Lego Marvel Super Heroes Review: Fun by the Cubic Ton
When the first Lego Star Wars game launched back in 2005 I don’t think anyone expected the series to become so popular and span so many popular franchises. Since then we’ve seen Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, DC Comics and now Marvel Comics. Some of those games have been great… some not so great… and some WTF moments like Lego Rock Band.
Given that track record, let me put any doubts to rest and say -
Lego Marvel Super Heroes is by far the best Lego game made… and really one of the better Marvel games as well.
Traveller’s Tales has really hit the sweet spot on this one. Many of the previous games felt the same no matter which character you were playing and didn’t really give the player much incentive to unlock extra characters.
In Lego Marvel every character feels very unique even though many of their super-powered abilities overlap. I found myself wanting to watch the unique idle animation for each character… whether it was Iron Man doing the robot… or Carnage juggling some adorable Lego skulls.
I never knew I had the desire to be Wolverine riding on the back of a gorilla up a busy New York street until I played this game.
Excellent Voice Overs
A recent addition to the Lego games has been the inclusion of voice overs. The earlier games had a certain charm with the characters acting out the story without speaking, but I think this was a necessary step forward. The voice cast for this game is great, you have a raspy Steve Blum doing Wolverine, Stan Lee as himself, Nolan North doing his incredible Deadpool, and even Clark Gregg reprising his role as Agent Coulson from the movies and Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. TV show. The humor is also very on point with polite Sentinels saying “excuse me, would you have happened to see any mutants around?” to the Hulk ripping out of his pants.
Gameplay wise things are fairly simple to a seasoned gamer, but a terrific game for a younger player. Puzzles are solved through the use of several basic abilities like invisibility, spider-sense, telekinesis, magnetism, and so on. There are fifteen main missions, eleven Deadpool-centric bonus missions, and a sandbox Lego New York with countless side missions and activities. The character count for Marvel characters is 164 with a total of 180 slots that allows for custom made characters.
If you’re looking for a game to give endless hours of entertainment to your kid this Christmas, Lego Marvel Super Heroes is definitely that game.
The great thing is this is a game you won’t mind playing with your kids... it's also one of the few family friendly games launching on next-gen systems. There’s a ton of obscure characters like Howard the Duck, Drax the Destroyer, and even H.E.R.B.I.E- the robot from the 1978 Fantastic Four cartoon. Diehard Marvel fans are sure to notice some characters missing; I was especially disappointed there was no Namor the Sub-Mariner - considering there was an underwater level and Namor is the original Marvel Super Hero. The characters are for the most part closer to their movie incarnations with guys like Aldrich Killian from Iron Man 3… but thankfully Galactus is depicted as a giant purple guy that eat planets and not a giant fart cloud. There’s even some movie related humor like a special interaction between Human Torch and Captain America (both portrayed by Chris Evans in the movies) and even some love shown for upcoming Marvel films with talking space raccoons.
The game is, of course, not without some flaws.
While this by far controls the best of any Lego game, it’s sometimes difficult to trigger events with your powers unless you aim perfectly at the right spot. Holding the Y button is also used to change characters in free play mode, but for certain characters like Hulk, Spider-Man, and Venom, that triggers you to turn into your alter ego. The only way around this is to hold Y while you’re in the air… which could leave some players feeling “trapped” as that character unless you figure out the work around. It also wouldn’t be an open world sandbox game without being able to carjack someone… but this game actually makes the driving in GTA IV look good! Thankfully most of the time it’s faster and easier to fly or web-swing to your destination.
You’re also given like eight or nine versions of Iron Man and you can’t help but feel those slots could have gone to Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, and so on.
Of course like they did with Lego Batman they can always add those characters in an inevitable sequel. It’s also quite possible that they do a DC/Marvel crossover game. I have to point out that Marvel is owned by Disney and DC is owned by Warner Bros (who are the publishers of the Lego games)… so for this game to even exist seems like quite an improbability. The love that the developers have for Marvel comics also oozes out of every polygon right down to the tacos on the desk of AgentM inside Marvel HQ.
The idea of a crossover Lego game isn’t that farfetched considering The Lego Movie that comes out in February. Besides having original Lego characters like 1980’s space guy (voiced by Charlie Day), the movie also features Lego versions of DC characters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and even Lego-freaking-Han-Solo. Hopefully these characters make it into Lego Movie: The Game (I’m not joking… that’s really a thing).
The idea of having a Lego toy of a movie, made into a game based on that movie toy, then made back into another movie featuring the game/movie toy is a pretty mind-melting aspect.
It would be like telling my eleven year old self that my Marvel Universe cards and Legos were going to be combined into a fully voiced 3D video game… oh my god… if they make Lego Garbage Pail Kids I think my head might just explode.