Activation began the demo of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 with a quick trailer to give the story background of the game. The story takes place as a "what if?" inspiration from the Civil War comic book storyline. It begins with S.H.I.E.L.D. sending a team in to Liberia in a post-Dr. Doom world and they are tasked with taking care of a terrorist threat. Once this is completed, returning to Washington, D.C., heroes are required to protect important government officials long enough to allow them to escape the capital. In the final trailer shown at E3, it shows a divide of heroes and that a choice of sides must be made.
Like the first game, you can compose your team of four Marvel heroes and there are twenty-four to choose from. The environment is very interactive, giving you the ability to run around and destroy pretty much whatever you want. Environments are taken from the real world and are varied and well-detailed. Unlike the first game, each level is much more open—no more fighting in hallways and corridors! The camera is also set lower and you are much closer to the action instead of looking down on everything. Graphically, it's stunning and a great improvement over the first game.
To bring the superhero fantasy to a new level, they have added in the Power Fusion abilities in which two members team up to create a combination of their powers and destroy many enemies at once. What's great about this is that the player has full control of the direction and, therefore, destruction that the massive power can do. For example, combining Songbird and Juggernaut turns Juggernaut into a ball of destruction. Because of the greatly updated engine, the game can handle throwing more enemies at you than ever before, giving you the opportunity to really destroy waves upon waves of baddies with your fantastical powers.
Enemies can also come in different forms from ranged rocket-launching baddies to armour-wearing shield-bearing warriors. This allows for different strategies and also enables you to take advantage of the over 250 different combinations of attacks with power fusions. As you play the game, the team can come across Team Boosts, which are upgrades that enable the team to be catered to whatever your playstyle may happen to be. You can get Boosts through exploration and boss fights and you can switch the boosts from team to team. As for the boss fights themselves, they are often massive and involve known Marvel characters, adding to the story and the world of Marvel.
As with the first Ultimate Alliance, characters can be upgraded through ability points and each character has four core powers. It was strongly stressed that each hero is very well-balanced, allowing each hero to be useful in a team. Each character fits into a typical fighter archetype, with some being tanks and others being ranged damage fighters and so on. Co-op play is up to four players and can be online or all on the same console.
Overall, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 is a very promising sequel to the first Ultimate Alliance that will give fans a great way to play with their favourite Marvel characters with friends set in an immersive world with a very intriguing storyline. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 has been confirmed for release on PlayStation 3, PSP, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo Wii for this coming Fall season.