In a stunning move, Marvel Comics and Activision are combining their major storyline from 2006/2007 Civil War and the award-winning video game Ultimate Alliance to create the awe-inspiring sequel, Ultimate Alliance 2.
For those who have not experienced the joy that is playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance, let me break it down for you. The gameplay is essentially a top-view dungeon crawler similar to games like Diablo. Players can switch between four playable characters at any time and switch team members at hubs found throughout the game. Characters can be upgraded through the use of points obtained throughout the game and applied to stats such as speed and health and toward special skills or super powers. Additionally, special outfits or skins can be worn to augment a key attribute such as Thor’s hammer or Doctor Strange’s magic ability. These costumes also serve to appeal to comic book fans who want to play as a specific version of a character, be it the Gene Colan Doctor Strange or the old west Ghost Rider.
The plot of the first game was a veritable tour of the Marvel Universe as the combined team of heroes traveled the globe and even into outer space, the mythical realm of Asgard and even the afterlife as they attempted to stop the evil plot of the Masters of Evil. The locations and boss battles were love letters from the video game developers and Marvel as each one harkened back to a well-loved comic book event. The choices that the players made impacted the world that the game took place in as the Watcher tallied up your successes and failures at the game’s end.
The sequel looks to build upon what gamers loved so dearly in the first game while introducing more sophisticated story lines and enhanced gameplay. Personally, I think that the utilization of the Civil War story line is a stroke of genius. A fantastic story that reshaped the Marvel Universe dynamic, it also pitted heroes against each other. I’m eager to see how this will be reflected in the game play (will I have to pick which side I’m on from the beginning). Additionally, the addition ‘power fusion’ looks interesting. Combining two characters’ powers to result in a devastating combo attack should be awesome.
If you are eager to play this game, you’ll unfortunately have to wait a bit longer as it does not ship until the coming fall of 2009.