LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is the latest in a long line of LEGO-themed adaptations of popular franchises. Unlike 2013’s LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers follows the adventures of six movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). While the game is certainly not without its flaws, it is a very enjoyable experience which fans of both the LEGO series and the MCU should definitely pick up.
LEGO Marvel’s Avengers will feel familiar to anyone who has already played a LEGO title as you will need to smash, build and solve puzzles in order to progress. The formula is pretty much the same as usual, however there are new gameplay mechanics, such as the team combos, which are impressive-looking double-team moves that are extremely effective in battle. The team combos also change depending on which character you are using in addition to who initiates the move, which makes for many cool animations despite a lot of them involving one person being launched into the air.
Story levels are based off key scenes from the movies, with most of which being fun to play through. Each level is packed with collectibles, unlockable characters and plenty Stan Lee’s to save and so they are highly replayable. Unfortunately, there is a little too much filler, with unnecessary tasks, such as improving Tony Stark’s party, occurring too frequently. The combat is enjoyable due to animations which emphasise the abilities of each character. Likewise, the boss battles are also good, mainly due to the slick animations, although due to the limited number of villains from the movies, you will have to fight Loki and Ultron a few too many times. Repetition also hinders some of the mini-games, as several basic hacking systems are used too often to be considered pleasurable.
Outside of the levels there are several hub worlds which can be explored, which range from Tony Stark’s house to Asgard. Just like in the story missions, there are plenty of secrets, challenges and collectibles to find. The open-world areas are more for the those who want to achieve 100% completion, however, as opposed to anyone else. This is due to the likes of Manhattan and Asgard not containing the detail and variety found in other open-world games.
As the MCU features only a fraction of the characters found in Marvel comics, the roster is less varied than those found in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, and because of this there are also a few annoying omissions, such as Spider-Man and the Netflix versions of Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Despite this, the smaller roster does have the benefit of having more fleshed out characters with a larger range of abilities. The added addition of team combos, as well as various puzzles which require the skills of multiple Avengers, manages to convey the teamwork embodied in the movies.
Speaking of which, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers’ narrative is a light-hearted recreation of Avengers Assemble, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Solider, Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 3. The stories don’t take themselves seriously, and instead poke fun at the characters onscreen in a comedic way which is sure to get a few laughs. As the story jumps around chronically, as well as skipping a fair portion of each movie, you will definitely need to have already watched the films in order to understand the plot, which is a fair assumption on the part of developer TT Games considering the box office gross of the MCU movies. The only problem with the story is that those that aren’t the Avengers 1 and 2 are very brief comic-strips that seem far too rushed, which is disappointing considering the quality of the Captain America: The Winter Solider movie.
The cutscenes, when used, are well-animated, with key scenes from the movies being beautifully recreated with LEGO minifigures. The same goes for the in-game visuals, as character models and most environments are detailed and also varied, due to the game taking place in different eras of time and on multiple planets. The presentation does suffer from a few minor issues though, like awkwardly placed invisible walls, with the foreground occasionally getting in the way. The audio, however, is a mixed-bag. On the one hand the movie-score soundtrack is absolutely incredible and manages to add to the intensity of the game tenfold. The voice-acting is a different matter entirely as low-quality audio is lifted directly from each film. This works well during the cutscenes, but the limited one-liners and new voice-actors during in-game sections don’t mesh well together at all.
Overall, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers maintains the high standards set by previous LEGO titles and offers an enjoyable rendition of some of the recent Marvel movies. LEGO Marvel’s Avengers manages to uphold both quality and quantity in a way which offers hours upon hours of content for the truly dedicated. While it is certainly more of the same from TT Games, the LEGO formula still works well, and manages to make any action franchise shine. The MCU license has been begging for a good video-game adaptation for years and it is great to see a developer capitalise on the opportunity.
I Am Mighty
LEGO Marvel’s Avengers maintains the high standards set by previous LEGO titles and offers a very enjoyable experience for the whole family.