Players can select teams of four from a range of more than twenty-two playable characters (although some characters are not initially available and need to be unlocked), allowing them to create their own superhero teams or recreate famous teams from the publications. Bonuses are also available if forming certain groups (e.g. the Avengers, Defenders, Fantastic Four, Marvel Knights, X-Men). The game also has alternative endings, dictated by the number of optional missions the player completes. Also included are trivia, artwork, and "simulator discs", which unlock non-story related missions for characters. Each character also has a variety of costumes that offer different advantages.
Consoles, PC and PSP
The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions are virtually identical, with no major differences. Both platforms include Colossus, Moon Knight, and five additional comic book missions. Activision released eight additional downloadable characters on the Xbox 360 via the Xbox Live Marketplace on April 26, 2007 in a set of packs: a Hero Pack, consisting of Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Hawkeye, and the Hulk, and a Villain Pack, which includes Magneto, Sabretooth, Venom, and a playable Doctor Doom. Both packs are also available in a bundle pack for 800 MSP, which also adds 12 new achievements to the game. The Gold Edition was released for the Xbox 360 in May 2007 which includes the standard game bundled with all downloadable content. The Platinum Hits version was released for the Xbox 360 in September 2007. The set includes all the Gold Edition of the game and a bonus DVD. As of December 2009, the DLC was removed from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace by Activision, meaning the only way to play as the downloadable characters was to purchase the Gold Edition or the Platinum Hits version. The Xbox 360 Games on Demand version now bundles the full game with all previously downloadable content.
The Wii version has a few features unique to its version including specific motion-sensitive controls for normal moves, motion-sensitive controlled special attacks (the attacks are unique for each character, but not the motions), and access to any special move at any time. This version contains no online play but has a local multiplayer mode in which up to four players may play at once. It also features the characters Colossus and Moon Knight, as well as five additional comic book missions.
The PC version is customizable, and many characters (including those exclusive to all other versions) and their modifications can be obtained from community sites for play within the game. The PC version's graphics vary depending on the customization of a user's settings. The PC version also features "intuitive mouse controls" and works with a gamepad. A number of custom characters (including Jean Grey, Psylocke, Scarlet Witch, War Machine, Vision, Dazzler, and Punisher) are available. The re-release version of the game which came to Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows via Steam initially released without the DLC featured originally on Xbox 360. On August 30, 2016 an updated was released on these three systems which contained the eight downloadable characters previously featured on the Xbox 360.
The PSP version features simplified graphics, different characters, and extra features including the four exclusive playable Marvel characters Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Hawkeye, and Ronin. Other things unique to this version are 6 exclusive comic book missions including one which contains Swordsman, an exclusive prequel mission, and three exclusive single-player gameplay modes. Added features include online play, microphone support (voice chat), and online-recordable player statistics. The PlayStation 2 version of the game has the same features as the next-gen versions of the game, albeit without Colossus, Moon Knight and the five bonus simulator missions. In August 2007, a Greatest Hits version was released which included a bonus DVD containing a making-of featurette. The Xbox version of the game has no changes from the standard PlayStation 2 edition. However it is possible to play as Colossus and Moon Knight via a glitch which can be accessed through a series of steps.
Game Boy Advance
The Game Boy Advance version of Ultimate Alliance features significant differences from the other console versions. Most notably, the basic gameplay takes the form of a side-scrolling fighting game with minor RPG elements, such as the ability to alter the player characters' stats. The graphics are simplified for this system and the selection of characters has also been reduced. Some additional gameplay modes were added into this version of the game including a S.H.I.E.L.D. Simulator, Time Challenges, Scavenger Hunts, and a Survival mode. Teams for this port consist of three characters and a striker, a non-playable fourth character who can be summoned to perform a powerful attack directed toward on-screen enemies.