Developer: TT Games/TT Fusion
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Format: PS4, Xbox One [Reviewed], PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS
Released: January 26, 2016
Copy provided by publisher
At this point, you should know what you’re getting with a new LEGO game, given that there seems to be a new entry in the long-running series every six months or so. LEGO Marvel Avengers is the latest entry in the franchise, which has been consistently pumping out new titles since 2005. As the name implies, this game focuses on The Avengers or more specifically, most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies released up to this point, which places it in an odd position along the LEGO game timeline.
LEGO Marvel Avengers not only has to contend with the fact that it arrives a few years after LEGO Marvel Superheroes, arguably one of the best LEGO games to date and a more encompassing Marvel celebration at that, but also with being the first new LEGO game since last year’s LEGO Dimensions, the toy-to-life experiment that represents the brand’s most ambitious and expansive title yet. When weighed against those two looming specters, LEGO Marvel Avengers feels a bit lacking, but at the end of the day, it’s still one of the most polished, fan-pleasing LEGO games yet. Those expecting anything new may want to look elsewhere, though.
LEGO Marvel Avengers takes players through Legoized versions of the first two Avengers films, Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Although there are levels based around other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this is very much an Avengers focused game, for better or worse. As with other LEGO games based on popular franchises, a lot of the enjoyment of playing through Marvel Avengers comes from seeing how the folks at TT Games reinterpret the source material and turn it into a more humorous, kid-friendly experience.
A cute running gag featuring Nick Fury and a smoothie cup, as well as Bruce Banner/The Hulk’s teddy bear friend are just a few of the delightful visual gags that help make the occasionally dark plots of the films more lighthearted. The game offers a mixture of voice clips from the films and original voiceover work, and despite it feeling at times like TT Games is trying too hard to make certain quotes and quips fit into specific situations, the end result is solid, mostly due to the fact that it’s preferable to hear the real thing rather than be forced to listen to someone stumble through their best Robert Downey Jr. impersonation.
That attention to detail is evident in almost every aspect of the game’s presentation and even extends to the core gameplay mechanics. You’ll still find the same simplistic combat and puzzle-solving that is LEGO brand’s bread and butter, but TT Games really went out of their way to make each Avenger feel as authentic to their cinematic counterpart as possible. Captain America and the Hulk are a joy to play as on a melee combat level, as both characters are imbued with familiar, flashy moves that never get old (Cap tosses his shield with style while the Hulk smashes things up good). Even Hawkeye, the ostensible black sheep of the Avengers outfit, is given some love and may be the best all-around character in the bunch, as his multiple arrow-types make him as asset in any situation.
There are a few gameplay mechanics that fall flat, most notably the overly-simplistic hacking minigame that pops up much too often, but overall, few other LEGO games are are as enjoyable on a raw gameplay level as LEGO Marvel Avengers, which is quite an accomplishment considering just how many of them there are at this point.
Review continues on next page.