We grabbed one of our most anticipated games of the year today: Lego Marvel Super Heroes. Combining all of the good things Lego has been learning and building in their other games, with the wealth of characters with diverse abilities that Marvel brings to the table, this game is well suited for success.
And I have to say, I’m impressed. Even with anticipating it, there are things we are doing in the game that are just so much fun. And though at first talking was not a part of the Lego games, and was a bit of a jarring experience – they are now using speech to great effect.
So let me give you a few highlights of the game, in case you’re on the fence about it! And if you’re already playing it too, let us know what you think in the comments below!
The Lego games started from the movies, and were some of the best movie-adaptation games there are. And while they are still making their movie games – like Lord of the Rings, where they worked in the movie audio – it was with Batman that they first broke from the movies.
With Superheroes, with DC and Marvel, Lego is getting to pull from a large number of characters, and a large number of movies, shows, and – oh yeah – comics. They’ve slipped in details from books into games like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, after all. But with the superhero games, they’re really banking on you knowing the characters, on you being a fan, on you being excited for the fan service.
So in Lego Marvel Super Heroes you aren’t playing a specific movie. And it’d be hard too, since these movies haven’t been happening in the same cinematic universe. Some have, and they even seem to pick up the plot from the end of the Avengers. But then, bam, there’s Spider-man. The Fantastic Four. Wolverine.
But then, the villains they’ve been tapping at first are ones we’ve seen in the movies – which either means they’re relying on you seeing these or, perhaps, that they really have fit a lot of the characters into the movie by now.
It will be interesting to see the extent they tie in to the movies. Will we see the Guardians of the Galaxy? The upcoming villains from the movies? We’ll see!
But for now, it’s its own plot:
Not only is Stan Lee in the trailer, he’s in the game…
So, the Lego games build heavily off of each other in terms of gameplay. The story has the potential to really make this game stand out, but what about the gameplay? Same old, same old?
We’re loving seeing what the characters can do, so far. Interesting ways they replicate each other – like Mr. Fantastic being similar to Spider-man’s webbing. Interesting choices for some of the old standbys – like who’s a “smart” character who can interact with panels.
Our favorite new aspect, however, is the combos. Often, because of the low stakes in these games (dying just brings you back to grab the few coins you dropped), fighting ordinary enemies is just something you do. Gut now there’s KO combos. At first, we wondered what they did. Make us feel good? Accomplished?
Then we figured out: they count as a money multiplier.
So all of a sudden, you’re fighting, get a few combo, guys spew out money, and you’re picking up coins with little multiplier numbers popping onto the screen. We’re already almost to a million, and have hit the “True Believer” coins goal every level – usually something that stops happening pretty quickly in these games, until you go back in Free Play.
Another big addition is the new Big characters – like Hulk. Functionally, they may seem like strong characters of the past – until you notice how quickly and easily they hit the multiplier combos. They rip up the smaller characters, and there’s bonuses for doing just that!
Some Fun Things So Far
So we’re loving it. Have already seen several Deadpool cameos – including as your ghostly guide to finding self-selected waypoints. And a load screen told us his place is where you input cheats. So even here, he’s breaking the 4th wall.
We’ve randomly hit a couple of great achievements, too, with people’s powers. Like Wolverine, who can’t die. Try it. And then Mr. Fantastic, who changes shapes ridiculously to solve puzzles – now there’s a character made for Lego games!
And the pop culture references are amazing. Best so far: Snakes on a Plane.
This is fantastic co-op game, and we highly recommend it!
Need another reason? Clark Gregg.