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Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2: I Have an Obsession

Michael Bitton Posted:
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Aside from that little bit of nitpicking, Disney has really dialed back all the nickel and diming found in the first game, and the game is also a whole lot more fun to boot. For one, you don’t have to spend hours training and so there isn't any temptation or necessity to spend gold to accelerate it. Probably the biggest departure that’s made the most difference to the game’s monetization is the complete absence of the SHIELD Agent. Your party now consists of three active fighters, with three in reserve that can be swapped in and out à la Pokémon. The SHIELD Agent in the original Avengers Alliance had to be upgraded, equipped with outfits, and had to collect a metric ton of new gadgets (often sold for crazy amounts of gold) to keep up. This is no longer an issue and the game is much better for it, unless you liked having the Agent out, but for me, I prefer doing battle exclusively as Marvel’s iconic characters and now I don't have to worry about putting together ridiculous item sets.

PvP, one of the most frustrating, but almost necessary activities in the original game, has been completely overhauled in the sequel. The mode now uses a Hearthstone-like ladder system, only split into tiers just like before. Earn enough wins and you’ll move on to the next rank, with each tier granting you different rewards, including new characters, and abilities for those characters. You don’t have to set up a team on defense and worry about others tanking your rank while you’re AFK. You’re in full control of your own destiny here. And there also aren’t really any PvP items for players to stack to give them an edge, so you don’t have to worry about wallet warriors to the same extent as you did in the original game.

The game benefits greatly from the move to its new 3D aesthetic. The beautiful 2D art of the original game shows up during dialogue and in menus and such, but once you jump into battle you’ll be fighting with 3D characters in 3D environments. Animations and visual effects are excellent, and the environments, while lacking a bit in terms of variety, are well detailed.

Combat moves a lot faster, too. You’ll still see the fly text for status effects, but it all happens simultaneously with your actions, speeding things up. I’m not a huge fan of the streamlining of the class archetypes, however. There aren’t distinct consequences for fighting your counter class, you just give the enemy a generic “Class Advantage” buff, and do less damage to them, while they do more to you. It’s not a huge loss, though, as the game has improved so much overall that it’s easy to overlook some of its shortcomings.

The aforementioned hero customization has to be my favorite new feature. You can very meaningfully tailor the way each character plays and build teams around having synergy with those builds. Characters like Wasp can be an incredibly potent, team buffing dodge tank, or with a different build, an AOE damage dealing, debuffing powerhouse. In another example, Iron Fist can be a devastating scrapper or a mix of utility with team heals and damage.  Personally, I like building teams around free attacks, so I’ve got Captain Marvel (who can grant a team-wide free attack buff), along with Hawkeye (who can proc free attacks with his Rapid Shot ability), and Iron Fist (who can debuff enemies to make them take 75% more damage from free attacks). These three combined are absolutely nasty and half the fun of the game is coming up with these sorts of synergistic team compositions.

I’m not a huge mobile gamer, but the original Avengers Alliance really grabbed me, and I’m super excited to say that the sequel is definitely worth keeping an eye on. It’s improved on almost all aspects of its predecessor and is much friendlier on your wallet. I’d encourage any fans of Marvel and turn-based RPG combat to give the game a download once it launches in your region.

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MikeB

Michael Bitton

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB