It opens in iconic fashion, with a beginning stripped right out of “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
Except for that part where LEGO Thor picks up a … pig. And throws it.
All at once, it’s a boatload of Avengers familiarity blended with a dollop of video game humor. And that’s the beauty of LEGO’s latest — and largest — title, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers. Humor and hijinx reign in a vast and enjoyable retelling of everything you know about Marvel, playing out in a balanced game that adult superhero fans and children alike can enjoy.
It’s a decidedly old-school experience, as children’s games go. In an era when kids games increasingly rely on real-life props (see: the toys of Skylanders and Disney’s Infinity and LEGO’s own Dimensions line), this game is played purely like a video game, driven by its onscreen combat and puzzles. It relies on its narrative threads and cutscenes to hold children’s attention, to lead them to ignore the fact that, on some levels, the gameplay is starting to show its age.
But oh, the narrative is fantastic. The game attempts to collect much of the Phase 2 Marvel films, starting with that “Age of Ultron” opening and including plenty of pieces of “Captain America: Winter Soldier” and “Iron Man 3.” It’s heavily Avengers-centric, as you’d expect given the title, although that leaves out “Guardians of the Galaxy” and provides “Ant-Man” only in PlayStation-specific DLC.
But the recreated scenes are well-done, oozing a mix of LEGO charm and Marvel magic. There’s nothing quite like that early Ultron moment where all the Avengers come into one frame, leaping forward to take on Hydra. Smaller scenes, such as Hawkeye’s inability to spot the super-speedy Quicksilver in a forest, are perfectly recreated with these blocky LEGO characters, audio stripped right from the films leading you to reminisce and laugh all at once.
LEGO tells its narrative out-of-order. Marvel’s films have long lined up nicely, but that doesn’t stop things from getting mixed around here, with Ultron leading things, even if it does feel like the latest marquee film. The jumpiness permits the insertion of other areas right out of the minds of developer TT Games, opens for reasons to insert other random characters.
There are a slew of Marvel stars to be unlocked past the avenging crew, and several open-world areas to explore. These areas, which include a fabulously recreated LEGO New York City, aren’t quite as captivating as the movie areas, but they do help beef up gameplay, and it’s solid fun to traverse New York.
Still, it’s the cutscenes that truly hold your attention, even when the gameplay does not. You know the LEGO gameplay template by now, and it doesn’t change here: You go from light combat to simple puzzle.
The heroes operate in pairs, and developer TT Games does make light attempts to spice things up, with several hero-specific area-effect battling combos, including that classic move where Thor slams Mjolnir into Captain America’s shield. These are fun to see, and, as you unlock more heroes, it becomes a nice little experiment for parents and kids alike to see which pairings can yield interesting blends of moves.
The puzzles stay simplistic, and, generally, you can solve them by trying to hit enough stuff. That’s as it should be, too: This is a children’s game first and foremost, and the ease of the puzzles lets adults back off on these sections, leaving it to children to solve them first. If your child can’t solve the area or grows frustrated, you can easily step in and figure things out.
It’s a tried-and-true formula that’s showing its age overall and will soon be in need of an overhaul, especially in this era. LEGO itself seems to realize that, too, and it’s laid a new template down for all its titles with last year’s Dimensions title.
But for at least one more game, old-school is OK. Yes, the Avengers always find a way to save the day.
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LEGO Marvel’s Avengers isn’t Hulk-sized blockbuster, but still a lot of fun: Video Game Review have 858 words, post on www.nydailynews.com at February 3, 2016. This is cached page on Game Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.