It’s always a delight when a new video game is released featuring Marvel characters but Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet may not be what you were expecting. Taking your favourite super heroes and shrinking them into smaller yet cuter versions of themselves, it is quite clear that Griptonite Games and THQ are trying to gear this game towards fans of the highly popular LEGO titles but does it have enough building blocks to rise to the top?
Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet is most definitely a game for children but that doesn’t mean adults won’t enjoy it to some extent. The story begins with Iron Man and Hulk off buying some boots for Thor’s birthday but finding out that their present has been accidently sent to the wrong person. Upon finding that the boots have been sent to Thanos and Super Skrull, they realise that these two are up to no good again and are trying take over the universe. It is up to you and your super hero buddies to save the universe and reclaim the boots before Thor’s birthday arrives.
The first level of the game takes you through all the basics and teaches you how to jump, attack, use your special abilities and work with your partner, which can either be a second player if you have a friend or a CPU controlled character which you can switch to if you need their assistance. Controlling your super heroes isn’t too difficult and besides a few awkward moments when battling you won’t have any trouble navigating the levels. These levels can take between twenty and forty minutes to complete and are like any typical 3rd person side scrolling game.
The story mode took me around four and a half hours to complete on the hardest difficulty, so there are not many challenges and I don’t think children would have any problems with this one either. The time mentioned was only referring to the standard story as after completing that, you are able to go back to any of the levels and start cleaning up on all the collectables that are scattered around the different planets you explore. Getting all these collectables unlocks new costumes, mini games and characters. Aside from the story mode there is a Challenge mode that features a variety of mini games that can be played with up to four friends but they aren’t as super as the heroes taking part in them.
As previously mentioned, combat controls are a little awkward at times and the battle system as a whole isn’t really that great. For a game that is meant to be fast paced with simple puzzles and has you fighting most of the time, you will find you get knocked out quite a lot and will require your partner to resurrect you. The constant need to block attacks spoiled the fun of what should be a ‘get in there and cause havoc’ sort of game and, if your hero didn’t get flattened in just a few hits, maybe the battles would have been more entertaining. To counter this issue the best way to play the story mode is with a friend but as the game only features local play this option will be unavailable for some players. Bosses are the exception with them needing specific strategies to be taken down and I actually found them rather fun.
One thing I cannot fault is the look of this game. The environments are vibrant and colourful and it was a real joy to adventure in such a fun looking game. The cute versions of your favourite super heroes and villains all look great and come with their own signature moves such as The Hulk’s smash and Thor’s Hammer which are pretty impressive and you are able to activate quite frequently as the power bar fills up quickly while you are fighting regular enemies. The voice acting is superb and even for a man who has almost been alive for a quarter of a century the lines these characters were coming out with had me chuckling to myself.
Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet is a fun little game that does resemble any of the LEGO games that you may have played but it doesn’t quite have the same charm and leaves you wanting more with a short story mode and only local co-op. Unless you are a mad Marvel fan or you are buying it for the kids then I would say give this a miss or wait until it comes down in price.
Tim likes games. Tim likes games A LOT. It’s highly likely he’s played on most of the platforms that support games over his long years playing video games and is a sucker for new technology. He can often be found on his Xbox 360 playing the latest RPG or playing a wide range of multiplayer games with his buddies. While doing this however, he’ll often have a casual game of Peggle running on his PC and making sure his planes are doing the rounds in Pocket Planes on the iPad. When he’s actually not found playing games he’ll either be at the cinema watching the latest film releases or at the gym attempting to get fit - attempting being the important word there.