Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is a game that features several famous superheroes and villains from Marvel Comics, each with their own unique abilities. As a sequel to the first game of the series, it tries to improve its gameplay by adding the ability to fuse powers. For example: By combining the might of Ironman and Spider-Man, Spidey will be able to round upall small grunts/enemies while Ironman unleashes a charged blast from his suit.Sadly, they took out nearly everything from the first game, such as the unique grappling moves, X-treme attacks (which were replaced by fusions), more powers,and alternate costumes (there is only one for each character).
Also, creating your own team with unique features isalso gone, but this is not to be confused with special team combinations, likethe Fantastic Four or the Avengers. This, along with the ability to equip special items, have been replaced with team boosts (can only equip 3) that give your alliance different upgrades for things like fusions or defensive capabilities. And to further replace the team creation system from the first game, the game includes Heroic Deeds, which are merely goals you have to shoot for in order to obtain permanent, separate boosts and alternate costumes. Unfortunately, the costumes don’t have any benefits like in the previous title, other than appearance. You won’t be able to get all of them in one playthrough, so this adds to the replay value.
Gameplay is identical to the first, though the levels have much more detail and cutscenes have improved greatly. Character interaction is also upgraded to a choice between three different types of dialogue. Sadly, no voices are present when you choose the option. And speaking of voices, they have changed drastically, with each character (with some exceptions like Wolverine) having different voices. Some of them are quite good, like Ironman, but then there are those like Thor, whose voice is annoying.
Powers have been reduced down to four per hero, and boosts such as slowing down time have also been cut. And when you run out of energy, the blue bar automatically regenerates pretty quickly, allowing you touse your powers more and more. And the animations for each hero are great, with each character using moves flawlessly, just like their comic counterparts. And there is hardly any hero or villain that would qualify as horrible to play as,with the exception of the Green Goblin.
The storyline is based on the actual comics. It begins with the Secret Wars, then it branches off into the Civil War, and from there, the story takes a new twist. The storyline affects the gameplay by forcing you to choose a side in the war, be it joining Ironman and the government, or Captain America and his resistance. However, should you choose one side, three other characters will be unavailable to you for the time being. But it really doesn’t matter as it’s only three characters, and there are better replacements in the hero roster. Sadly, even with all of this content, the game is short, andsomeone who is not usually busy should be able to complete this in less than aweek. And while there are alternate endings, they are nothing mind-blowing.
Online mode runs smoothly, with only minor framerate issues. The only real problem are the people playing online as they have atendency to quit whenever they feel like it. Not to mention they always annoy other players by ignoring orders and press every button on the controller,doing things that the others didn’t want to use, like fusions and health tokens.
Overall, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is a good game,but has many flaws holding it back from being the best comic book game in history. It is really only worth a rental, and then you can go about either leaving it alone or buying it yourself. Should you choose to buy, be on the lookout for the Downloadable Content. One character, Carnage (Spider-Man villain) has already been revealed. Keep in mind that this review is only for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 though.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 gets a 3 out of 5.