Lego Marvel Super Heroes

Without wanting to reveal the terrible level of cynicism games journalists seem to be permanently stricken with, every time a Lego title comes out we think “well, this one will be shite.” We can’t help it. It’s just too hard to believe that Traveller’s Tales will be able to keep up the level of quality they’ve been able to imbue into every game since the beginning of the Lego series, eight years ago. Far from keeping up the quality though, they have in fact managed to top their achievements with almost every new title.  From Lego Star Wars, through Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Batman, we were delighted at every new level. We squealed with delight at Lego Harry Potter and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean. Lego Lord of the Rings stunned us, as did Lego City Undercover on the Wii. Surely, surely, Lego Marvel Super Heroes couldn’t top all of those? What could they possibly do with the same engine to make this game as delightful as the others but also new and fresh? So, so many things, is the answer.

Just as with the previous games there’s a perfect marriage here of all the things that make the Lego games fun matched with a genuine and deep passion for the franchise being Legofied. This is one of the best Marvel universe based games ever made.  There are about a 150 characters to play as, including some very obscure Marvel characters that will really please fans of the comics. Even within those 100s of characters some have multiple looks and skills such as Iron Man, who has several different suits to use. Seeing Bruce Banner turn into the Hulk never gets boring. As always there is a pool of characters that will share certain skills such as bigger characters being strong, some can fly and others still have telekinetic powers. The pool of skills and the way the permutations of characters with any variety of them feel larger than ever before in a Lego game. It makes unlocking new characters particularly satisfying in a way that getting a new bunch of droids in the Lego Star Wars games never could and for Marvel fans that moment when you get a favourite character and say “ I wonder of he can… of course he can!” Can Iceman fly around on an ice slide? Course he can. When Mr Fantastic skydives off the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier to the open world city of New York below does he need a parachute like the others? Course not. He is a parachute!

The main story is fun and doesn’t outstay its welcome, giving you a tour of most of the characters abilities and a lot of laughs along the way. As always though, it plays second fiddle to the joy of unlocking secret areas on subsequent playthroughs and bonus levels dotted around the open world city. In fact completing the story is unlikely to net you more than a 15% completion of the overall game, that’s how much extra stuff there is to ferret out. One notable change is that it’s considerably easier to fill out the bar for the in-game stud currency in levels (known this time as the ‘True Believer’ bar) than ever before. With so many other things to unlock this was maybe considered one too many challenges to take care of in every level. Of all the unlockables though, special mention much go to the ‘rescue Stan Lee’ challenges that you’ll find dotted around. Saving Stan and getting a little sound bite from him is just lovely.

The stand out feature this time is variety. There’s always something with each Lego game that defines its brilliance whether it’s the incredible textures and warmth seen in the graphics of Lego Harry Potter, the bright openness of Lego Pirates of the Caribbean or the dark wonderful level designs of Lego Batman. In Lego Marvel Super Heroes the variety of abilities and the variety of unlocks, bonus levels and collection quests is more diverse than we’ve ever seen. If you’re one of those people who likes to 100 percent a Lego game you’ll be in Lego heaven. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t get ready to change your mind because every challenge and hidden quest is so individual, funny and enjoyable to play that you’ll never tire of it until you’ve collected every minikit, gold brick and character, and, of course, saved every Stan Lee.







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