The Building Blocks Of Gaming Brilliance
This latest installment of the Lego franchise sees Marvel’s mightiest superheroes brought to life in this action packed adventure featuring more than 100 Super Heroes and Super Villains from the Marvel Universe, including Iron Man, Wolverine, Hulk, Spider-Man, Captain America, The Fantastic 4, The X-Men, Loki, Mandarin, Magneto and Deadpool to name a few. The gang is assembled and ready for action. As a massive fan of the Marvel Universe and the Lego gaming franchise in general I just couldn’t wait to pull on my Spidey costume and play this one with my trusty sidekick (my 5yr old son).
The format of any Lego game is pretty simple. Build, break and traverse the various environments solving puzzles and battling bad guys along the way. You are also treated to the familiar Lego style cut scenes that are a welcome break from all the brainstorming and bashing while adding a twist of laugh out loud comedy that will put a smile on even the hardened gamers face. The format is so simple, it’s genius.
Poor old cosmic herald “Silver Surfer” is seeking planets for Galactus to devour – the story goes that in order to save his own planet, “Norin Rad” (to give him the name his mother would use when calling him in for dinner) must undertake this task under extreme duress. While surfing around in earth’s atmosphere he gets blown out of the sky creating cosmic blocks that have devastating properties (hate it when that happens) – cue Nick Fury and the gang to run a salvage operation. Well, who else would you trust with something this big? You have to help save Earth using a huge roster of Marvel characters that each bring their super-cool strengths and attributes to the party. With a hall of fame of Marvel characters this big you will become a true believer in no time.
Suit Up – Lego Style
Every character brings their own identity and attitude to the game. Iron Man flies, hovers, shoots missiles and unleashes a powerful unibeam directly from his chest, while his in game quips are just classic Tony Stark. Spider-Man shoots Lego webbing, uses his spider-senses to spot objects invisible to others, crawls up walls and, of course, web-slings, all with the usual frosting of Spidey smack talk. Captain America throws his mighty shield at objects and enemies, embeds it into a walls creating platforms, and uses it to protect himself from damage, oh and Hulk smashes incredibly well, I must add!
The Marvel Universe Is Open
The game features an open-world environment filled with vehicles, LEGO NPCs and side quests which the Lego games are famous for. Playable locations include New York City, The Shield Helicarrier, Stark Tower, The Barge and Asgard – home of the Mighty Thor. In fact there are too many locations to list without spoiling the game.
New York is the setting for the open world, probably because the majority of superhero adventures take place there. Hell, most of them live there. So if you ever need a superhero team while in New York City you can usually rely on The Avengers X-Men or Fantastic 4 to come to your aid.
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
The roster of characters available in this game reads like a who’s who of the marvel universe. Having been a fan for over 30 years I can safely say that if a character doesn’t appear they are not worth mentioning. Even some lesser known characters are available in the game, and there are also some cameo appearances from the man himself – Stan Lee. It seems like no Marvel production would be complete without the Generalissimo making an appearance somewhere.
The gameplay is just as we have come to expect from the Lego franchise with lots of smashing, building and puzzles to solve (some of the puzzles might have you in Hulk Smash mode at times) The playability factor of this game is sky high and returning to the game whether its for a casual gaming experience or a spot of trophy hunting is a pleasure instead of a chore. Nothing much has changed from a gameplay perspective so if it aint broke…Smash It!
You will have hours of fun smashing your way through the game using the now familiar button settings that remain unchanged for Marvel Superheroes making it extremely easy to pick the game up and get immersed in the action.
Black Widow – She has a great range of long range and short range attacks that make playing as the most famous super spy a great deal of superhero sized fun.
Hulk – The ability to switch between the big green machine and Bruce Banner to activate switches or build certain objects is made even better by watching the transformation from Banner To Hulk and vice versa, its quite amusing and never gets old.
The Story line involving such a huge amount of Marvel Heroes and Super Villains is perfectly woven to give all characters a fair share of on screen time.
The game play is addictive to the point where you want to reach True Hero Status on every level by smashing objects and collecting as many coins as you can to make this possible.
The cut scenes are hilarious, particularly the Stark Tower level where you face the Hulk Buster armour controlled by Iron Mans nemesis Mandarin. [SPOILER ALERT] Upon completion the armour blows up and leaves Mandarin with a face covered in black smoke in true cartoon style.
The Negative Zone – See What I Did There?
Sometimes the game can be a little awkward on 2 player split screen mode, the camera pans unpredictably and usually ends up with your character taking a bit of damage. This can easily be overlooked by taking the controller from your 5 year old side kick, or a less extreme measure would be moving your character into the frame.
Lego Marvel Superheroes is a welcome release from some of the big blockbuster games we have came to expect over the last few years. It’s big, bright and bold from the first mission until the last. Well written and well executed; this game should be added to your collection if you are a fan of the Lego franchise but it’s an absolute must have title for any self respecting fan of the Marvel Universe.
By Bryan McCandless