Get ready to experience a brand-new storyline starring your favorite Marvel characters. Disney Interactive Games and Marvel Entertainment announced the launch of the sequel to the hit Facebook and mobile game Marvel: Avengers Alliance on March 31.
Called Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2, this turn-based RPG allows the gamer to recruit a team of superheroes (and villains) to go on missions to save the world.
Built from the ground up to better suit the needs of mobile gamers, Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2 includes new gameplay and features, along with an original storyline that serves as a continuation to the first title.
"Four years allowed the story from Avengers Alliance to really flesh out and create its own universe within the Marvel Universe," Tim Hernandez, senior producer at Marvel said. "What got Marvel really excited about the sequel is we see it as one, a continuation, but also as a new jumping off point to reach out to a new breed of smartphone players that may not be familiar with MAA1. It also caters to both people who are coming from the first game and those joining from the theatrical or the comics side of things."
Gamers don't need prior knowledge of what happened in the first game in order to be able to understand the sequel. With that said, it also doesn't hurt.
"The story is basically an extension of the original Avengers Alliance story with the Incursions happening, which are basically events where entire cities are vanishing and people are just mysteriously gone," Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2's Creative Director Scott Rudi said. "As a result, we see a lot of what's called Isotope-8, which is a crystalline substance that has supernatural powers that can make a hero even more stronger or convert normal people into heroes - or villains for that matter."
Now the Avengers Alliance is being called to investigate and finally put an end to all these Incursions. As the story advances, Hydra seems to play a role, but the player will quickly learn there's a more powerful and evil force at play.
What's so appealing about the game is that it blends Marvel content from the comics, TV shows and the cinematic universe, while still being its own original universe.
"The inspiration for the story can come from all our various lines of business, whether it be comics, movies, animated series, but we also want to make sure that each of our games are telling their own story," Hernandez said. "And our game partners are creating their own vision, and that's something that we really want to strive for. We give them the opportunity to push the story and game to the way they want it to be, just like we give our writers or our artists on comics side flexibility to take the hit characters and mold them in their own way."
"For example, Marvel fans might be familiar with Iso-8, which has been spreading out into the Marvel Universe since it's great a catalyst for narrative content," Rudi said.
"On the Marvel side, we've actually taken that resource from the games and are now moving it to the comics in some recent series," Hernandez said. "We've introduced that to our universe and we're building a back story for it."
And what would a great story be without an amazing lineup of characters?
"Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2 is a platform for storytelling and a platform for the best characters in the world, the characters that people love from the films, from the comics, from TV, combined all under one roof," Justin Woods, senior producer at Disney Interactive said.
These include the core Avengers like Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, as well as "Guardians of the Galaxy" characters like Star-Lord, Gamora and Drax. Recent Netflix hits like Daredevil and Luke Cage will also be featured. The mobile game also features lesser-known heroes like Tiger Shark, and comic heroes that are currently making a big splash in publishing like Wasp, Captain Marvel, and the Miles Morales Spider-Man, who is the current PVP tournament hero reward. Some villains like M.O.D.O.K. are also playable.
"Every hero has eight abilities that they can be equipped with, three at a time, and this will allow you to set up your own strategies," Rudi said.
This means it's up to the player to decide if they want Luke Cage, for example, to be a defender or do more active damage.
The abilities progress, allowing the player to do different things with the heroes, as well as being able to equip their characters with Iso-8 crystals to improve their stats and gain additional abilities to better strengthen their strategy.
Even though the game features 3-on-3 combat, this sequel now allows players to also have three reserve heroes. These can be selected to take over in the battle when one of their heroes is defeated.
Players can also team up with friends and other players worldwide to defeat foes in the limited-time, story-based missions that were previously introduced in Avengers Alliance called Spec Ops.
"It is one of those limited story moments where we can tell a whole chapter of the Avengers Alliance story in a smaller window," Woods said. "But what players love about it is it introduces new characters and new villains every time, and there's always a new hero to earn as a reward for completing that story."
This feature is a great opportunity to feature timely and topic events that are aligned to other things that are going on in the Marvel Universe, said Hernandez.
"It's [Spec Ops] a real way to integrate the game into the broader Marvel Universe," he added. "Fans watching the shows on Netflix or going to the theaters to watch one of our big movies are coming out and they have their phones in their hand. They are going to want to experience those things that they just saw or just read, or heard or watched in the game and Spec Ops are a great way to give that to our fans."
And that's exactly what Marvel fans want to do.