Lego Marvel Avengers – First Thoughts
We’ve been away from our beloved Lego games for a bit, but we wanted to dive back into one this week and of the ones we hadn’t played yet, Lego Marvel Avengers was the pick!
Unlike the last Marvel Lego outing – which was a new story and featured both the Avengers and a wide array of heroes like the X-Men and Fantastic Four – this one is an adaptation of the movies. Some of the movies, at least: The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3, Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Thor: The Dark World.
Basically, most of Marvel Phase 2. Sadly lacking from the game is Guardians of the Galaxy (Ant-Man could be fun too). Oddly included in the game is The First Avenger, but I guess that one at least should be a radically different location and gameplay than any of the rest, what with it set during World War 2. We’ll get some adventures in space still via The Dark World, and then lots of crises big and small with the rest.
We were warned by Julia: the game starts by dropping you into the fight at the beginning of Age of Ultron. This works since that scene is a fast-paced “look it’s all the Avengers, and they’re friends and working together and ACTION!”
It ends up serving a similar purpose in the game as in the movie, drawing you in and promising you more from the heroes you love. There was a somewhat boring 2-player moment towards the end of the opening level, when you’re attacking the Hydra base itself: Captain America is on the ground breaking things and doing Lego Stuff; Iron Man is flying in a neverending circle around the place against a neverending wave of flying enemies, shooting them down basically to just have something to do… hopefully there won’t be too many parts like that? It was fun for a bit but it ended up being a pretty long segment to just be doing that.
Then you’re out in the hub world, at least theoretically: at the SHIELD base from the beginning of The Avengers, the true chronological start to the game (other than, presumably, a flashback at some point taking us back into The First Avenger). Given that the base is destroyed by the end of the next level, it will be interesting to see if the game plays with a single hub between levels, or if it will be an ever-changing place. Or if we’ll just end up on the Helicarrier like in Lego Marvel Superheroes…
The character abilities and all have been neat so far. Hawkeye has an arrow for everything, and is going to be incredibly useful for dealing with many of the standard Lego-level challenges. Black Widow was also great and had a lot of utility. Ironically, the more powerful superhero characters felt more specialized in their roles. Maria Hill had the first really unique ability we’ve seen in the game, where she summons down two SHIELD agents to join her and fight. Companions! It has amused me to no end.
Overall, we’re enjoying this, and getting the voices and all from the movies is cool (though we’re pretty sure that wasn’t Gwyneth Paltrow…). It’s hard though because I also feel like comparing it to the original story game. Lego has made some great original story games (the Batman games probably the best example), but then they’ve also done great work on movie adaptations (the Harry Potter ones and Star Wars both being particularly good). I also don’t know how much I feel like the addition of voices has helped or hurt their storytelling. But I’m sure we’ll be playing more of this one in the weeks to come!