It’s safe to say most gamers expected mixed reviews for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. It’s a series that has never been associated with deep tactical combat, playing like a casual modern-day take on Gauntlet. Ten years on, not much has changed.
Scores are mostly 7s and 8s so far, with a sprinkling of 6/10s from sterner sites such as The Metro and VGC. It reportedly provides some simple, light-hearted, fun as well as boasting a surprisingly lengthy campaign. However, the story never really gets going, and the visuals lack the pizzazz we’ve come to expect from big-budget titles. It gets the team-based combat right, though, and that’s the main thing.
It’s the ideal summer blockbuster, then – the gaming equivalent of a popcorn flick.
We’ve rounded up reviews below. Check back on Monday to see how it performs in this week’s UK chart. Breaking the top five is a given, but we aren’t convinced it has enough clout to topple the almighty Super Mario Maker 2.
5/5 – Daily Star: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 was a big surprise when it was announced at last year’s Game Awards, but after a decade of being trapped under the ice, it feels like a game worth waiting for. Switch owners will find plenty of content to chew through, particularly with friends, and while it may be the gaming equivalent to a Hulk Smash, that isn’t to say that it isn’t a rollicking good time.
8/10 – TheSixthAxis: A couple of stripped back features aside, Marvel Ultimate Alliance is a great series revival that should keep new and old fans busy for quite a while. With DLC coming later this year, it will only get better.
4/5 – GamesRadar: A mighty multiplayer brawler brimming with content, and carefully crafted characters that will delight both comic book veterans and MCU fanatics.
8/10 – Nintendo Life: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order isn’t a groundbreaking, narrative-heavy reinterpretation of the comic characters you know and love, but then again neither were the first two games. In that regard, it’s a very faithful sequel that mines the vast roster of characters from the comics while including plenty of nods to the current state of the more modern Marvel Cinematic Universe. While it doesn’t do anything particularly new or outstanding, it embraces the brainless fun of its brawler combat with gusto, and it’s at its absolute best when played with a team of player-controlled supers.
7.8 – IGN: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is a fun, if fairly simple, comic book beat-em-up that’s enjoyable alone or with friends alike.
7.5 – Nintendo World Report: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is like a B-movie. You know that it isn’t the best in areas, but you still enjoy it with all your heart. The characters are well crafted, which makes the game such a joy. The environments, voices, and the general feel is strong.
7.5 – Nintendo Enthusiast: The game excels in many different areas, especially uniting a massive cast and bringing heroes to the roster that almosteveryone can identify with. But that doesn’t excuse annoyances and design choices that make appearances throughout the lengthy campaign.
3.5/5 – US Gamer: The Ultimate Alliance comes roaring back with this Nintendo Switch exclusive. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 pulls inspiration for Marvel comics, movies, TV, and more to create an homage to the brand’s long history. Unfortunately, some camera issues and general readability mar the overall experience, and the alternate costumes fall short of the Ultimate Alliance standard. Despite that, this is a great couch co-op adventure with all your Marvel favorites.
7/10 – God is a Geek: At times Ultimate Alliance 3 becomes a little repetitive, but Team Ninja have crafted a likeable scrapper that sets out to entertain, and succeeds in doing just that.
7.0 – GameInformer: My time with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 was filled with peaks and valleys. It has great moments where everything is clicking, followed by lulls where it all falls apart. The story never really gets going, however, but is a fun exploration of all things Marvel.
7/10 – Destructoid: There’s plenty of room for improvement, but I had fun playing through Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. With the Marvel IP less muddled and the simplicity of this deal between Marvel and Nintendo, I’d love to see another with enhancements in tow.
6/10 – The Metro: Shallow, stupid, and very repetitive but as long as you play with friends there’s a goofy charm to what is, for better or worse, the best Marvel team-up game in a long while.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is available exclusively on Switch, launching today.