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PLATFORM: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PS3, PS2, Wii, DS, PSP
ESRB RATING: T
DEVELOPER:
Vicarious Visions
PUBLISHER: Activison

Sometimes, all you need is a label to sell a game.
    
THE PITCH
 
“The big Marvel event, now in videogame form!”

If you’ve been alive the past few years you most likely heard about Marvel’s Civil War. The news about Spider-man revealing his identity and Captain America dying was big enough to gain attention from most every major newspaper, and there were dozens upon dozens of issues that tied into it.

It’s a simple enough storyline- due to a superhero team mishandling a battle, a villain blew up a few blocks in Stamford Connecticut and killed hundreds of innocents. The people cry out for blood and the government brings in its Superhero Registration Act, which would require superheroes to register and reveal their true identities, becoming paid employees of the government in the process. While it seems like a cushy gig to most (including a few villains) it doesn’t sit well with a lot of them- most notably Captain America- and the two sides fight it out to the bitter end.


CHUDTIP- Some character are ridiculously overpowered, and make the game much more easy.


In the game you choose a side a few levels in and your character choices are influenced by that, but that’s about it as far as story goes. Most of the time you’ll just be trying to skip the horrible cutscenes as fast as you can. It’s almost a mini-game!
  
THE PLAY
 
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, like its predecessor and X-Men Legends before it, is stunningly, mind-numbingly average.

Sure, it starts off decent enough. You’ll go around smashing up bad guys with all these classic marvel heroes and villians, enjoy seeing the various team-up “fusion” moves you can pull off by matching two different characters together. You’ll have fun with the simple controls and finding out what moves work best as you smash up the scenery and take down bad guys.
 
But then you’ll realize that the entire gameplay has consisted of you pulling off one combo or special move over and over, and that there are only a handful of fusions that you can perform. You’ll realize that every environment is as bland as the last, every boss fight as stupid and free of strategy. You’ll listen to the atrocious dialogue and find out that yes, they actually managed to dumb down Civil War. (Think about it.) You’ll hear Iceman say “Looks like I gave them the cold shoulder!” about fifty million times, because each character has about two or three catchphrases that they repeat ad nauseum.

You will engage in crate puzzles. CRATE PUZZLES.
 
In short, this is not a very good game at all. If you’re looking for a test of patience or like to punish yourself with boring gameplay (like Penance with his armor), here you go. If this had been a regular old bland action game with 24 characters no one had every heard of, you’d never subject yourself to it.


CHUDTIP- The only character who’s any fun to listen to is Deadpool, and that’s more cause he keeps making fun of videogames (“They should have given you a bigger health bar!”)


The one saving grace is multiplayer. Using 2-4 player co-op makes things a lot more exciting, but mostly because you can talk to your friends and imagine you were playing a better game. Play by yourself and you’re forced to rely on computer pals that don’t seem to ever want to help you out, that are more content to stand around watching you fight. It doesn’t help that there are some absolutely ridiculous difficulty spikes throughout that will leave you wondering what the hell just happened.

The RPG elements of the game (you gain XP through battle and can attribute it to various points on each character) have been dumbed down, and it’s unlikely you’ll even want to bother with it all and will just turn it on Auto.

You will get a few hours of fun out of this game, but then the boredom will set in. It took me weeks just to complete the main quest, and that’s only about 6-8 hours long.
    
THE PRESENTATION

The graphics are decent enough but the camera is so far away from the action that you won’t be able to tell. Every area looks the same- sure, the scenery might change but the layout never does. It doesn’t help that the game’s so incredibly linear and has you doing fun stuff like hitting switches and pulling around crates.



CHUDTIP-
When you get Songbird use her X-button attack and you can kill any boss. Just fly in the air by jumping twice and most won’t be able (or won’t try) to attack you and her attack does ridiculous amounts of damage

   

THE REPLAY
 
The big replay value here is that you can take two different paths through the game, anti or pro registration, but would you actually want to play through again? You can also join games online to further level up your characters and such but again, I can’t see anyone actually wanting to play through this game again. There are DLC characters on the way such as Deadpool and Cable, but you do know that there are good games out there that you can be playing, right?
 

THE VERDICT

Only Marvel diehards need apply, and even then only if they’ve ready to delude themselves.
 

4.0 out of 10