Achievers Review of: Lego Marvel
This review will touch on the main aspects of game design, as well as the game's fun factor, and its achievements. At the end will be a small set of positive and negative points for the game, as well as it's score. Enjoy, and any feedback is more than welcomed
Gameplay (Story, mechanics, and difficulty)
The story starts off with the Silver Surfer being attacked by Doctor Doom, and his “matter?” is thrown across the land in the form of “cosmic bricks”. Doctor Doom then assembles a whole army of Marvel Villians, from very well known, to barely known. At the forefront are Loki, Doctor Doom, Magneto, and The Green Goblin. So The Avengers, The X-men, and a ton of other heroes team together to stop the new threat, and the ever looming future threat.
The story itself is suitable at best. There isnt anything here that comic fans have not seen, but those just focused on the movies, and other games, the story here is pretty unique to them. My two main gripes of the story are how meta it is, as well as how disjointed it is. This is the only Lego game to actually be clearly set in the Lego Universe. Even though every other game is made in Legos, it still is set in their own world created by other movies, or books. Here, they clearly use Lego pieces as plot points, as seen by the “Cosmic Bricks”, which makes the game very meta in itself, clearly setting itself so far away from the Marvel Universe that it drew me out at times. I really understand that it is a huge nit-pick but it completely threw me out of the story.
The other problem is how disjointed it is. Although there are somewhat clear reasons why each mission takes place where it is, it still feels as if each mission is only there because they felt like it would be a good idea. It feels as though the designers thought of the levels first, and the story last. The story so fastly jumps from area to area that it sometimes can become really unclear as to where the story is going, and why things are happening.
On the other hand, the gameplay is still pretty solid. Each level is filled with breakables and collectibles for you to find. It can get really addicting to try and break everything, and get the tiny little Lego pieces that the game uses as currency. However, each level is specifically made so you have to go back a second or third time to fully get everything.
The fighting system has always been really just okay in the Lego games. It suits the game, but it never does anything great. Each hit is really sluggish, and takes a while to get a simple three hit combo in. Going from enemy to enemy is also basically broken, there is no auto aim system, and you just attack in the direction you go. However with that said, the fighting is still pretty okay, it has never been great, but it still isnt bad. Where the fighting differs is the choice of characters that you play as. Each character falls into a group, but there are a small few who are unique. From elementals, to gun wielders, each group is different in how they fight, move, and what they can do in each level. There are a ton, over 150, characters to find and unlock. Most only hardcore comic fans will know, but its an awesome touch otherwise.
At the end of each mission, you play a boss fight. Each boss is something that is a call back to the comics or the movies. Even though these are nice nods, there arent many good boss fights. They are memorable just in the fact of their character, but the actual act of fighting them isnt really special. It is really nice, and a big risk to have a boss at the end of each stage, and in the end, I do like them. It creates a good separation from the rest of the level, even if the fights themselves devolve into a mash fest.
Aside the story missions, you can either attack some single room side missions presented by Deadpool, which are pretty interesting to say the least, or explore the open world hub formed as New York. Within the hub, there are plenty of golden bricks, unlockable characters, and a few other things to find and unlock. I got hooked moving from icon to icon on the map to try and get everything.
Technical Aspect (Design, Graphics, and Bugs)
Lego games have never been known for their technical achievements, and Lego Marvel is no exception. Although the game does not look bad, it also doesnt look great. The in-game graphics are pretty usual for the Lego games, and it doesnt look as if any big pushes have been made to the engine since Lego Batman 2, or Lego Lord of the Rings. Saying that, the graphics are not bad, they are completely fine considering we are dealing with a Lego game.
The cutscene graphics; however, are a different beast altogether. The game feels as if it is trying to be too next generation in terms of graphics. Almost every model is really reflective, to the point where you can see most of the generated scene on each character. The designers were trying to go for a nice clean and crisp look, but instead just made everything look awkward and a downgrade in my book.
On the other hand, the level designs feel dated. Where as previous Lego games have had unique and creative levels to aid the gameplay. Here, levels just feel really boring, with not much care or detail put into it. Surprisingly missing is color in the levels. Looking back, I remember alot more gray, brown, and dark blue everywhere, and a severe lack of vibrant color that was found in previous Lego games. Along with the color, went the creativity. Each level is surprisingly linear, and its always really clear as to what needs to be done. Where as past games have had a ton of hidden collectibles, and secrets, Lego Marvel has the bare minimum of secrets within the level. The hub world does fare a tad better, where there are a good amount of collectibles and secrets found everywhere.
The character designs are pretty good all things considered. Even though working with such limited options for characters, every unlockable character looks most different. There are two or three that look similar, but with there being the massive number of characters, I cant blame them for making one or two look alike.
Lego Batman 2 was the first Lego game to have voice acting in it. Right after was Lego Lord of the Rings. Where those two differ was that Lego Batman had a unique script, where as Lego LotR used in movie dialogue. Lego Marvel goes the Lego Batman route where there is all unique dialogue. The voice acting present is nothing but a mixed bag. There are a few that shine through like Loki, and Deadpool. Then there are a few that just are embarrassing to listen to, I really hated the voice they went with for Tony Stark (Iron Man). Most of what’s here is nothing more than passable, neither good, nor bad.
The major sin this game pulls, is the bugs and glitches territory. Previous Lego games have had their share of bugs, and almost off them return here. Between getting stuck in the world, to falling into a crack, and falling forever. Aside from the usual bugs found in Lego games, also comes a good bit of slowdown, with the frame rate occasionally dipping down into the lower 10s. With the slowdown, also came the crashes. The game hard locked on me a total of four times, mind you, this is a brand new game, never opened before I had bought it.
If you are looking for a good game for achievement grinding, look here. There are a total of 14 or 15 story achievements, racking up to about 300 gamerscore. The other achievements are mostly easy to get, with them being a mixture of collecting certain characters, to a few specific actions. Overall, you can grind most if not all the achievements in a playthrough and a half.
With all of my many complaints, I still find this game pretty fun. I enjoyed the humor in the cutscenes, as well as the completionist style collecting. Previous games ran into the problem of not being clear enough, but this time, the game holds your hand too much, which did decrease my enjoyment a tad. Overall, just like all that came before it, this game is as fun as the others.
In the end, this is almost a set back for the Lego series, however, the game did manage to keep my attention all the way through. Unfortunately the game has one too many fallbacks to make it the greatest Lego game.
+ Tons of Characters
+ Fun Collecting
+ Open and Massive Hub
- Boring Level Design
- Multiple Crashes
- Overdone Cutscenes