Developer "Traveller's Tales" couldn't have anticipated the success of the Lego franchise. Since taking on the Star Wars franchise, many other big blockbusters were given the lego treatment. From Harry Potty, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings, and DC's Batman. Now, TT Games have decided to turn Marvel's comic book characters into pieces of plastic. It was only a matter of time, seen as Marvel are hugely popular nowadays. Lego Marvels is like a dream come true for both, Marvel and Lego fans. With the freedom to unleash your favourite heroes across an open-world Manhattan, Lego Marvel is certainly one of the most varied an fun Lego games to date.
The roster of playable characters in Lego Marvel is huge, with roughly 150. There's a great mixture, providing heroes and villains from various universes. From the Avengers, all the X-men, The Fantastic Four, and even Spider-man. There's also plenty of less familiar characters, such as MODOK and Captain Britain. They all have solid voice actors, and their appearance and personalities are as you'd expect. There's a great chemistry between the characters, along with humour and a few puns to the movies.
Lego Marvel opens with the Silver Surfer knocked from his board by Dr Doom, sending it shattering into small cosmic bricks - or in this instance, Lego Bricks. As the bricks plummet to earth, Dr Doom forms an alliance will Loki and other villains to retrieve the pieces. With them, Dr Doom is able to create the, Doom Ray of Doom. But Nick Fury isn't going to let that happen, so he contacts super heroes from various universes to help obtain the bricks before it's too late. It may be a no-brainer narrative, but it's functional and works well. It's the varied locations, heroes and puzzles that should keep you coming back.
Ironman and The Hulk working to take down Sandman.
The mechanics should be apparent to anyone who's played a Lego game. It's still mostly a button-mashing affair, as you fight your way through foes, collect studs, and solve puzzles. At it's core, your still demolishing pieces of lego, then rebuilding them into useful resources to advance. It's a tried and tested formula that hasn't seemed to loose it's shine. TT Games always squeeze enough creativity to keep your interest, and Lego Marvel is no different. Most puzzles require you to switch between two or three heroes on the fly. Certain abilities are required, and figuring out which hero is right for the situation is part of the fun.
For instance, the Hulk may be required to destroy a structure so another hero can reconstruct the pieces into something useful. As you progress, the puzzles become slightly more innovative, but they remain simplistic. It could be hacking a key-pad as Tony Stark, sneaking past security cameras as Invisible women, or melting objects as the Human Torch . Most abilities feel very samey, but no Hero feels left out of the action. They all play a role in solving puzzles, and your constantly introduced to new characters along the way. This is where Marvel Lego remains intriguing. Despite the simplistic platforming, it's always a joy to play as a new hero and try out their abilities.
Doctor Octopus is one of many villains you'll face.
Story mode is surprisingly only a small portion of the game. Joining each of the levels is Manhattan, acting as a hub world. Unleashing your heroes across the city is like a breath of fresh air. It's a nice way to take a break from the linier structured levels. You could simply dash from level to level, but you would be missing out on a ton of fun and content. New York is jam packed with fun little detractions. Whether your simply whizzing through the sky as Iron man, sky-diving off the S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier, collecting studs, finding golden bricks, or helping citizens in small side quests. There's lots to see and do, and it could easily take up a dozen or so hours of your time.
The attention to detail of the environments are impressive. TT Games have done a great job making the city constantly feel lively. There's busy traffic at every turn, and citizens cram the streets. In GTA style, you can take control of any AI vehicle you see. Whether it's a car, lorry, bus, boat, or aircraft. You are free to steal any transportation to get around, similar to Wii U's Lego City Undercover.
A few familiar problems do carry on over from previous Lego titles. Switching between characters can still be a slight pain, as you have to be facing the other hero to switch as them. Occasionally, I found myself switching back and forth before I found the hero I wanted. I also stumbled upon a few glitches, such as characters getting stuck in the environment, but these only occurred on a few occasions. The main concern is with it's flight controls when roaming the city. Steering can be very awkward, as your required to hold two separate buttons for up and down. With that said, these are the only concerns I had with Lego Marvel. All in all, it's still a solid platformer, and one of TT Games best offerings to date.
Lego Marvel is a marvellous package. There's currently no other Marvel game that provides this sheer amount of content. There's enough here that should satisfy both, Lego and Marvel fans alike.