The Lego games have gone from strength to strength, with each new version refining the tried and tested formula that has made them so successful. With Lego Marvel Superheroes the franchise tackles the vast stable of Marvel characters, weaves them into a (sort of) cohesive story, and lets you have a hell of a lot of fun collecting all of the characters, gold bricks, Stan Lees, Red bricks and studs…Phew.
When I booted up Lego Marvel for the first time on PS4 I immediately appreciated the extra visual power afforded by the new system. while the game isn’t as next-gen as Killzone: Shadowfall for example, it still boasts improvements over the PS3 and Xbox versions. One section early on during a fight with Sandman, I noticed the sheer amount of Lego particles on screen. Even when the fight got quite chaotic the frame rate remained smooth. In fact the game runs very well throughout, a couple of weird graphical bugs cropped up here and there and while the hub world of New York is very impressive it all sort of blends into one after a while thanks to bland textures.
Of course the most important thing for any Lego game is the game play, and I’m happy to report that in this department – the game is an absolute blast. The main story sees you navigate a number of levels that are broken up by a number of mini-bosses or scripted events and then end with a boss fight. Within the levels are a number of collectibles such as characters, mini-kits and my personal favourite the Stan Lee in peril. Most of the collectibles are locked away behind doors and puzzles that only certain characters can unlock increasing the games re-play value. Speaking of characters – there are loads! The character roster in this game is massive, Marvel fans can rejoice as while not every character is represented, Travellers Tales have done an excellent job of getting as many characters as possible into this game. My one criticism would be that there could be less alternative costumes for Iron Man in favour of adding a few more characters.
I found the main story to be quite enjoyable but where the game really shines is in the over world. In the city of New York and aboard the Helicarrier you will find a number of citizen, shield agents and heroes who all have quests for you to complete. These quests take the form of mostly fetch quests and races. completing these tasks nets you gold bricks. The sheer amount of collectibles, quests, Stan Lee in perils and bonus levels scattered around the world ensures that you will be coming back to play this game for a long time to come. Lego games are renowned for their replay ability and LEGO Marvel tops the list.
If you are looking for a game to enjoy with a friend then look no further. Split-screen co-op seems to be a thing of the past, but LEGO Marvel keeps it alive, offering 2 player co-op for the entirety of the game. Playing with a friend can increase the fun and make levels a bit easier, however one of my biggest gripes is that when playing 2 player in the over world – if one player talks to someone to start a job it can take the other player out of whatever they were doing, for example making them lose a race. But the most frustrating thing is that it doesn’t happen every time and appears to be completely random.
Overall LEGO Marvel offers a great game that can be played alone or with a friend. The sheer amount of characters, collectibles and levels means that you are getting excellent value for money. In a world where 5 hour shooters are becoming the norm, the LEGO games still offer fantastic and addictive game play and LEGO Marvel takes the crown as best of the bunch.