Review: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is essentially a sequel to Avengers Assemble. The plot revolves around Doctor Doom’s plan to collect several Cosmic Bricks that hold huge amounts of power. Wanting to building his Doom Ray of Doom, Doctor Doom enlists the help of various Marvel villains such as Magneto and Loki, in order to collect all the Cosmic Brick that are scattered over New York City.
However S.H.I.E.L.D. has other ideas and Nicky Fury gets the band of heroes together to grab the Cosmic Bricks before the bad guys do. Much like the 2012 film, it’s great to see all the different characters play off each other’s personalities, traits and abilities. With TT Games’ trademark humour very much in-line with the film, I’m sure no one picking up this game will be disappointed with the offering here.
It’s also as grand in scale as the film, with characters jumping off the Helicarrier, Stark Tower being blown up (again!) and plenty of labs to liberate from evil clutches. With a superior plot to LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes so you know this game is going to be good fun.
The LEGO series is well known for its very hand-helded style of gameplay. As I said in my reviews for LEGO Batman 2 and LEGO City Undercover I don’t mind that; it has its own niche in the gaming world and does it very well. The same is true here but there is a far greater variety of characters and abilities. Spider-Man swings about on his web plus he has his spidey-sense to reveal secrets. Thor and Storm shoot out electricity and for the first time in the series, players are introduced to Big Figs (Figures). Characters like Hulk (who can turn into Bruce Banner and back) and Thing are bigger than other characters and can smash their way through anything.
With a band of diverse characters, each mission will see you using more skills and abilities than any of the previous LEGO games. The best thing of all is that you get to play as all the great characters that you know and love very quickly, unlike LEGO Batman 2 that saw you playing as Batman and Robin for most of the game. Sure you had different suits but it’s not the same as having a huge range of characters to play as.
As is customary in the series, these skills are used for puzzle solving and reflecting a more diverse cast allows TT Games to provide a greater variety of puzzles than before. Most are still blindingly obvious for adults but it does at least mix up the gameplay more than previous games.
Flying is much improved in this game but only within missions. New York City is too tight and handling too loose for what it should be. It doesn’t actually cause any real problems when playing, but it’s definitely something that should be resolved in future games.
After a few story missions New York City opens up to you between levels and offers all the staples of open world games. Like LEGO City and LEGO Batman 2, both cities (Batman obviously featuring Gotham) are rammed with collectibles, races and side quests. On top of all the collectibles in each story mission there’s a huge wealth of content that will take many, many hours to get all the way through.
No matter what franchise TT Games commits to LEGO, their respect for the source material is second to none. From Star Wars, to Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings to Batman and all the others, you can guarantee that these have been lovingly researched to ensure accuracy to the source material. I’d go as far as to say that LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is perhaps their best yet.
With some brilliant scripting and voice acting plus the background slapstick comedy that ties into the series, the game never fails to raise a smile. Also the recreation of the Marvel universe is constantly deserving of admiration with all the characters well defined, unique locations such as Asgard getting the LEGO treatment and more, it’s one of the best adapted universes in gaming. You’re constantly picking up lots of references to different characters and events. Sometimes it’s in your face but many of the best ones are hidden away. Keep your eyes peeled!
Despite all the glowing praised I’m heaping on the game, there are a few problem areas and it’s mostly when you’re in New York City. The pop-in and framerate slowdown that really bugged me in LEGO City Undercover are still prevalent here. TT Games need to really invest their money to fix this problem as it’s the only area of their game’s being held back. The other issue was some crashing I had. I’m not sure if there will be a launch day patch to fix it but twice in one hour plus a few other times isn’t acceptable. It’s just as well the checkpointing system is okay otherwise I would have been angry. And you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…
The multiplayer offering here is exactly the same as all previous entries and that is co-op only. It’s perfectly good but I’d only play this mode with a child. It’s a little too shallow and if I had a friend round I’d team up for a game that offers more than simply gathering collectables I missed in story missions first time round. Don’t get me wrong, this is a perfect game for some quarters of the gaming population but I think most gamers would simply enjoy this game as a solo offering.
To sum up
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is the best LEGO game to date. Despite a few technical niggles, it has the biggest variety of characters, abilities and environments in the series so far keeping things fresh whilst sticking to the core gameplay that makes the game fun for people of all ages.
Version reviewed: PlayStation 3
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is out 15 November 2013 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, PC, PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS, Xbox One 22 November and PlayStation 4 29 November.