Born from the great X-Men Legends games, Marvel Ultimate Alliance uses that same novel concept, but instead gives more than just the X-Men to play as, in a story that isn't just limited, but still includes, them. Like X-Men Legends and it's sequel, you play as one of many Marvel super heroes at a time, one a team of four. The number of playable heroes has increased from X-Men Legends 2's 21, and has a maximum amount of playable characters (with DLC) of over 30. Some characters don't belong playable, like story breakers Dr. Doom, Cyclops and Nightcrawler, but they are fun to play as regardless. Despite not adapting a famous Marvel crossover story, which part two would later do, Ultimate Alliance creates an epic, if not slightly generic, story, that has you control the heroes and villains, to put a stop to Doctor Doom before he is able to use Odin's powers to take control of earth. Throughout the fairly lengthy game, you find yourself in many comic familiar locales, like a Skrull Planet, Murderworld, Asgard and Mephisto's Realm. Other famous Marvel Universe locations like Stark Tower and Sanctum Sanctorum, will also serve as one of your many headquarters throughout the game. The game manages to do something that the first X-Men Legends game was unable to accomplish, but the second achieved, by creating a very dark and epic world/story. The story isn't perfect however. Despite Doom being the game's primary enemy, and the Fantastic Four all being playable, they serve little purpose in the overall story. Unfortunately, instead of trying integrate everyone into the story, the game only seems interested in having the most popular characters, Captain America, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Thor and Nick Fury, have an ample role in the story, while the other 25 playables, for the most part, seem thrown in for kicks. Certain other characters, like Storm, Elektra and Iron Man, all have a regular presence in the game's mission briefings, allowing them to participate in the story more than some others, as well as certain NPCs like Black Widow, Weasel, Vision and Hank Pym, all serving their story purposes. The story also seems to spend more time with the countless villains, than the number of heroes that serve no purpose whatsoever in the game's story. Villains like Loki, Doom, Enchantress, Fin Fang Foom and Bullseye, all seem to have much more of a role in the game than playable heroes like, Ms. Marvel, Colossus and Moon Knight. That is my main problem with these games, while they have a lot of your favorites to play as, I would like to see everyone serving a purpose in the story, and be more than just man power. These little hitches don't make the game unplayable by any means, but not everyone gets equal screen time. The luxury of having a generic story of Good VS Evil, does help the casual player get involved, but may lead them to wonder what's the big fuss over Marvel Comics in the first place. I personally would prefer a deep, and a story more rooted to the comics, but the story that was made specifically for the game works fine, and only comes up a little short.