Traveller’s Tales have released a new Lego game, which surprises nobody really. Each game in the franchise is timed soon after a major event for the same property it is based on. This time around they have set their game in the Marvel universe, which is timed nicely with the recent release of Thor 2 in cinemas. Is the latest iteration of the series any good though? Let us take a look at the PlayStation 3 version to find out.
The game offers a vast array of character to choose from across the Marvel universe, but the game is set mainly in New York City. The game begins when the Silver Surfer is knocked out of the sky by Doctor Doom, and his surfboard shatters into several ‘Cosmic Bricks’ that fall onto the Earth. With these blocks containing immense power, Doom forges an alliance with Loki and gets together a band of villains to make the ‘Doom Ray of Doom’. However, S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury calls upon the superheroes of the Marvel Universe to retrieve these blocks before they get captured by the villains. Each mission takes a few characters from the various comic books series, and teams them up against a couple of villains.
The S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier acts as the base of operations for the game, and has various rooms where the player can keep track of their collectables. A child-friendly Deadpool has his own room on the carrier where he offers to sell the player cheats in the form of red bricks (a series staple for making the game easier). Upon leaving the carrier, the whole of New Your City is available for players to explore, including Stark Tower. The city is packed full of extra missions and puzzles that can earn the player additional gold bricks. The objective tracker has been improved over other games in the series. Not only does a line of studs lead to the next objective in the city, a ghostly character runs in front of the player following the path of the studs, preventing players from making a mistake with directions.
There are over 150 characters playable in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, and most feel unique. There are the usual alternate versions of individual characters of course, such as Iron Man. Each of Tony Stark’s suits that are playable have slightly different powers. Puzzles require using the powers of the different characters, and with such a large roster, the are also a large selection of powers to use. Collecting all 250 gold bricks in the game requires replaying levels in free-play so that, as the player unlocks new heroes with different powers, new areas of the level can explored for collectables. Like in the Marvel films, Stan Lee shows up in each level. The player needs to rescue him in the same way a citizen is rescued in Lego Batman 2.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes features fully voiced cutscenes, with the voice actors from the animated series reprising their roles for the game. New York City is brought alive by randomly generated pedestrians walking around, and fully destructible vehicles on the road. Various famous area can be found throughout the city, either landmarks or locations found in the comics. Some of these are even the settings for some of the levels. Traveller’s Tales have managed to improve their open world building skills with each new game released.
There are downsides to the game though. While each character tackles combat in their own way, melee never feels different from almost any other game in the series. Also, the sheer amount of powers available to use can make it seem like some are specially make for certain characters, such as throwing Captain America’s shield into a special device to unlock it. These may seem like minor grumbles about an otherwise excellent game, but traveller’s tales have already shown they can do things differently. Characters in Lego Pirates of the Caribbean had no unique powers, but some had unique combinations that let them get where others could not.
Aside from a few little issues, Lego Marvel Super Heroes carries on the fine tradition of Lego games. Despite some of the characters usually having a more mature audience, they have been toned down for this game. Kids will enjoy another well crafted Lego adventure, adults will enjoy the tie-in with recent Marvel movie projects, and fans of the comics will enjoy the in-jokes scattered throughout the game. Lego Marvel Super Heroes is also available for Windows, DS, 3DS, PS4, Vita, Wii U, 360, and Xbone.