The Lego franchise has reached new levels in the past decade. Expanding from toys to video games to movies, it has found a way to live on in the lives of enthusiasts past their childhood. Lego Marvel Super Heroes shows off how far the Lego games series has come since its debut in 2005.
**STORY SPOILERS BELOW**
GENIUS. PLAYBOY. BILLIONAIRE. PHILANTHROPIST. BRICK BUILDER.
Marvel Super Heroes continues on the open world layout started in Lego Lord of the Rings and Lego Batman 2. The hub is the S.H.I.E.L.D. hellicarrier above New York City. The story features the usage of many of the Marvel licenses in a beautifully interwoven fashion. One would be forgiven for thinking this is an Avengers storyline, but it isn’t. It’s more of a throw-every-Marvel-character-ever-seen in story. Which is no easy feat, but works surprisingly well.
The story begins with Galactus eating the remains of a destroyed planet. In an effort to find more food, Silver Surfer is sent to Earth. He is chased by S.H.I.E.L.D. and Iron Man (what better way to start?). Shortly after, we see Loki and Doctor Doom form an alliance. Right off the bat, you get to control Iron Man, The Hulk, and Spiderman. The varied powers and abilities of each character are the best since the Star Wars games. The Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings games featured limited variation, but in the case of Marvel, you need to switch things up if you want to accomplish your objectives. For example, only strong characters like The Hulk or Sandman can move objects or pull open doors. Iron Man can fly and destroy certain objects with his missiles. Spiderman and Wolverine can sense certain hidden objectives that others can’t see. The list goes on and on.
The story takes you through multiple locations, from NYC to Asgard (Loki and Thor’s home world). The graphics are particularly crystal clear on new-gen systems. The Legos look better and better with each successive release. In order to complete the game 100%, you will need to play each mission in story mode and then go back and replay them in Free Play mode, which allows you to switch characters to utilize their abilities to collect all 10 cannisters, help “Stan Lee In Peril,” and collect that level’s maximum amount of studs. There’s nothing new or innovative here, but there isn’t a Lego game that I’ve started that I haven’t finished 100%. There’s something so rewarding about doing so.
After you finish the main story line, the open world is yours to conquer. The map of NYC is the biggest yet of any Lego game. While daunting at first, it becomes a fun challenge once you begin to chip down your list of objectives. I thoroughly enjoyed playing as different characters, from Captain America to Deadpool (yes Deadpool). All of your favorites are available for purchase via collecting studs, such as the Fantastic Four universe, the X-men, the Avengers, Spiderman, Guardians of the Galaxy, and more. Of course, both heroes and enemies are present.
The game controls very well, minus a few small hindrances. Controlling flying characters was frustrating at times, because you can’t always control the velocity at which they move. Sometimes you want to move faster, sometimes, slower. “Inconsistent” is the term that comes to mind. This proved for some difficult times in the open world section of the game – often times, in order to obtain a Gold Brick, you would need to fly through various hoops in a timed section. Without complete control, this was a little annoying. In addition to those side quests, I felt a large portion was just tacked on. The game even makes fun of this at one point, when Deadpool claims that the developers just ran out of ideas.
Deadpool is your tour guide through NYC when searching for your next objective, whether that would be looking for a Deadpool Brick (red brick), a Gold Brick, or a Character Token. Some of the side missions included doing tasks for various citizens of NYC. Some were decent, such as beating up a group of muggers. Most were obnoxious. These activities included fetch quests that took a great deal of time, many races in cars across the city, and the previously mentioned races through the air. They had little-to-nothing to do with the story or with super heroes in general. Lord of the Rings had a better way of incorporating side quests, but this was a detractor. Unfortunately, these made the game just a bit long for me and really felt like a grind after a while.
For every misstep the game took, I believe things will get better for the upcoming Lego Marvel Avengers. I thoroughly enjoyed switching between heroes and villains. Each ability gave a character a unique feel. After a while, I loved collecting the Character Tokens much like I enjoy collecting comic books. The colorful world and inhabitants made this an enjoyable experience for me.
The light-heartedness of the story made this an lovable “snack.” The Lego series has always been one of my favorites, right up there with Rock Band and NHL. It is usually a nice change of pace from whatever I am playing at the time. The charm is through the roof and the comedy keeps things cheerful. Traveler’s Tales has released yet another solid Lego game.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes has left a lasting impression on me, filling my mind with warm memories and a thirst for more Lego. Whether you are a younger gamer or an experienced one, there’s something here for everyone to love.
+ Best & largest group of characters since the Star Wars games
+ Abilities of each character make them feel unique
+ Decent story interwoven with large cast
+ Genuinely fun to play through colorful world with crisp looking Legos
+ Sense of reward upon finishing game 100% and acquiring achievements
– Overall game is a touch too long
– Poor control of character at times
– Bad side quests often resulting in too much grinding
What is a Hindsight Review? It’s a reoccurring piece that we have created in which a Geekiverse writer reviews a game that they have never played before and is outside its launch window, which generally means a game that is 6 months or older.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes was reviewed on an Xbox One. It is also available for Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, iOS, PC, Nintendo 3DS, Playstation Vita, and Wii U.
Josiah LeRoy is Geekiverse’s Senior Editor. He is anxiously awaiting The Avengers: Age of Ultron this May.
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