LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Review
When it comes to mainstream entertainment you can’t go much bigger then superheroes. In recent years we have seen a surge in comic book superhero related materials. Everything from TV, Movies and even Video Games have started to really make a name for themselves when it comes to great superhero stories. When it comes to these mainstream forms of entertainment there is no other company doing it the way that Marvel has managed to. Ever since Disney bought the rights to Marvel a few years ago they have put forth a plan to take over every form of media.
This year we can finally say that Marvel has arrived and is making a strong case that they should not be ignored when it comes to the video game industry. Sure over the years they have made numerous games that have pleased some core fans but they were never able to make a game that got the industry really talking. I’m here to say that they have finally found that game and it is Lego Marvel Super Heroes. Sure, I know what you’re thinking it’s another Lego game from TT Games.
You may ask yourself what makes this Lego game different from the 20 other Lego games that TT Games have created in the past. Well this is the first time that they appear to have fully gotten the formula right. What I mean by that is that this game allows you to enter a Lego universe and have almost complete free range in what you do. Have you ever wanted to steal a car and drive around causing havoc as Captain America? How about taking The Incredible Hulk and smashing everything in site? If those don’t tickle your fancy enough and the air is more your style how about taking Iron Man or Human Torch and flying where ever your hear desires. These are all things that are completely achievable and enjoyable in Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
It says a lot when in a month that brought us games such as Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins and Call of Duty: Ghosts the one game that I want to go back and play the most is Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
If the fact that you could play as any character from Marvels extensive hero/villain lineup (you can play as Gambit, enough said) or that you have different ways of approaching every mission in the game does not resonate with you. Well I’m here to let you know that the game itself has a core story that would rival any Marvel movie to date (Yes, I’m counting the Avengers).
Sure the story is simple but that does not mean that it’s boring. The game starts off when the Silver Surfer is obliterated by Dr. Doom scattering numerous “Cosmic Bricks “all over the Marvel Universe. After this happens he enlists the help of every single Marvel villain with hopes of recovering the bricks in order to create Dr Dooms Doom Ray…of Doom, Yep, not a joke. Once this happens it is up to S.H.I.E.L.D to gather up the heroes and put an end to Dr Dooms plans. This allows for the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Spider-Man and many more to be incorporated into the story.
The way the developers intertwine the heroes into the story could be looked at as genius. Sure, that may be high praise but I strongly feel that not enough games incorporate this method of storytelling correctly. Now this might be considered a spoiler to some but upon entering the Hydra base and engaging in a battle with the Red Skull two of your fellow heroes get taken out of the equation and you appear to be left with the Human Torch as the lone hero to battle Red Skull and his goons. Well let it be said that when Captain America burst through the door to save the day I smiled from ear to ear.
That was just one of the many moments that made me feel like a young kid watching a Saturday morning cartoon again. The game has a ton of heart and wit about it. It knows what it’s trying to be and it fully embraces the cheesy dialogue and we reap the rewards from it.
When it comes to gameplay and the core mechanics of the game, Traveller’s Tales (TT Games) have stuck to what has worked in the past. The formula is basic and simple but we have to remember that the games central audience is children. So to over complicate the controls may be a determent to the studios main demographic. I personally enjoyed my time smashing everything in sight and earning LEGO coins. It works as currency which adds to your overall score and also opens unlockable. Another aspect that the developers have brought back is that most of the game you will be solving puzzles which forward your progress in the level. What makes this time around different is that due to the vast character lineup each level can be completed differently depending on the hero or villain you entered the level with. An example of this is that there will be levels in which you can freeze water and use it to your advantage, but if you do not have Iceman on that mission and you took Spider-man instead he has a different way to solve the puzzle.
Up to this point I have done nothing but praise the game for what it does right, but like most games in the industry this game has its set of flaws. For starters the puzzles are not at all a challenge and feel like an overall letdown. Sure I mentioned before that the audience is children but it would have been a nice option to have difficulty settings that allowed for a bigger challenge if one so desires. That being said there are a few extras in the game that will prove to be a challenge for even the most hardcore of gamers. Some of the Deadpool and Stan Lee side challenges come quickly to mind.
Other bugs that frustrated me throughout the game were the character changing system, the computer A.I and the games flying and driving mechanic feature. When it came to changing in between characters during a fight it became ever so clear that the game is meant to be played with more than one person. Far too many times I was having the issue of trying to be one character but the game would never fully understand which of the other characters I wanted. This annoyed me on several occasion and caused me to have to walk my character directly next to the character I wanted to change into and waste time doing it. It would not have aggravated me so much if the problem was not easily solvable by simply implementing the Directional Pad to allow for easy switching. This could also have been avoided if the computer A.I was not so completely useless in the game. They tend to stay where you last left them and never seem to fully engage in the battle at hand. To many times I found myself fighting all of the bad guys alone because my fellow heroes were nowhere to be found. I feel if I would have played with another person this issue would have solved itself.
With the great simple fighting mechanic the game structures you would have believed that driving and flying would have been a breeze. Well that is not the case; it’s not the worst driving or flying you have seen in a game this generation. It’s just a mediocre system that leaves you wanting to walk everywhere instead.
Besides those few minor setbacks the game as a whole is something that I would consider a strong step in the right direction for the Lego games of the future. Allowing for all of the characters to be voiced really adds to the world and for the most part all of the voice actors do a good job. It’s also nice to hear Clark Gregg voice Agent Phil Coulson in the game because it makes the game feels like it belongs in the Marvel movie universe.
It feels good to see all of these Superheroes together since we know that due to certain restrictions we won’t ever see them on the big screen. Just to have a game that does the source material justice without completely abandoning the gameplay feels good. This is one game that every Marvel fan should get their hands on and try out. I know that until next gen arrives and maybe long after that I will make it my mission to unlock and find everything in the game. Not because I love achievements or trophies but because I can’t wait to see what I will find next in this great open world. STAN LEE HERE I COME!!