The closest thing to being Iron Man for the day...
SRP: £49.99There are very few companies out there which can make use of an existing franchise or licence and do it justice. There have been several instances where the developers have made a hash of the whole thing and upset the existing fan base. However one of the small number of developers who can get it right are Traveller’s Tales (TT), who are the reliable source of all things Lego in the videogame world. And guess what? They’ve only gone and done it again.
In what has to be the most Fantastic Four-mation of characters yet, TT have brought something new to the party, something fresh and exciting that re-invigorates what some would call a weary string of rinse-and-repeat titles. The sheer lengths the team has gone to in order to bring together nearly every Marvel character and story is phenomenal and nothing short of fan service of the highest order.
In true Traveller’s fashion, they have taken existing story elements from all the included story arcs and weaved their own in order to build an interesting game around it all. To cut to the chase, Dr. Doom blasts the Silver Surfer out of the sky and blows his board into numerous mysteriously powered bricks. These bricks are what the villains seek out in order to do, you know, bad guy stuff and inevitably take over the world.
Continuing the hard work that has been done in the latest titles, Lego Marvel is an open world affair in which you can travel to a string of story missions. In which, you can expect platforming aplenty as you’ll jump, attack and switch between the Hulk-ing great character roster. There are a heap of character specific powers as you’d expect such as Iron Man using his suits abilities, Spiderman can use his Spider Sense whilst the Hulk will yank up sections of the ground before hurling them at anyone who happens to be in the way.
In true Lego game tradition, these characters are drip-fed to you periodically and their powers introduced in order for you to progress through the story mode which strings together a combination of selected characters. The levels have been expertly crafted as you would expect too and blend together a mixture of instantly recognisable characters and those which may not be as familiar. One mission sees you pursuing Doctor Octopus and the next you are chasing down Loki as Thor and amazingly it all fits together rather well, you don’t feel like there are any unnecessary sections that act as filler.
A special mention must be made to the story and the script which, for a Lego title, has received an excellent amount of detail and thought before it was written. The voice acting is superb despite the familiar voices from the movies not been present, and each level is bursting with character and humour. Without an existing script, some may worry about TT having free rein over the direction but rest assured they don’t make any villainous mistakes here. The sheer number of inside jokes and references can be overwhelming sometimes, but there are prods at how ridiculous the superhero culture is at times.
So whilst the city of Manhattan acts as your open-world hub from which to choose your story missions, it also is chock full of collectibles to find, things to do and objects to destroy. Exploring the city is an enjoyable task in itself and never laborious. Depending on your current character you can zip round the city in the air, on foot or even nab off with a nearby vehicle GTA style. After all, you’re a super hero or villain; who will argue?
Something old, something new
The new engine that is on show here is also praise-worthy too as the Lego series has looked a bit worn recently. There’s no doubt the new engine and the new generation of consoles make this title infinitely better and add an extra level of polish to the entire world. Early levels highlight how much more has been added with a vast number of bricks being on screen at one time and being individually detailed. Each brick and coin has its own texture and shine whist all are animated in a fluid manner and no longer look super-imposed and part of the actual level itself.
So whilst Lego Marvel could be argued to be the best iteration yet, there are still a couple of niggles. The thing is, the same old frame rate issues and bugs within the environment exist and haven’t been truly been remedied, whilst the friendly AI is something you just have to deal with. More often than not, you’ll have to manually retrieve characters rather than rely on them to follow you obediently. But, when it comes to it, these are only minor flaws in an otherwise excellent package.
The Lego titles have never been renowned for the same levels of finesse as other open-world games, but they more than make up for this in the longevity they offer, and the same can be said here. Even though you have completed each mission in story mode, the enjoyment doesn’t end there as you always leave behind some hidden treasures just waiting for you to go back and collect. Most won’t find everything there is to offer in each mission, but it’s enjoyable enough just to replay the whole thing through with an open selection of characters rather than those dictated to you.
As with all the previous titles, the game is best enjoyed when you have a partner to team up with rather than flying solo. The co-op has been tweaked slightly so in certain sections there are elements that see one player locked in a duel with a villain whilst the second player carries on hoovering up coins and picking off the smaller enemies. It makes a nice change as before the attention would focus on the player who was engaged in battle, leaving the other with nothing to do.
- Shiny new engine
- New characters
- New mechanics
- Increased price
- Some camera issues remain
Lego Marvel Super Heroes PS4 ReviewLego Marvel Super Heroes builds upon the previous outings in the franchise by bringing together new and existing mechanics and creating one entertaining package as a result. The PS4 helps push the game further by adding another layer of depth to the world and cutting down on load times significantly, but with this comes the increase in cost for consumers. Your opinion on this will depend on how much you enjoy the titles, how much use you will get out of them and if you want to justify your new console or not. But that's hardly the point; what is important to know is that this is one of the better Lego titles available and the series is as strong as ever.
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