Review: LEGO Marvel’s Avengers (PS4)
LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is a bit different from the previous Lego Marvel Superheroes game, as it lets players relive the events of the two Avengers films, as well as a couple of important scenes from other films in the Marvel cinematic universe. The story missions starts with the opening scene of Age of Ultron, where you get a bit of time with each of the Avengers before that level ends and the game takes you back in time to where things began in the first Avengers film. You’ll also go back to the first Captain America film for a level before continuing with the main Avengers story. If you follow the story mode, you’ll then return to the events of Age of Ultron. You’ll also gain access to a map of the Earth, which serves as your access to the hub areas and free play. It took us a while to realise that there were also several other story missions accessible from this map: one for Iron Man 3, another for Thor 2, and one for Winter Soldier.
The story missions are only one part of the game, however, as there are tons of characters to unlock and several hub areas to explore. These hubs are set in different key locations across the film franchise. Largest is the Manhattan hub, with dozens of missions, races, events, characters and gold bricks just waiting to be collected. The scale of this hub is truly impressive: even with access to flying and super fast characters, there’s a lot of area to explore. The other hubs are smaller but still filled with content. There’s the area around Barton’s home, Stark’s Malibu mansion and surrounding area, Asgard, the ruined town of Sokovia, the shipyard in ‘South Africa’, the SHIELD base from the first Avengers film, and the ‘on your left’ Washington, D.C. area. In each area, you’ll help various characters complete missions, from finding lost kittens to facing off against powerful villains, you’ll use vehicles (or Quicksilver) to complete timed races, you’ll stop random muggers and gangs of thugs, and you’ll solve puzzles to collect gold bricks.
The character roster is pretty impressive as well. We counted over 170 characters and more than 50 vehicles, with many of the main characters having several different outfits (for example, Steve has 7 costumes, while Tony has over a dozen different Iron Man suits). That’s not even counting all the DLC characters! There are all the characters from the cinematic universe that you’d expect in an Avengers game, from Hawkeye to Black Widow to Pepper Potts to Thor to Nick Fury and many, many more. There are also tons of characters that Marvel comic fans will recognise, including Ares, Cotton Mouth, Diamondback, Firebird, Iron Fist, Thor Girl and many other strange and wonderful characters that you may never have heard of.
The main characters are voiced using audio clips from the films, which works pretty well except in some fight sequences where they sometimes spout seemingly random catchphrases. Sometimes the volume level for these voices is also a bit off, and all you can hear is Tony or Cap mumbling something. Some of the film’s actors recorded new dialogue for the game, including Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter), Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson) and Cobie Smulders (
Robin Maria Hill). For the other characters, there’s a huge cast of excellent voice actors, including many that we’ve featured here on SA Gamer – Nolan North, Matthew Mercer, Liam O’Brien, Jennifer Hale, Steve Blum, Ashly Burch, Laura Bailey, and more. The standard of the voice acting is high, even for weird and rather silly characters like Squirrel Girl.
On top of all this is the really awesome gameplay. Like other LEGO games, characters have a wide range of skills which are needed to complete puzzles and get collectibles. Each Avenger has their special set of skills, which varies depending on which costume they’re wearing: for instance, Black Widow only gets her stun batons when wearing her Age of Ultron outfit. Some of the character abilities include stealth, super strength, putting out fires, scanning, accessing SHIELD or Hydra terminals, flight, and destruction of various special environmental obstacles. Each of the main characters feels unique, as each has their own finishing move. Most main characters also have special team moves when paired with certain Avengers, like Thor slamming his hammer onto Cap’s shield. These really helps you feel like a superhero. Killing lots of enemies also builds a combo counter, which helps speed up collecting the studs you need to become a true Avenger on each level, and for buying red bricks and characters.
In-between the action is the classic, quirky LEGO video game humour, from running gags involving pink smoothies and pigs, to Quicksilver’s impatient idle animations. The minikits in this game form into comic book covers, and the citizen in peril you’ll be saving on every level is Stan Lee. He really does get trapped in the strangest places. LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is a great way to experience the biggest moments from the Marvel cinematic universe, enhanced by wacky LEGO humour. There’s a lot to do in this game – at 15 hours of playtime, we’re only at 50% completion. You might also learn about some new Marvel characters – I know I did. Bottom line? This game is a must for LEGO video game fans or Marvel fans.