With the great amount of acclaim that the original Star Wars games received, it was no surprise to see Lego keep their licensed video games going. Most of the games have been met with positive reviews and, at worst, mixed reviews. Lego Batman was well received but Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes really stepped the game up. Maybe there's just something about superhero charm. Now, it's Marvel's turn with Lego Marvel Super Heroes. Featuring an expansive cast of Marvel favorites, including Spider-Man, Iron Man and Deadpool, I was able to get some hands-on time with the upcoming game at Comic Con International.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes' primary story will feature Galactus as the main adversary. Silver Surfer has been knocked out of the sky and his surfboard is smashed into several Cosmic Bricks. S.H.I.E.L.D's Nick Fury calls upon the Marvel heroes to recover the bricks before they fall into the hands of Galactus and other villains such as Loki and Magneto. Our demo featured two classic playable characters: Iron Man and The Hulk.This gave us an opportunity to look at two important gameplay elements: flying with Iron Man and the use of Big Figures with Hulk. Sandman, one of Spider-Man’s featured enemies, is wreaking havoc with his sand creatures and Iron Man and Hulk are tasked with stopping him. .
The general gameplay is what you'd expect from the Lego series: smash, build and smash some more. However, the super powers add in more exciting elements. There will be approximately 150 characters in the game and each will have their own unique powers. Iron Man’s flying felt very smooth and was easily controlled. It was easily accessed (a double jump) and easy enough to end when needing to land. I never felt out of control. There is a small learning curve to shooting while flying, but you should gain a solid sense of comfort after firing a few shots. Appropriate for Iron Man, his attacks were charged-based and allowed for him unleash some solid blasts via his hands and chest Arc Reactor. His powers will also be the only ones, or one of the few, that will be able to destroy Silver Legos, which keeps up the Lego tradition of switching characters and adding replayabitlity for completionists. Not surprsingly, though, most of the fun came from the Hulk.
Hulk’s power of size allow for him to pick up objects normally immovable objects like trucks and use them in a hammer-like way, or to toss into bigger objects to break them down. In normal circumstances, the difficulty is made somewhat cheapened by Hulk’s size. I was able to smash through Sandman's baddies with ease, though I occasionally switched over to Iron Man because he looked too awesome shooting blasts out of his hands. Lego Marvel Super Heroes seems to recognize that and makes sure that the playing fields will be leveled by pitting you against fellow Big Figures. The demo featured a smash fight with Abomination. It’s childlike in nature (or bro-like, in some cases): Hulk and Abomination would clash and get into a quicktime event-driven punch fest that still managed to be fun. I still prefered simultaneously smashing apart a several enemies, but Traveller's Tales (the developer) teased the Avengers Loki-Smash in a trailer, so that will likely become a new favorite when the game releases.
As touched upon, Lego Marvel Super Heroes will offer an incredibly wide selection of Marvel heroes to play as throughout the game. A Marvel video games panel introduced newly announced characters such as Iron Patriot (a pre-order bonus), Elektra, Silver Samurai, Green Goblin, Colossus, Squirrel Girl, Vulture, Punisher and Rhino. The game extends beyond just the superheroes and dives into other Marvel personalities such as Howard the Duck and Chief Creative Office Joe Quesada. The biggest panel announce, though, was the inclusion of an incredibly powerful and playable Stan Lee, who can swing on webs, shoot fire and most impressively, Hulk out as Stan Hulk.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes is shaping up to be a giant game that will continue the enjoyable Lego game experiences. Easy yet enjoyable gameplay mixed with a very inclusive story and giant cast of characters and Traveller’s Tales solid humor. Lego: Marvel Super Heroes releases October 18, 2013 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3