Gaming

Review: Lego Marvel

Some people may say there’s no place for Lego Marvel Super Heroes on a website aimed directly at students. Those people are wrong. Anyone who has had the pleasure of playing a Lego game will know that nothing compares to the childish joy that comes with punching hundreds of mini-figures into tiny pieces. In fact, it has been scientifically proven that these games are literally the only way that we as a human race can reconnect with our childhood. Don’t look that up.

Lego Marvel Super Heroes is (according to Wikipedia) the nineteenth Lego game developed by TT Games. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the franchise would start to falter after so many games, but, much like the people who think that Lego Marvel doesn’t belong here, you’d be wrong. An innovative set of levels and an impressive story make this the best entry in the series so far.

The game begins with Doctor Doom formulating a plan to create a powerful super weapon called (I kid you not) “Doctor Doom’s Doom Ray of Doom,” using mysterious cosmic Lego bricks. In order to achieve this, he enlists the help of basically every super villain on the planet. Obviously the Avengers can’t have a super weapon with a genius name floating around, so they spring into action! The main storyline of the game features well over 20 playable characters, as members of both the X-Men and the Fantastic Four are called in to fight alongside Nick Fury and the Avengers. Each new level contains a new combination of heroes, which does well to prevent the player from getting bored as new combinations of heroes means new combinations of powers.

It’s clear that TT Games have given an incredible amount of attention to each character rather than just focusing on the characters of the main story and then cramming as many other characters in as possible.

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Special abilities are distributed much more evenly across characters than in previous Lego games, and levels are carefully crafted so that each of the characters in a level have their fair share of work to do. For example, in one level Hawkeye must fire arrows into a wall for Black Widow to be able to climb up to a security panel that she can hack. In another level, Iron Man has to blow up a metallic panel on a bus so that Hulk can, well, smash. Most characters have more than one ability so that in a level where two characters might share an ability (such as flight or the ability to hack panels), each character still has their uses. Impressively, many characters even have their own unique fighting styles, making each stand out in a scrap. It’s clear that TT Games have given an incredible amount of attention to each character rather than just focusing on the characters of the main story and then cramming as many other characters in as possible.

Whilst the character list is packed full of well-known faces, the real stars of the show are undoubtedly the game’s levels. Each new level presents a different location in the Marvel universe, one second you’re defending the X-Mansion from the Brotherhood of Mutants, the next you’re invading Dr Doom’s castle in Latveria. Each level contains plenty of collectible minikits and a Lego version of a Stan Lee makes a cameo in every level as a citizen in peril, voiced by the man himself. The level of detail in each of these environments is remarkable, enhanced by the game’s great graphics. The series has certainly come a long way from the sloppy background textures of Lego Star Wars.

Whilst the character list is packed full of well-known faces, the real stars of the show are undoubtedly the game’s levels.

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These levels are all connected by a huge world hub in the form of Lego Manhattan, complete with a Lego Statue of Liberty. This world is chock- full of characters and vehicles to unlock, as well as gold bricks to collect that unlock special levels narrated by Deadpool, which in turn unlock more characters and gold bricks. Of course this version of Manhattan wouldn’t be complete without key structures from the Marvel Universe, such as Stark Tower and the aforementioned X-Mansion. Flying over the city towards the Avengers Helicarrier as Iron Man or Thor feels extremely satisfying.

In conclusion, Marvel Lego Super Heroes couldn’t possibly do more to make the player feel welcome in a wonderfully constructed universe. In short: If you like fun, this is the game for you.

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Adam Batchelor

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