Traveller’s Tales and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are back with another LEGO adventure. LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is the developer’s second stab at the Marvel Universe after 2013’s LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. This time, however, the focus is squarely on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
LEGO Marvel’s Avengers could possibly be the largest LEGO game Traveller’s Tales has ever put together. A total of six Marvel Films have been adapted for the game, tying LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga. As the Avengers, you’ll play through the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. All six films have been faithfully recreated as LEGOs and all the dialogue has been ripped straight from the films. Essentially, you’re playing the films.
Like any good LEGO game, there’s going to be a ton of stuff to do. Aside from the story missions, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers has quite a few open spaces to explore. Asgard, Sokovia, South Africa, Malibu, S.H.I.E.L.D. Base Exterior and the Barton Farm are all open for exploration, and each come with their own set of collectibles, characters and secrets to unlock. This all pales in comparison, however, to New York City. The entire city is open-world and teeming with sidequests. You’ll truly feel like a superhero as you explore New York rescuing citizens and stopping crime in its tracks.
This is, above all else, a LEGO game. I got a chance to play a short demo, and can say that anyone who has ever played a LEGO game will feel right at home. The section I got to try took place in New York during the events of The Avengers. As Captain America, Black Widow and Hawkeye, my objective was to rescue as many civilians, of which there were many. One citizen required Hawkeye to shoot arrows at pegs in order to platform across wide gaps, and another required Black Widow to leap of Captain America’s shield to reach a high ledge. The LEGO formula, after all these years, is still functional, and can be a lot fun for fans of all ages.
Sadly, this is still the same LEGO formula. It’s still the same gameplay and mechanics as previous games. It’s a proven formula, but it’s hard to deny that the formula is getting tired at this point, especially since Traveller’s Tales has a nasty habit of releasing multiple LEGO games during a year (LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Dimensions released this year). Now, the demo I did play was short and focused on a linear section. These new open environments could shake up the LEGO formula. Until we can actually play through them, though, it’s hard to tell if LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is innovating, or just another cog in the LEGO machine.
There’s also some content that is conspicuously missing. Phase I films The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Thor, and Phase II films Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man have not been adapted for LEGO Marvel’s Avengers. It’s possible that Traveller’s Tales will add these titles in as DLC, as they were supposed to do with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, or we won’t see them until a sequel. It’s disappointing, especially since Iron Man and Guardians of the Galaxy are considered to be some of the best entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
LEGO Marvel’s Avengers brings the action and excitement of the Marvel films to life in the form of LEGO. While it’s hard to judge if the game manages to change the well-established LEGO formula, it at least looks set to be a fun romp through six of Marvel’s films. Whether you’re Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, The Winter Soldier, or another Marvel character, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is set to put a smile on any fan’s face. LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is out January 26 on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, PS Vita and 3DS.