MUA3: Curse of the Vampire (DLC)

Remember me raving about Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3? It reminded me of the all great games of the PS2 era, and how they’re sorely missed, being far removed from the endless time pits many modern titles are.

Well, here comes MUA3’s first DLC. Should you buy it? No! Has my opinion of the game shifted? Yes!

The first thing this add-on does is an ominous sign – it raises the level cap. Like many, I love reaching a level cap. You get the satisfying feeling that you’ve done all you can with that character. You’ve taken them to their conclusion; reached the limit. Having that level cap lifted feels like finishing your driving test, only to find out there’s some new extra bit of the test no one told you about before.

There’s a lot of that kind of thing in the DLC. One thing I didn’t mention in my review is that the ‘end game’ is a bit repetitive. You’ve played through the story? Good. Well, play through again. And again. Levelling up characters so you can take on the Infinity Trials.

These trials are remixed versions of levels from the game, but with certain conditions and certain rewards. Complete a level you’ve already completed, but with varying restrictions in place, and you can unlock a new outfit for Spider-Man. Boring, but ignorable when the loot on offer is atrocious.

Problem is, a few of the most desirable characters where locked away behind this system. Want the fun of playing with Thanos? Well, you need to complete a level 90 Infinity Trial, levelling up your heroes far past the point of anything that is needed for the story mode. Want your pudding? Eat your greens.

The DLC has more of this. Except now it’s a ‘Gauntlet’ – instead of one Infinity Trial, it’s four back to back. With the same enemies and locations from the main game. Oh, joy. Doing the annoying maze room in Avenger’s tower. Again. Of course, if you’ve been doing the Infinity Trials from the main game, because you’ve got some kind of masochistic completionist urge, these gauntlets are so easy that they’re trivial and boring. Because your team is now level 101. The new story content promised? A lame Dr. Strange voiceover between trials.

Should you buy this DLC? So far, no. It’s nice to have more characters – Blade, Moon Knight, Punisher and Morbius – but the method of unlocking them is tedious, and I actively came to resent the lack of respect the game had for my time. Sure, there’s another couple of DLCs to come for the price of the season pass, but my advice is to enjoy the story mode and get out.

Life is too short to be equipping items to boost your XP return rate by 6.9%. It’s too late for me. Save yourself while you can.


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