TT Games is back with, you guessed it, another LEGO game! Following 2013’s Lego Marvel Superheroes, this time around it is the Avengers who get their turn with a title based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But how solidly built is this latest outing compared to the previous instalment?
Bridging what is essentially Marvel’s ‘Phase Two’ of superhero movies, the game is a movie tie-in to both The Avengers as well as Avengers: Age of Ultron, with levels thrown in from intertwining movies such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Iron Man 3. Starting with the opening scene of Age of Ultron, the game then throws players back to the first film, to chronologically play through.
Lego Marvel’s Avengers does everything right in terms of how it looks; which is the oddest thing for a Lego game. Environments are all modelled after those seen in the films, but the lighting and detail on the characters and environments makes me think that there is so much more that could have been done with the game itself rather than simply be a movie tie-in. The good thing is that this game shows how far graphic capabilities are coming in terms of console games, which can only mean they’ll get better from here. Other than that, the game itself is practically just another TT Games’ Lego game – the HUD and menus are exactly the same as pretty much every other Lego tie-in.
One of the most entertaining parts, although it does begin to wear thin after awhile, is TT Games’ trademark ability of adding in visual humour to an otherwise serious moment; think Nick Fury drinking a milkshake while delivering lines, chickens on the helicarrier, or the constant appearance of Stan Lee everywhere.
The score is practically just the Avengers OST directly laid over the top, but one of the most grating things is the fact that 90% of dialogue is ripped straight from the movies – background audio included. While this is clearly done to make the game a little more authentic, it is really jarring to not only hear the same quotes over and over again, but the sounds from the movie still embedded in the clip and not scrubbed from it. It almost seems rushed, as though they had a day before release to get it done, and it really takes you out of it.
There really isn’t anything special to be said about the gameplay here; if you’ve played one of TT Games’ Lego incarnations, you’ve practically played them all. Characters are paired up and switchable, each with a power relevant to the level (or relevant to the story being played), and players guide the characters through the level destroying as much as physically possible while solving small puzzles to unlock collectibles and amass a large amount of ‘studs’ (you know, those little pieces that come out when things break).
Although the gameplay is stock-standard for TT Games, they still manage to make it fun; there’s just something about wandering around as a Lego minifigure and smashing everything to find as many studs as possible, and in the process accidentally breaking a civilian or blowing something up and destroying yourself in the process. Tag team attacks are introduced between the two playable characters onscreen to double the damage, which are helpful when in a tight situation. Free play makes the game a little better and more bearable – instead of being shoehorned into the movie tie-in, you can wander Manhattan or a recreation of Asgard as any character you want – but here you’ll note that there are omissions of characters compared to Lego Marvel Superheroes, such as Spider Man, the X-Men, and the Fantastic four. Other inclusions from the now Disney-owned empire of Marvel just don’t quite cut it, even though there is a significant roster of playable characters.
Hopefully with the fact that there is set to be a ‘season pass’ (for Lego? Madness, right?) there will be increased content not entirely focused on just the MCU, but other aspects of the universe as well.
There’s no denying that the formula for the game is sound, as with pretty much every TT Games offering. But while it is another fun game to occupy time, Lego Marvel’s Avengers feels like it is dropping the ball a little when it comes to Lego games. Being stuck in a movie tie-in really limits the initial fun that can be had, and with poorly-ripped movie dialogue thrown in whenever they feel like it, the game feels more like a chore than a bout of fun that even die-hard fans might have trouble being entertained by.