Lego Marvel Avengers Review
Lego Marvel Avengers is the latest instalment in the franchise and one of the most action packed yet! It features story-lines taken from the following Marvel Films, The Avengers and its sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron; plus there is also playable content taken from Marvel’s Captain America, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man 3 and finally Thor: The Dark World.
When you first start the game it takes place in the opening scene from The Age of Ultron film and the cut-scenes and gameplay that follows manages to capture the essence of the latter to great effect; while still managing to inject the standard Lego humour, which I’m happy to say works even better than before!
As you move slowly through the level you also start to realise that apart from the standard Lego bashing affair, which is the staple diet of all Lego games, there have been a few refinements to the combat system, especially from a split-screen coop point of view, where the game is best played.
For example, alongside the standard button bashing and jump/slam moves you will eventually get to a point where you can do a finishing move by pressing the B button (when prompted) or if you are close enough to an ally this will also dynamically change the prompt so you can do a joint special combo move.
This will vary between characters, but it certainly looks cool (especially with Thor and Captain America). Yet the combo move is also utilised within the main campaign to complete certain tasks! Take a look at the video below as I showcase this in action!
I love this new element because combat was getting a little repetitive (more so if you have been a keen player of the previous titles) and they have even taken the time to beef up certain characters, so playing as the Hulk for example now feels truly powerful, so a big thumbs-up here!
There are over a 100 Marvel characters to collect from playing the main story campaign or the Free-play modes that you can unlock afterwards and I have to say that TT Games have done a cracking job here of capturing their essence in Lego form. I suppose they had practice with 'Lego Marvel Super Heroes', but Kudos to the devs for pulling this off! The majority of the most recognisable characters, such as Thor, also have their voices sampled from the films.
Out of Order?
Mind you I was a little confused at first why they started with Age of Ultron and then they switched over afterwards to the original Avengers storyline, before switching back again to Ultron. As a result I was finding it hard to grasp the changes, because you do re-visit a few of the locations that were in the aforementioned Lego Marvel Super Heroes title. However after a while the way the story has been put together does sort of work/make sense and the way the cut-scenes are played out did make me feel like I was watching the movie(s) all over again!
The only drawback was the cut-scenes did seem to be introduced more frequently and this delayed me from getting back into the gameplay!
Speaking of which by now if you have played the previous Lego games you will know what to expect from the off and apart from the new combat moves the core formula pretty much remains the same; though they have improved the characters a touch so the logo on the floor now shows the Avengers Symbol; thus you can make out where you are - a little better - in relation to the game world.
However each level has been superbly designed and there is plenty to do and several puzzle elements to solve, which usually involves smashing and re-building Lego bricks.
Graphically on the Xbox One version I reviewed it looks fantastic and the colourful layout will most certainly appeal to youngsters; yet there is still plenty of entertainment/enjoyment to be had for adults also.
Most of the puzzles are not that complicated either, more entertaining I would say, so you are free to work your brain matter while not being frustrated in the process. However there was one time when I needed to consult the internet to solve a puzzle but it turned out I was having issues because of a bug (a re-load later and I solved it). I did experience a few other bugs with the game during my review play-time, such as characters getting stuck in the scenery, resulting in me having to reload from the save point. Thankfully the issues were rare and far between.
Once again the story mode won’t take a vast amount of time to complete if you wiz through each level without smashing every brick in site, so you could be looking at perhaps in the region of 8-10 hours. Yet the replay value lies with the Free-play (go back into the main story-levels to get all of the hidden items) and open-world locations (New York, Asgard and so forth). The latter open-world sections allow you to take on side quests, rescue Stan Lee or tackle land/air races to earn those Yellow/Red bricks.
For those not experienced with Lego games the red bricks allow you to turn on Extra’s such as Multipliers (increases your Lego score) and the latter are essentially for those wanting to achieve true 100%!
I nearly forgot to mention that in coop play the above open-world locations have been improved from a point of view that when player 'A' takes on a quest it won't hamper the second player as much as it did before. For example now you get a bar across the screen to explain the quest details, but it is more transparent and the second player can continue with what they were doing (previously a quest would fill-up the entire screen, thus forcing the other player to wait until the quest had been explained).
Loading times are also a little quicker in this version, but the devs have injected into the main campaign some voice overs, indicating the next part of the mission, so you never get the sense that it is taking time to load!
Once again TT Games have come up with a corker of a Lego title and the Marvel theme is literally superb (better than 'Lego Marvel Super Heroes' I would say). If I was being harsh the only criticism would be that the formulae is getting a touch repetitive at times, but the new combat moves are fun and the quality of the story-lines, adjusted with Lego humour, is so well done that I can’t help but be transported back to the films; thus this adds extra enjoyment/entertainment.
Granted while the main campaign won’t take a vast amount of time to complete - if you rush through it. The sheer re-play value of the open-world and Free-play sections, is enough to put a lot of other titles to shame, so if you Love Lego and Love Marvel, then this is a must buy!