LEGO Marvel’s Avengers (2016)
PS4 / Rated E
Action / Adventure
Publisher: WB Games
Developer: TT Games
At this point, I will pretty much play any LEGO game that you put in front of me. LEGO and Traveller’s Tales have been putting these games out for years, largely without change in the classic LEGO game formula. Sure, there have been changes along the way like open world gameplay and voice acting, but the actual backbone that these games run on has stayed tried and true, for better or worse. This has turned a lot of people away from these games, but I find myself coming back over and over again thanks to the franchises that the games tackle.
This time around, Marvel’s highly popular Avengers franchise gets the spotlight. This isn’t the first time that Marvel’s superheroes have gotten the LEGO treatment. This games predecessor was aptly titled LEGO Marvel Superheroes. With Marvel’s Avengers, the first two Avengers movies, along with some of the other Marvel movies that have come out around them, are the primary focus with the main cast of characters being everybody’s favorite band of superheroes. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, the Hulk, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and the Vision make up the main selection of superheroes that you will be able to take control of, along with a surplus of other lesser known characters.
Anybody that has seen the first two Avengers movies (seemingly everybody at this point) should instantly be familiar with the story’s main happenings. There’s nothing new or original here. In fact, the voice acting is all cut from different parts of the movies. Some people find this pleasing, but I find the audio kind of jarring. The audio is never edited to fit the situation happening on screen so you might get Captain America yelling with wind blowing in the background while the game has him just talking normally in a wind-less room. Jarring moments like this always make me question the choice to pull audio from the movies, but I guess there really isn’t an appealing alternative. The generic voice acting has been okay in the past but it’s really nothing to write home about.
The aspect that gives these games their trademark charm is the slapstick humor and hilarious retellings of popular movie scenes. All of that humor is present and still strong as ever. I have to give the writing team a little credit here, because they manage to make me laugh over and over again over the stupidest things that happen on screen. They don’t have too much liberty to tell their own story since they are closely mimicking existing storylines, but they manage to put a spin on classic scenes while staying true to the source material…in classic LEGO fashion.
Maybe the game’s weaker aspect is the unoriginality of its gameplay formula. There’s fifteen levels for you to play through spanning the events of the two movies. Within these levels there are things to collect and characters to unlock. You won’t be able to get everything on your first run through, so Free Play mode allow you to go back through the levels with all of your unlocked characters to pick up anything you have missed. Sound familiar? Outside of the levels are the open world areas that offer up side missions and well, more collectibles. The city of Manhattan is the main open world arena, but you also get to visit smaller and more condensed locales such as Washington D.C., Sokovia, the Avenger’s ranch, and Asgard. There’s a lot of things for you to do in these areas, but you’re going to be doing a lot of the same stuff. Side missions are aplenty, but a majority of these missions are either fetch quests or beat-em ups. They start to get tedious after a while, turning things into a grind when you are going after 100% completion.
Collecting and unlocking characters are one of these games’ strong suits and that is no different for LEGO Avengers. In fact, there is a wide range of characters spanning from extremely popular to wildly obscure. Like I mentioned before, heroes like Captain America and Iron Man are present but there are also lesser known heroes like Squirrel Girl and Bengal. There’s a lot of deep cuts on the rich roster that will please any hardcore Marvel fanboy. I didn’t have a clue who have the characters were, but that’s a cool thing. It made me go and dig out some info on some of the characters I was unlocking. Needless to say, you’re going to find someone new on the roster.
There’s good things and frustrating things that make up LEGO Marvel’s Avengers but hey, that’s pretty much LEGO games for you these days. TT Games hasn’t really done anything to change the aging LEGO game formula and that’s frustrating. There’s a lot to like however in this iteration, like the deep cast of characters, fan service, and humor. Basically, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is another solid LEGO game that will satisfy comic fans and younger kids alike.
Also available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PSVita, Wii U, 3DS, and PC