Lego games have been ten to a penny over the last decade, and while the Star Wars titles are widely regarded as the best, my opinion was that Lego Marvel Superheroes was a close second thanks to a massive cast of characters.
With Lego Marvel Avengers, TellTale games move away from the original story line and this time follow a collection of recent films from phase two of the Marvel cinematic universe. Firstly The Avengers Assemble and the Age of Ultron, with enough content from Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World and Captain America : Winter Soldier for them to feel familiar, there’s also a flashback from the original Captain America, but that’s barely a highlight so the less we mention that the better.
Firstly Lego games are Lego games, they’ve become their own little genre of family game-play where a massive roster of characters battling various puzzles and bosses to progress through the story-line, Some stories aren’t quite as good as others (Yes, I’m looking at you Batman 3), But then a wealth of characters can more than make up for it.
When you first start, your quickly shown how to use the new double team feature, positioning one character and then approaching and hitting the desired command with another will perform an impressive tag-team special move which will often help clear an awkward boss or mob of enemies, while some are more impressive than others, there’s a few that feel somewhat under-powered and leave you wishing for just one better character in the first place, thankfully these moments are few and far between and thanks to the wealth of quality characters in the movies you’re rarely found playing without the option to control at least one character you know and like.
In recent years the addition of a large open world filled with side quests and extra’s to find and unlock has been the best improvement to the Lego games franchise, and after the inclusion of New York city in Marvel’s Superheroes there’s little surprise we get the free=roam return.
Avengers follows this trend although you have to endure the first movie before you start to unlock the open worlds… yes WORLDS… Unlike Superheroes you aren’t limited to New York City (although it’s certainly the best of the bunch) But there’s a full replica of Asgard to explore as well as areas from Sokovia, Malibu, Barton Farm, Washington D.C. and South Africa, Some of these extra areas are pretty small, but few feel as pointless as some found in Lego Batman 3 and there’s far more variation than the limited area in Lego Jurassic Park.
In all it takes one of the best aspects from recent Lego games and improves on that ten-fold. Obviously there’s a fair amount of story content to get through and most is ported direct from the movies, this works both ways as it proves familiar to anyone who’s seen them, however the patchwork audio which see’s extracts from the film ported over gives a nice feeling of immersion and familiarity, while on the other hand seems like a simple copy and paste rather than being carefully integrated into the game, it’s certainly not terrible, and it’s better to hear the voice your familiar with from the films, but I just think that a little more work could have been done.
Graphically, I’m pleased to say I’m impressed, some Lego games on Next gen consoles have felt much more like current-gen ports, a few sharper edges and some HD textures don’t always make a game feel next generation, however Marvel’s Avengers certainly feels much closer to what we’ve come to expect from the Xbox One.
There’s little to worry about with longevity as there’s plenty of story content to work through and across the free roam areas there’s more than enough tasks and unlocks to keep you going, sure some of the characters aren’t as appealing as others, and some big names such as Spider-man and the X-men but apart from 15 (yes 15) Iron Man variations there’s a fairly wide range of characters from the movies as well as some that will appeal far more to those who know a little more about the Marvel Universe through past games or comics.
It’s tough to be too critical on a Lego game, especially based on a world and characters I don’t mind admitting to being a fan of, sure some may find the story slog quite tiresome, but the constant unlocks for new characters make you want to carry on, and unlike some titles, there’s plenty of game to play before you even consider the season pass and it’s promised characters and quests.