This last month saw the unexpected return of a couple games that’d become collector’s items. Both dungeon-crawling, multiplayer favorites Marvel Ultimate Alliance and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 went from out-of-print to the digital storefronts of PlayStaion 4 and Xbox One. So now that Marvel and Activision are back to selling the series it had seemingly dropped years ago, let’s not just stay stuck in the past. Now that the door has been reopened, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 needs to happen yesterday!
As Marvel’s films and TV series have taken the world by storm, the games division hasn’t been as impactful, with most games coming to phones or as PC exclusives. With Disney stablemate Star Wars racking up sales, it’s time for Marvel to stop leaving money on the table when it comes to AAA, console tie-ins. After years of few console releases, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is just the game to spark a new gaming era for Spider-Man, Captain America, and the rest of The Avengers. And it’s the perfect time to do that in the shadow of the most recent MCU film.
Even Bigger Than Captain America: Civil War
The main appeal of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that all these colorful heroes exist in the same world and will someday meet one another, and that paid off big time in the recent Captain America: Civil War. For Marvel fans, it was incredibly thrilling to see not only all the Avengers battling but also to see new faces like Black Panther and Spider-Man join in. It was a long-awaited team-up that would’ve been even sweeter if the likes of Wolverine, Daredevil, or Deadpool appeared. Sadly, Marvel has made it clear over and over again that there’s too much red tape preventing that from happening, but that type of wide-ranging crossover has never been an issue for the MUA games.
Just imagine what a Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 could deliver using the high-end tech of a PS4 or Xbox One. You’d once again get to see the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and so many more all in the same story. Because MUA3 would be licensing the comics instead of the films, the possibilities would easily reach beyond the restrictive film agreements. Not only could all of the Netflix heroes work with the Guardians of the Galaxy, MUA3 could also include random heroes and villains that may never get live-action versions, like Squirrel Girl or Paste Pot Pete. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 offers so many advantages over just a simple movie.
No More Kiddie Avengers
You know what’s been missing from the last couple years of Marvel games? Something substantial made for people older than 10. No offense to the LEGO Marvel games or the now-cancelled Disney Infinity, but for as good as those games are, the all-ages demographic limited the types of stories they could tell and the versions of characters you got to see. They certainly couldn’t aim for the kind of dark, edgy subject matter seen in DC titles like the Arkham and Injustice games. It’s time for Marvel to get T-rated once more!
The first Ultimate Alliance took characters to hell and had the kind of adamantium-slicing violence an older audience can see. The sequel went even farther, pulling in the 9/11 allegory of the Civil War comic storyline. MUA3 could use the kind of mature topics that crossover events like Fear Itself or Dark Reign pulled in, or even the Game of Thrones flavored fantasy of the recent Secret Wars epic. Sure, these things could be touched on in cute ways that went over the heads of LEGO-loving kids, but a more grown-up Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 could cover all the gory details of super-battle royale like those.
What’s Developer Raven Doing Anyway?
Raven Software basically invented the Marvel dungeon-running genre with the underrated X-Men Legends, and the team went on to define the first Ultimate Alliance. They skipped the sequel to work on the overlooked Wolverine game of 2010, and have since moved on to the less prestigious task of assisting with the Call of Duty franchise. Raven is a better developer than that and could use the kind of comeback that Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 would afford them.
Raven proved itself time and again as one of the better mid-sized developers out there, and it’s time that Activision gave them another shot. After seeing the great reaction to the re-release of their past work, Marvel fans want to see how Raven would update the RPG-like formula that they pioneered. Though there are lots of other great developers out there, none are as worthy of shepherding Ultimate Alliance into the present than Raven.
That all sounds pretty great, huh? Can’t you just imagine a game where Human Torch, Rocket Raccoon, Wolverine, and Hulk battle it out through the streets of Wakanda and Manhattan? Hopefully Activision can see it too, because the need for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is more intense than ever.