Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (previously known as Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2: Fusion), a sequel to the 2006 action role-playing video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, was released September 15, 2009. The game was jointly developed by Vicarious Visions (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360), n-Space (Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii) and Savage Entertainment (PlayStation Portable), and is published by Activision. The game features characters from the Marvel Comics universe and follows elements of the Secret War and Civil War story arcs.
The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 were generally well received, averaging above 70% at aggregators GameRankings and Metacritic. The Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable fared much poorer, averaging between 45% and 65% for their respective platforms.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 borrows much of its gameplay from its predecessor. The game allows players to select a team of four given characters from a larger pool of heroes and villains; team members are interchangeable and may be swapped during gameplay. General gameplay mechanics are similar to those of the X-Men Legends series. The game is played from an isometric dungeon crawl perspective, supporting up to four players simultaneously. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game also feature online play via the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, respectively.
The power system also has been improved, allowing two characters to combine powers, yielding a new attack, known as a “fusion”. Each playable character in the game has a unique fusion with every other playable character in the game. An example is Captain America using his shield to reflect Storm’s lightning bolts. Players have the ability to level up characters and earn new abilities and powers. The PS3 and 360 versions feature an updated character progression system, with each character having four core powers that evolve as the character levels up. The Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable versions of the game resemble the character progression system found in the original Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.
The game includes some format-specific characters, and the developers plan to release additional characters as downloadable content. In addition, each character on the PS3 and Xbox 360 has one alternate costume that can be unlocked during the course of the game. Stan Lee, co-creator of Marvel Comics and creator of many of the characters, also lends his likeness and voice to New York senator Lieber; this marks the first time Stan has made a physical cameo in a video game. On April 1, 2009, Aunt May was announced to be a playable character on the official website, as part of an April Fool’s joke.