The LEGO games have always been something of a mystery to me. Albeit, they’re a good mystery, but a mystery nonetheless. On one hand, you have these great stories, pop-culture favorites, and on the other, they are presented in parody form, with the LEGO bodies, building bricks, and some truly classic comedic moments. We’ve had great representations of Star Wars , Lord of the Rings , Harry Potter , and we’ve also had some not so great experiences– LEGO Indiana Jones , anyone?
However, when Traveler’s Tales made LEGO Batman 2 , something changed. It became its own breathe of fresh air. No longer were we tied to a specific storyline. We were given a brand new story that perfectly streamlined what had come before and introduced a plethora of DC superheroes to an entirely new fanbase. This alone made me excited for what we could expect next. Thankfully, for my little Marvel lover self, the next entry into the mega-franchise was to be based on the Marvel superheroes I love.
And the game does not disappoint.
The story begins with the Silver Surfer scouting Earth under the employ of the cosmic being known as Galactus. For those of you who don’t know, Galactus eats worlds, which, for Earth, is a bad thing. Silver Surfer gets shot down by an unknown foe, and his board is blown into little bricks all across the world. These bricks, later to be dubbed cosmic bricks, cause Doctor Doom to assemble a league of villains in order to obtain them and help him complete his “Doom Ray of Doom.” Safe to say, this is bad as well.
It is going to be up to the collective might of Earth’s mightiest heroes to put a stop to the likes of the aforementioned Doctor Doom, Magneto, Doctor Octopus, Venom, Sandman, The Abomination, and several others. Players will get to be some of Marvel’s biggest stars, including Spider-Man, Wolverine, Captain America, Hulk, The Fantastic Four, and more heroes than you can shake a stick at: all under one roof, all in one story. We may not be able to get all of these heroes in one action-packed feature film, but we can get them all in this epic tale. For this, at least, we have to thank Traveler’s Tales for doing what Hollywood can’t.
Of course, a lot of the abilities wouldn’t translate too well in Hollywood either. Though for as much praise as I want to give for this accomplishment, I do have a gripe. While having the ability to change back and forth between the Hulk and Bruce Banner at will is fantastic, unless I am not aware of something in the current comics, Mr. Fantastic cannot change into whatever shape he wants. He’s fairly limited to just stretching. He’s not like other characters in the industry, who can change into whatever the heck they want.
Also, much like other LEGO games, a lot of the characters will come across as just throwaway versions of other heroes and villains. This really isn’t a complaint, more of a statement about the series as a whole. Sure, you can be 150 characters, but after a period of time, it becomes apparent to select just the few which are your favorites and roll with it. While again, although it can come across bland, the development on the characters is quite amazing. For example, a couple of characters many people are now familiar with are Black Widow and Hawkeye. They’ve become fan favorites, but at the end of the day, they are normal people. They have an astounding skill set, but they are still just really well trained spies. However, Hawkeye is able to use his specialized arrows to blow up steel, pull open doors, and Black Widow can use a cloaking device to get past certain security measures. These are just a couple of examples in how LEGO Marvel Super Heroes makes even the “smaller” characters come into the light, so all can play them and enjoy what they have to offer.
Another great thing for this LEGO game is the hub. The hub in a LEGO game is always some place fans will appreciate: Hogwarts, the Batcave, the Star Wars Cantina, to name a few. This time around, we have New York City. Which, to be honest, can be as much fun, if not more, to explore than the storyline of the game. In addition to roaming free through New York City, players will be able to venture onto the S.H.I.E.L.D. Hellicarrier to build characters and other franchise favorites fans have come to know and love from the LEGO games.
And while it is a return of something familiar to the franchise, I do have to point out one modification that I absolutely love as a comic book fan. Stan in Peril replaces the Citizen in Peril, but he does much more than the latter. You will eventually be able to play as Stan “The Man” Lee. This alone would be good enough for die-hard fans, but players get a little more, such as being able to use some of the powers he helped create all those years ago. How freakin’ cool is that? Excelsior, I say.
Graphically LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is an obvious advancement. The worlds look amazing. At times, they can even rival the graphics of other current-gen games. The characters also received an upgrade in graphics. When comparing to previous LEGO games, you can see that previous installments have a much more cartoony feel that lacks the current game’s polish. While the other games don’t look bad, looking at the shiny gloss on the marvel characters really captures the eye. For example, the clouds reflect in Iron Man’s helmet. Seriously, who sat in the meeting room and decided we needed this? I say someone should give that person a raise because now we need it always. Unfortunately, there is some screen tearing that can detract from this great-looking game. Thankfully, it never gets to the point of ruining the visuals.
While the voiceover work in the LEGO games is not new anymore, it is great hearing some A-list voice actors lending their much-revered voices to some of the characters that made them famous. For example, Nolan North does several voices in the game, as does John DiMaggio, Steven Blum, and Troy Baker. Stan Lee himself provides the voice for himself, and we even have Clark Gregg reprising his Agent Phil Coulson role. In addition to the voice cast, we are also treated to a score that doesn’t fully grate against every nerve, but there is the occasional voiceover that makes you wish they would’ve cast someone else.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is a great game. It is a game that is for the kid in all of us. It is a game for the fanboys and girls of the Marvel Universe. It has taken things from other LEGO games and graduated to the next logical step. If you have been looking for something to sit back and enjoy, this might just be it. It is simple fun, and it shows Traveler’s Tales knows its audience. There are many things to be thankful for in this game, and the best one is that we have a Marvel game injected with the fun of the LEGO franchise.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 4.5 Graphics
LEGOed heroes and villains alike look astounding in the environments. 4.3 Control
Solid controls. 4.2 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Some of the sounds are a bit grating but overall solid soundscape. 4.6 Play Value
It’s a LEGO game with loads to do. 4.5 Overall Rating – Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
|Review Rating Legend|
|0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid||2.5 – 2.9 = Average||3.5 – 3.9 = Good||4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy|
|2.0 – 2.4 = Poor||3.0 – 3.4 = Fair||4.0 – 4.4 = Great||5.0 = The Best|