If you’ve ever sought proof that there’s no shame in being a big kid, there’s every likelihood you will have come across TT Games’ Lego-based oeuvre. More often than not, they take massive film franchises and turn their characters into Lego mini-figures, populating environments entirely with Lego - something that may not sound all that impressive. But they are so beautifully constructed, with such infuriatingly addictive gameplay, that they are more or less irresistible to any gamer, no matter how mature they may be. Many a father has purchased them for offspring, only to sneakily indulge after the kids’ bedtime – and Lego Marvel Super Heroes may just be the best one yet.
Its gameplay is a familiar blend of combat and puzzle-solving by bashing things into Lego bricks before rebuilding them into useful objects. But in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, you have an assembled cast of hundreds of comic-book icons – all the Avengers, plus the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and countless more – up against the massed ranks of every Marvel baddie ever conceived. Even Stan Lee himself appears frequently in Lego form. And the sheer diversity of the characters is a sight to behold: some can fly, some can dig, others have mastered telekinesis, others have fire, electrical or magnetic attacks, while Mr. Fantastic can move through grates and transform into useful objects like giant screwdrivers. This all adds a vast amount of extra depth to the gameplay, and like Lego City Undercover, you can step away from the main storyline and perform GTA-without-the-cynicism-style tasks in a huge sandbox Lego rendering of New York.
Then there’s the storyline, which is some distance beyond bonkers, and is often laugh-out-loud funny. The characters relentlessly take the mickey out of each other (at various times, Tony Stark is reduced to his underwear, and Hulk wields a dustpan and brush), with the humour made more enjoyable because the whole shebang can be enjoyed co-operatively, with fellow players jumping in and out, which is ideal for parent-offspring bonding. And a vast amount of side-missions and collectibles provides a really meaty element of replayability. Up there with Lego’s take on Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy, this is one of the finest brick-based button bashers TT’s ever built.
Reviewed by Steve Boxer