Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is a video game developed by Koei Tecmo’s Team Ninja and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. It is the third installment in the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance series following 2006’s Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and 2009’s Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, and the first Marvel game published by Nintendo. It is set in an entirely different universe than the two previous games.
Like the previous two entries, game play is reminiscent of a top-down dungeon crawler with an emphasis on cooperative play. Up to four players can play the game cooperatively locally either on the same screen with a single docked Nintendo Switch system or undocked with up to four systems, or online with friends or random player lobbies. Players choose four characters from various Marvel families to traverse linear stages, fight enemies, and defeat bosses. Certain passive buffs are acquired with particular character combinations. Each character’s controls are fundamentally identical; each has a jump, light attack, heavy attack, dodge, block, and four special abilities. Special abilities can be synced with the other three members for a synergy boost, with an especially powerful attack unleashed if all four party members sync up simultaneously. Additional characters are unlocked by story progression or optional Infinity Rift challenges, with more characters currently planned as free or paid downloadable content.
Character progression is handled in a similar manner to traditional role-playing games, with party members leveling up from defeating enemies and bosses. In additional to stat increases, passive buffs can be attached to characters by equipping ISO-8 crystals. A sprawling skill tree is also present, which allows characters to gain permanent stat increases by acquiring and spending in-game currency.