The LEGO games are a lot like the Dynasty Warriors titles, wherein they don’t change a whole lot between iterations, yet remain hugely popular. LEGO titles do have the advantage of licenses though, and the latest may be the most sought after to date. The Marvel Universe is finally in block form and contains almost every character imaginable. Everything else here is typical LEGO, from the good to the bad and everything in between.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes features an epic story that includes just about every character in the universe. While not exceptionally original, it is well-told with the trademark humor TT Games has come to be known for. Characters once again feature voice acting, though none of the major names make an appearance that I recognized outside of Agent Coulson. Spider-Man keeps his sarcastic sense of humor, while Iron Man’s arrogance is abundant.
Each mission features multiple characters, usually starting off with two in particular. Each stage is set up like a chase mission of a particular villain, with mini-bosses along the way. It is a nice way to introduce a heaping helping of characters, each with their own unique abilities.
This is where the typical LEGO game play comes in. Each area consists of a quick cut scene, followed by a battle. Then to progress players have to switch back and forth between characters to use their power to move ahead. This is the quintessential co-op design. LEGO games have always been designed with couch co-op in mind, and once again this iteration does not support online play.
In between missions there is again a hub world where players can explore and, of course, collect even more studs. The size and scope of the hub world of Manhattan is impressive, featuring a ton of landmarks including the X-Mansion for players to explore. Like any LEGO game there is a ton to see and do within the world. Missions can be replayed to find hidden items and blocks. There are a lot of secrets to discover, and of course the massive amount of characters to unlock. Areas in levels are often inaccessible without specific characters, meaning going back and replaying them is a must.
The story mode alone will last well over a dozen hours, but factor in all the extra side stuff to accomplish and the time sink triples at least. LEGO games are always known for their abundance of content, and this one is no different.
The fan service is also amazing. I am not the world’s biggest Marvel fan, but even I can appreciate what TT Games has packed in here. The obscure characters such as Black Bolt, Nightmare and Wasp showcase the effort put into cramming as much in for the fans as possible. There are also several nods such as Stan Lee appearing in every single level, and of course the inclusion of Agent Coulson from the recent Avengers movies. It all fits into a nice package that Marvel fans won’t be able to not love.
One of the biggest draws to the LEGO games is co-op. My son is just now showing interest in video games, and the LEGO stuff is definitely his favorite. I let him loose with a controller in LEGO Marvel and he fell in love. The best thing about these games is that they are designed for everyone to enjoy. While he wasn’t able to solve some of the puzzles (he is only three) just jumping around as Spider-Man brought him unlimited joy. I look forward to playing through a lot of these games with him once he gets older, but even now the smile on his face while playing speaks volumes as a parent.
Visually the game retains that LEGO look and feel. Levels are colorful and chock full of studs littering the screen. The nods to movies and comics are fantastic and the voice acting, while not what most expect, is still superb. It is hard not to love watching the LEGO games. They define the overused description in gaming reviews known as charm.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is aptly named and nothing revolutionary, but still a heck of a lot of fun. As a parent I understand the appeal of these games a lot more now than I ever did. Watching my son have the time of his life while smashing blocks was a blast, and allowing me to play alongside him without any type of consequence was a lot of fun. Anyone who loves LEGO and Marvel should know what to expect, and TT Games continues to deliver exactly what they advertise. The LEGO formula may be stale, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun.
Review copy of game provided by publisher. Primary play on Xbox 360.