Why Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 will be even more ultimate

We actually enjoyed Marvel: Ultimate Alliance the first time round. Sure, it was daft seeing superheroes flummoxed by a simple plywood door, and the gameplay was a tad repetitive but, as a comic book crossover, the game was entertaining enough.

But if ever a sequel was needed to address a few issues and give us the game the original arguably should have been in the first place, it's this. So let's rename the original 'Marvel Penultimate Alliance' and take a look at why this is the real 'ultimate' Marvel Alliance.

1) The team-up moves will be so good you'll want to see them all
Every character can team up with every character, producing some 250 different special attacks. So if you feel like recreating Wolverine and Colossus' patented Fastball Special, there's nothing to stop you.

Above: Do this and watch every bad guy in the room crumple to the floor

We saw Iron Man's Repulsor Beam dispersed through a gem held aloft by Songbird (as pictured above) as well as Iron Fist lifting up Human Torch who emits a line of flame and turns in a circle, razing the ground and enemies around him. Ol' Torchy (as no-one calls him) also gets involved in a whirlwind move which you can see in the released trailer. The great news here is that the whirling cyclone is player controlled as it moves around the level. Sounds sweet.

2) Everyone you could want is in this time
According to Brinton Williams, Associate Producer at Activision, there will be "at least" 24 characters playable in the game in teams of four. We assume that will be the starting line-up with loads more to unlock and/or download.

He enthusiastically added: "whoever you want to see, whoever you want to be, they'll be in the game". That's not a 'should' be in the game, it's a 'will'. So let's just see if Diamondhead is in there - he was always our favourite. Oh yes.

The designers have been able to shoehorn pretty much anyone and everyone into the game's plot by creating a superhero civil war. After an incident with high collateral damage (where 600 died including some children), the government wants all Supers to register as weapons of mass destruction. Some agree, others don't. So you can pick your side in the war with anybody... except for four key figures who are locked to their respective sides to keep the plot moving: Iron Man, Mr Fantastic (Security side), Captain America and Luke Cage (Freedom side).

3) The destruction has been ramped up
The new game uses the Havoc physics engine to deliver vastly improved destruction in the game's environments. That whirlwind attack picks up not only park benches and other street furniture, but even your enemies. The trailers also show entire buildings exploding, although these look too good to be in-game… but you never know.

Above: Cars in the streets have several stages of damage and all can be hurled by the stronger characters

4) There will be way more enemies on-screen
They're not kidding, either. While the action we saw never reached the screen-filling activity of a Dynasty Warriors title or Ninety-Nine Nights, there's a much greater sense of 'you versus a shed-load of bad guys'. The characters can look a little small at times, as the camera needs to pull back to keep all four heroes in view at once, but the close-up detail is there.

The graphical fidelity doesn't seem to have been compromised though, with a great sense of texture and depth in the bricks that make up the streets around Doctor Doom's lab - the first area of the game.

5) It'll have online co-op
The first game only had local multiplayer, but the 360 and PS3 versions at least will feature full online co-op play. Aside from four key characters including Iron Man and Captain America, you can assemble a team from any of the remaining superheroes for your online team. All we need now is decently acted cutscenes and we'll have ourselves a winner…

Above: A single camera to pose to and Hulk's forgotten all about the fight

The game doesn't have a firm release date yet, but we're told it should be out before the end of the year.

9 April 2009

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  • gamer49 - June 17, 2009 5 a.m.

  • PrinceRiley91 - April 29, 2009 8:07 p.m.

    awww man ive been waiting 4 dis game cant wait 2 play wit the human torch again
  • Spybreak8 - April 16, 2009 11:30 p.m.

    I couldn't handle the campy story in the first. I stopped playing when I was playing Arcade's level. Good rent though as for the sequel it could be good or better, cough.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - April 13, 2009 5:30 p.m.

    I wanna play as Beast and Nightcrawler! (for no other reason that their BLUE XD)
  • jacob_kreed - April 11, 2009 7:01 a.m.

    I liked X-Men but became repentive, I liked Ultimate Heroes again it became repentive. There was game of a simliar vain. But all the characters werent DC or Marvel and it around war world 2 time, that was excellent. I would say the last Spiderman (Web of Shadow) was fanstatic.
  • Darthkeyblader13 - April 10, 2009 10:21 p.m.

    does any1 know if deadpool will be in this game???? he was the best (:
  • Dangeruss04 - April 10, 2009 9:03 p.m.

    too bad the original had online co-op on the 360
  • GoldenMe - April 10, 2009 7:32 p.m.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^I like pointing upwards Oh, adn I liked the first one so this will improve.
  • deathrebellion - April 10, 2009 10:54 a.m.

    ^^^^^^^^^^ i agree wid him too add a gud comment with the 1st sheesh... This game seems gud though i bought UA 1 the story and the 5 major cutscenes where the major reason i finished it. Hopefully they'll keep more attacks like X-men Legends 2
  • Mystery514 - April 10, 2009 8:31 a.m.

    Marvel may just have another hit on the video game record with this one.
  • Cyberninja - April 9, 2009 11:14 p.m.

    will the dlc be for the wii? plus i agree with ^^^^^ at least add a good comment with first
  • Metallica - April 9, 2009 7:18 p.m.

    Comic book games are always bad... :S But you never know.
  • BadLadJon - April 9, 2009 4:43 p.m.

    /\/\/\/\/\ guy is an asshole
  • Makk_Mizzy - April 11, 2009 7:57 a.m.

    First i must say that I own X-men legends 1 and 2 plus Ultimate Alliance and I like them all and ultimat alliance had hella boss fights and it had a nice time length to it but, i wish they would've had more cg cut-scenes like RE5 that game has the most cg cutscenes that I own right now but, the first one i liked it just the gold edition with the new elite 8 characters venom, sabretooth, hawkeye, moon knight, hulk, magneto, and i forgot the other 2 but, it was great they should have like an epic storyline instead of world war but, i like it because it reminded me of the opening cg cutscenes of Marvel: Rise Of The Imperfects when all the superheroes were fighting all over the world and the punisher shirt was hovering over the debreeze were he died in the cross-fire but, i know that it will be better than the first one so im putting it on reserve nxt friday!
  • fergfighter - April 10, 2009 10:30 p.m.

    put carnage in it and i will buy this and kiss it and cuddle it all night long, carnage = most badass and underated bad guy ever
  • Elbo444 - April 10, 2009 6:36 a.m.

    lol, wii I never really played the first one, it seemed disappointing, hopefully this one lives up
  • Vicmasta97 - April 9, 2009 10:28 p.m.

    ^^^^^^^ I agree with him
  • skyguy343 - April 9, 2009 8:34 p.m.

    a lot of comics have utilized a plot similiar to that
  • erreip199 - April 9, 2009 8 p.m.

    dude the civil war idea is kinda taken from part of the actual comics plot! (coincidentally one of the few i own) but it was caused for a different reason (a law to make all heroes make their identity public) Lets just hope this game is good