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Lego Marvel Superheroes - Review by Andy Urquhart (PS3)

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Combine two of the best thing ever created, Lego and Marvel on paper this is a match made in heaven.
And as the Marvel Super Heroes Lego line has proved a very successful profitable match indeed.

Travellers Tales recreate the magic of the excellent designs of the Lego master builders beautifully and the game really shines on the PS4. It looks stunning especially in the cutscenes which have clearly been uprezzed significantly from the PS3/360 versions. The lighting is actually very impressively done and I for one was surprised at just how much better it looked on the new generation of gaming consoles than on the last.
Sadly that's really the only difference between the current and last gen systems aside from the poorly implemented touch screen map.

Game play is largely identical to previous titles with the jump, hit, grab and change character buttons serving as before. With the hit and grab buttons also used for some contextual actions differing depending on character and situation it's simple and effective for the most part but it's something that really needs some work going forward as with each iteration of the Lego series TT seem to add a new function to an already used button. This time it's the change character button, already used by pressing to change character, holding to go to the character selection screen and also used to enter and exit vehicles and other things such as turrets. So in addition to 3 seperate functions we have a fourth for the same button! Namely, morph character. Now this is very cool and useful to use and though only some characters have this it's some of the big ones like Spider-Man and hulk that use it by holding the change character button. But wait doesn't that go to the character selection screen? Yes it does unless you are playing as a morph able character in which case they transform. But how do you get to the character selection screen? Well during the animation you have to hold triangle again. Absolutely ridiculous and incredibly annoying when trying to change characters on the fly and considering that there are 12 basically dormant buttons on the Dualshock 4 mapping 4 functions to one button is simple unacceptable. Character changing has been an issue in the last couple of Lego games and instead of fixing things they made it worse. And yes it seems like a small issue but it's something that is incredibly annoying in the game.

The intro level (which was also featured in the demo) really doesn’t do the game justice, Lego Marvel Superheroes gets so much better after that first level. The dialogue is fantastic so many marvel references and jokes right off the bat.

That said playing through the story mode is a joy with an interesting story mainly revolving around Galactus, Loki and Doctor Doom trying to cause mischief as per and the various heroes (mainly the avengers plus drop ins from the Fantastic Four and the X-Men) trying to stop them. Everything about the single player campaign is well polished and even replaying these levels for the extra collectables is still fun. This makes it all the more bizarre that the open world hub upon completion of the game becomes utterly tedious.

After replaying any level you are magically transported to the top deck of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier regardless of where you entered the mission. Their are still loading screens before and after each level, simply unacceptable on this "next gen" especially as the loading screens (a spinning shield logo) coming out of each level are skippable! Just take them out TT! As for the rest of the open world it's New York as you would expect but with the various iconic Marvel buildings interspersed which is very cool for about 5 minutes until you realise that this layout makes travelling between things take forever unless you fly.

And the collectables. Holy begingos Iron Man! I've never seen so many collectables in such a confined space! There are gold bricks, characters, Stan Lee’s to save and citizens to help. There are over 500 things to collect in this game most of which take at least a few minutes to unlock but there are so many repeated missions like taxing citizens around or beat up x number of bad guys it becomes like a very boring mmo but with no stat grinding.

Overall Lego marvel Superheroes is sadly a flawed game, which has all the elements required to be a classic but ultimately fails on the execution and when you dig beneath the surface of having all those characters sadly it devolves into an excercise in mediocrity. One for the kids this one, grown ups should wait for the bargain bin.

Andy Urquhart
42 Level One

 

Overall Score - 64%