Oh LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, how do I love thee? Let me count the bricks… In a game that many thought may never see the light of day, TT Games brings us a marvellous addition to the LEGO videogame franchise.
What You Need to Know
The story starts out with Silver Surfer, a herald for the planet-devouring Galactus, flying towards Earth. He’s quickly shot out of the sky and his surfboard is shattered into a bunch of bricks – cosmic bricks to be exact! Loki, Doctor Doom, Magneto and a host of other villains set out to acquire these pieces with S.H.I.E.L.D and the Avengers close behind to see what they’re up to.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is Avengers-centric throughout, but before long the plot expands to include a multitude of heroes and locales from the Marvel universe. All the big names are here, so if you’re a fan of the Fantastic Four, X-Men, or Spider-Man and his countless foes then look no further.
In addition to the obvious use of the Marvel license there are a couple of gameplay elements new to the LEGO games this time around, most notably the inclusion of ‘Big Figs.’ Characters such as Hulk, Thing, Juggernaut and Colossus are roughly three times the size of the normal characters and are a blast to play as – I was positively giddy with childlike glee the first time I controlled the Hulk. Hearing the classic “Hulk SMASH!” while raining down the devastation on my enemies is beyond gratifying.
The other main enhancement is focusing on making each and every character feel unique. The Marvel roster is enormous and with so many great characters to choose from, TT Games went the extra mile to include as many as possible to not disappoint the masses, resulting in one of the largest videogame rosters ever. Whether you’re playing as Iron Man, Jean Grey or Squirrel Girl, rest assured that each one will perform differently and offer a distinctive experience.
What’s the Same?
LEGO Marvel doesn’t stray too far away from the same gameplay that has been a trait of the LEGO series for years, and it’s easy to pick up and play with relatively simple controls. Characters can jump, fly, build, punch and shoot and will have to work in tandem to solve puzzles and defeat bosses. The game is basically designed so that a six, seven, or eight year old can get through the levels without too much difficulty, though there are plenty of jokes and cultural references to entertain older audiences as well. There is no Game Over screen, but deaths result in the loss of valuable studs that allow you to unlock and purchase characters for freeplay mode.
You’ll Enjoy LEGO Marvel Super Heroes If You Liked…
This is a beautiful marriage between two iconic companies that were fated together. If you’ve ever in your life enjoyed any of the previous LEGO titles such as Batman, Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings then there’s no reason you wouldn’t appreciate this, but if you’re a deprived Marvel fanboy looking for, finally, a solid game to play as your favourite heroes and villains, then this is the one for you, too.
What I Liked
- 4.) The story. The trademark LEGO humour is in full force here and is just as witty and silly as you’d expect it to be. It follows an original narrative to encompass as many characters as possible and the dramatic conclusion at the end is a delightful experience.
- 3.) The voice acting. There’s some familiar names on the credits here, including Nolan North as Deadpool, Clark Gregg reprising his role as Agent Phil Coulson, and the proverbial face of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee.
- 2.) Exploring the city. Based on a fictional Marvel version of New York City there’s a brick load of stuff to do in the town and elsewhere. Locations such as Asgard, the Baxter Building, the Daily Bugle, Doctor Doom’s Castle, Stark Tower and the X-Mansion; numerous side quests, races and gold brick collecting give gamers plenty of options to keep the action fresh and fun.
- 1.) The ginormous roster. The best part of this game is far and away the amount of love and care that has been lathered all over these characters. The subtle attention to detail that gives each of them their own personality, whether in their abilities or their idle animations, is a highlight and makes finding and unlocking the entire cast more fun than anything else.
It’s tough to find a game that’s appropriate for all ages and that can be enjoyed by both adults and children equally. LEGO Marvel does a beautiful job of being a family friendly game that isn’t a guilty pleasure, as so many games are these days.
What I Didn’t Like
- 3.) The level design is somewhat predictable. A staple of the LEGO games has been this basic formula: A cut-scene to set up the action, then build objects using each character’s abilities to progress, and then smash bad guys. Rinse and repeat for a few cycles, defeat the boss and move on the next stage. It works, but it gets a tad redundant compared to the freedom of the open-world gameplay.
- 2.) Vehicle and flight controls can be frustrating at times. When races, both in air and on the ground, make up a fair amount of the mini-games I would expect the handling mechanics to be a little more forgiving. Its fine when you’re just poking around, but high speed manoeuvres and sharp turns when racing against the clock can prove to be a bit tricky.
- 1.) It’s never enough. When a game like this comes along, an answered prayer by Marvel and LEGO fans alike, you always want more. Even with the game’s ridiculous roster of over 150 characters I could easily rattle off about 30 more that I would have loved to have seen in the game, in addition to more alternate suits, skins and abilities.
Least Favourite Thing
It is truly unfortunate that after this many LEGO titles we’re still encountering some of the same technical issues that have plagued TT Games for years. Characters getting stuck in places with no hope of escape, bugs and glitches that can be a hindrance when trying to reach 100% completion, and system freezing that calls for a hard reboot suck some of the joy out of what is an otherwise brilliant game.
A lot of the replay value in LEGO Marvel revolves around collecting hidden items in stages and the open world. There are many clever puzzles spread throughout that will require you to use different heroes to solve. In doing so you’ll be rewarded with either gold bricks or character studs that can then be purchased for use.
There’s no online to speak of outside of the Trophies and Achievements and a couple of downloadable content character packs, but that doesn’t take anything away from the experience. Again, it’s designed for couch co-op, with kids and parents working together and that’s where the game shines the brightest.
The Bottom Line
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is a dream come true for gamers and may very well be both the best LEGO title and the best Marvel licensed game to date.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes was reviewed on the PlayStation 3
Look out for the release of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes on November 15th in Europe, the UK and South Africa across PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, 3DS and DS.