The original MarveL: Ultimate Alliance, released in 2006, featured the biggest line-up of iconic superheroes and villains ever seen in a video game, and consequentially proved to be highly popular. Avid comic book fans leapt at the chance to lead a team of their favourite characters through a series of epic battles, and ultimately were left wanting more. Now they get it.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 follows the structure of the best-selling original, but brings in more characters and superpowers than ever before. Marvel and its fanbase have continued to grow thanks to the success of films such as Iron Man and Spider-Man 3. As such, Activision Blizzard is confident Ultimate Alliance 2 has a significant audience already established and eagerly waiting for it.
“The game showcases the biggest line-up of Marvel characters and provides comic fans, action fans and RPG fans with a great experience,” says senior brand manager Scott Wood. “We expect it to deliver a fantastic superhero-fuelled gaming experience to all ages.
“The Marvel fanbase is a passionate one and the developer, Vicarious Visions, has done a fantastic job of recreating every superhero in the game.
“We’re supporting the launch with a great consumer and trade campaign with some fantastic creatives. Retailers should expect this game to be the ultimate Marvel experience for their customers.”
The games storyline is based largely on the ongoing Marvel Civil War plotline from the comic books. The American government passes the Superhuman Registration Act, demanding all superheroes and villains must register themselves as weapons of mass destruction and become licenced government agents.
The news divides the Marvel community, with two factions emerging to battle and subdue the other. Captain America becomes the leader of the
Anti-Registration group, while Iron Man forms the Pro-Registration team. Players must choose their allegiance and work through the resultant storyline if they are to bring the inevitable conflict to an explosive end.
Players choose their dream team of Marvel characters and progress through a series of battles, missions and levels, with events changing around the decisions they make. They can even combine their chosen heroes to create new Fusion powers: for example, teaming up the Human Torch with Thor creates a devastating fiery tornado.
As with the original game, there will be an online co-operative multiplayer mode, with the Xbox 360 version supporting up to four players. The game’s community will be supported by the official UA2 website.
“The game has a hero-studded line-up, with over 100 Marvel characters and over 24 playable characters,” says Wood. “One of the new features of the game is the ability to fuse characters’ powers together with over 250 astonishing new fusion powers, creating amazing gaming moments.”
Activision will be working hard to raise awareness and push Ultimate Alliance 2’ in the hopes of outperforming the sequel’s predecessor. The publisher has prepared a comprehensive and heavily targeted campaign that should engage the dedicated fanbase.
“Our print campaign kicks off at the end of August with adverts throughout SFX’s Marvel Super Heroes special,” Wood says.
“Lifestyle and gaming adverts will follow throughout September and October in Marvel comics such as Marvel Legends and Wolverine, as well as in gaming magazines including Official PlayStation Magazine, Official Xbox Magazine and Official Nintendo Magazine.
“A massive online campaign will showcase and highlight the new key features on Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2. We have arranged lots of high impact roadblocks, homepage takeovers and innovative creative solutions to really make a breakthrough on specialist gaming sites, comic fan sites and social networking sites.
“Finally, in-store POS is available to support our retail customers and focuses on the central characters from the game such as Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Man and Captain America.”