It gets to the stage where one thinks, “Just what the video game world needs – another LEGO game!”
Yes LEGO is back! And this time it’s the turn of the Avengers. LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is the latest instalment in the incredibly successful plastic brick franchise by TT Games.
In LEGO Marvel’s Avengers you play – and LEGO games do feel more like play than any other game – are the titular heroes in a quest to save the world (again), this time following the story from both ensemble Avengers movies: The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron films.
Here at XboxOneUK, LEGO Marvel Superheroes is still our favourite LEGO game of all time, without question. The real question is whether this new instalment can live up to the hype of the previous game.
This time around you’ll unlock more than 200 characters, with over 100 new to the LEGO franchise, so that’s a nice bonus. As with all LEGO games the basics are the same: battle through levels, get stuck on puzzles and, of course, build the sometimes seemingly impossible Lego structures. TT Games’ motto is clearly ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ with just the gentlest of iterations between titles – the biggest (and most welcome) deviation being their toys-to-life entry, LEGO Dimensions.
The story begins in a snowy forest and throws you straight into action. From the start you’ll be constantly jumping between your favourite characters including Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Mr Goody Two-Shoes himself, Captain America.
The puzzle mechanics follow that of previous games – puzzles are solvable using the powers of specific characters. Replay value is increased through the inclusion of puzzles you won’t be able to unlock on your first play through, as they require the power of a character not yet unlocked. Free Play – where you can hop into any unlocked character – still provides the most fun. The sheer joy of simple play in this mode, solving puzzles and unlocking bonus and secret content, most closely captures the spirit of LEGO.
And the small iteration for this game? A new takedown move when dealing with bad guys. These ‘Team-up attacks’ allow the core Avengers characters to team up to deliver devastating combos to the villains. It’s a nice touch – replicating neatly some of the finest action set-pieces from the movies – that emphasizes teamwork. Requiring a little more timing and finesse than you usually see in LEGO game combat, it’s a welcome departure from a combat model that’s rarely deviated from button mashing in the past. Good job, TT Games.
What made previous installment LEGO Marvel Superheroes so enjoyable was the open-world feel of the game. LEGO Marvel’s Avengers repeats the feat, offering a fantastic, unique open world with eight distinct environments to explore within the Marvel Cinematic Universe: New York, Asgard, Barton’s Farm, Malibu, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Base, Sokovia, South Africa and Washington, D.C.
One thing we’ve never understood with LEGO titles is TT Games’ insistence on sticking resolutely with local co-op. We love local co-op, especially when playing with kids (and this is another kid-friendly title) but we miss an online option. We think this is something that would benefit the LEGO worlds – how much fun would it be to run around Washington D.C with some online buddies? “I’ll be Hulk, you be Iron man…” You get the drift. Please TT consider this!
Once again, TT have done masterful work on the look, sound and feel of the game. The dialogue is voiced using a mix of stand-in voice actors, as you would expect, and for the most part they are pretty good. The overall sound design matches the feel of the movies very well – it’s clear some aural assets have been lifted straight from The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Graphically, the game looks as you would expect, with the cartoon-like minifigs embodying the spirit of the characters they represent. Technical boundaries are not being pushed – don’t expect jaw-dropping visuals and you won’t be disappointed – but there are no glitches or lag to detract from the fun.
Overall, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is a worthwhile game to add to your Lego collection offering hours of fun. It’s missing some key features and it does not live up to the previous Marvel instalment, but is fun nonetheless. More of the same – but we can’t help feel that TT Games needs to start to push boundaries.
Publisher : Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Reviewed On : Xbox One
Review Copy Provided by : Warner Bros
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Another solid LEGO game that brings plenty of new characters to the LEGO universe.
LEGO Marvel’s Avengers goes big on fun and recognisable characters, but shies away from gameplay innovation. The result is more of the same – no bad thing when the same is as fun as this – but we can’t help feeling that the series needs to start pushing boundaries and introducing new features – like online play – if it is going to continue to be successful.
If you are a fan of LEGO or Marvel’s ensemble super hero movie series, you’ll doubtless find a lot to enjoy here, and free play is as fun as ever.