According to a new rumor, Square Enix's The Avengers Project is a reboot of the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance series. Though the rumor may not be true, this could be the perfect direction for Square Enix to take with their new game.
In January of last year, Square Enix announced a partnership with Marvel - a "multi-year, multi-game" commitment to develop and publish games alongside Marvel Games - that would begin with The Avengers Project, currently being developed by Tomb Raider studio Crystal Dynamics. Not much is known about the project at this time, but some new details have emerged that indicate it will be a cover-based third-person action-adventure game.
An anonymous 4chan user claims The Avengers Project is "Avengers: Ultimate Alliance", which would make it a reboot of the Ultimate Alliance series. The user compares the new game to the newest God of War, in the way that it keeps the name but completely reinvents the story and gameplay structure. The user explains that the new game will put the focus on Captain America, Iron Man, and Scarlet Witch, while also being set in the same world as Sony's Spider-Man game for the Playstation 4, which would fall in-line with Marvel Games potentially launching a Marvel Games Universe off the back of Insomniac Games' Spider-Man PS4 title.
Since this supposed "leak" is from an anonymous source, there's little reason to believe there's any truth to the claim. However, it wouldn't be such a far-fetched idea. Square Enix making a reboot of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance could be the perfect way for the series to come back after all this time. It's worth noting that the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance games were published by Activision, but since the triple-A publisher's licensing agreement with Marvel expired in 2014, it's entirely plausible that Marvel Games has signed a new agreement with Square Enix for the game series. After all, it was one of their most successful Marvel-based video games.
The Marvel: Ultimate Alliance games are action RPGs where players are able to control teams of four superheroes. The games include characters associated with Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four. The first game, released in 2006, pitted the Marvel Universe against Doctor Doom. The sequel served as an adaptation of three major comic book events, Secret War, Civil War and Secret Invasion. The two games were recently re-released for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The Ultimate Alliance series shares a lot of the same gameplay mechanics found in X-Men Legends and X-Men Legends II. All four games were developed by Raven Software and published by Activision.
The closest thing to Ultimate Alliance and X-Men Legends that Marvel and RPG fans have been able to find in modern console games was Gazillion's Marvel Heroes, a free-to-play MMO RPG that based on the Diablo series. Unfortunately, Marvel Heroes was shut down at the end of 2017. A modern take on the game could make use of improved graphics, and characters that reflect the current state of the Marvel Universe. If the game retains the original formula of a four-person team, players could assemble teams of Avengers who weren't present in the original games, such as Quicksilver, Vision, and Ant-Man. As RPGs and team-based games continue to be popular with gamers, a modernized Ultimate Alliance could be just what fans have been waiting for.