Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2 Review

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Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2 is a 3D update of the long standing popular Facebook game that welcomes back old players while being accessible to new crowds too. Marvel fans young and old will find plenty to do in this new mobile game for iOS and Android devices.

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The player takes the role of a S.H.I.E.L.D. commander under Director Coulson’s leadership. Your team of up to five heroes will be sent throughout the Marvel universe on turn based story missions battling AIM, Hydra, The Sinister Six and many more familiar Marvel evil doers. Each hero on your team is equipped with specialized abilities and perks that can be customized by the player. The better you match up certain characters with certain skills together, the more formidable your party of heroes will be. As the player completes more missions and tasks more features of the game are unlocked such as a robust player versus player ranking system and special Spec Ops and Scouting missions. The variety of things to do in the game is a welcome change from the dated Facebook app. The variety in gameplay modes isn’t stale or repetitive even after spending a few weeks with the game.

Free to Play mobile games like Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2 sometimes get a bad rap in the gaming community. The market is flooded with cheaply made apps to that bombard the player with ads or attempts to get the player to spend real world money. The worst of the worst lovingly embrace the ‘Pay to Win’ system giving overwhelming advantages (special characters, moves, missions, etc.) to players willing to pay real word currency. In those games if you can’t afford to shower the game with money you’ll quickly find yourself unable to progress and shut out of features.

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Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2 thankfully doesn’t hammer that part as heavily as its predecessor did. Acquiring new characters is easier, leveling is at a natural pace and there aren’t too many harsh pay walls screaming for your cash. Once you run out of ‘Gold’, the game’s main in-game currency, various tasks will take longer to complete but not to the point where the game becomes unplayable. Thankfully from the start of the game ‘Gold’ is in plentiful supply and as long as the player is conscious about spending it in the right places it’s a non issue. For those that want to have all of the characters or abilities unlocked right away, the game does give you that option but it isn’t oppressively shoved in the player’s face as it was before.

Gameplay wise, the new system is slightly overwhelming at first to new players but the tutorial section gets players up to speed easily. The level of depth in creating your perfect team of Marvel heroes is impressive. Taking out an opposing team with just the right combination of powers and moves is extremely gratifying. Fans of Role Playing Games will find a lot to love in the customization of abilities and ISO-8 crystal equipment system. The roster of available characters also offers a very nice variety of old favorites from the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy rosters and relative newcomers to Marvel games such as Angela, Nova and Miles Morales.

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Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2 makes the jump into 3D with ease. The detail in the background is a fantastic and each character and move set has their own unique, fluid animations. The missions load up quickly though not without a few minor glitches at times.

The character design however is over the place. Some are great representations of their comic book counterparts, Moon Knight and Captain Marvel in particular, while some look ready for Polygon’s ‘Monster Factory’ You Tube series. The Avengers: Age of Ultron Hawkeye character portrait looks like they used Coulson’s face and threw on a bad toupee. Not to say they got Coulson exactly right either. Coulson when he was 25 years old, with a lot more hair and has eaten all of his Wheaties maybe. And while the realistic body build on all of the female characters is greatly appreciated, the game unfortunately disappoints when it comes to how spandex would actually rest on female anatomy. As in, not up Spider-Woman’s butt crack and not on each of Wasp’s individual breasts.

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Overall, Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2 is a great new free to play mobile game that has plenty in it to keep you coming back but won’t nag you into emptying your bank account into it. It’s highly recommended for those looking for an intro into the role playing game genre and is suitable for all skill levels.

Pros:

It’s not screaming for your money this time like the Facebook version!

Fluid, unique animations of characters and backgrounds.

Amazing depth to customizability of characters, understand buffs/debuffs and building a perfect team.

Easy walkthrough for new players, older players are up to speed in no time. Clean, easy to understand interface.

There is a Mystery Science Theater 3000 reference in the first chapter. 1000 points to Gryffindor!

Ranking up in PVP is achievable and balanced. At least for now!

Cons:

Glitchy at times. Crashes frequently and takes the points you spent to start a mission with it into the void. Happened on the iPad Air and iPhone 6. Sometimes the mission map will not show up too.

The art style is hit or miss on certain characters.

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