Will you Join the "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance" Against Evil?

Tue, October 10th, 2006 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Chris Ullrich, Contributing Writer

PS3 Box Art
Are you brave enough and strong enough to join with other Marvel icons like Captain America, Spider-Man and Wolverine in the fight against evil? Do you think you have what it takes to be a hero? Are you ready to join the ultimate alliance? If the answer to these questions is a resounding "yes," then the award winning "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance" video game, coming soon from Activision and Raven Studios, may be just what you're looking for. Recently, CBR News stormed the gates of Activision's secret fortress in Los Angeles to spend some quality time checking out the game.

The hugely anticipated action-RPG "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance" features one of the largest rosters of comic book characters ever put into a video game and puts you in complete control of your favorite Marvel character. Once you decide which character you want to play, Captain America, Spider-Man, Silver Surfer or any of over twenty other playable heroes, you then select which other Marvel characters you want to join you on your team. Once that's done, the real action starts as you go from level to exciting level fighting the forces of Dr. Doom and his newly reformed Masters of Evil. Who will win and the fate of the entire Marvel Universe is your hands and the hands of your chosen heroes.

This unprecedented level of game play and sheer number of playable characters is definitely something unique to this game, according to Senior Developer Dan Vondrack of Raven Studios. "'Marvel: Ultimate Alliance' brings the entire Marvel Universe to the fans. That was our goal in putting this game together allowing the fans to have full access to play as their favorite characters. We started with the major ones and as you go along in the game you unlock more characters that you can play. Nothing like this has ever been done before," Vondrack told CBR News.

Vince Kudirka, Associate Producer of the game for Activision, agreed with Vondrack's description. "We've taken heroes from X-Men, Fantastic Four, The Avengers and other Marvel Universes and put them into the game. Characters that probably would not ever have their own game, like Dr. Strange for example, are in this game. With over a 140 total characters, heroes and villains, this is the biggest assembly of characters ever in a game," Kudirka told CBR News.

And fans of beloved Marvel characters like Iron Man, The Thing and Captain America have no reason to be concerned that their favorite characters will loose something in the translation from comic book page to video game screen. "We've worked with Marvel a lot so they trust us that we won't do anything to mess with the characters or anything. Plus, they were around for all the major milestones during the development to make sure we were going in the right direction," said Vondrack.

Kudirka agreed, "Marvel is involved every step of the way as creative consultants, telling us what powers each character has, what each hero can do and things like that. And since the game developer, Raven Studios, has done a ton of games with Marvel, they are really cool with everything that we want to do."

Another way in which Activision and Raven Studios made sure that "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance" would stay true to the Marvel Universe and the characters that live in it was to work with veteran Spider-Man and X-Men writer C.B. Cebulski on the story and script. Once Cebulski came aboard the project, he penned an exclusive script for the game complete with unique story elements, relationships and action not found in the pages of any Marvel comics. This is something that everyone involved with the project agreed was the best way to approach a game like this.

"We basically got together with the Marvel guys and C.B. Cebulski in a room and hashed out the concept for the game, then the story. Marvel told us things that were coming up like 'Civil War' and asked us to be a part of all of it. Then Cebulski worked on the script. We wanted to keep it simple and get together all the heroes and villains and basically let them duke it out," said Vondrack.

Kudirka was also enthusiastic about having a veteran Marvel writer handling the story chores. "C.B. Cebulski brings a lot to the game because he knows these characters and this world inside and out. It was a no-brainer to have him involved."

"Marvel: Ultimate Alliance" will be available for all next-gen platforms like Xbox 360, PS3 and the Nintendo Wii and will be released in time for Christmas. So Marvel fans, if you've ever stayed awake nights wishing you could spin webs like Spider-Man, slash bad guys like Wolverine, clobber evil like The Thing or fly like the Silver Surfer, get ready to have your wish granted when you pick up your copy of "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance."

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