The folks at TT Games have to be some of the busiest people in the entire video game industry and today they may have complicated their lives further by putting themselves in middle of a decades old battle. After their second Lego Batman game, which also featured a whole host of other DC Super Heroes, TT have switched sides with their latest title: Lego Marvel Super Heroes. While they don’t seem too worried about their ability to play for both teams we’re left wondering if reading comics from the other side of the rack will be enough to keep the Lego series fresh.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes will still feel familiar to those who have played any of the other Lego games and you will once again be fighting Lego versions of the series’ favorite villains, solving puzzles using Lego bricks, and collecting a ton of secret items and characters. This time, however, you’ll find that the emphasis is on the action where Lego Batman 2 focused more on the puzzles. This is a nice change of pace and brings things back in line with some of the older games in the Lego series.
From the start it’s easy to see that Lego Marvel Super Heroes tells one of the better stories in all of the Lego games. It stars a wide array of Marvel Heroes, all of which are fully voiced. The story is still the typical light-hearted nod to the subject matter that Lego game fans will be used to and it fits quite well with the ever changing roster of characters you’ll be taking control of throughout the many missions.
Like most Lego titles you’ll have two or three different characters along with you in each level, and will be able to switch between them on the fly. Each Marvel Hero has his or her obvious super power that comes in handy in different situations but each character also falls into a general “class” as well. Some heroes are big, like the Hulk, some are more intelligent, like Widow, and some have a sixth sense, like Spiderman and Wolverine. Flying characters take some getting used to, as the controls are a bit goofy but there’s a little something for everyone.
The puzzles in Lego Marvel are, for the most part, quite a bit less challenging than those in past games and often rely on simply switching to the correct character and activating the correct ability. The upside to this approach is that the levels flow much more smoothly and the action rarely stops. There are almost always enemies waiting around the next corner, and when there isn’t you’ll run into some sort of environmental hazard or a series of short puzzles to tackle.
Initially, it looked like TT Games had ditched the open world found Lego Batman 2, a great step forward for the series, but after a few levels of Lego Marvel Super Heroes you’ll be given free access to the New York City map. The city is filled with optional missions and interesting places to visit, like the SHIELD Helicarrier and the X-Mansion. Not to mention a ton of citizens you can talk to for optional missions and a pile of secret characters and bricks to collect. After completing the roughly ten hour story you will still have hours of gameplay ahead of you, replaying missions with different characters to unlock secrets, and exploring the city.
As it is with the previous Lego games our main complaint is that there is no online co-op available. Again, local two-player co-op is available but it would be nice to see an online option from a Lego game one of these days. With the varying abilities of the heroes of the Marvel universe you are constantly given reasons to switch between characters so having a friend tag along is a natural choice.
Lego games rarely stray from the formula, game to game, and Lego Marvel Super Heroes doesn’t try to break the mold in any big way. What it does do well is build on the open world nature that the series has shifted toward and gives you more reason to wander around than ever before. On top of being a solid game, Lego Marvel delivers a fun story that is worthy of the characters and universe while still holding onto that familiar Lego Game humor. Fans of the Lego series, as well as fans of the Marvel universe, will be pleased with TT Games’ latest effort.