‘Marvel: Avengers Alliance’ launches on Facebook
Courtesy of Playdom, known for their work on more than 15 titles across multiple social networking sites (including Facebook and MySpace) have teamed up with Marvel to create such an online extravaganza. It just so happens that both companies are sub-companies of The Walt Disney Company, so it was almost inevitable that the two would collide at some point or another down the line. Indeed, the launch of this game links nicely with The Avengers film coming out this April in the UK.
The game itself stars you, the player, as a newly recruited agent for S.H.I.E.L.D., captained by Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson in the film). Logging into the game for the first time, you’re greeted by Mr Fury, and given a bit of briefing about what’s actually going on. Playdom put it quite nicely on the Info page: “As an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., your job is to assemble and lead a team of heroes to keep New York City safe from an unknown threat. Recruit your friends as Allies to increase your power and save the world from super villains.” From what I’ve seen thus far “recruiting your friends” consists of adding members of the existing Avengers team (as well as Wolverine, Spiderman and the Fantastic Four) to your own team as you progress through. Of course, there’s nothing to say that this can’t also extend to your Facebook contacts, too, to gain bonuses and the like. Before actually beginning to play for the first time, you’re given the option of picking a male or female agent, and then customising their appearance (only hair and face structure, unfortunately), which I think is a nice and personal touch.
The so-called “unknown threat” takes place as a mysterious force that makes a plethora of supervillains that feature in the game stronger than ever before. It’s up to you to save the world (or in this case, America) from the all-mighty villains.
Gameplay wise, Avengers Alliance seems very much similar to other turn-based RPGs (such as Adventure Quest), with combat going, as the name suggests, in a turn based fashion, and with different weapons being used; unlockables present; and items for powerups and point renewals (health, energy, etc.). Leveling up is possible, as one would expect, and will increase your players’ abilities. Yep – players’ – that was intentional. With members of the Avengers (and co.) on your team, you the player are able to control each one in turn. What sets it aside from other games has to be the social aspect. Although I haven’t tested this part myself as yet, it has great potential, so I’d certainly recommend looking into what is available.
Unfortunately – now, this may have something to do with it still being in Beta – during the combat scenes (which are a large portion of the game as a whole), the actual action sequences go black. This may be to do with, as aforementioned, the Beta-ness, or just my Flash player being silly, but I myself would like to see these scenes.
Finally, in terms of visuals, the game has gone down the route of the comic books. The characters’ aesthetics has been taken straight from the original Avengers comic series, making it appear separate to the film series. However, this might not be a downfall, as it doesn’t look bad as such, and may well just whet the appetite of Avengers lovers everywhere.
Despite being a closed beta, I found I was able to access the game having ‘liked’ the Official Marvel Avengers and Marvel: Avengers Alliance Facebook pages, and was then able to access it by going here.
If you’re unable to access it, it won’t be too long I expect before it’s released publicly, and the trailer is available above. For those that can, get playing and get used to it – not long now before The Avengers is released, bring on 27th April!