Humor, imagination, and bricks. These are the staples of every Lego title no matter what world players visit or franchise the legendary blocks decide to invade. Lego Marvel Superheroes is no exception, a humorous take on some of the most iconic comic book characters out there. It's an ambitious game in a lot of ways, attempting to include so many characters and playstyles while at the same time not trying to diminish the role of any one character with the powers of another. Or at the very least making sure most heroes are given a fair shot in the spotlight.
Lego Marvel Superheroes still follows the same basic formula as other games in the franchise, only this time with a superhero movie flavor; a blending platforming, puzzles and action players will find themselves in control of a series of Marvel characters each with their own unique abilities based on their skill set in the comic books. Wolverine's got claws, Iron Man can fly, Spider-Man slings out webs, the Hulk is large and green, and so on. Naturally interacting with the environment, blowing up cars or blasting through rubble sends blocks a-flyin, melding brick and superpower together quite wonderfully.
Every character has a task they're good at so switching between each character to get past obstacles or unlock a particular area is more or less the name of the game. It's a simple mechanic, one that heavily relies on each character having a lot of personality and fortunately for Lego and Marvel both franchises are pretty much filled to the brim with iconic figures to choose from. The heroes and villians in game seem to all be based on their film counterparts, which means we're playing alongside Samuel L. Jackson's rendition of Nick Fury and a somewhat visually modernized Avengers ensemble from the start.
One point of concern is the demo seems to make the assumption you're at least vaguely familiar with the Lego series, or the general mechanics of the previous Lego games. Knowing what block piles to assemble or becoming aware of what constitutes a character-only object can take a bit of time, and occasionally you're left wondering if you're missing a character or simply being teased by the game as the possibilities of having someone who can break a type of wall or freeze nearby water. It's also worth noting that in the rather short demo there were quite a few bugs that emerged, ranging from the Hulk getting stuck between the bridge and a car to the Hulk becoming trapped under the Sandman during the final fight. Really, anything to do with the Hulk. Perhaps it's due to his size but getting trapped multiple times in under an hour isn't the most enjoyable experience.
The real excitement behind Marvel Superheroes is seeing who makes the cut and how their powers will come to change the game; and co-op naturally adds an extra bit of entertainment to the game particularly those of us who have a couch potato buddy. Exactly how fun the Marvel Superheroes cameo experience will be for old school comic book enthusiasts versus newer/younger film fans is a bit of a coin toss, but there's plenty of room for TT Games to do enough justice to satisfy both camps.
Lego Marvel Superheroes for current gen releases in North America on October 22nd, though you can feel free to download and enjoy the demo today.