LEGO games have long been exclusive for the youngest of us. With Batman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings including, many adult franchises have already been taken by the yellow block world. Now it's the turn of Marvel's heroes, personally, my favorite franchise. Because let's be honest, who can resist a game where Iron Man, Spiderman, Wolverine, the Hulk and Gambit make an appearance? And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are no less than 155 characters to unlock! Let the adventure begin.
A man with a plan
The game starts with the Silver Surfer (Fantastic Four), which is shot out of the air leaving cosmic legoblocks spread around the game world. It's the work of Doctor Doom. Together with Loki, Galactus and a bunch of super-bad guys like Magneto, Green Goblin and Venom, he is creating a plan to disturb Tony Stark & Co. The story line (including free-to-play levels) includes 26 rather long missions in which the super heroes alternate. The story is not only fun to play, but also very humorous. In particular, the way in which the story causes the various superheroes to encounter each other and make conversation is great. Picking a favorite character or moment is simply not possible in this game, although the jokes of Spiderman rise to special heights. "Attack with an elevator? That's wrong on so many levels."
Not only the number of characters and unlockables is overwhelming, but also the way it has been worked out. It's not just a bunch of different faces and costumes. On the contrary. The most prominent characters all have unique features that are identical to their franchise. From the way of talking to their attacks, the Marvel name isn't harmed in any way. The puzzles and gameplay may be as straightforward as what you're used to with LEGO games - solve the basic knots and solve puzzles by building block by block - but the Marvel heroes make it all the more enjoyable. Whether you're flying around with Iron Man, throwing around and kicking enemies with the Hulk, hanging on the ceiling with Spiderman, jam computers with Wolverine's claws, throwing your shield with Captain America or slipping through a pit with Mr. Fantastic. There are so many good things to do that spin your head. Not all features have as much added value, but some add something to the gameplay. For example, Black Widow can make herself invisible to bypass alarm systems (lasers) and Hawkeye can shoot arrows which the other heroes can use to get up. The level of the puzzles remains a bit on the surface, but the package in which it is presented is in any case very smooth.
Are there any comments on this abundance of awesomeness? Hell yes. Although the game is very good looking, there are also constructive errors in the game, which could be solved after the other LEGO titles. First of all, there is the questionable AI of your buddies. Often you play in a mission with two or three different characters, between which you can change while playing to solve specific puzzles. This is already going wrong. The button to switch between characters is the same as the transform button (for example: the Hulk). You want to change quickly from character and instead you transform by accident. This doesn't only slows things down, but is also super unnecessary. There are enough buttons left unused. This adds to the scary dependence of the player's contribution. Playing by yourself with a certain character, you are pretty strong and move wonderfully through the world. If you leave it to the computer, that same hero is suddenly beaten very easily. This doesn't endorse credibility. What's also very annoying: you climb to the top with character 1 where you find out that you have to press a button with character 2. You switch to character 2, and see character 1 jump down without thinking because character 2 is also at the bottom. As a result, you must repeat the same path again and again. This feels incredibly meaningless and ungrateful and also eliminates the flow. Incomprehensible that this isn't resolved in this LEGO game by now. Donkey Kong Country did this better a little 20 years ago.
Another huge flaw in the game is the unambiguous menu structure and interaction during missions. The map of New York City contains many icons. If you go to a certain point to do something, you often find out that you can't do anything at that time with that character. But "then what?" is the big question. The game doesn't clear this up. During missions, this lack of interaction becomes painfully clear during puzzles or fights where you do not know what to do. The solution is to just break about everything you see in the hope that there are blocks left which you can use to do something. You expect a game to give some (optional) feedback, and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes fails here. This lack of decent interaction is really a great pity, as this would really improve the gameplay because there is a lot of potential. This also applies to the co-op mode. The camera refused to switch to the dynamic camera on a regular basis, so when you were next to each other, you still had a split image. There were also moments where the split screen showed the same image. The result: two times poor vision. In other LEGO games, co-op was terrible also occasionally, but as bad as here I have not experienced it yet. Very sad, because this makes the co-op virtually unplayable.
Like most LEGO games, this game is also worth the effort. The Marvel universe has been brought to life again and makes the LEGO world richer than ever before. The great number of top characters (including Marvel founder Stan Lee) with their unique features are a pleasure to play with. There is so much fun in this game that this is a must-buy for Marvel fans. If you are looking at the gameplay more critically, then you will find a lot of bugs. Most are not unknown to veterans of LEGO games. Think of big characters who get stuck on the surroundings, stupid AI of opponents and fellow heroes who accidentally defeat your friends instead of enemies. But since this isn't the first LEGO game, you would expect it to be the solved by now. Unfortunately, this isn't the case, and Marvel Super Heroes even has the worst co-op mode I've ever seen in a LEGO game. If you think of this as an important part, I wouldn't advise to buy the game. However, for single player mode, there is plenty left to talk about. A very cool title, simply because the fighting with your favorite superheroes in LEGO variant remains incredibly addictive.