The choices are broken down into aggressive, diplomatic, and defensive dialogue options that don’t really have any impact on the game itself, but will show different dialogue responses. The game also has unlockable boosts based on how many times you choose each type of response.

Replayability is a big factor in why Ultimate Alliance 2 is good. Since players are left to choose either Pro- or Anti-Registration, it leaves players to want to play through the game twice to see everything. There are also unlockable boosts and one unlockable costume for every character. Each chapter HQ also has its own set of 35 trivia questions players can tackle. Add in collectibles like sound clips, dossier files, and challenge missions that range from defeating enemies within a set time to stealthily rescuing allies from prison cells, and you have a game that can keep players occupied for hours upon hours.

Ultimate Alliance 2 still suffers from some camera issues. Sometimes it can end up behind a wall or object where you cannot see your characters, and when playing co-op, the wide-angle camera can create confusion about where each player’s character is during fights.

While Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 isn’t a groundbreaking game and has its share of issues, it is still an incredibly fun game with plenty of replayability and co-op enjoyment. Anyone looking for some fun with friends or bashing baddies with your favorite Marvel heroes will definitely have a good time with this game.


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Author: Mike Murphy View all posts by
Mike has been playing games for over two decades. His earliest memories are of shooting ducks and stomping goombas on NES, and over the years, the hobby became one of his biggest passions. Mike has worked with GamerNode as a writer and editor since 2009, giving you news, reviews, previews, a voice on the VS Node Podcast, and much more.

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