In 2004, Raven Software surprised a lot of people with X-Men Legends, an action role-playing game focusing on the exploits of Marvel's mutant superheroes. The Diablo-style gameplay was a significant departure for Raven, a developer best known for its extensive work on first-person shooters. Perhaps more surprising was the game's success in introducing action RPG conventions to the world of superheroes, a fairly novel combination at the time. It proved to be a winning formula, one that Raven further refined with last year's X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse. Not content with the localized struggles of the X-Men, the concept has been blown out to an intergalactic, interdimensional scale with Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. With more than 20 unique playable heroes; a massive campaign that features a wide variety of well-known Marvel Universe villains, supporting characters, and locations; and plenty of hidden extras, it's the biggest piece of Marvel fan service seen in a video game. It also builds upon a lot of the gameplay systems established in the X-Men Legends games, making for an experience that's deeper, longer lasting, and generally more satisfying.
The stars of the world's greatest comics join forces in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.
Ominous deeds are afoot right from the start in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. Dr. Doom has brought together a coalition of supervillains under the Masters of Evil name, whose first act is to attack a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. An opposing coalition of superheroes quickly comes to the aid of S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury, who takes command of the situation and coordinates the superheroes as they continue to track Doom and his minions across the universe and into different dimensions. The sheer quantity of Marvel supervillains you'll face on your quest to defeat Dr. Doom is genuinely staggering. Heavy hitters like Ultron, the Mandarin, Mephisto, Loki, and Galactus all play major roles, but there's still room for lower-profile villains like M.O.D.O.K., Fin Fang Foom, Arcade, Grey Gargoyle, Blackheart, Super Skrull, and literally dozens of others. There are a couple of truly excellent twists and turns, and the story does a good job of concealing the true nature of Dr. Doom's plans until just the right moment. Some of the finer points, such as the excess of long-winded expository speeches in between levels, don't stand up to close scrutiny so well, but the narrative is successful in keeping the game moving at a fast clip.
- CPU: Pentium 4/Athlon 64 3GHz
- Memory: 1Gb
- Video: 256Mb
- HDD: 8Gb