Last year, the first two Marvel Ultimate Alliance games were delisted from digital storefronts due to licensing issues, making it more difficult than ever for new and old fans alike to check out the co-op superhero titles. Fortunately, after almost a decade since its previous release, Marvel Ultimate Alliance is making its grand return, after a reveal trailer that kicked off last year’s Game Awards. With Team Ninja as the developer and Nintendo signed on to publish the title, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order features a cast of over thirty characters set to take on Thanos and The Black Order as they scour the galaxy for the Infinity Stones and the power that comes with them.
Although the general gist of this tale may share some similarities to recent movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, JC Rodrigo from the Nintendo Treehouse made it clear that Team Ninja is creating a fully original tale, which is easy to believe considering the game’s roster. Featuring series staples including Wolverine, Captain America and Deadpool, alongside new additions such as Miles Morales, Groot and Rocket Raccoon, and Falcon, the roster of over thirty characters features some truly unique crossovers that could provide some interesting story moments and combat abilities. This roster is easily accessible as well, with SHIELD checkpoints spread throughout the level to allow players to alter their team of four at any given point, and a simple button press being all that’s necessary to switch between any of those four.
The combat remains as chaotic and colorful as ever, with a handful of new and returning mechanics that looks to help the arcade-style gameplay remain just as easy to pick up ten years later. Different team combinations, such as anti-heroes or the Avengers, will receive different buffs that will take advantage of the characters’ unique skill sets. In addition to ultimate abilities that charge up over time, two allies can team together with a simultaneous button press to activate a unique attack depending on the pair. There was also a brief stealth section during the gameplay, requiring some coordination among the team and offering a nice interlude in-between all the super-powered fighting.
By embracing the diversity of Marvel just like its predecessors before it, including through post-launch DLC including the Marvel Knights, X-Men and the Fantastic Four, Nintendo might just have another promising Switch exclusive on their hands, with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order launching on July 19.