It’s very impressive. I’m talking, of course, about the way TT Games can keep punching out game after game, using a similar formula for each title, the same style of humour and the same visual gags yet still make them enjoyable and fresh. They’ve ploughed their way through so many different film franchises it’s always tricky to second guess their next move, but their most recent is this: Marvel’s Avengers.
In case you’re wondering if you’ve been dreaming for a few months, don’t panic. There was indeed a Lego Marvel Superheroes game a while back, but this new game drills down the content to the two Avengers films (hence the name), and while it does dip into other titles including Captain America, Thor and Ant-Man among others these are more cameo roles and just serve to give a bit of bulk to the main storylines.
The resulting game is more like a broken up journey through the main Avengers films, but the way these are chopped up with other films dropped into various places does make things feel quite disjointed from the very beginning, and while things get far more familiar and enjoyable once the various open world locations open up, it’s still generally just a case of getting through a Lego version of the movies. It’s been done before, of course, and certainly won’t hamper the enjoyment of anyone who loves the Marvel universe, but I imagine it could get mightily confusing for those who haven’t sat through the Avengers films and taken in all of the finer details.
By sticking to the vocal score of the films themselves the game does lose most of its options for verbal comedy moments, but as ever these serious and hard-hitting lines and combined with some brilliant visual comedy which manages to almost make a mockery of the serious situation which is trying to be talked about. It’s classic Lego charm, and will most definitely keep you interested long after it’s dawned on you you’re doing the same things you’ve been doing in most Lego games for the past few years. It’s a very strange concept really, and one which is tricky to understand: how does it still work?
In all honesty I’m not entirely sure. The cast in this game is hefty, but a bit weak after some of the amazing characters on offer in recent Lego titles. Combat has been made slightly awkward by the bewildering power of some of the characters, meaning a lot of fights end up just becoming hard slogs until one of you bursts into dozens of Lego pips. You’re often given the option of a single button quick-time attack which speeds things up no end, but I found myself often yearning for someone who had a bit more beef behind them and could just wander round a kick some ass without worrying about constantly being smashed apart.
What does bring this game to life though is the co-op play it offers. There’s a lot of teamwork throughout the game, with players having to work together to complete various tasks or take down some of the bigger bad guys. The AI does a perfectly acceptable job of filling in, but as is so often the case it’s far better with someone sat alongside you.
There’s also enormous replayability here; finishing the story leaves you with a tiny completion percentage, with a huge number of characters to unlock, Stan Lees to rescue and all the other stuff which you’ve come to expect from a Lego game. There are dozens upon dozens of hours worth of gameplay here, and between the multiple open world settings and large levels with the usual multitude of hidden areas you’ll get a lot of game for your money. How much you play of it will depend on how bored you’re getting of the Lego formula and how much you like the Avengers films, but in isolation it’s still a very enjoyable game to play through with a friend.
Reviewed on PS4