When I plopped in my LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and began playing my girlfriend came home from work and walked into the living room to see me playing the game. She stood there for a while with an expression of both skepticism and failed apprehension on her face and asked me, “What are you playing?” To compare, it sounded less like “What are you playing?” and more like “What is wrong with you?” The conversation then continued as follows (and bear with me because I will be making a point here):
“LEGO Marvel Super Heroes.”
Silence lingers for a moment as I fight Sandman on a roof as Hulk.
“Why would you… isn’t that a kid’s game?”
“Did you play Candy Crush on the train today?”
“Isn’t that a kid’s game?”
“Well… no, I mean…”
I defeat Sandman and a cutscene ensues. She stands there in silence and watches.
“What’s this game even about?” She asks.
“Uhhh, the Silver Surfer crashed and broke his board and a bunch of villains is helping Dr. Doom build some sort of Dr. Doom Death Ray of Doom thing.”
“Oh… “ She goes quiet and I jump off the S.H.I.E.L.D helicarrrier “Wait! Are you skydiving with Captain America?”
She jumps on the couch with me.
“Can I play?”
I laugh and say, “Yeah, load up and click start.”
Now I know what you’re thinking. Great story. Your girlfriend’s a keeper but what the hell does this have to do with LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. Well, to make a long explanation short, it has everything to do with LEGO Marvel Super Heroes.
Lego Marvel is the epitome of what I had hoped a Marvel game to be; a virtual universe filled with heroes, villains, and characters that I not only enjoyed playing as but enjoyed (re)-discovering as well. It’s faced with a few glitches and some carryovers from both gaming and movie franchises but I don’t expect it to be perfect. I expect it to be awesome and (mostly) true to the aspects Marvel fans love about Marvel characters… which it is!
To be honest, I’ve never had so much fun in a Lego game or any Marvel game since Marvel Ultimate Alliance. With comic dedicated detail strung with the simplicity and hilarity of a Lego game, it managed to intrigue not only a gamer/Marvel fan but also his non-gamer girlfriend. That’s almost unthinkable… at least, in our household, it is.
She and I played through the entire singleplayer (which is satisfyingly long) and then proceeded to run around New York City doing whatever it is we felt like doing. She inevitably began obsessing over Black Cat, Deadpool, Storm, and Psylocke and proceeded to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting populace but hey, she was having fun. Not to mention that the functionality of the coop allowed her to do her thing while I ran around doing side missions and looking for collectibles.
It seems that TT Games has obtained a strong hold on their creation of Lego games and has truly refined the experience with Lego Marvel. From over a hundred unique and carefully designed characters to choose from, the evidence of how much love and care TT Games put into these characters really comes to light. From Deadpool’s side quest narrations to J. Jonah Jameson’s newspaper attacks, the game never ceases to bring hilarity and enjoyment to even the smallest of characters or details.
For instance, in every Lego game thus far there has always been carbon copied character models. In Lego Batman, Batman and Batgirl were almost interchangeable. In Lego Lord of the Rings, there was the generic archer and Legolas. Henchmen, policemen, and most other characters were all the same but in Lego Marvel, even throwaway characters like J. Jonah Jameson have minute details we can love and laugh at.
The scale of the game is even at its largest. The very first encounter with Abomination and Sandman is at a scale normally saved for boss fights. The environments range from the S.H.I.E.L.D helicarrier to an open world New York City, to Asgard, Stark Tower, the X-Mansion, the Daily Bugle, the Savage Lands and almost everywhere you can imagine. They held no expense at recreating worlds fans have come to love and love to explore.
To be honest, TT Games is really on the top of their game. Lego Marvel has easily been one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had in a while. From its broad range of intrigue that can entice even non-gamers, I believe this game deserves some recognition even from those who normally shy away from ‘kids games.’