LEGO Marvel’s Avengers on PS4
After the success that was LEGO Marvel Superheroes, TT Games teamed up with Marvel once again to allow fans to dive back into the brick universe. This time in LEGO Marvel’s Avengers, players will dive into the cinematic worlds surrounding the team of heroes sworn to protect the world. Of course, this changes how things play out in comparison to its predecessor, so let’s take a look at how it stacks up.
From the very beginning you’ll see that LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is a different game from Marvel Superheroes. Sure, they both use LEGO figures and have tons of humor for fans of both universes to enjoy, but the world and missions structure has been altered. Where the previous game was an original story created to involve as much of the Marvel universe as possible, LEGO Marvel Avengers adheres more closely to the recent films.
The game opens up with a shot-for-shot recreation of Avengers: Age of Ultron’s first scene (with a bit of laughs tossed in for good measure). The game keeps this up as it steadily jumps between the films in order to build wonderful missions for players to enjoy. In particular, how they introduce missions from the movies is a highlight. Instead of just running players through the films as separate entities, flashbacks and other tricks are used to introduce missions from other movies.
For example, when you first meet Captain America, you’ll be dealing with him as he is in the first Avenger’s move, but his memories allow you to dive into key moments from The First Avenger. However, only Captain America gets the full cinematic library treatment. Other stars have only their most recent works included such as Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World.
This isn’t bad though, as it keeps the team-centered focus in play at all times. You are an Avenger and you will fight as one whether you like it or not. As is the case in most LEGO games, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers has a focus on co-op gameplay so there is never only one character on the screen. Most of the time, you’ll be teamed up with characters from the Avengers or Agents of Shield. It’s standard fare, but the new cooperative attacks (can be pulled of in single and multiplayer) make things exciting.
Every character can do these, but there are special ones that involve specific combinations. For instance, using Black Widow and triggering her team attack with another Avenger will launch her into the air to rain down bullets on her enemies while twirling upside down. The shift to slo-mo and the fact that it clears out pretty much everyone on the screen is a nice touch that keeps the momentum up.
While the story is definitely focused on the Avengers, there are over 100 characters spanning the Marvel universe for players to unlock and use. Characters such as Count Nefaria, Crimson Dynamo, Fin Fang Foom, and other long lost classic heroes and villains return for some action. Of course you have your more popular characters like Jessica Jones as well in for the fight. LEGO Marvel’s Avengers seized the day and included classic fan favorites, obscure characters, and some that are just simple fun. It’s an amazing look into the long history of Marvel beyond what’s popular now, and an excellent way to introduce a new generation of fans to the universe.
The world in this latest entry isn’t a huge open world like the one before but, it isn’t super restrictive either. There are several hubs for players to explore in between missions if they so choose. At any time you can go to space and move to previously played missions or another hub. Each has its own secrets and fun activities, so it maintains the LEGO feel just on a slightly smaller stage.
The mission areas themselves offer a bit more variety this time around as well. Switching between available characters was always a major component of the LEGO games, but things go a bit further this time. Sometimes you’ll switch not only between two characters, but each one will have its own specific play mode for that mission.
The opening mission for instance takes place at the opening of Age of Ultron. At one point you will need to utilize both Captain America and Iron Man. Captain America sticks to the ground as he beats up minions and disables turrets; while Iron Man sticks to the skies, taking out drones and even collecting power-ups sort of like Resogun. You can switch freely between the two as you please, using Iron Man to build up combos or gather health for Captain America who has a lot of enemies to deal with.
It’s moments like this that keep LEGO Marvel’s Avengers fresh. But, it isn’t without its issues. There is a bit of trouble with some of the level designs that may prove to be frustrating for players. There are times when an animation will slide you straight off of a ledge and there’s nothing you can do about it. In fact, sometimes you can’t even switch while this is happening in order to preserve your hearts and your studs. This may not seem like much of a problem, but if you’re going for that True Avenger score, and you don’t have the Red Brick multipliers, these constant deaths will become the bane of your existence.
Another issue comes in the form of button prompts. In LEGO Marvel’s Avengers it is often unclear whether or not you are to hold a button or repeatedly tap it. Certain major fights are just button prompts that continue indefinitely until you get it right, so this becomes an issue for younger players or those used to clearer directions.
While these issues can be frustrating, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is a solid addition to the LEGO universe as well as the Marvel one. Its more direct focus does nothing to water down the grand, and often times hilarious, experiences one comes to expect from the franchise. It may not add much that is new, but it is a prime example of why you shouldn’t mess too much with a good thing.