With the popularity of Lego seemingly forever on the rise, and superhero films always having been popular, you can hardly blame Traveller’s Tales for combining the two yet again for their newest game, Lego Marvel’s Avengers. Following on from the success of their first Lego Marvel game, Super Heroes, Avengers follows the story of the two Avengers films that have currently been released in the cinema, as well as touching upon some of the other films of the various heroes in the game, including Iron Man, Thor and Captain America.
Lego Marvel’s Avengers: Xbox One [Reviewed] , Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Wii U, PS Vita, PC
Developer: Travellers Tales
Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: 29 January 2016
Price: £49.99 [Disclosure: Game Copy Provided by Publisher]
The game throws you straight into where the Avengers: Age of Ultron film starts, then takes you back through all the first Avengers film in a type of flashback, which eventually comes back round to carry on through the rest of the second film. This game takes so much from the Avengers film, and manages to do each quote, scene and aspect of it well, so fans of any of the films and characters will be more than happy with its transition. We are treated to the game’s story almost as two real films, with the credits in the middle of the two and at the end. There’s even the trademark after-credits clips in the middle and at the end of the credits, with these being the same clips in the real Avengers films, such as the team getting food, or the first time we see Thanos.
These are little extras, but they really make the gamer feel like attention has been paid to the films, and transferred across to the game. Similarly, the fact that actual quotes are taken straight out of the film all the way through the game means that fans of the film and game alike can enjoy it. The soundtrack also is taken from the film, so the Avengers music will most likely be stuck in your head by the end of the game.
The fact that there was such a wide variety of scenes and lengthy story to base the game upon, means there is rarely a dull moment and hardly any unnecessary filler. Between fighting the Hulk as Iron Man’s Hulkbuster, partying in the Avengers Tower before Ultron appears and trying to shut the portal and keep out the chitauri, you’ll have explored a lot of the world and had the chance to play as a variety of different characters. As with the past Lego games, each character has a certain set of skills or abilities that help you advance through the levels. Whether it is Quicksilver’s super speed, Scarlet Witch’s telepathy, Hawkeye’s arrows or Bruce Banner’s Hulk strength, each special power will be needed at some point.
During your first playthrough of a level, you are limited to the characters given to you, but when freeplay is unlocked, you can play as whoever you want in any level. This gives you the chance to collect the minikits, save Stan Lee in peril, and find hidden character tokens that you wouldn’t have been able to get to first time round. It also adds an aspect of replayability that all the Lego games force you into, as those wanting to 100% and collect everything, will be backtracking through all the levels at least once.
All the typical Lego aspects are still apparent in the game, with gold bricks to collect for completed quests, red bricks to unlock extras such as stud multipliers and arrows to important items, a number of Stan Lee characters to rescue and an endless amount of minikits in the levels which form a Lego styled comic book cover when you collect them all. Whilst these are fun aspects than have been tried and tested, this game doesn’t particular break any new ground in terms of Lego games. A lot of the characters have been seen before, even though there have been improvements in weapons and still a whole bunch of new characters added, and the levels essentially still play through the same way as all the other Lego games. As mentioned before though, this doesn’t take any of the fun away from the game at all, it just would be nice to see them do something a bit different or throw in a bit of a curve ball into the game’s mix.
There are a few improvements that are clear to see, especially when you compare it to some of its predecessors. The combat feels like it has had a little more care paid to it, with finishing moves being able to be performed, as well as a combination move between some of the characters for a big damage attack. This definitely comes in handy when you get overwhelmed by enemies, which seems to happen a fair bit, and annoyingly it’s easy to get stuck in a corner surrounded by enemies and be unable to fight your way out. The levels are still a decent length, but the basis of the films story allow them to be set in a whole multitude of different places across the world including beaches, forests, cities and in the skies. Sometimes the settings get a little annoying, specifically the levels based on a moving vehicle where you seem to be able to fall off a little too easily without even trying.
One of the game’s biggest improvements is in the flying controls, which used to be a mess and make it impossible to control your character. Now, with the addition of the right analogue stick, the flying is now streamlined and makes completing the races much easier. There is still the usual large hub with plenty to explore, with the addition of few smaller hubs like Asgard, Malibu and Barton’s Farm, which means even after the story is finished there is plenty of exploring to keep you busy for hours afterwards.
Unfortunately, the glitches that we have come to expect from the Lego games over the years are still there. One of the biggest problems I had was with a puzzle with 8 switches, and after a while of running around trying to press them all and failing, I gave up. Coming back later, I realised there should of been seven other NPCs to help me, which didn’t show up the first time. There’s also problems with the races not counting as completed so not giving you the character token, and another big annoyance is when you fall into a new location or off a high building, a flying character will sometimes shoot back into the air seconds after touching the floor. This can go on endlessly unless you change character or force them to land by hammering the B button. Whilst only minor annoyances, these do occur a little more frequently than you would like. They don’t make the game unplayable, and nothing glitched out so much that I couldn’t continue or unlock an achievement, but it is still an apparent problem in the game and the Lego series as a whole.
For fans of the Lego games, Lego Marvel Avengers will definitely not disappoint, and is the next natural game in the Lego series. Equally, fans of the Avengers or similar superhero films will also be able to have a lot of fun with this game, and recognise scenes and quotes from the films throughout. You can’t hide the fact that some glitches are still there, and when you get down to the basics, the game is hugely similar to every other Lego game out there. This one, though, feels a little sharper, a bit crisper and a whole lot more fun to play through and explore. You’ll be spending a lot of time getting to 100% but nearly all of that will be spent enjoying yourself, by beating up enemies, punching the Hulk into submission with the Hulkbuster, quoting the films as you hear your favourite lines and taking on the role of all of your favourite Marvel superheroes.