Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2/Getting Started
If you have played either of the X-Men Legends games or the first Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, you'll feel right at home in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. The game is a linear, action/RPG with emphasis on the action. What distinguishes this title is the two distinct storylines as the plot splits the superheroes along the lines of Marvel's Civil War series from 2006 and 2007.
See the Wikipedia page for more information on the story.
Approximately one-third of the way into the game, you must choose to side with Iron Man (Pro-registration) or Captain America (Anti-registration). Your choice determines which superheroes you can use, what powers they have and your objectives through the rest of the game. You'll also get a different ending depending on your choice. The maps, however, remain the same.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is a pretty standard "action/RPG," which means there is a lot of action and a little role-playing. Most of the role-playing involves leveling up your characters by choosing which powers and abilities to emphasize.
 Difficulty levels
There are four difficulty levels for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2:
- Casual: Your heroes don't die, they only faint temporarily; you don't get Health Tokens (why bother when you can't die?); and you can't adjust Powers and Abilities (Autospend is always on).
- Heroic: Normal difficulty; your heroes can die and you can turn Autospend off and adjust Powers and Abilities as you like.
- Super Heroic: Hard difficulty; your heroes can die, you can turn Autospend off and enemies have more health.
- Legendary: Very hard difficulty; your heroes can die, you can turn Autospend off, enemies have more health and do more damage and you start at higher level.
For your first game, Legendary difficulty is locked. You must beat the game at Heroic or Super Heroic difficulty to unlock Legendary. Once you have unlocked Legendary, there are two ways to begin a Legendary game:
- From the main menu, start a new game and choose Legendary difficulty. Your heroes begin at level 30; however, it is in all other respects the same as starting your first game. You have to unlock all characters again, re-collect all Boosts and other upgrades and collectibles, etc.
- At the end of the game, you have an opportunity to begin a new game from the final headquarters map of the game. If you do this, you begin a new game at Legendary difficulty; however, you keep everything you've earned thus far – all characters, all costumes, all Boosts, all upgrades, all collectibles, etc. You can also use any hero at any time, e.g. play as Cap on Pro-Reg or use Thing before he makes up his mind, etc. This is the preferred method of starting a Legendary game.
 Damage and dying
All characters have health, which is displayed to the right of your character portrait as a red semi-circle. If your health runs out, your character is "fallen." Fallen characters can be revived. If not revived, characters remain fallen until you reach the next HQ or reload the game. Characters can be healed before they fall by using a Health Token or collecting health orbs.
Health Tokens are special rewards for getting a high score on a Fusion. You may also find Health Tokens at various points in the game. You may carry up to two Health Tokens at a time. To use a Health Token, press the Heal button and press the face button corresponding to the character you want to heal. The character is restored to 100% health.
Health Tokens will also revive a fallen character if that character is nearby. Press the Heal button and press the face button corresponding to the character you want to revive. That character will be restored to a percentage of full health. The percentage of health restored is determined by the character's Teamwork attribute. There are special rewards for finishing maps and defeating bosses without using revival. This does not mean no character falls, only that you do not revive any fallen characters.
You can also restore health (but not revive fallen characters) by collecting health orbs. Health orbs are red orbs released by some containers and some enemies. Destroy everything in your path to release these orbs.
 Saving your game
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 uses an automatic save system and checkpoints. Checkpoints are not always obvious; though, usually they are present only at the beginning of a mission and at the beginning or in the middle of some of the more intense boss fights. You may also have up to ten (10) manual saves; unfortunately, you cannot name your manual saves so it's not always obvious which save is for which game if you're playing more than one simultaneously.
This is a brief set of definitions for words that are peculiar to RPGs or games in general.
- Another term for "buff" (see below). Also, in Ultimate Alliance 2, a Boost is a specific type of item, see "Team Boost" below.
- Any enemy in the game that is significantly tougher and harder to kill than the majority of enemies. Defeating bosses usually requires special tactics.
- Anything that increases a character's Attributes, damage output or defensive capability.
- Anything that decreases a character's Attributes, damage output or defensive capability.
- Hit points or health. Refers to how much damage a character can take before "dying."
- Ultimate Alliance's term for a mini-boss (see below).
- An enemy that is stronger than normal enemies; but, not as strong as a boss.
- Any enemy in the game. May also sometimes refer to a group of enemies.
- To "spam" something in a game is to use it repeatedly. Most often used to refer to specific attacks; e.g. "Spam Thor's Mighty Swipe" means to use Thor's second Power over and over again.
- A character built like a tank with lots of natural defense and strong close-range attacks.
- Team Boost
- A medal that can be equipped to one of three slots for your team and provides enhancements for all heroes on your current team. To equip Boosts, open the Quick Level menu with or, in the Pause menu, press . Boosts are found in maps, awarded for defeating bosses and for completing sim missions and Heroic Deeds.