If you’re a little confused about the release of Lego: Marvel’s Avengers, you’re probably not alone. It was only a short while ago that Traveller’s Tales released Lego Marvel Super Heroes, which prominently featured The Avengers, also. Where Lego: Marvel Super Heroes tackled almost the entirety of the Marvel Universe, Lego: Marvel’s Avengers is all about the recent Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, and to a much lesser extent the television shows and included comic books. That means no X-Men, but, on the plus side, much of the voicework is either sampled from the movies, or recorded by the original film actors.
There’s really not much that differentiates the various Lego games. They’re all basically third person action adventure games that allow for local drop in/drop out co-op. If you like mechanics of one Lego game, you’ll probably like all of them. The basic controls are pretty simple. The action, attack, jump, and the switch characters functions are all mapped to the face buttons. Everything that is any more complicated is contextual, or setup as a quick time event, requiring you to perform certain timed actions. Despite that, the diverse cast of characters does allow the developers to offer quite a few play style options.
Lego: Marvel’s Avengers features over two hundred playable characters, most of which are superheroes, and not only the movies are covered, but many of them have been pulled from the comics as well. Jane Foster’s Thor and Jessica Jones, as Jewel are a couple of the unlockable characters. Many of these characters have a unique attack, and pairs of them have team-up abilities too. Of course, characters like Iron Man and Vision can fly. A few of the super powers have been shoehorned into odd applications. One somewhat ambiguous sequence requires Iron Man to cut out pieces of a machine with his lasers.
If nothing else, the Lego games are increasingly teaching your kids about the virtues of patience and diligence. Lego: Marvel’s Avengers features some pretty big areas and the hubs are huge. It’s almost as if Traveller’s Tales assumes that everyone has played all of their previous games, and doesn’t need any help, by way of visual clues. There is a little Avengers help icon, but it only appears once you’ve found a trigger point and are trying to access it with a character that’s not compatible with it. Other than that, there’s a lot of try, try, and try again.
Lego: Marvel’s Avengers’ overall presentation is pretty good, definitely good enough for younger Marvel fans. The overlays are all reminiscent of modern Avengers/Stark Industries technologies, and there are some really great looking textures. As I mentioned before, a lot of the sound has been sampled from the movies, and it is noticeable, if you’re looking for it. I will say, it’s been handled this time, much better than older titles, like Lego: The Hobbit and the younger target audience will probably appreciate that the original voices are again being used.
Lego: Marvel’s Avengers is a slick package, maybe a little too slick. The new canned animations can get tedious, and the whole formula could probably use a fresh set of eyes. If you’re looking for a game to keep your kids busy for quite a while, this is a good candidate. Just be prepared to not be able to offer much assistance when you’re asked for it. Though it focuses on The Avengers movies, there is quite a bit of unlockable comic book material too. While a more complete modern Marvel Universe would have been nice, there is a lot here, and younger Marvel fans will enjoy it.
Lego: Marvel’s Avengers is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB for Cartoon Violence, and Comic Mischief. This game can also be found on: Xbox One, and Windows PC.