Marvel Ultimate Alliance is still the best Avengers game
Two decades after its release, Marvel Ultimate Alliance stands as the best way to get a true Avengers video game experience.
Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics Marvel’s Avengers became one of the most infamous games of recent years, with many users citing a thin story, lack of combat variety, and poorly updated live service model as the cause of the game’s poor reception. only a handful of mainline Avengers who may be taking too much after the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even Spider-Man and Black Panther couldn’t save the game from a dwindling player base and losing millions of Square Enix dollars. But there was a time when Marvel games were innovative, interesting, and encouraged player choice in playstyle and customization, with one of the best examples being 2006. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.
The spiritual successor of X-Men Legends, Ultimate alliance has a ton of features, from somewhat straightforward beat-em-up gameplay, to RPG mechanics and gear, to special powers and traversal methods for each playable hero. What Ultimate alliance count more Avengers, however, is an even bigger list of superheroes, including the Fantastic Four and X-Men. He also does everything in his power to make each hero truly unique with their strengths and weaknesses. The player is encouraged to form their own team, often rewarding bonus stats for using alternate costumes and forming teams true to the comics, from the Fantastic Four to specific Avengers teams like the New Avengers and West Coast.
Ultimate alliance begins with an attack on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier led by Doctor Doom, with Nick Fury calling on all available superhumans to help save the carrier. After the player defeats several invader villains with their given superhero team, Fury learns that Doctor Doom is conspiring with other villains to try to rule the world. With the help of various other Marvel Superpowers, Fury tasks the world’s greatest superheroes to form the ultimate super-team to defeat Doctor Doom and his masters of evil once and for all, traversing the most iconic locations in the world. Marvel Universe and battling its most dangerous villains. along the way. The story may be hokey and simple, but its wide scope and large number of playable and non-playable characters make Ultimate alliance one of the most robust and comprehensive adaptations of Marvel Comics‘ rich universe.
Players will traverse Stark Tower, the Sanctum Sanctorum, to Asgard and Atlantis, battling Ultron Drones and Frost Giants while encountering fan favorites like Professor X and Wong, as well as more obscure characters like Corsair and Lilandra. For fans growing up in a time when X-Men and Spider-Man were the most popular Marvel properties, this game was probably their first introduction to characters like Deadpool, Loki, and Doctor Strange. Curious players will learn various Marvel Comics trivia from several NPCs, with one of the most beloved features being the hidden dialogue between a chosen hero and a character they know, such as choosing Spider-Man for the Mysterio boss fight. or have Daredevil talk to the Black Widow NPC about their comic book romance.
The variety of heroes and their unique characteristics place Ultimate alliance above and beyond avengers in terms of range, playability and fan service. Addictive gameplay that rewards player experimentation and exploration proves that a good game doesn’t need a live-service model or excessive level to be a compelling experience. With a base formula so solid at its very core, it’s no coincidence that Ultimate alliance is one of the best Avengers games ever made, with even its distant sequel The Black Order picking up on its footsteps and receiving higher praise than its Square Enix counterpart.
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