Update 3: Marvel Games creative director Bill Rosemann has good news for Marvel Ultimate Alliance fans. The biggest issues fans have are going to be addressed.

Rosemann shared via Twitter that both DLC for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 1 and fixes for the PC port are incoming. More information will be forthcoming from Activision.

Update 2: Activision tells us that one of the issues has now been repaired. If you're playing on Xbox One, achievements should unlock properly.

We are still waiting for responses to our other questions about performance and DLC. We'll update as we learn more.

Update 1: While we're still waiting to hear from Activision related to our requests, Marvel Games has chimed in about the situation. Creative director Bill Rosemann took to Twitter to let fans know the company hears them.

We'll continue to monitor this story and update as more information emerges.

Original Story:

The pair of Marvel Ultimate Alliance games from last generation, while not without flaws, are great expressions of the comics. That’s why fans are so disappointed with Activision’s troubled ports to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

The games cost $40 each or $60 in a bundle. Unfortunately, there are no noticeable improvements beyond slightly retouched graphics and improved resolution and, in the case of the PC editions, there are major control and visual issues.

That system reportedly doesn’t recognize controller inputs properly and can’t be easily mapped to keyboard and mouse. Additionally, the PC version is missing visual options that were present a decade ago in the originals.

The Xbox One versions, which are out today, are missing achievements entirely. The DLC for Ultimate Alliance 2 is intact, but the Xbox 360 exclusive characters released for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 1 are nowhere to be found in any of the new versions.

Making the situation worse, the Xbox One version’s description claims you can play as Hulk. This is outright false without the DLC as he was sold in a bundle with Cyclops, Nightcrawler, and Hawkeye after launch.

This description can't even be attributed to a cut-and-paste of the Xbox 360 Games on Demand version. That edition does include the DLC, so if it were a transpositional error, it would least be explained. Here is that synopsis straight from the Xbox 360 product page:

The Games on Demand version supports English and Italian. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance lets players create their ultimate team from the largest superhero alliance ever as they engage in an epic quest to determine the fate of the Marvel universe.

Players can control their own completely unique team by selecting from the largest roster of legendary superheroes ever assembled in one game. Through the epic campaign, the heroes will battle, team-up, and interact with over 140 characters from the Marvel universe and ultimately confront notorious villains.

  • Use a universal team upgrade system to balance your heroes' powers, or customize each member to maximize their effectiveness.
  • In addition to engaging in the epic single-player storyline, you can converge in battle, online or offline, against the world's most evil Super Villains.
  • Switch between cooperative and competitive mode to partner or challenge up to three other players.

The Steam reviews are filled with frustration. Even many of the (currently) 14 positive comments express reservations. 

I recommend this game, but do so with a heavy heart. I’ll undoubtedly get great value, personally, but am very disappointed in the lack of content that SHOULD have been released, and for the price I payed. If I could give it a more medium judgement, I would. That said, the game is just as great as I remembered. - Knolin

This port most definitely has some control issues. The first half hour of owning this game was spent messing with and tweaking the custon kbm controls. It is a sin that you cannot change any aspect of using a controller and that half of the inputs don't work anyway. But if you can look past all of those problems and put on a nice pair of rose tinted nostalgia glasses, this game is great. - Jacksmash

Sooo yeah, the game looks great still, holds up well. I am giving it the thumbs up becuase there will be a lot of fun to be had....eventually. As most others have said already, the controls are waaaaaaay screwed up. This will be a fun game once/if they fix the controls. i.e. L/R triggers dont do anything, L/R bumpers act as L/R Triggers, when it prompts you to hit the A button its mapped to the X button, the D pad does not select other party members to play as it should etc etc etc. - JohnDStafford

The negative user reviews are far more damning. Many users have requested refunds because the controls simply do not work.

Games buggy as all hell. Avoid until fixed, refund has been requested. - TacoMouth 

Ten years since it was released and no one thought to play-test the thing when they brought it back to life?? This is absolutely shameful, first time in many years of using Steam that I'm going to have to look into a refund.. controller support is a joke. For a 10-year-old but still full price game, this should at least work. - UsedMoose

I'll agree with everyone else here: this game is a bug-ridden disaster. I can't believe that any company, even Activision, could release a game in this sorry state. And it's not even a new effing game!! Ten years ago, I loved this game. Now, I'm embarrassed to even admit that. Activision, you should be ashamed. - UltraLoser

We’ve reached out to Activision to get clarity on the DLC issue for Marvel Ultimate Alliance. We’ve also asked about plans for repairing the broken PC versions. We’ll update should we receive a response.


Our Take
I don’t have a philosophical problem with remasters and current-gen ports. But Activision doesn’t seem to be putting any resources behind them. The Prototype updates weren’t great. Deadpool saw little polish or care. Now Ultimate Alliance, which could very well be a revived series, has been given the short shrift.

I can only hope that Marvel isn’t using sales of these travesties to gauge interest for another entry. I am confident that were these ports done with care, there would be an enormous market. Instead, they were kicked out the door broken and unloved.