After two highly successful games in the action-RPG series X-Men Legends, developer Raven Software and publisher Activision are opening up their Marvel Comic themed games to the entire super hero universe with the upcoming action game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. FiringSquad got a chance to chat with Activision producer Matthew Paul about the game which is due out this fall on pretty much every game platform.
FiringSquad: First, why did Raven want to make a game based on other Marvel heroes, rather than go the easy route with a new X-Men
Matthew Paul: X-Men Legends is a great franchise, but we wanted to do something fresh…hence Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. Taking on the entire Marvel universe opened up a bunch of possibilities that we hadn’t been able to do with previous games. There’s just something so cool about teaming up your favorite Super Heroes from all the different Marvel comics and setting off to fight evil. Plus, just because we’ve created Marvel: Ultimate Alliance doesn’t mean that there’s not a chance to revisit the X-Men Legends franchise some day.
FiringSquad: How hard was it to create a storyline that used the more expansive Marvel universe?
Matthew Paul: It was incredibly difficult to create the story for Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. The hardest part of creating the story was knowing when to say “no” to something we really wanted to do, but knew didn’t fit properly into the story structure. There is so much material that we had to only pick and choose the best stories, and even then we had more than 40 hours worth of material. What’s even more insane is that throughout the game’s story there are points where the decisions you make affect the whole Marvel universe, so working those into the game and then showing you how those decisions play out in the end was also a really grueling process. Luckily we had Marvel writer C.B Cebulski help us write the story and make sure everything stays true to the Marvel universe. The resulting storyline definitely packs a few great surprises.
FiringSquad: What are some of the team's favorite characters to play in the game?
Matthew Paul: My personal favorite character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is Ghost Rider because of his awesome chain attacks, although I know everyone else on the team has their own favorite. Dr. Strange seems to be another hometown favorite over here. Then there’s Human Torch who just looks so sweet on the next-gen systems with all the effects we did. With over 20 playable characters, we have a few disputes in the office as to who is the best Super Hero though. Plus there’s also the fact that there’s more to it than just the individual characters; it’s also the teams that you put together.