LEGO Marvel Avengers is a game that, when first announced, I was worried that it would be a step back from Lego Marvel Super Heroes. Did this end up being the case? Read on to find out.
This title brings players into the worlds seen on the big screen, taking you through major events seen in The Avengers (or Marvel’s Avengers Assemble in the UK), Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World. Sorry, no ‘Civil War‘ yet in Lego Form!
It dives in head-first with an introduction straight out of Avengers: Age of Ultron but with our heroes in that oh-so-versatile mini figure-style topped off nicely with the great voice work of the original cast from the movie. Once you complete the first level – invading Von Strucker’s Hydra base – you then go back to the events at the beginning of The Avengers. I’d guess the reason they started this way is to allow the player to have some fun with the most popular of the heroes before playing with some of the less known (or popular, by comparison) SHIELD characters like Maria Hill, Nick Fury, Hawkeye and Agent Williams.
The story uses events from previous Marvel movies involving the characters either on a flashback basis, or to explain what happened in the films, or to otherwise get to current events, which is good for those who may not have seen all of the films associated with this game. As a whole, it follows events seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe from Captain America: The First Avenger to Avengers: Age of Ultron. However, some original plot, like in the previous Marvel Lego game wouldn’t have gone amiss.
As always, Lego keeps the game child friendly by bypassing any gory scenes from the films – such as where Loki uses an unsavoury device to get the eye Hawkeye needs in The Avengers – and keeps to familiar light-hearted comedy seen in previous Lego games, which will keep kids amused.
The gameplay opens with Hawkeye and Black Widow working their way through the mini figure bad guys (Hail Hydra!) while using their unique abilities to get across the war-stricken terrain to get to your next objective. So there’s your opener but just how is the gameplay exactly!?
If you’ve enjoyed playing previous Lego instalments you should feel right at home, with some new features like double team attacks and cool dynamic special moves added to the mix to keep monotony at bay. Unfortunately, though, the persistently respawning enemies is pretty overbearing, giving you little room to breathe to do the tasks that you need to do, in order to progress.
However, gameplay sometimes can take a change from grinding respawning enemies to taking out turrets or using devices to progress. Different scenarios I found, whilst playing through after these events, included entering a flying scrolling shooter with Captain America and Iron Man, and another with Maria Hill and Agent Williams chasing down Loki in a turret-mounted SHIELD vehicle.
Puzzles are perhaps a little simplistic for older players but are well suited for the gaming abilities of the targeted age group. Players can also immerse themselves running, driving and flying around the city hub world where you can meet other Marvel heroes and help them with small tasks for rewards which proves to be rather fun. However, falling off cliff ends when trying to perform tasks can occur from time to time, especially on narrow paths and sometimes finding the way to go and what to do even with hint boxes scattered around the playing field, may keep players a little confused.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the game plus conclusions.
Gameplay proves familiar with similar controls, with a little extra added to attempt to keep the format fresh but certain faults such as the falling, successive enemy-respawning and the underlying tedium of a tried and tested formulaic Lego game can hold the fun back a pinch.
In terms of the graphics, there’s not much to say here – the game looks very much like Lego Marvel Super Heroes on the same console (Xbox One). I could not notice any advancements to comment on. It’s aesthetically pleasing and does the job with no complaints.
The sound effects of breaking bricks, punches thrown, shots fired and weapons used are great and exactly how they should sound. Music is ripped straight from the movies and really sits well in the cut scenes as well as gameplay enhancing the experience. Voiceover again is mostly ripped from the movies, especially in the cutscenes, but some original VO work is taken into account during gameplay: narration, hints and tips and of course the NPCs (non-player characters) walking around the open world. Sometimes during gameplay my hero partner would talk and it would sound echoey and overshadowed by the music – not especially important to gameplay but can be a little tedious at times. Sound is spot on with very small faults from here to there.
I found some bugs and glitches in the game, like NPCs stuck in walls, or in the ground or otherwise walking through solid objects. Another example was when I was playing with Iron Man and Captain America and it switched to a quick cutscene with the former in which you could still see the playable Iron Man on the screen at the same time, but hopefully bugs like this shall be patched soon.
The game hits all the expected notes for a Lego-based game but thankfully the games tend to evolve over the years to be less monotonous and to include voices instead of grunts and groans from characters onscreen. That being said, Lego Marvel Avengers does what it needs to: it’s fun to play and I’m sure that kids would be happily playing for hours, but I reckon that adult gamers would be more likely to enjoy it in dribs and drabs before going to a different game.
As usual, Lego gives you a wide variety of characters to play as, these including not only those you’ve seen from the films mentioned, but also ones which did not feature in even the previous Lego Marvel game, such as the female version of Thor, and Kamala Khan. The game also offers plenty of hidden secrets and bricks, as well as kit pieces to find in each level which serve as trophies when all 10 pieces are found in a stage. Touches like this allows for the game to be re-playable as it gives an incentive to revisit previously played levels unlocked through freeplay mode to collect missing items.
In short, this is a fun game with enjoyable gameplay. Plenty of extras but the odd bug. An unoriginal story and repetitive respawning bad guys makes the game a bit of a let down. A good buy, but maybe best to wait until a bit cheaper in price.
Thanks to MKIceAndFire on Youtube for the gaming footage.
- Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive
- Players: single player campaign
- HDTV options: up to 1080p
- Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Director: Arthur Parsons
Music: Ian Livingstone and Rob Westwood
Agent Peggy Carter: Hayley Atwell
Agent Phil Coulson: Clark Gregg
Beth the Waitress: Ashley Johnson
Himself: Stan Lee
Jane Foster/Thor: Elizabeth Maxwell
Aldrich Killian: Greg Miller
Agent Maria Hill: Cobie Smulders
The Collector: Crispin Freeman
A-Bomb: Robbie Daymond
Echo Maya Lopez: Tonantzin Carmelo
Kamala Khan/Ms Marvel: Ashly Burch
Various: Nickie Bryar
Jarvis/Vision: Paul Bettany (archive footage)
Iron Man: Robert Downey Jr (archive footage)
Captain America: Chris Evans (archive footage)
Thor: Chris Hemsworth (archive footage)
Black Widow: Scarlett Johansson (archive footage)
Scarlet Witch: Elizabeth Olsen (archive footage)
Hawkeye: Jeremy Renner (archive footage)
Ultron: James Spader (archive footage)
Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier: Sebastian Stan (archive footage)
Quicksilver: Aaron Taylor-Johnson (archive footage)
Retro game fan, comic book reader, board game lover and film fanatic. I have loved videogames since I was 5 years old after visiting my first arcade, I have grown up with gaming since having my Atari 2600 then Commodore 64. I ended up building my own career crafting pixelised characters and have had the pleasure of meeting many of my retro gaming heroes who developed some of my absolute favourite games.
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