We’re back with yet another gaming article, here’s our Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 Review. Since 2008 Marvel has taken the world by storm becoming a household name synonymous with super heroes. Since the release of the first Iron Man film the franchise has developed massively, launching into the power house sensation we know today.
That brings me on to today’s review, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 by Team Ninja released July 19th 2019 (yes this review is a bit late but stick with it, I promise it’s worth it). Maybe I should start with the game’s full title, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, because who doesn’t love a title that sounds like a Fall Out Boy song. The game is a Nintendo Switch exclusive as it was published by Nintendo and there doesn’t seem to be any plans to bring it to consoles unfortunately.
The 3rd installment of the alliance series marks first time in 10 years that we’ve had a brand new game in the franchise. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is an action RPG featuring your favourite MCU heroes (and villains!) such as Rocket Racoon, Nebula, The Xmen, Thanos, The Black order and many more.
Before we get right to the review, if you don’t yet have the game you can buy it here. Hit the link and it’ll go direct to the Amazon product page.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 Review
So the story starts with a familiar synopsis, big bad Thanos is looking to get a hold of the infinity stones and it’ll be your job to prevent that from happening. The opening sequence sees the Guardians of the Galaxy travelling through space after another botched job, and as usual Rocket Racoon is the cause of the group’s problems! He’s tried to steal an artifact from the clients they were supposed to be working for, so now they need to flee. Upon doing so they discover a kree ship and inside they find Nebula and Ronan, it turns out they were hiding the infinity stones from none other than Thanos.
The Guardians have unknowingly given away the location of the stones to The Black Order (like from the title!) a group of Thanos’ lackeys. This leads to Star Lord grabbing the space stone and wishing them someplace safe which happens to be Earth. This kicks off the story of trying to beat Thanos to collect the stones, travelling to iconic locations from all over the Marvel universe.
Now we have the basic premise out of the way let’s get into this review. Strap in for an intergalactic story of the universe’s greatest heroes.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order Review
Marvel Ultimate Alliance (MUA) is one of the few rare modern games that stick to a sensible numbering pattern (looking at you Kingdom Hearts), so the newest game is the third in the series. This is following on from a decade long break between two and three, leaving some fans to believe that MUA2 was going to be the last in the series. But hallelujah the series made its triumphant return!
The gameplay is best described as a hack ‘n’ slash, you mow through hordes of enemies using different abilities and weapons all whilst moving towards your main objective (usually your next big bad boss fight). Whilst there is a certain amount of fun in feeling like an unstoppable badass after a while it can sort of become dull, luckily the boss fights are there to break things up and make you feel like a chump all over again. However when you get to the later levels the enemies seem to get a large power boost and you need to start using some dodges and blocks if you hope to survive.
The character roster in this game pulls from all sections of the Marvel Universe from the likes of Spider-man to Nightcrawler.
This opens up a lot of opportunities for different team combos so you have to use strategy to decide which characters work best together, or whichever ones you think are coolest.
MUA3 also offers 4 person couch co-op so you and three friends can all fight over who gets to be the best heroes and who has to play as Hawkeye.
To unlock new characters the game forces you to play through the campaign which isn’t exactly an issue but a lot of the levels don’t feel very inspired, with a lot of them feeling like photocopies of each other.
Luckily the campaign dishes out new characters just regularly enough for you to be distracted trying out the new abilities you just unlocked, making it a little bit more bearable.
The graphics in MUA3 aren’t exactly top tier, they’re more resemblant of a PS3/Xbox360 type game, and whilst you wouldn’t usually consider this a good thing it sort of works in MUA3s favour. The lower quality in graphics adds to the games comic book and cartoony vibes, whether this was intentional or not is unknown but who cares right?
One of the biggest mechanics in MUA3 has to be its menu management and character upgrades. Choosing the right upgrades and applying the right type of Iso-8 (a weird power enhancing crystal) to a character or group is essential in getting through some of the games’ harder sections and boss fights. If you’re a fan of strategically planning how a character will benefit from and power up all their allies using specific upgrades then this game is perfect for you!
By far the biggest downfall of MUA3 is the camera! Anyone who plays this game will know what I mean. The camera is at a high angle but is inconsistent at best. There are loads of unexpected zoom-ins or cases of the camera getting stuck on something which can really throw you off, especially when you’re taking on bosses.
Summary and verdict
So before I get into my overall verdict on MUA3 I want to quickly go back over the pros and cons for an easy summary:
- Couch co-op which isn’t common anymore.
- Comic book style with some comics accurate costumes.
- Huge roster of characters, not just well known ones.
- Ability to upgrade characters to fit with certain teams.
- Huge shift in difficulty levels.
- The camera is super annoying.
- The campaign can be a bit dull.
This game has a lot of things going for it and is overall very enjoyable, if the camera wasn’t such an issue this would probably be in my top 10 favourite games of all time but alas no one can be perfect.
Overall I’d give this game an 8/10 and highly recommend you go play it. If you do want to play then it is only available on Nintendo Switch and will run you up a bill of £49.99 if you want the standard edition or £67.98 if you want the edition with the expansion pass giving you access to three different dlc packs and a host of new characters.
Still not convinced? Check out the trailer below:
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CodeWithMike is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com