Thanks to August’s issue of Game Informer magazine, new details (this time official ones, even!) have emerged about Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2: Fusion.
First, there’s the ever-present question of story. The first game had a story that jumped around quite a bit in an effort to reach every corner of the Marvel Universe. Back in June, we had the marketing survey that rumored Marvel Civil War as the storyline. Then at Wizard World Chicago, Marvel writer (and writer of the first MUA) C.B. Cebulski confirmed that Civil War would take a large hand in the story of the game. While the Game Informer report fails to name the story, seemingly due to the writer’s lack of familiarity with comics, it does mention face-offs between Iron Man and Captain America, and a blurring of the lines of good and evil.
The big story news, however, is where the story will begin. Nick Fury gathers a group of heroes to invade Latveria at the start of the game. That’s right- the game will start with Secret War and go straight through Civil War, with some obvious changes to allow for characters like Hulk and Thor to be involved. In addition to the confirmed longer, more directly-comics-based storyline, players will have a dynamic conversation system, with choices between “aggressive, defensive, or diplomatic” responses during conversation. Each style will take your team in a different direction. Similar to the team power-ups from the first game, new rewards will come your way depending on how you treat non playable characters. These will not be dependent on a set number of characters, either. You can use any playable characters at any time without losing any of your earned power-ups.
Those characters promise to be fan favorites. The development team has patrolled message boards and reviews, looking to see which characters from the first game are most popular, and which missing characters are most requested. Out of the vague “over 20” characters promised for the game, the article confirmed several. Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Luke Cage, Daredevil, Thor, Thing, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Hulk, and Iron Man are all confirmed playable characters. Hopefully we’ll learn more beyond those 12 at planned Activision events at San Diego Comic-Con.
Speaking of the development team, a change has been made there, as well. Raven Software, who developed the two X-Men Legends games and the first Ultimate Alliance is busy with a new Wolfenstein. Vicarious Visions, who created the game engine that the prior three used, will take over full development duties. In addition to the same engine, they’ll be using the much-touted Havok physics engine, allowing for highly destructive environments and enemies that can more accurately interact with each other. They’re also replacing Momentum moves (extremely high powered, often room-clearing special moves) with the titular Fusions. Two characters will use basic powers together to create a larger effect. One example given (of the more than 200 possible combinations) has Invisible Woman making an invisible bubble, Iron Man filling it with an energy blast, then the bubble exploding for a large radial blast. Fans can and will imagine the multitudes of combinations between now and the game’s release. As of right now, that release is still 2009, and hasn’t been narrowed down. Stay tuned for hands-on impressions of the game from San Diego, with more details, coming soon.