Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Publisher: Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment
Release date: October 22nd, 2013 (Most versions), November 15th, 2013 (Playstation 4), November 22nd, 2013 (Xbox One)
Available on: PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Nintendo Wii U
Reviewer’s note: I played the Playstation 4 version. There may be differences between versions of the game.
The end goal of a Lego video game existing for every single noteworthy series is slowly becoming a reality. Marvel is just simply the latest franchise to join in the fun. The good thing is that it’s also the best.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes begins with the Silver Surfer showing up on Earth and promptly being shot down by Doctor Doom. The good doctor then collects the pieces of his broken surfboard and plans to use them to create a weapon for some purpose. It’s up to the various super heroes of the Marvel universe to stop them. It may not be unique or groundbreaking, but Lego Marvel Super Heroes’ plot is just stupid fun. The characters are constantly cracking jokes and the game is loaded with humor and references. If you’re into the Marvel universe then you’ll be delighted at the amount of little things there is here. Even if you just watch the movies the jokes are still great.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes should feel familiar to anyone who has played a Lego game before. The game is closest to a 3D platformer with some puzzle and beat ’em up elements. Of course the gameplay is also aimed for a younger crowd, so the game is very forgiving. If you miss that jump or get killed in combat then no worries, you’ll come back to life right there with little to no penalty against you. Combat is also as simple as just hitting the square button to knock enemies around. Sometimes you’ll do special finisher moves, but they don’t have any kind of special reward and there’s no way to manually trigger them. Some characters may have a second attack, but it’s rarely ever necessary. So the combat is extremely simple, but there’s still some fun in smacking Lego figures around and watching them break.
Each character has one or two (or three or four…) special abilities that allow you to solve puzzles and further assist in traveling around the environment. Need to melt some gold? Human Torch or Cyclops can handle that. Need to turn invisible? You should grab Invisible Woman or Black Widow. Telekentics? Try Jean Gray or Loki. There’s a ton of abilities and utilizing each character to their potential is an important part of this game. Each level will give you at least two characters (perfect for the game’s drop-in local co-op) but later you can be juggling as much as four. You can switch characters simply by hitting triangle, though when there’s more than two it’s a bit tough to specify which one you want. Each level also ends in a boss fight against a Marvel villain. The boss fights are all really well done, and each plays like a big puzzle. For example, a fight against Juggernaut requires you to throw objects back at him with Jean Gray’s telekenetics, then use Beast to open up panels to get access to water pipes so you can lure him into these pipes and have Iceman freeze him.
Outside of missions you’re free to explore New York City to collect the various collectables and find several side quests narrated by the ever hilarious Deadpool. The world is fun to explore, though some of the smaller side quests aren’t much fun. Many are just fetch quests that require you to use (often misleading) map markers to grab an object and bring it back. The bigger side quests play out like miniature levels and include more bosses, puzzles, collectables, and characters to earn. Each one also has a hidden cheat block in it, which can help with collectables and earning money. You can also go and revisit any of the story or side levels from here. Doing so lets you bring different character combinations and access new areas that contain all new secrets and collectables. It helps add more replay value to an already big game.
Overall, I really enjoyed Lego Marvel Super Heroes. The cast of characters is great and all of them is unique in some way. The levels are clever and the jokes are funny. There’s little bad I can say about the game, it’s just simply fun.