Marvel Ultimate Alliance Bundle: A First-Timer's Perspective

Marvel Ultimate Alliance: A First-Timer's Perspective


A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Opinions on

Although Marvel Ultimate Alliance has been around for nearly a decade and found its way to plenty of consoles, I have never played it. Recently, I had the opportunity to enjoy the most recent iteration of the original and its sequel (thanks to Activision) so here's my take on these two cooperative hero-filled adventures.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance screenshot 1
Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, and Wolverine chill in Tony Stark's pad

For the uninitiated

The original Marvel Ultimate Alliance debuted back in 2006 for every major console at the time. Its gameplay is halfway between Diablo and Traveller's Tales' Lego series. In other words, it features overhead combat and puzzles with RPG elements and is a lot more enjoyable with friends. There's something about playing as your favourite hero from a formidable cast of 25 that makes running around massive stages while battling hordes of enemies extremely enjoyable. I must say, I'm quite impressed. The only aspect that comes across as dated for today's standards is the visuals which look decent but are nowhere near the quality of modern AAA titles. Graphics aside, there is plenty of fun to be had wreaking havoc with up to four simultaneous players either locally or online.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance screenshot 2
Hey, Radioactive Man, where's Fallout Boy?

Heroes, assemble!

As I've already mentioned, the cast of playable characters is awesome. Between both games, you're looking at over 30 heroes that you can fight as, each with their own unique set of moves and abilities. Unlocking new familiar faces and switching to them on the fly is implemented in such a seamless way that it makes juggling between characters a rewarding experiment.

Playable heroes in Marvel Ultimate Alliance Bundle

  • Black Panther
  • Blade
  • Captain America
  • Colossus
  • Daredevil
  • Deadpool
  • Doctor Strange
  • Elektra
  • Gambit
  • Ghost Rider
  • Green Goblin
  • Hulk
  • Human Torch
  • Iceman
  • Invisible Woman
  • Iron Man
  • Jean Grey
  • Luke Cage
  • Moon Knight
  • Mister Fantastic
  • Ms. Marvel
  • Nick Fury
  • Penance
  • Silver Surfer
  • Songbird
  • Spider-Man
  • Spider-Woman
  • Storm
  • Thing
  • Thor
  • Venom
  • Wolverine

Passing the torch

Even though Marvel Ultimate Alliance was originally developed by Raven Software (who had previous success with X-Men Legends), the sequel was created by Vicarious Visions who would later go on to work on the Skylanders series. Seeing as it was developed three years after the first, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 boasts much better graphics. Not only that, you can now team up with an ally to perform a fusion attack that has the potential to mow down dozens of enemies. I found myself trying out every combination of characters that I could just to see a magnitude of destruction unfold no matter which heroes were involved. Overall, the original game is still a ton of fun but Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 managed to elevate the cooperative nature of the gameplay to be more enjoyable than ever.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 screenshot 1
That's what you get for not feeding your parking meter

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3?

Considering there's an ever-growing fan base of all things Marvel and the first two games were just released for modern consoles, now's a great time for Activision to announce Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. Although there have been rumours spreading around for years, an official announcement has yet to be made. Personally, I would love to see Traveller's Tales develop the third installment as they do such a wonderful job with every Lego title that they produce. The cooperative mechanics will probably be even more satisfying with them at the helm, too. Anyway, here's hoping we hear some news soon. In the meantime, I'll keep playing through these two adventures.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 screenshot 2
This boss battle's really starting to heat up!

Are you a Marvel Ultimate Alliance fan? What do you think of this new bundle? Would you pick up a copy of the third title if it ever comes out? Let's talk in the comments below.

Gameplay video playlist for Marvel Ultimate Alliance Bundle 17:05

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