TT Games has been making LEGO-games for eleven years now and LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens (that will release later this year) will be their 30th LEGO-game. That is not just a bizarre number for a franchise, but especially for a franchise that has all its games made by the same developer (apart from a few ports perhaps). It is no wonder that the series more and more often get criticised for their lack of innovation.
The popular toys-to-life title LEGO Dimensions has blown a fresh wind through the somewhat stuck franchise. With LEGO Marvel’s Avengers the series goes back to basics. There is no longer a need for the physical portal, as this game only needs a standard controller. That is a pity, cause the portal was a very necessary innovation for the long-running franchise. Thankfully there are new things in LEGO Marvel’s Avengers to love.
The innovation is mainly incorporated in the fighting system. In previous LEGO games it only takes one and the same button to hit either LEGO bricks or enemies, but now the characters all have a separate button to do their own special fighting move against the enemy. It is a small addition, but it is definitely one that makes a big difference for people that have been playing LEGO games for many years.
Unfortunately this new way of fighting comes with a disadvantage, which is especially noticible when playing with Thor. The God of Thunder has the possibility of loading himself up with lightning when using the same button as is used for the special fight move. If he does not use the lightning, he lets his shoulders hang for a few seconds in an animation, which means you cannot move for a moment. It’s majorly disturbing the fighting and pressing that button at the wrong time is also frustrating when you are not in a battle. Even if you have to switch levers, it often takes a few tries before you stand exactly in the right position to handle that lever.
Thankfully there is a new form of attack that works like a charm every single time, which is the combo move. This move, that is also called a team attack, is something that is done with two characters. For example Hulk and Thor, with Hulk grabbing a piece of road which Thor smacks his hammer on very strongly. Sometimes those special attacks result in an awesome slow motion take-down of the baddy, but sometimes it is just the beginning of a level or cutscene. The thing that is so awesome about these team attacks, is that every duo has its own. Not just the famous Avengers, but every playable character in the game. Some of the attacks are funny, some are tough; it is amazing how many team combinations TT Games has to offer.
It is very smart of the developer to make another game that evolves around Marvel superheroes. The predecessor, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, is seen as the most popular LEGO-game next to LEGO Star Wars II. That is mainly because of the huge choice in collectible and playable characters from the comics, plus the many missions and content. In LEGO Marvel’s Avengers again you can pick a lot of characters. There are more than 200 and there are pretty unfamous ones like Cotton Mouth and Absorbing Man. It is also pretty modern, as female Thor can also be found on the list. As this game is based on the movies and not really the comics, there is less originality when it comes to the story. The story just follows the movies, although TT did to its best to incorporate the ‘single’ movies in there too.
I especially like the boxing scene in which Captain America is thinking back on how he became Captain and what went down with Bucky. Very well incorporated in the story, but you do not really play this game because of the story. It is the humor that makes LEGO games so awfully charming. Nick Fury is constantly drinking milkshakes, and that moment in the helicarrier where Bruce Banner changes into that big unfriendly giant again is hilarious. It is fun, childish comedy that often does not make any sense. It is awesome, especially when Stan Lee is on screen. The comic book icon has a lot of original lines in the game, and I especially love it when he yells Excelsior! (as that means that I got the True Avenger status in the level 😉 )
The game takes you to almost all locations from the movies. Even though most of the things happens in Marvels version of New York, the hub is bigger than that comic Big Apple. You can travel to Asgard, Washington DC, and the helicarrier to do many missions, while trying to collect as many golden bricks as possible. LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is a game full of collectibles and almost everything can be broken down. You will have to, if you want to finish the game at 100 percent. If you want to play this game on the full 100 percent, I’d recommend doing your second playthrough with another person, LEGO games are highly entertaining in co-op mode.
Together you have the challenge to guess which voices are original and which are not. The game offers both quotes from the movies as original, new sentences that are sometimes done by the original actors. Gwyneth Paltrow was not okay with doing Pepper in the game apparently, cause she sounds way different. I would prefer the voices of the real actors doing voices especially for this game, as the movie bits do not sound very well (quality wise) and the new voices are not always as recognizable.
Although there is nothing wrong with the quality of the game, LEGO Marvel’s Avenger is not as exciting as I had hoped for. The game has a few cool innovations, but there are not enough to make a non-LEGO game fan happy. It is a cliche, but this game is going to be fun for Marvel fans and LEGO junkies, thanks to the fan service and the collecting. Playing this together with someone else makes this game an extra fun adventure, so I would highly advise any geeks out there to play this together with their boyfriend, girlfriend, child or family/friends.