Travellers Tales sure has this Lego thing nailed down, don't it? Through the years, it's delivered a number of Lego-ized licenses with fairly good results, including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, and Batman. Now, it's the Marvel universe's turn, as the team is working diligently on Lego Marvel Super Heroes, which is coming later this year.
At first, the choice of a Marvel license might be a little startling. Warner Bros. Interactive, the publisher behind the game, is used to handling franchises from DC Comics, including both Lego Batman games, as well as the best selling Batman Arkham titles. But it's easy to see why the publisher would bend backwards a little, considering the high popularity of the Marvel franchise with last year's The Avengers movie making well over $1.5 billion worldwide. A Lego-based game is a no-brainer.
The story deals with Nick Fury, as a S.H.I.E.L.D. representative (and a bad-ass with a gun) calling upon the world's superheroes – essentially assembling the Avengers, in a way – to help bring down the invading Loki and the planet-eating colossal Galactus, who, yes, have also been Lego-ized. Throughout the game, you'll be able to take control of a number of characters, such as the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man and Wolverine. But as you proceed further into the game, other characters become available, including favorites like Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and everyone's favorite assassin-for-hire, Deadpool.
For those of you who are familiar with how Lego works, you'll be able to jump right into Marvel Super Heroes with no problem. The game is built, like previous ones, to engage players of all ages, with a combination of action scenarios and puzzle solving. Two players can join in at one time through drop-in and drop-out co-op play (sorry, still no online), and, depending on which characters are available, you'll be able to put a serious hurt on Loki's minions, whether you're smashing them with the Lego Hulk, or using Lego-ized Tony Stark's metallic alter ego to fire off a few well-timed laser blasts.
Each of the characters will bring their special skills to the table, whether it's Captain America's ability to smack enemies around with his shield, or Hawkeye shooting a few distant arrows for good measure. Wolverine should be quite good at tearing baddies to shreds with his adamantium Lego claws, while Spider-Man could easily whip around some webbing in a rather effective way. You know the heroes, obviously.
But the way they'll do it in the Lego world should be quite charming, similar to the super abilities you saw last year with the team's Lego Batman 2: DC Universe. Expect plenty of laughs, along with a few-Marvel based surprises and collectibles to really bring out the comic book geek in you.
Along with beating up bad guys, Lego Marvel Super Heroes should also have plenty of puzzles to solve, whether you're activating doors with switches or building objects from jumping Lego bricks left on the ground – a staple that's been with the franchised games since their start. You can also call upon a friend to complete group puzzles, such as standing on two switches at once, as well as selecting particular heroes to access secret areas. For instance, Hulk may be the only one who's able to get through a specific doorway, due to his immense size and strength.
For this particular Lego game, Travellers Tales is painstakingly recreating a number of scenarios straight from the comic books to run through in the game. This means bigger levels to explore, among the same size as, say, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean. Stark Tower, for instance, is immense, requiring you to move around to collect all the bits (doing so makes you a "True Hero" in a stage, unlocking another ultimate piece for your collection) and find certain objectives to complete. Other locations should be familiar to Marvel fans as well, though Travellers hasn't revealed them all just yet. Here's hoping they consider adding Deadpool's ratty hideout in there somewhere, just so he can comment on the place.
While Lego Marvel Super Heroes doesn't look like an extravagant action game, there's plenty of replay value here, as you can unlock Free Play on each level to collect every single thing to master them. And, let's be honest, playing with a friend (or your kids, if you're a parent) never gets old, even if you're stuck doing it locally.
While the game probably won't impress those that love getting their kicks with, say, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Lego Marvel Super Heroes should have no problem finding an audience when it releases later this year. Be sure to check back for hands-on impressions and more strategies soon. HULK SMASH!