On my way home with this game I was thinking to myself how much fun I was going to have going apeshit on anything that got in my way with the Hulk. See, in the original Marvel Ultimate Alliance on the ps2 my nerd sense was tingling feverishly when Dr. Banner made an appearance in the story line but my hopes were dashed after learning through the plot that he would not be joining the adventure. So this time I was ready. Got home, popped in the disc, started to play and saw a giant shadow of where my tied-for-first-pace-favorite-superhero was. No big deal I thought. He'll be unlocked at some point during the story. Wrong! In fact I found out the not only the Hulk, but also Thor are not available to be played until you've cleared the game and started another one and even then you would have to play through part of the new game+ to get them. Totally unforgivable. In a game with little to no replay value at all it is a cheap and artificial way to try and add some longevity to the title.
After getting over my initial disappointment, I started to get into the meat of the game or should I say lack thereof. If you have played the original game for the ps2 you will notice that you are playing the same exact game
. All they changed was add a few more mutants and added fusion powers along with the events of the civil war going on where you are forced to chose a side once you are nearly halfway through to completion.
The game itself is not very challenging and is ultimately (ahem) its greatest undoing. I was already bored with it halfway though. In fact the entire game can be summed up as: Run to room full of bad guys, wipe floor with bad guys. Run to next room full of bad guys, wipe floor with bad guys. Run to next room full of bad guys, wipe floor with bad guys. Boss Fight. Rinse, repeat a few times, then finish game.
It's not all bad though. At least the game looks nice. The anti-reg mission freeing mutants from an escort of trucks really stood out to me as a level very well done. And a lot of care went into creating files for all of the characters you meet throughout the game. A nice touch was the flavor text Nick Fury added to each file. It's also nice that heroes not in the group still level up with you so you can still change anyone out at any time.
Simply put, Marvel Ultimate Alliance just did not live up to the hype. If you have not played the original version, you might enjoy the purchase but for veterans of the series, I would recommend only a rental because you will breeze through the game in a day or two and say, "That's it?"
All in all, it is not a bad game, but they will need to make some big changes in the future if they want to keep this series going.