Now that I’m back home from E3 2019, it’s really allowed me to digest everything I saw at the show. During a preview session at the Nintendo booth, I was able to check out a few games, one of those being Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. And after getting some hands-on time with it, I was confused more than anything.
I’m pretty transparent when it comes to my likes. I do own a decent gaming PC as well as a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One X. Incidentally, out of all of the gaming platforms I own, I find myself playing on my Switch and PC more than anything.
I say this solely due to the fact that I was looking forward to the reveal of the Avengers title from Square Enix. When Square finally pulled back the curtain to reveal its overall design, I couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed. I somewhat checked my expectations, mostly due to not seeing any gameplay whatsoever. That is, if you don’t count the grainy gameplay that leaked online.
Staying true to the source material
Yeah, the Avengers are great and all, but I found myself oh so conflicted. Why wasn’t it blinking any lights for me? Then, when it came time to spend some hands-on time with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, things started to get even hazier.
I think one of the main reasons for this inner conflict is in the presentation. On one hand, you have an Avengers game that isn’t like what we’ve been groomed to see on the big screen for the past seven years. It almost felt cheap in a way, particularly in the character designs. Obviously, the game wouldn’t see the same level of production of that of its big-budget Hollywood counterpart. I still couldn’t convince myself that this, this was what I had been waiting for.
The situation for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is much different. It brings out characters ripped from the pages of the comics from where they came. No dark, bland X-Men suits. Rather, each character has dawned their colorful, sometimes antiquated, superhero outfit.
Is my bias showing?
I keep having to check myself. I wonder if my constant watching of the 1990s animated X-Men series has anything to do with the reason why I’ve sold myself on the third installment in the Ultimate Alliance franchise. Even during the demo, one of the things that I enjoyed most was the integration of characters like Jessica Jones and even, yes, Iron Fist. In my brief gameplay, Iron Fist joined the battle in his green and yellow masked suit.
Bringing the gameplay
One of the most common themes for E3 2019 was to show off cinematic trailers for announcements. That was almost the complete opposite for most things Nintendo had to show off. And to tip the scales even further, Nintendo had Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 playable on the show floor.
Instead of just showing me what things would be like. Instead of just saying, “This is the game we are working on.” They brought the trailers along with the gameplay experience to back them up. The same can’t be said for the majority of the titles shown at E3, including Marvel’s Avengers from Square Enix.
I’m still unsure as to what the tipping point was for me. Was it the previous lack of hype before playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3? Was it the inclusion of traditional outfits? Maybe even the lackluster character designs of Avengers?
To be honest, it might have been that—and more. At this point, though, one thing is for certain (and my wallet knows it too): I’m 100 percent sure I will be buying Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 on day one. I just can’t say the same for that there Avengers game, though. And I don’t think I’m the only one.