Over the past eight years, numerous blockbuster film series have been given the LEGO makeover, including Star Wars, Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Following on from their successes, it came as no surprise when Warner Bros. announced a LEGO title based in the world of Marvel.
Developed by TT Games, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes allows gamers to take control of the likes of Spider-Man, Captain America, Hulk and more as they overcome familiar enemies across the Marvel version of New York City. Each character has been excellently recreated from their comic and film counterparts and the attention to detail is fantastic.
The heroes and villains have unique powers and abilities, which players need to utilise in order to progress through levels. For example, Human Torch is able to fly and shoot fireballs, while Wolverine is able to climb special walls and dig. While it’s still a case of matching the correct superpower to the right obstacle, the attention to detail and substance is remarkable and is something that will please comic and film fanatics alike.
Unfortunately, the sheer amount of superpowers and abilities on offer can prove disadvantageous, as players will occasionally find themselves wandering around not knowing how to progress. In addition, one of the most problematic superpowers is flying. The poor control, especially when navigating around New York City, makes it difficult to fly, forcing players to opt for the alternative methods of transport.
One of those alternative methods is free-falling, which can be done from the S.H.I.E.L.D Heli-carrier in the sky. It’s an enjoyable way of moving from A to B and the circles of studs (the game’s currency) makes free-falling more rewarding – a great inclusion.
Studs return largely unchanged with the exception of combo multipliers. Defeating multiple enemies (without taking a hit) rewards players with a temporary multiplier, which can greatly increase the player’s stud count. It’s a well-implemented feature and a welcome addition to the title.
Puzzles also play a larger role in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. The majority of the puzzles consist of aligning pipes or forming shapes with the available tools. Whereas they aren’t overly-difficult (to accommodate younger gamers), they provide variety within the game’s levels – something that will maintain the player’s interest throughout.
Furthermore, achieving 100% completion in the title is by no means an easy feat. The single player campaign is fairly extensive and gathering collectibles (such as Gold Bricks and Minikits) is even more time-consuming. This is a game you won’t be finishing in a hurry.
In terms of multiplayer, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes contains the excellent drop-in, drop-out co-operative play that has been evident throughout the series. While the lack of online play may come as a disappointment to some gamers, the local multiplayer remains as solid as ever.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes retains the charm and humour players have come to expect from LEGO games. Whether it’s a nicely-timed slapstick moment or a well-scripted pun, this is a title full of laugh out loud moments and is sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face.
Whereas the original LEGO video games didn’t contain voice actors, their implementation has allowed for more humour and puns. This is made even more enjoyable with the inclusion of established actors, including Laura Bailey and John DiMaggio. There’s even an appearance from Stan Lee (who co-created the likes of the Fantastic Four, Iron Man and Thor), completing an impressive roster which will go down well with Marvel fans.
However, the game does contain some small niggles. There are frequent combat animations which interrupt the flow of the gameplay, as well as some moments when the AI are unresponsive and the occasional bug (not just Wasp).
Overall, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is a ‘Marvel’-lous addition to the series. The game retains the same LEGO charm and humour we’ve come to adore, while managing to brilliantly capture the world of Marvel’s superheroes. This is one of the most entertaining games of 2013.