Lucy: I’d really, really wanted this game ever since I had first heard about it, and was rather chuffed when I unwrapped it on Christmas Day. David had got me Lego: The Lord of the Rings for Christmas the year before, and I had really enjoyed playing it with him, so I couldn’t wait to explore the Lego Marvel universe and see if it was just as much fun as the Lego Middle-Earth had been.
L: All I really know about Marvel comes from the films, and I know that there is a much bigger universe behind it all. I wondered how TT Games were going to be able to condense it all down into one game, into something creative, unique and fun, yet still recognisable as Marvel to both laymen (myself) and die-hard fans (David) alike.
David H: The Lego games that I had played before this one (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Lord of the Rings (L:LoTR)) had all been a straight up adaption of an existing film, and quite often their strengths lay in their clever subversions of the familiar. But Lego: Marvel Super Heroes was a unique story, created specifically for the game. I wasn’t sure if the existing format of the games would workwhen applied to an original storyline, or how they could even hope to make coherent sense of the plethora of storylines and characters that make up the Marvel universe.
D: There is nothing worse than buyinga game because you enjoyed its predecessor and then finding outthat they’ve changed everything that you liked (I’m looking at you, Dragon Age II), and one of the things that I’ve always like about the Lego games is the fact that they found a winning formula with their first game, and – apart from a few necessary tweaks here and there – they have stuck to it. Lego: Marvel Super Heroes carries on that tradition, changing a few things to make it a better fit for world of the game, but keeping the basic gameplay the same. While the game can be played on your own, I have no idea why anyone would want to, because multiplayer is just so simple that it seems stupid not to use it. Co-operative and competitive, it is addictively fun and really adds another dimension to the game.
L: While similar, there were a few features different to L:LotR, mainly to help the game fit into the tone of the comic books it was based on, but it still managed to keep that sense of uniqueness that all the Lego games share. It was hilarious playing the game in co-op mode. I enjoyed it immensely, and we even got to show off our competitive sides with the numerous races and challenges.
L: The controls are very simple and easy to understand, making the game instantly enjoyable. The only annoying thing was the controls for driving vehicles – very weird and hard to get a hang of. We did tweak a few controls to our preference, but that was a personal choice, and it was pretty simple to figure everything out.
D: I agree. The controls are simple to use and get the hang of, and keep the same basic configuration that has served the Lego games so well in the past. Apart from the vehicle controls. I don’t know what they did exactly to change them, but I do know this: driving a cart in Lego: The Lord of the Rings was simple and straightforward, but driving a car in Lego: Marvel Super Heroes took a long time to get the hang of.
D: It is definitely the prettiest Lego game that I have played so far, with the gloriously realised New York proving far more awe-inspiring and breathtaking than the empty plains of Middle-earth. The game brilliantly captures the visuals of a comic book while managing to make New York look suitably realistic. The only problem is that all them dang skyscrapers looks the same, and it can be quite easy to get lost, both on the ground and in the air.
L: The visuals were pretty awesome, and it really felt like I was playing with actual Lego figures at times. Everything was so shiny and rendered in wonderful comic book colours, making it impossible not to play the game without a huge smile on my face.
L: Like the look of the game, the music instantly put a smile on my face, and was just another one of the reasons why this game was such a joy to play.
D: I was impressed by the soundtrack. It was never overbearing and complimented what was happening onscreen very well. And it managed to find a nice balance between the epic soundtracks of the recent films and the cheesy music of the old cartoons, which can’t have been easy to do.
D: When I discovered that the Lego games were going to start featuring complete voice acting, rather than the unintelligible squeaks that I was use to, I was a little unsure about it. I’ll admit that hearing the actual movie dialogue while playing Lego: The Lord of the Rings was fun, I couldn’t help but ask myself if it was really necessary. With Lego: Marvel Super Heroes, I take it all back. Voice acting is definitely necessary this time and adds a whole new dimension to the game, particularly in the excellent cinematics, moving the story along at a great pace and keeping you entertained. Energetic and colourful, the cinematics give the writers a chance to show off, allowing them to both homage and parody the characters that appear, making them all instantly recognisable and relatable. Although, I was annoyed to see that Spider-Man was clearly based on Andrew Garfield’s interpretation rather than Tobey Maguire’s far superior one.
L: The story was convincing and enchanting, really emphasising the involvement of the amazing characters. Also, the open world is huge and really adds a whole new level to the story. After finishing the main storyline, we’d only completed about 33% of the whole game. It’s ridiculously big, and that makes it ridiculously fun. We’re having a whale of a time exploring everything and completing challenges.
D: Considering just how many different storylines they had to choose from, I did wonder what story the game would decide to tell. Playing the game, it soon became apparent that the one they did pick (involving Marvel’s biggest villain) was the only one that would have worked in this situation. The story really respects the original comics, making effective use of well known plotlines and characters, but it also isn’t afraid to poke some good-natured fun at them either,and features some great gags because of this. And the fact that Agent Coulson (played once again by Clark Gregg) is the one who gives you missions, directions and hints is just one of the game’s many masterstrokes. My only real complaint is that, even with the huge cast of potentially unlockable characters, you only really get to use a tiny amount of them during the main storyline, and the limited combinations of these characters do get a little stale towards the end. The more free play you do though, the less of an issue this becomes, so if anything, it just encourages you play the game even more. And Stan Lee (voiced by the man himself) keeps turning up as well, which is great.
L: For a relatively new Lego gamer and Marvel reader, the game was absolutely wonderful, and its uniqueness was a delight. I was introduced to so many new and different characters that I want to know more about. I look forward to reaching the elusive 100% completion with David. And once that’s done, it’s onto Lego: Harry Potter and Lego: Star Wars, both of which I got for Christmas as well.
D: Lego: Marvel Super Heroes is another triumph for TT Games and follows their longstanding tradition of making great games with great laughs while treating the source material with the respect it deserves. Exciting, engaging, and highly addictive, the game easily draws you in and ticks all the right boxes while putting a smile on your face. And it earns itself some extra points for promoting effective teamwork too.
Our reviewers bought their own copy of this game.