It’s clear by now that when TT Games releases a LEGO video game, entertainment is sure to follow. Whether it be pirates, superheroes, Jedis, or more, there’s just something about taking a popular franchise and giving it the LEGO treatment that keeps people entertained and engaged time and time again. This particular time, it’s the Marvel’s Avengers who were brought to life in brick form. While I did enjoy my time playing as multiple superheroes across several story-lines, the experience itself felt a bit lacking.
LEGO Marvel’s Avengers features characters and story-lines from both the original Avengers movie and the recent sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, as well as content based on other Marvel movies, such as both Captain America movies and Iron Man 3. That are loads of cinematic potential crammed into this game! Players start off at the beginning of Age of Ultron and work their way through various iconic scenes — solving puzzles, collecting LEGO studs, performing some cool new moves like the Avenger Team-Ups (two characters interact with each other to perform special attacks in order to progress the story), and beating the bricks out of baddies as they attempt to save the world.
Of course, the tried and true formula from past LEGO games is still intact, so expect to see the following: humorous cut scenes and gameplay in general, loads of collectibles, the ability to unlock and play over 100 characters, a gross amount of studs to collect, and achievements to achieve. The open-world free-roam gameplay formula is back as well, and it provides a relaxing experience when you just want to take a break from the main campaign. When free-roaming, you can take on challenges, races, puzzles, and even stop crimes. There is definitely plenty to see and do in your time with LEGO Marvel’s Avengers.
As you play through the scenes, you’ll find the usual puzzle setup, which require you to use a certain character to progress — perhaps Iron Man and his lasers, which can cut through gold objects or Hawkeye with his exploding arrows which destroy silver bricks. Most of the puzzles are fairly easy, but there were a couple of times where I got stuck. It’s at these rare moments when I found it best to destroy everything around me. This always resulted in bouncing bricks which indicate an object needing to be built. After building said object, I was able to progress. Of course, there is always something very satisfying about destroying every single object you can find along your way, like bushes and trees, and collecting studs like they’re going out of style. In an effort to complete the game quicker, I had to force myself to leave many studs behind, and to be honest, it was actually a bit difficult. I think I may have a hoarding problem. My name is Jeremy and I’m a stud collecting junkie. There, I said it. Ah, that feels better!
Unfortunately, not everything felt as great as the formula with the latest LEGO game. Other than the Avenger Team-Ups, everything seems to be the way it has been for some time now. One could argue that if it isn’t broken, then don’t fix it. While I agree with that to a point, I think innovation is the way to retain interest and gain new customers. Additionally, the story’s execution feels very disconnected. It jumps from one plot to another across different movies. I’m sure they had a good reason for doing this, but I’m not totally sold on this design. The game does many things right; I just wish they took more chances to make it even more exciting.
I reviewed both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U versions, and obviously, the visuals are going to differ, but I still need to mention it. With the Wii U, I was impressed. I really enjoyed the visuals on the big screen and my gamepad. Everything was detailed and crisp with a very high quality resolution. The city was bustling with activity. On the other hand, the 3DS left me wanting. I understand the hardware limitations, but textures were muddied, things didn’t quite pop like they should, and there was an abundance of fog in the open-world. There are also less vehicles and less people around. I still enjoyed playing the 3DS version, but overall, I enjoyed the Wii U version more.
The audio is a hit or miss, unfortunately. Most times, the audio clips sound like they were taken directly from the movies, but the quality is sub-par. This is not the first time I’ve noticed this issue in a LEGO game based on a movie, so it’s even frustrating to deal with it yet again.
Ultimately, I found that LEGO Marvel’s Avengers offers a wide range of content, from playing through several iconic scenes spanning multiple movies to roaming around the city at your leisure. Breaking bricks and collecting studs is just as satisfying as ever, and finding the unlockable characters is a fun treat. The audio still suffers from low quality sound clips, but it is bearable. Visually, the Wii U is the superior version over the 3DS, but for those who are looking to play this game on the go, you won’t be sorry playing the 3DS version. I would certainly recommend adding LEGO Marvel’s Avengers to your library of games.