Review: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Makes It Fun To Be A Heroic Piece of Plastic
The LEGO titles have graced several games throughout the years and while some might see the developers as merely aping an already existing narrative--the latest LEGO game has its own unique story with heroes from different Marvel comic books battling for the Earth's survival. How does LEGO Marvel Heroes fare in a year filled with serious narratives and crisp visuals as competition? Read on to find out.
- Worth The Time?If you find these games apealing with their OCD-like collecting of studs and simplified combat enjoyable, then it certainly is worth your time.
- Things LovedIt's fun despite a lack of a thought-provoking narrative or deep combat system; a solid story campaign; character animations are a joy to behold, infinite amounts of studs to collect; a mountain of unlockables and collectibles; a nice humourous tone that fits nicely within a LEGO game focused on the Marvel characters--the humour doesn't feel forced like in some previous LEGO titles, sizable city to explore; cheaper than most new releases; Deadpool!
- Things HatedCombat hasn't been improved besides kill streak counters and finishing moves; New York City could've done with some more detail; driving controls are very clunky and frustrating.
- RecommendationFor LEGO game and Marvel fans or for people simply looking for a game with lots to do that doesn't take itself so seriously.
- Name: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
- Genre: LEGO-infused action-adventure
- Players: 1-2 players
- Multiplayer: Local: 1-2 players
- Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, Vita, DS, 3DS
- Developer: TT Games
- Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
- Price: R299 - R399
- Reviewed On: Xbox 360
If there is one thing that LEGO Marvel Super Heroes made me realise all over again it’s that I will never grow up in certain regards.
The LEGO games have been coming a long time now and this year’s LEGO-infused romp is that of a Marvel flavour – as if the name didn’t already tell us that. However, this time, we are not treated to a LEGO spin on a narrative we’re already familiar with, but instead we have a busload of characters with Traveller’s Tales doing something all their own.
Being a person that becomes all giddy when seeing LEGO in a toy shop and a fan of the LEGO games coupled with an interest of the Marvel universe; this one downright demanded my full attention without the preset three date rule.
Let us delve into the details of this humouristic adventure and see how it weighs up in comparison to other LEGO titles.
We begin our journey with all super heroes and villains already established with the good citizens of New York City as they are going about their daily business. The Earth’s imminent doom is steadily and unknowingly approaching, because the Marvel universe is not one for sitting around and reading a conflict-free newspaper, but rather one where a hefty number of recurring villains plot a new way to either take over the world or doom it in one way or another every fortnight.
Dr. Doom recruits a whole conga line of villains from almost every damp corner of the Marvel universe to aid him with his plans and gather a number of Cosmic Bricks. These bricks came from the now forcefully retired Silver Surfer’s board and Dr. Doom aims to use these bricks and build “Dr. Doom’s Doom-ray of Doom.” This may be the ideal time to mention that the game is not one for taking itself seriously. The game is packed with humour and you’ll no doubt hear random quips from passersby on the sidewalk while sprinting casually towards your given destination. The humour itself can be found in different forms like characters parodying each other or even themselves, creatively chuckle-worthy dialogue or gestures delivered by the characters in cut-scenes or when simply standing still. There is a lot of references in the game and even in the achievement list of the game that relates back to the Marvel films. I’d like to name a few, but it is best to see and discover these for yourself.
The animations for the heroes and villains themselves does lend the game an extraordinary amount of charm whether the characters are standing still, conversing in cut-scenes, fighting or even when you’re in the mood to transform Mr. Fantastic into a teapot. A lot of care clearly went into these characters and you can clearly see this when either swinging around the city as Spider-Man or smashing the wax out of Loki as Hulk. The facial animations also deserve a special mention as they look tremendously convincing resulting in one to regularly forget that they’re simply made out of plastic bits in real life.
The story campaign will take you about 15 hours or more to complete depending on your obsessive nature in collecting LEGO studs, and then you’re about only 20% done according to the stat on your saved game. Each level has one or two boss encounters for you to defeat by punching these blokes and building objects to obliterate them. After completing a level you’ll be able to play through it again via the main room in the Helicarrier as seen in The Avengers and as a result be able to play with all the characters you’ve unlocked at that time to access previously inaccessible areas. The levels are absolutely littered with these areas or objects that will only be able to access or break in Free Play. A good example is golden walls that can only be cut through by heroes with a laser or fire attack like Cyclops or Iron Man’s Mark 42 suit. When you’re done with the story most of the needed characters will be available to purchase via in-game studs, so be prepared to obsessively collect these throughout the levels and while free roaming in New York City.
The city itself isn’t going to win an award for its look when compared to something like Grand Theft Auto V, but still manages to provide a nice sizable area to explore and inhabit the many, many incapable residents for you to help or drive over with clunky and frustrating driving controls. When helping these people by finding something or taking them to a specific place you are awarded by a gold brick. These bricks can also be acquired by playing through the story levels and obtaining enough studs in these levels. You can also find them scattered throughout the city. You will need these bricks to unlock additional missions brought to you by Deadpool. Yes, Deadpool is in the game and while that is a selling point all in its own right, you’ll have to put some serious playing hours into the game to eventually unlock and finally play as him. He makes several appearances in the game and you’ll see him regularly gesturing the player directly–as is his nature. Hidden within these Deadpool missions are red bricks and these may be regarded as “cheats” or additional help when equipping their abilities. These abilities range from cosmetic changes to the characters to stud multipliers. These multipliers will be needed if you’re the type of gamer that aims for 100% completion–you’ll have your hands full as this is sure to drain countless hours of your free time.
Besides the inaccessible at first segments, you’ll regularly hear someone calling for help. As with his appearances in the movies, Stan Lee is to be rescued in every level and also in various other locations in the open world city. It’s impossible to help him at first, but using the Free Play option as mentioned above, you’ll be able to free him from numerous different perils. I honestly felt bad when I couldn’t help him and as a result I vouched to come back with my whole barrage of heroes and villains to eventually free him.
The gameplay is almost identical to previous LEGO titles and while the LEGO gameplay will not appeal to the most hardcore of gamers; there has been some new additions to add a bit of new flavour to the mix. One of these additions is the Big LEGO Figures like Hulk, Thing from Fantastic 4 and Juggernaut from X-Men. They do aim to please gamers who will want to smash any and all objects or enemies within any given level. The battles between two Big Figures is unfortunately just a series of quick time events and button mashing so those seeking tense and complex battles will be left disappointed.
Cooperative play makes a return allowing you and a second player to play alongside each other in both free roam and story missions. This certainly is without a doubt fun, but the split screen when playing missions is more than able to strain your eyes or cause a headache when you’re going to be playing with someone for a long period of time. My eyes felt somewhat strained from playing just two levels with a friend.
The idea of a split screen changing to accompany both players’ view to where they want to go is a nice idea but this specific split screen iteration needs some work for me to wholeheartedly recommend playing with a friend. If you’ll be playing in short instances, maybe, but otherwise you’ll have go fetch the Eye Gene drops.
On the topic of camera angles, the camera is in a fixed position when playing missions. This simplifies gameplay, but with enemies swarming your posterior and friendly NPC’s running about, you’ll regularly lose sight of your character and it inevitably becomes a button mashing parade to clear the screen from enemies.