Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order - a game from a franchise that I thought left us a long time ago. Ultimate Alliance 3 doesn’t have an emotional story that redefines how you look at the Marvel Universe, nor does it set a new bar for superhero games. What it does, however, is give you a chance to be a kid in your bedroom filled with comic book posters, and just have some fun with your very own superhero team.
At face value, Ultimate Alliance 3 comes across as a game that launched in an era that has moved away from what it has to offer, but that’s exactly what’s so appealing about the latest release in the franchise. The game is a Nintendo Switch exclusive and it feels right at home on the platform, but there are a few issues that come with something so era-specific.
The story is an adaption from the classic Infinity Stones saga. While this may not be as impactful as the iteration we have come to love from the cinematic universe, Ultimate Alliance 3 does a good job with handling this many characters at once. You’re placed right into the action, as The Black Order wants to retrieve the Infinity Stones for their leader, Thanos. The narrative carefully plays with this basic concept, having you carry your team of superheroes across multiple locations (some of which even include other dimensions).
You’re not going to find much in the way of twists and emotional dialogue, but you never really feel like the story sets you up for that. Instead, the story is designed for you to get as much action as you can, with your tailor-made group of crimefighters always conveniently placed in the middle of it all. Rather than being the driving force of the game, the story just serves the purpose of providing an excuse to bring all these characters together. That being said, Ultimate Alliance 3 doesn’t do much in the way of changing the formula. It sticks to an isometric perspective, giving you subtle hints of an RPG, rather than being an all-out hack and slash game. Thanks to Ninja Gaiden developer, Team Ninja, the combat feels more involved. Your main objective is to eradicate the enemies that stand before you, but the combat is layered in a way that makes you think with more of a tactical mind. That being said, after you get a good idea of positioning and enemy attacks, the game starts to feel like mindless brawling with a lot of special attacks filling up the screen.
Environmental puzzles make a return, but there was a lot to be desired in this aspect. Many of the puzzles just revolved around flipping a switch or pushing a crate in the right place. That being said, I did like the fact that the puzzles never really removed me from the action. They may have been a little too easy, but your main purpose is just to punch some bad guys in the nose.
The roster consists of around 34 playable characters, each with their own unique abilities and playstyles.
The story doesn’t require your undivided attention, so you can easily play Ultimate Alliance 3 on the go.
Will defend anything Dragon Ball. Occasionally has two-way conversations with himself. Has sleepless nights about Half-Life 3 confirmed.
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19 July 2019
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