- Posted by Giaco Furino
- On February 17, 2016
- 0 Comments
- avengers, lego, marvel
The LEGO games have been doing what they do for a little over a decade. Maybe you’ve played one of the Star Wars LEGO games, or a Batman game, and teeter-tottered your way through licensed worlds. I’ve played a few, and went into the newest LEGO game thinking I knew what to expect. Jump around, break everything in sight, use special powers of certain characters to unlock extras… and while all of that is there, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers was far deeper and way bigger of a game than I would have ever thought possible.
This is, first and foremost, a kid-friendly game. You can play this with your youngsters and rest assured that there won’t be many challenges too hard for them or scenes too violent for them. In fact, by changing “death” into “being broken apart” they create a sort of world where everyone lives forever… they’re just inconvenienced by being blown apart. I could write a whole, long essay about the dissolution of the fear of death in LEGO games… but I’ll spare you.
For those unfamiliar with the mechanics of LEGO games, let’s look at that first. You play as a set of characters in each scene and use their special powers to help you progress. For instance, in an early scene you’re fighting the Red Skull in a Captain America flashback. You can play as Captain America and Bucky Barnes, and you press a button to switch between the two. As you progress through the level, there may be a type of LEGO brick that needs to be blown up… so you switch to Bucky Barnes because he has the bombs. Later in the scene, the path is blocked by fire, so you’ll want to control Captain America because he can put out fire with his shield. You’ll hop back and forth between those characters, beating up minions, solving mini puzzles, blowing up laser cannons, and generally kicking the snot out of Red Skull. That’s the basic layout of a classic LEGO video game scene… it’s been that way since the Star Wars games, and it’ll likely be that way for a long time to come.
LEGO Marvel’s Avengers follows the plotline of both Avengers movies, one after another. We’re given pivotal roles to play in all of the major fights of the game. As you play you can unlock a ton of characters from the marvel universe—both comics and movies—in your quest to save the world. You can then go back and replay those levels with other characters to get to areas you couldn’t reach before. It’s all about replayability with these games, and I’m glad I’ve got a busy workload or I’d be glued to the TV playing with these heroic minifigures for weeks.
The level progressions are a lot of fun, and generally pretty hilarious. For instance, the scene where Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America all duke it out in the forest (from the first film), you play as Iron Man and Cap trying to quell the raging Thor. To do that, you’ll have to fight him traditionally before you enter into a quicktime event where you try to out-smash him. Then he’ll fly up into a tree and rain lighting down on you, so you’ll have to build a giant chainsaw out of broken LEGO pieces, then use Captain America’s shield to redirect Thor’s lightning into the chainsaw to start it up. Then you cut down Thor, chase him further into the forest, and as he flies up, you’ll build a giant cannon, load Iron Man into it, and use Captain America’s shield as the trigger to launch Iron Man into the sky and at Thor. It’s silly stuff, but oddly intricate, and extremely satisfying.
The story missions are a lot of fun, but the game really shines in free-play. This is where the game gets huge. The game uses New York City as their main hub world, and they don’t skimp! This is an immense rendering of the city, and they get a lot of details (both real-world and Marvel-world) very right. You can wander the streets fighting crime, unlocking secret characters, and finding collectible golden bricks. It’s obsessively huge, and it’s not the only hub world. There’s also Hawkeye’s Farm, the Helicarrier, Asgard, and more! While roaming NYC, I unlocked Luke Cage by helping him round up new S.H.I.E.L.D. recruits he’d lost, I unlocked Taskmaster by beating him in a game of Dance Dance Revolution, and I unlocked Iron Fist by helping him hunt down dragon imposters. This game is nuts, and the level of detail they’ve heaped on it is kind of unbelievable.
Play this game with your kids if you’ve got them, but don’t be afraid to pick it up and dive deep into the mythos of Marvel and the city of NYC. This is a long, wide open, well-developed game from a team that deeply respects the source material. If you’re at all a fan of the Marvel universe, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers should definitely be on your pull list.