Oof! Marvel: Ultimate Alliance Re-Releases Are Messes

If you’re going to re-release a decade-old game as new for £32, it had better be one heck of a revamp. For £32, I’m talking new kitchen, new bathroom, swept chimneys, and at least making sure the dang game works properly. Well, Activision last night released new versions of the two Marvel: Ultimate Alliance superhero action-RPGs, and the news is not good.

Player reviews are overwhelmingly negative, complaining about bad sound quality, bugged controller support where buttons don’t do what they say (with no rebinding options), a variety of other bugs and glitches, the first game not including any of its DLC, and oh, someone put their ladder through the lounge window.

Cast your eyes over Steam player reviews for MUA and MUA2 and you’ll see a lot of sorry tales. This isn’t another case of folks being upset because an options menu doesn’t have 300 toggles and sliders, the games are just buggy. Given how much they cost, that’s not on.

It’s especially a shame because this is the first time Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 has been released on PC. The first game launched on PC alongside consoles in 2006 but the 2009 sequel never made it over until now.

Patches could maybe fix the games up but sheesh, this is a sorry launch even for Activision.

If you want superhero zap-pows, Marvel Heroes is free-to-play and actually functional.


  1. Roald Hoffmann says:

    Shaplow! As someone who dearly enjoyed the original on the 360, I find this incredibly disappointing. Blizap! This will need some time in the oven before I can take the plunge. Kazowie!

  2. slerbal says:

    Ouch! Glad this is not something I was ever interested in. I feel sorry for people who were really looking forward to it and got sold a substandard product.

  3. Plake says:

    im also really disappointed. NONE of the promised upgrades are visible and i dare to say that a side-by-side comparison of MUA from 2006 and 2016 won’t show any difference.
    But it is clear why the first has no DLCs: the license run out, thats why the 360 already lost them!

    • Urthman says:

      The original PC game had a very active mod community that added a whole lot more new characters than the DLC did, usually with pretty well-developed original powers and skins/models/FX of equal or better quality (and either duplicated or unlocked the DLC ones as well).

    • Azhrarn says:

      link to s31.postimg.org

      The top image is from the 2006 version, the bottom one is from the new 2016 version…

      As posted by TotalBiscuit on twitter, not sure if he originally created it or not.

  4. Zankman says:


    I preemptively added them to my wishlish, not knowing that they would be so screwed up.

    Now if I want to remove them, I have to open my wishlist… And I don’t feel like waiting 5 minutes for that to finish loading, lol.

    • FreshHands says:

      Hmm, if you just let it rot there at the bottom for a couple of years, maybe it would turn into something more…adequate?

      Seriously, I am almost happy about this – even I would not have paid that price for something so old without feeling ashamed of myself. Now, the temptation is almost gone completely.

  5. Mahi_ says:

    God Activision are some greedy pig fucks. Let’s see, a 10 year old remake that’s overpriced and apparently buggy as hell. Fuck you Activision.

  6. ArcusC says:

    After 800+ games on Steam this is the first (two) I’ve had to ask for a refund on. I bought the first MUA pretty much as soon as I bought my PS3 in 2007, mostly thanks to very fond memories of the X-Men Legends games on the PS2. This new “revamped” PC version, a decade later, doesn’t even do controller support properly, which is a must for this kind of game. I don’t have an opinion on actual PC gameplay, as I never even got that far. So, so disappointed. Luckily my PS3 and MUA disc are still going strong.

    • Assaf says:

      Tell me mate, how do the MUA games compare to X-Man Legends? Really enjoyed the X ones with my friends, wondering if the MUA are also good (on the PS).

      • malkav11 says:

        In my opinion they’re better pretty much across the board.

      • Already Gone says:

        I would put the original Marvel Ultimate Alliance as the best of the franchise, followed by either its sequel or X Men Legends 2, with the original X-Men Legends at the bottom of the pile.

        MUA is a long game but I played it obsessively to completion, and then went back and did almost all of the bonus content. I found it fun and exciting with just a hint of cheesy self-aware personality. (e.g., you spend time in some of SHIELD’s ridiculous supervehicles, but you also have Spider-Man cracking wise about their absurdity, or Deadpool breaking the fourth wall to parody Wolverine)

        The rerelease is such a disappointment, as the original PC game does not seem to run on Windows 10. I still have my XBOX 360 copies, but lord knows if that console still works.

  7. gergauss says:

    I loved the first one and was super excited when they announced MUA2… and really pissed when they said console-exclusive… now I am really pissed again at them for finally porting it to pc, doing it poorly and charging 40 dollars for something they didn’t care about enough to make it work decently… This sucks

  8. Turkey says:

    More evidence that Activision is a prehistoric dinosaur that doesn’t understand digital platforms or the PC market at all really.

    They deserve everything that’s coming to them when their cash cows dry up.

  9. CartonofMilk says:

    Marvel Heroes is free to play and functional but also garbage.If only marvel made the decision someday to develop a proper MMO. It’s like they don’t want to be bothered to try.

    • ArcusC says:

      Would love to know why you think it’s straight up “garbage”. I find it quite fun.

      • anHorse says:

        It’s got the most longevity on any arpg out there right now IMO

        It was shite at launch but it’s been great since the first major update

    • Stompywitch says:

      Marvel really, really seem to hate the idea of playing your own characters in their world. It’s one of the things that killed the most recent tabletop RPG’s as well.

      Heroes is better than it was at launch, but it’s still packed full of free-to-play bullshit.

      • malkav11 says:

        How do you explain them greenlighting X-Men Destiny, then? (link to en.wikipedia.org)
        But honestly, I don’t want to play my own character in Marvel’s universe. It’s ridiculously overstuffed as it is, and chances are small that I’ll ever be as cool as the major characters that already exist. (This is my feeling about a lot of licensed RPGs, TBH.) I want to play as those major characters and really feel like I’ve been given their powersets to play with. The MUA games (and to a lesser extent, the X-Men Legends games) certainly delivered that. I think Marvel Heroes does it even better, though.

        And while MH is definitely a free to play game, and I’ll even grant that there are certain aspects that I find ethically dubious (fortune cards), it’s a quite generous one that’s regularly handing out free stuff and virtually everything gameplay relevant can be obtained by spending the in-game Eternity Splinter currency that regularly drops. And it’s not particularly aggressive about pushing F2P elements on you. So all in all I’d call it one of the best F2P implementations I’ve seen.

    • Turkey says:

      I think Disney just shut down Disney Interactive, so they’d probably need a 3rd party to make an MMO.

    • horrorgasm says:

      I don’t understand why they’re so averse to games in general, especially with how popular their big name characters are these days. There are so many amazing games they could be pumping out. I would kill for just one proper Iron Man game.

  10. Jay Load says:

    Lol. Even the positive reviews on steam are complaining about the state of the games.

  11. Hensler says:

    Wut a shame. I probably played through these games and their X-Men predecessors 50 times on the couch in the barracks with different platoon mates back in the day. Was really hoping this re-release would lead to Ultimate Alliance 3 or something along those lines – still some of the best co-op experiences I’ve ever had.

  12. cpt_freakout says:

    It’s ridiculous how sloppy this whole thing is, I mean, it’s not like Activision doesn’t have any moneys… or time (seriously, was anyone waiting for this? As in, since 2006 or whatever?)

  13. Avus says:

    First Ghostbuster garbage and now shitty overpriced remake

  14. horrorgasm says:

    Not all that surprising. Everyone forget how they took the series away from Raven after 1 and gave it to some bargain bin dev?

    • Jalan says:

      You know a publisher only cares about bilking money from the fans when they turn a console “series” over to a developer that specializes in handheld ports.

  15. Deviija says:

    This sham of a re-release has been nothing but bugs, poor quality sound, terrible crashing, characters floating to the side of the screen over time in idle rest, terrible Xbox360/Xbone controller support and lack of configuration, not even including the DLC in the bundle for the price–oh just *everything* is hideous and terrible. Everyone involved in this should be embarrassed. Or, if it’s just a cash-grab with zero interest in fixing all these problems for this ridiculous price, should be ashamed.