To begin, let me just say that I am an avid comic book reader and have been for many years now. Not one comic book event impressed and blew me away the way the Marvel Civil War event did. The idea of hero fighting hero with a political message underlying the battle intrigued me. When Activision announced the sequel to the popular Marvel Ultimate Alliance game, I was thrilled however, I freaked when I learned that the game would be based on Marvel Civil War, the single best Marvel storyline of all time. But did the game live up to the expectations of both gamers and comic book fans alike? Or are players from all over destined to be disappointed again? Well, I have played the game twice now and I am pleased to say that the game did impress.
First let’s discuss the story. Our story begins when a group of attention grabbing band of superheroes called the “New Warriors” take their reality television show to Stamford, Connecticut where they attempt to apprehend a group of rouge super villains. All does not go as planned as when one of the heroes attempts to capture the villain Nitro, who has the ability to cause devastating explosions within a 100 mile radius of himself. Nitro refuses to be captured and literally blows up the entire town of Stamford causing the deaths of over 600 people. In reaction to this the public blames all superheroes, claiming they need to be regulated by the government to prevent another tragedy. This regulation occurs in the form of the Super Hero Registration Act where all superheroes must become registered agents of the government and in doing so publicly revealing their secret identities. This splits the hero community right down the middle and the government is forced to take action. They need someone to help round up those super heroes who refuse to register and that someone is Ironman along with the rest of the superheroes who have registered. However, he won’t have an easy time as his opponent is none other than Mr. Red, White and Blue himself Captain America. This premise alone sets the stage for an awesome narrative video game story which has the ability to draw the player in and keep them enthralled from beginning to end.
Second the presentation of the game. While the first Marvel game was impressive I still felt that the graphics left much to be desired however, this time around the graphics have been beefed up to even out the game’s action packed game play and cut scenes. All the character models manage to preserve the characters’ looks from the comics really drawing the player into the experience. The games environments are also extremely fascinating, the developers did a great job on varying the levels enough to keep the game experience fresh. Another interesting aspect of the environments is that the developers added a higher level of destructibility to the objects in a level feeding the players more destructive side. In the beginning of the game the player has the main characters already unlocked: Spiderman, Wolverine, Captain America and Ironman. As the game progresses more characters become available however; there will come a point in the game where the player must choose: Register or Rebel against Registration and depending on what side you choose different characters become available and the overall story changes depending on what perspective you choose to play from, I may even go as far to say that it’s almost like playing two different games when you choose to register or rebel.
Third let’s discuss the overall game play. The developers boasted about a new feature in the game where characters can combine powers for extra damage and I can assure you that that wasn’t just talk; The fusion powers are simply stunning and never become boring not even for a second, I can’t begin to tell you how much fun I had having Thor and Johnny Storm create a fire tornado and wipe a room full of enemies. On that note a little tip, with some strategically placed fusion power moves the player will significantly lower the number of enemies in a room or even weaken a boss during battle. The controls are rather basic and simple to use, the player can do standard light and heavy attacks which are both one button or bring up the power select icon on the hud and perform a super move, whether that be hurling Captain America’s shield to take out multiple enemies or using Thor to harness lighting and striking the ground to take out all surrounding enemies; simple controls but fun to use as well. During combat the player gains health, ability points, and experience points which can be used for upgrading and if you’ve read my earlier reviews you’ll know I love nothing more than a simple upgrading process and here developers made it extremely simple by letting the player choose the auto-upgrade option where the computer allocates experience points for you so you have nothing to worry about but playing the game. However, even though game play is fun overall after awhile the player will find themselves bored after playing through the game once and once you go to play from a different perspective it feels like the game has run it’s course.
In conclusion, even though I have many great things to say about the game I will admit that I am a comic book fan boy and a gamer so I will say this; The game is loads of fun to play and for the casual gamer and comic book fun I’d say pick up this title. But if you’re the more hardcore gamer you may find yourself wishing you rented it first. So my final rating 4 stars out of 5 because the game only impressed me to a certain extent, but still a fun gaming experience.