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Review: LEGO Marvel’s Avengers

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I tried to enjoy LEGO Marvel’s Avengers. I really, really did. In the end, I could merely appreciate it.

The latest of myriad LEGO games, it’s like any other before it — quirky, funny, charming and a definite if you’ve kids in your household… but, simply more of the same if you don’t. Honestly though, you didn’t need me to tell you that, did you? It’s LEGO, love it or hate it, ingrained in our culture.

The Avengers stars about 10,000 Marvel characters (or costume variants, at the very least) and follows the plotlines of a bunch of first- and second-wave Marvel movies including The Avengers, Avengers: Age of UltronCaptain America: The First AvengerIron Man 3Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. As you’d expect, that makes for a great value for money proposition, with quite a lot of content to churn through. While there is always a lot going on, Avengers doesn’t suffer for it like LEGO Batman 3 did. That’s simply because the Marvel movies did a great job of trying events together, and Avengers follows suit.

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At any rate, Avengers follows that familiar LEGO formula — you’ll run through levels as a group of 2 or 3 characters, working solo or in co-op. You’ll swap through characters to solve mini-puzzles before progressing further into a level. While trying to do so, you’ll get frustrated as endless waves of goons basically get in your way, preventing you from finishing a build, or turning a crank, or whatever. Playing as the likes of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, heroes and sidekicks like Pepper Potts, each playable character has not only a unique skill, but usually a couple secondary ones too.

While it’s great that there are so many groups of uniquely skilled characters, things get confusing fast. There’s so much going on at one time on the screen – gold sparks, silver sparks, multi-coloured Avengers logos, plus those damn goons – that it takes a bit of time to work out who you’ll need to do what. If I struggled with that at the ripe ol’ age of 34, it’s a fair bet that your children will too. In short, be prepared to play alongside your child.

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That’s not a horrible thing, of course – LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is quite tongue-in-cheek; familiar cutscenes from the films greatly benefit from a bit of tweak at the hands of TT Games. That usually means older players will usually find something to laugh at… until they realise that all in-game cutscenes are unskippable. Worse yet, they feature sound bites from the actual films they’ve been ripped from, but it’s as if someone at TT Games recorded the vocals using a phone held up to a movie screen or something. They’ve got a weird echo to them that places their quality way, way down when compared to stuff recorded for the game itself.

I’m not trying to be hard on LEGO Marvel’s Avengers. It’s polished and, despite more powers making things more confusing, is probably the best designed outing in the franchise to date. If you like past LEGO games, enjoy replaying levels over and over with different characters to get 100% completion or want to entertain your child for hours on end, this one’s for you.

LEGO Marvel’s Avengers was reviewed using a promotional code on Xbox One, as provided by the publisher.

 

Review: LEGO Marvel’s Avengers

The good

  • Well-designed and polished.
  • Great for co-op with your children.

The bad

  • More of the same.
  • Lots of confusing unique powers.
  • Horrible audio quality in cutscenes.

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