Review | Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order — The Shadow of Doom DLC
Since last Summer, Nintendo and Marvel Games made it clear that there would be ongoing support for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. With a $20 Expansion Pass, there would be three content drops. First was the Curse of the Vampire, and then the Rise of the Phoenix. While they added new modes and new characters, fans were really hoping for more story content. In comes the Shadow of Doom, the final part of the Expansion Pass. Not only would it include new characters, but it would also include a new story epilogue to the game. Thankfully, it was worth the wait, because the new content is a “fantastic” addition, and then some.
As with previous DLC packs, the Shadow of Doom sticks to a theme. Rather than Marvel Knights or more X-Men, this theme was clearly going to “Marvel’s First Family,” the Fantastic Four. With Doctor Doom as the primary antagonist, it sets the stage for even more fights with the ultimate alliance of heroes. There was admittedly some skepticism, as fans weren’t sure if the content would deliver on the promised story continuation. Some thought it would be additional gauntlets and danger room stages like the previous ones. Marketing was scarce, so fans were in the right to remain hesitant on their excitement. Hopefully those same fans will check it out, because this DLC rocks!
The story takes place immediately after the base game. The Infinity Stones have been hidden away to keep them out of danger, and the heroes discuss their next plans. Suddenly, Wakanda is attacked by Doombots, and the heroes act fast to come to the aid of Black Panther. Unfortunately, they’re put on a slight detour to the Negative Zone where they find the Fantastic Four. Joining them in their efforts, the group fights to get back to Earth to stop Doctor Doom’s new plan: revive a Celestial with the Soul Stone. It’s a very Marvel-esque adventure and it gives players a reason to jump on board once again.
While the story continues to give the heroes a reason to unite, this epilogue brings everything together. In the opening, all the heroes answer the call to action, including the DLC characters. We have a really cool moment when Cyclops assembles all the X-Men, bringing both base characters and DLC characters in on the action. Blade, Punisher, Moon Knight and Morbius also get summons from Doctor Strange. It really gives a great deal of fan service to see all these amazing heroes brought together. It’s also very commendable given the fact that this large roster is made even larger. With now over 50 characters, fans should have no problem building their ultimate team.
As for the new characters in this DLC, the Fantastic Four feel right at home. Each one of the members offers some incredibly cool attacks. Mr. Fantastic for example can target multiple enemies with a flurry of punches, or he can swing his arms around like a propeller. The Thing uses his brute strength to deal massive damage, charging into the fray and even tossing boulders. Invisible Woman has a unique use of her forcefield powers, conjuring walls and shields. Finally, the Human Torch brings the fire to the fight, with fantastic flamethrowers and smoldering area of effect attacks. The way they fight feels unique enough, and it’s honestly just a blast to play as them.
While the Fantastic Four themselves are an excellent addition, there’s also the inclusion of Doctor Doom as a playable character. Doom is incredibly powerful and has unique capabilities that make him an essential part of any team. He can summon a Doombot to aid him in battle, and he can even use it to perform synergy attacks on individually. All of his attacks are energy based, and he has some really great tricks up his sleeve. Unfortunately, we regret to inform that there are no foot dives. Aside from Doctor Doom, there is one more unlockable character, but he is one that we have technically seen before. We don’t want to spoil it, but we also don’t want to raise the excitement too high.
As mentioned before, The Shadow of Doom will take players from Wakanda to the Negative Zone. The final stop is Latveria, adding another unique setting to the game. New foes will test your strength, from Doombots to Insectoids, also adding new ways to defeat enemies. These settings also come with new obstacles like enemy teleporters and moving laser security. It changes gameplay up a bit and feels like it paces itself well for the short endeavor. Overall, the epilogue should take roughly an hour or so to beat.
One thing that is worth mentioning is that the gameplay won’t be incredibly different. This is still Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, but now it has a bit more purpose to the additional content. For those that are already invested, there are a lot of enhancements brought along. The level cap is now level 300, and there’s a slew of additional costumes to show off your style. ISO-8 has new effects available and the team can be upgraded even further. The biggest Marvel Ultimate Alliance game just gets bigger with the addition of this content.
Overall, the Shadow of Doom DLC is a worthy addition to the game, rounding out the ultimate alliance nicely. The story is entertaining enough to engage with and the additional characters bring a lot to the table. While there aren’t significant changes to the formula, it truly makes the game feel like the “ultimate” Marvel Ultimate Alliance game. A truly fantastic addition to an already mighty game.
Final Score: 8 out of 10