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LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Review
publisher: Warner Bros. Entertainment
developer: Telltale Games
|ESRB rating: RP
release date: Oct 22, 13
|» All About LEGO Marvel Super Heroes on ActionTrip|
The setting is New York after the first Avengers movie. Iron Man and Hulk are on the scene, most likely after a riveting research meeting at Stark Tower, ready to take on Abomination and Sandman, who are holding Grand Central Station hostage. Agent Coulson (voiced by Clark Gregg, I have to add) buzzes over the line, asking them to do the obvious—stop the bad guys and save New York yet again. If you didn’t know I was talking about a LEGO video game, you’d probably think I was describing the opening scene in a typical video game starring the Avengers. That feeling is fleeting as soon as you hear Stan Lee calling for help in the balcony above your starting point (voiced by the real Stan Lee), and when you hear Hulk yell, “Hulk hates walls! Walls separate people!” If that doesn’t tickle your funny bone a little, then stop reading and move on, because this game is definitely not for you.
Just let it all buurn! And watch the hair...
The world is becoming increasingly Lego-ish.
LEGO games are known for their strong parody on the series they emulate. Since they’ve taken on some of the most popular comics in DC and Marvel, their sources of what they can poke fun of is almost limitless. And yes, they expose that at every corner. Hulk is always asked to clean up his messes after a mission, Wolverine suddenly remembers that he has to go buy more hair gel, and Spider-man tries to come up with a reason why he’s always leaving his girlfriend alone at a coffee shop. It’s always a coffee shop.
And that’s pretty much why you would play this game. It’s not for the gameplay, even though it is quite fun. The gameplay isn’t much different from other LEGO games. You traverse through 15 levels and learn different abilities with each character you can use. Then you can go back and play the game in Free Play mode using all characters you have unlocked in order to snag the rest of the jillion collectibles the game has to offer. And of course there is a hub world that features Red Bricks, more Gold Bricks, and more Stan Lees to rescue (he really knows how to get himself in a jam). This hub world may be the biggest one yet, as it includes both the SHIELD Helicarrier and the entire city of New York. This time, the hub also includes 11 additional unlockable story missions, all narrated by Deadpool, which is where players will have to go to unlock Red Bricks, additional characters (like Howard the Duck and Agent Coulson), and rescue those last Stan Lees.
It’s repetitive and a bit tiresome, but it’s the constant jokes and parodies that keep you coming back. I never tired of Stan Lee yelling, “Excelsior!” whenever I saved him.
All kneel down and worship my Legoness!
One thing that this game does horribly, however, is the co-op. It’s all couch co-op, which is a problem in of itself, but the big wrench in the works is the split-screen. If you’ve played LEGO games in the past, you already know that the split-screen with co-op is awful at best. The split-screen implementation in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is the worst I have ever seen. Depending on where your partner is in the level, the camera and split-screen will adjust to try to accommodate you both in terms of where each player is in the level. Sometimes this causes neither of you to be able to see where you need to go or lock onto what you need to in order to trigger the next event. The characters will even switch which half of the split they are on, so you can never rely on “your part” of the screen. In some instances, the camera and split-screen make the co-op downright unplayable. I had to make my son drop out of the game once, because neither camera would focus on either one of us, even when we were standing in the same spot. I have a feeling I’m going to have to tell him we can’t play this game together anymore due to these camera issues and the fact that it has caused a bit of motion sickness at times.
Co-op problems aside, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is one of the most fun games I’ve played this year. I’ve laughed at it more often than I did Saints Row IV, sometimes to the point that I have wiped away tears. I can’t recommend it enough, even to those who haven’t played LEGO games in the past. All you need is a love of the Marvel universe, a sense of humor, and preparation for silliness.
8.0 Very Good
Hilarious fun that constantly pokes fun at itself and everything Marvel with some stellar, stellar voice acting;
Horrific use of co-op split-screen and camera make it nearly unplayable at parts, and the open world is so large, it really enhances the repetitive nature of the game.
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