Having built a PC to play games, I’ve been grabbing opportunities in between bouts of failing to sleep to catch up on some of the games I’ve failed to play during my years in the Apple wilderness (and the associated period where I proved my massive incompetence playing console games).
Besides Skyrim and a return to playing Command & Conquer (all of them…), one of the games I’ve had a load of fun playing was Lego Marvel Super Heroes. Having initially been introduced to the Lego games universe through Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, and having played Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes on the 3DS, I was quite pleased to hear that a Marvel version was coming out.
The game features pretty much all the Marvel characters you can think of, and is fairly tongue-in-cheek. Mr Fantastic at one point deploys himself as a parachute to save The Thing and The Invisible Woman, looking to the camera and saying “I saw this in a movie once…”. As the story progresses, more and more characters, vehicles and locations are unlocked, and the story culminates in the heroes and villains joining forces to defeat Galactus (not a spoiler, since Galactus is in the intro cinematic and in the trailer).
The story mode is pretty straightforward (it is a game designed for kids after all…) and completing that only gets you 20% of the way to completely completing the game. Once you complete the story mode, you switch to the Free Play mode, which lets you go over the game again, this time with all of the characters you’ve unlocked (so you can access additional bits of the level you’ve just played through to unlock extras). This becomes one of the more frustrating bits of any Lego game, the grind needed to feel like you’ve actually managed to make reasonable headway to complete the game. This version at least tries to open things up by creating a “Mission Hub” modelled on New York. You wander along the streets of the City, tackling side missions on your way (including saving Stan Lee from an increasingly bewildering array of situations). This addition (compared to the Mos Eisley Cantina hub from the Star Wars version) at the very least gives you some diversion from having to run through each of the 15 levels twice, but you still end up performing variations on the same side-quest a dozen or so times on your way to unlocking everything.
Overall, it’s a fun game (it’s rather funny being able to re-stage your own version of the Hulk Vs Abomination fight from The Incredible Hulk in a Lego Harlem and have a load of Lego characters simultaneously cheer and tell you to “watch it, buddy!”) and if you’re a Marvel fan, you’re going to get a kick out of it. 100% completion is a long slog, and if you’re not a fan of open world sandbox games, you’re likely to drive yourself a bit mad trying to finish it.