Marvel: Ultimate Alliance Download Packs First Look

Eight new Marvel icons make their way into the ultimate alliance. We check out the downloadable content for the popular comics beat-'em-up.

It's been five months since Marvel: Ultimate Alliance was released on the Xbox 360, bringing together a huge band of heroes and villains from the Marvel comics universe and letting players kick, punch, blast, and claw their way through a fast-paced comics adventure. Next week, the game will see the first big update from Activision, and we recently had a chance to get a sneak peek at all the four-color thrills that will be available in the downloadable packs.

Venom is one of the new downloadable characters in the game, and he's completely badass.

First and foremost, the update will include eight new heroes--four villains and four heroes. The lineup will include heroes Hawkeye, Nightcrawler, The Incredible Hulk, and Cyclops, while the villains pack will include baddies Venom, Sabretooth, Dr. Doom, and Magneto. Each pack will be sold separately for 500 Microsoft points ($6.25), and you'll have the option to buy both for 800 points ($10). As you might expect, eight new characters means a whole mess of new moves and powers you can take advantage of when carrying out the various missions that make up Ultimate Alliance.

On the heroes' side, Nightcrawler is a lean and nimble mutant capable of quick strikes with his dual swords. He can also teleport from one spot to the next when you press the Y button twice--a handy way of getting from one level to the next or bypassing obstacles that might otherwise be impassable. Some of Nightcrawler's cool special moves include whirlwind sword attacks and the ability to quickly "bamf" from one opponent to the next, dealing pain to multiple foes in the process. Hawkeye is a marksman with a bow and arrow, and you'll want to take full advantage of his ranged attacks. With some of his special attacks, Hawkeye can fire arrows as fast as you can press the A button, so it's a good idea to keep one hand in the quiver at all times.

Bruce Banner's mean, green alter ego The Incredible Hulk joins the ranks of MUA heavyweights such as Colossus, The Thing, and Luke Cage as a pure powerhouse. Like the other bruisers, Hulk can grab enemies and use them as rag-doll clubs, and he also has some devastating area attacks such as the Hulk smash and the Hulk stomp. Finally, Cyclops brings to any team his powerful optic blasts, which, like Hawkeye, make him a force to be reckoned with at long range.

On the villains' side, some of the heaviest hitters in the Marvel universe are now yours to control. There's Magneto, whose powers include the ability to send waves of magnetic force at opponents, or create a powerful shield protecting him from harm. Sabretooth has deadly claw attacks that make him an incredibly powerful melee combatant. Venom, perhaps the best-looking new character of them all, is a hulking mass of black evil, capable of firing off tendrils of black symbiote goo that damages any enemies in the area. Last but not least, there's also Dr. Doom (who--spoiler alert--also happens to be the bad guy in MUA). Doom's powers come from his mysterious suit of armor, and include blasts of green energy and shields similar to those of Magneto.

As in the original game, making different combinations of the new characters in MUA will give you different team bonuses. For example, when teaming any four of the new characters together, you'll receive a "Shaba Ultimates" bonus (named after the company that assisted with the new character development) in the form of a 15 percent boost to your maximum energy. Teaming only the four new villains together will give you a "Rogue's Gallery" bonus of a 10 percent-reduced power cost.

Though it isn't long before you can access the new downloadable characters, you will have to get through the first stages of the opening S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier level before you can access the S.H.I.E.L.D. access point and make your team adjustments. As before, you'll be able to level up your characters either by allocating points to your characters' various powers and attributes, or by letting the game handle it for you (we recommend the former, however). Each of the new characters will also have devastating new extreme moves for those times when the going gets really tough.

Unlike his fancy fur collar and tan leotard, Sabretooth's claws are all business.

One thing that isn't 100 percent clear with the downloadable content in MUA is how the game will be handling some of the odd character interactions that will likely crop up now that characters like Dr. Doom are playable. We just aren't sure what's going to happen when a playable Doom character meets the game's villainous Doom (though we suspect Kurt Busiek might be able to speculate). However, judging by some of the new achievements in the game, the developer seems to be taking these improbable interactions into account--consider achievements such as "Doppelgänger" (25 points, "Doom has spoken with himself") or "Wrong Claws" (25 points, "Sabretooth has been mistaken for Wolverine). In addition, there are achievements for Cyclops speaking with Jean Grey and Xavier talking with his old friend/foe Magneto, as well as points to earn from unlocking new skins for each of the new characters on the roster.

Though there doesn't seem to be anything in the way of new missions with the first downloadable update to MUA, the new characters are sure to please Marvel diehards who dream about playing as stalwarts like Venom and Nightcrawler, or wreaking havoc as the Hulk. The downloads will be available next week, so keep an eye out for them, true believers.

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Discussion

346 comments
CharmedGamer
CharmedGamer

ISuck420, deadlines get pushed back all the time in the game industry. I was suprised you were actually suprised. This is never going to change. Those dates are always estimates.

Showie360
Showie360

Content is online, for you US people...

Showie360
Showie360

It will be coming this Week. Matthew Paul (Activision) say we must not wait until May.

isuck420
isuck420

activision sux. if you cant meet your date, then dont schedule a date. got my hopes up and dashed them. i made this screen name specifically so i could **** about this.

GoltanaZerg
GoltanaZerg

Not positive, but I keep hearing more about it being released on April 30th.

ryguybond
ryguybond

i like this game and am excited for this

Magnet0
Magnet0

The website has just sent some emails out saying that they are making "Final Adjustments" to the packs. They haven't actually said why its late, but they have said that they will be announcing another release date in the near future.

shaneshagger
shaneshagger

just logged on... still nothing... 3 days late now... there better be some wicked compensation for the wait :p

Daelock
Daelock

My 360 won't connect, so I can't check

Mr_Poole
Mr_Poole

Some one txt me im at work and they said the are playing as Venom as we speak, please go check, if not he is a pos

lozkoz00
lozkoz00

sorry bro! I guess nonone cares enough to official post some news in the website, I still do not understand why. Once again sorry for your lost

stillereize
stillereize

Thanks for taking all my rings off my characters that I had on them with this stupid update. Don't put **** into my games unless I specifically download extra content or it patches a bug. You stole my hard earned gear you dumb idiots. I want it back. Almost makes me want to trade this game in now.

Prak
Prak

wtf whered the download go?

earlsavenger
earlsavenger

id have venom, spider man ( in the black suit), doctor doom, and ghost rider.

joc3
joc3

Unless they're just trying to increase the hype? Pissed off at the wait though

wolvie1313
wolvie1313

I can't wait to make the ultimate rival dream team; Wolverine, Sabretooth, Spiderman, and Venom. Should be worth the wait, even though the wait REALLY sucks.

Magnet0
Magnet0

Its annoying. although i am enjoying the cheap thrill of the gear i was using being changed to suit the new characters. asgard armour adds +2 points to a move for amgneto, but cause it doesnt exist it buffs all the moves of whoever wears it. Elektra now is way overpowered along with Iron Man. its funny to me. Its just annoying that the silhouettes are there, but the characters aren't.i want venom, magneto n nightcrawler!!

wolvie1313
wolvie1313

A late download is better than no download at all, I guess.

lozkoz00
lozkoz00

This is the lamest excuse ever!!! And still no official word about the subject , even on this site?

Daelock
Daelock

All I know is I'm supposed to be playing as Venom right now and I'm not and I didn't find out about that from Activision, I found out about it HERE. They haven't done crap to let people know the patch is indefinately delayed, and THAT'S the biggest part of this BS.

riderkid
riderkid

thats what they said bout episode one of star wars... inow hate star wars cause of jar jar ****

MeOwnBestFrnd
MeOwnBestFrnd

This is posted in the XBOX LIVE FORUM Activision official Response in regards to problems with the Auto Update: Activision is indeed aware of the various issues on Marvel Ultimate Alliance in relation to the recently released game update. We are currently researching a solution, and truly appreciate your patience in this matter. For the purpose of acquiring more information regarding this issue, could you please respond with a precise account of what has occurred to your characters, items, and save game since the update? To do this go to Activision.com click on support then ask a question and follow the instructions.

earlsavenger
earlsavenger

how ever, it is definitly worth the wait

earlsavenger
earlsavenger

well, like magneto said, " no one ever talks about it, they just do it, and ul go on with your lives ignoring the sighns all around you, and then one day when the air is still and the night has fallen, the come for you"

riderkid
riderkid

for this i think we need to realize one thing....they suck

earlsavenger
earlsavenger

ya we know, screw them, they where the first ones to report that the new charicters where even coming out, and now this

Jhood3k
Jhood3k

this delay is BS but i don't know if anyone knows but on ign.com it says that the DL is going to have a new release date "shortly" and that it "will be well worth the wait" or some bs like that

earlsavenger
earlsavenger

i was gonna use the remainder of my week of to play venom, and now i dont get to, WTF!!

Munkey4098
Munkey4098

did activision ever make an official announcement on when this would be released on XBL? If they are going to do it i prefer it to be integrated into the game without bugs or issues. i can wait another week, its a fun game and this will add more replay value. things get delayed all the time and that is in the benefit of the consumer so the game or update can be done right.

lozkoz00
lozkoz00

I just wrote that to the so call producer on XBL forums, I suggest for you guys to a least express your concerns to the source, PEACE out BROS!!

lozkoz00
lozkoz00

I seriously don't think they found the issue( whatever it is?) a day after submitting to MS. I think most of the fans that extremenly bother by this is because of the delay non-official announcements(if any official so far???) on the patch/update delay with NO futher information on that regard after the fact. I respect your position as a peace keeper, but I also respect the fans that are truly angry about this. Mattew, next time please contact the PRESS !! or give an official noticed on the publishers WEBSITE. thanks, Loz

MeOwnBestFrnd
MeOwnBestFrnd

Lol....I feel teased too Breiten......and them updating the title to let us SEE the characters but not touch.....that sucked.

BREITENBUCHER
BREITENBUCHER

if they said the 10 of april, its going to be out, it should be OUT! I WAS WAITING LIKE AN IDIOT FOR THAT STUPED THING! they should at least tell us which date! my game upgraded with the silouettes of those eight players just to get me pissed!!! "haaaa haaaa youuuu caaannt haavvee it!!!!!" thats what i feel they have done. who is with me! i even thougt that maybe you need gold membership to get that upgrade!, now they should cut the coast in have for all the pain they caused. (i whant my cyclops)

riderkid
riderkid

ok but i need a 12 pizza deposit, ppepperoni hand tossed from dominoes and 5 bottles of diet pepsi

MeOwnBestFrnd
MeOwnBestFrnd

Smite away Riderkid......it's starting to look bad though; they've pulled the trailer from their site.......I thought maybe the delay would be temporary.....doesn't look like it.

riderkid
riderkid

so when is it coming or do i have to smite activision

MeOwnBestFrnd
MeOwnBestFrnd

I'm with you of course Loz....but I doubt they'll EVER consider doing that........but they could lower the points or give buy 1 pack get the other free....but truth is...they know that all the die hards will buy it no matter what....so I'm guessing they just tell us to go suck a banana

lozkoz00
lozkoz00

FREE packages or would they still be 10bucks for all? Whos with me here? I say FREE!!!

Daelock
Daelock

That would be lovely, but it'll never happen. I think a discount should be applied if you buy it within the first X amount of time.

lozkoz00
lozkoz00

I heard you Daelock,beleived me, feel your pain as well. NO excuses they should of said something on the 9th..........Those packages should be free now!!!

Daelock
Daelock

I'm with you lozkoz00, I have a few days off from work and the days off STARTED on the 10th and I was looking forward to an Ult Alliance marathon (starring Venom) and I too stayed up until all hours waiting for this game. Shouldn't they have known by around the 9th that the game wasn't gonna be done by now?

lozkoz00
lozkoz00

MeOwnBestFrnd Lozko...you were here with me on Mon. night/Tues. Morning waiting for this damn thing weren't you.......SSDD ..............LOL just I was, I had a couple days off from work and I was actually dissapointed that I didnt get to play myon of my favorative games (MUA), now I'm just piss off that NoONE told us that the packages were delay, WT***?

MeOwnBestFrnd
MeOwnBestFrnd

In that case....I guess the next indication that they're making some headway will be another title update when you load your game.....probably see that a little before the actual packs are available....that'll be the indicator.

kidsmoov
kidsmoov

It's not STILL in QA. It just went BACK to QA after hosing people's saved games.