Thursday, 11 February 2016

Lego Marvel Avengers

It's been a decade since Lego Star Wars created a formula that has been replicated a couple dozen times, and even though Lego Dimensions changed things up a little bit last year, here we are with Lego Marvel Avengers. It  very much marches to the beat of the previous Lego games and even though it may get repetitive, the charm very much remains to keep the game feeling like light-hearted fun. I mean, it is made for the kids after all.

Developed by Traveller’s Tales and out now for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Lego Marvel Avengers features a lot of characters from the Marvel Universe; over 100 in fact and they include the big hitters like Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America as well as lesser known ones like Squirrel Girl. If you don't get it from the inclusion of so many characters, this game is very much aimed at offering pure fan service for fans of the universe.

Gameplay wise, expect the same formula of the countless games that has come before it with the word Lego attached to it. Despite its sometimes repetitive gameplay there is a definite charm that comes with the Lego games. The structure is very similar to other Lego games as you go from level to level breezily taking out hordes of enemies with simplistic combat. Some of the major Marvel Characters can team up however, and do special attacks but the combat is so simple and easy that this is very rarely even considered or needed. The story is fun as always and focuses much more on the movies than the comics they come from. More specifically, the story follows the two Marvel Avengers movies as well as the Phase 2 Marvel Universe movies. There are some great set-pieces from the movies which are faithfully recreated in this game and for fans of the movies it offers another look at some scenes again from a Lego perspective.

The game features the same simplistic puzzle gameplay that somehow hasn’t tired yet. There are over 100 characters, but they can be broken down into different types based on their special attack/power. You will need to switch between a few characters in order to succeed in each level but you definitely do not need to unlock most of the characters in order to obtain everything in the game. There are a few open-world areas in the game which is far superior to those that came before. The open world sections in previous Lego games always felt bare and sometimes dull. Here, they shine and the New York section in particular feels dense and thoroughly enjoyable to do side-quests and unlock new characters within.

It's kind of jarring though to see the formula return to such basics after last year's Lego Dimensions that tried to changed things up somewhat. The gameplay is still simple enough for kids to enjoy and for parents to jump in with them, but for a 26 year-old man with literally hundreds of games, spending my time going through the same levels again in order to unlock all the characters just doesn't feel like a worthwhile investment, especially as my inevitable permanence of death is coming. Smashing up Lego bricks once more just doesn't feel like a good enough waste of that time anymore.

It’s great for fans that are still not bored of the formula. For others, maybe it's time to LEGO. 3/5.


Jason Redmond

Lego Marvel Avengers at CeX

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