Submit a news tip

[Review] LEGO Marvel’s Avengers

Posted on February 19, 2016 by (@P_Trah) in Reviews, Wii U

System: Wii U (reviewed), 3DS
Release date: January 26, 2016
Developer: TT Games
Publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

The LEGO video games have always been relatively simple yet fun romps through iconic universes like Batman, Harry Potter, and pretty much everything in between. Yet, while LEGO Marvel Avengers captures that same LEGO charm that the series is known for, it suffers from a number of bumps and hiccups that manage to hold it a little further back from its older siblings.

LEGO Marvel Avengers is, in its simplest form, a recreation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the form of a LEGO game. The story kicks off right where the Avengers: Age of Ultron film begins, with the Avengers infiltrating Baron Strucker’s base in order to retrieve Loki’s scepter from the hands of Hydra. This leads into the opening level of the game, which is segmented into about four different areas that get the player familiar with the gameplay of the main Avengers cast. Once you finish the tutorial level and infiltrate Strucker’s base you can view the results screen and advance the story. However, once you advance to the next level the screen fades to black and the word “Previously…” fades into view. A cut-scene begins to play detailing the very beginning of the first Avengers film with Loki getting his scepter from Thanos.

It seems that LEGO Marvel Avengers wanted to recap the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, but in the process made a fairly jumbled mess of storylines. Throughout the game, you’ll jump to random parts of various Avenger hero films like Captain America: The First Avenger or Iron Man 3. This can make the game feel a bit segmented instead of one larger and more cohesive package, and can make it a little confusing for people who maybe aren’t so familiar with the Marvel films.


The story and cut-scenes are played out using lines of dialogue stripped from the many movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and are spliced in to fit their respective in-game scene. This works fairly well during cut-scenes, but during gameplay or gameplay cut-scenes more often than not the dialogue is almost inaudible. Sometimes this is corrected if the camera moves closer to the character saying the line, but that very rarely happens. This would take place during scripted dialogue while just running around the various levels or when a character uses a finishing move on an enemy. It’s even more jarring when the latter occurs because the music softens to allow the line to be heard, yet the line is still far quieter than everything else. Sometimes the only reason I knew characters were saying anything at all was because I turned the subtitles option on.

The gameplay in LEGO Marvel Avengers is your standard LEGO fare: button mash to beat up baddies, break everything and then build things with the broken pieces to solve puzzles or advance the level. Each Avenger you play as has a “unique” attribute specific to them. I use “unique” fairly loosely as most powers or abilities are shared between multiple characters with the exception of one or two. For example, Hawkeye and Iron Man can shoot thermal lasers or arrows to break gold bricks, or shoot explosives to break silver bricks; while some abilities are specific, like throwing Captain America’s shield to act as a key or shooting lightning with Thor’s hammer. This was most likely done so that specific characters could play out their scenes from the movies but still be able to solve the basic puzzles throughout the levels, but it kind of leaves the Avengers feeling more like variations of each other rather than individuals.


The combat is another major element of gameplay and it isn’t shaken up too much from the traditional LEGO formula. A single button is used to attack and sometimes it’s possible to perform a finishing move on an enemy that plays a short animation and instantly kills them. Or if you press “A” while facing a fellow Avenger, a team attack will initiate and wipe out most enemies on screen. Some levels feature scripted fight scenes where the player has to tap certain buttons until the scene fully plays out. And that’s really what the gameplay boils down to: tapping buttons whenever the game told you to.

Puzzles are initiated the same way. Glowing objects will prompt you to hit a button, and then play a little minigame like memory-match or remember a sequence of buttons to tap out. These occur far too often and are too simple to be fun or engaging and quickly became tedious. And, for whatever reason, sometimes the game doesn’t tell you what your objective is. This can lead to scouring every corner of an area until you find the random object you have to break or the button prompt you may have missed which allows you to proceed with the level. It can be very frustrating, especially when endless waves of enemies show up until you find the solution. However, the gameplay wasn’t always tedious or boring to play through. Exploring the vast open world of New York City in the Free Roam mode was enjoyable and searching for the many collectibles hidden throughout the levels had its moments of satisfaction, but when the gameplay began to drag it was very noticeable and didn’t pick back up until there was a change of scenery.

Despite some of LEGO Marvel Avengers flaws, the humor and charm that comes with LEGO games is still present and it made the tedious and repetitive gameplay easier to bare. Some of the jokes end up a bit overused, but for the vast majority, the slapstick humor mixed with the voice clips from the films are used to create some really great moments. The graphics are actually pretty good, too. Most textures that aren’t for the LEGO pieces look really clear and vibrant. However, the framerate can be an issue in some levels – especially in multiplayer. When playing multiplayer, one person uses the GamePad while the other uses the TV as a screen along with a separate controller. The framerate dips down to around 30 FPS, but in some action-heavy levels I experienced frame rates of around 15 FPS.


The Verdict

The recommendation?

If you’re a die-hard fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and enjoy the gameplay formula of the games in the LEGO series, you’ll probably enjoy your time spent with LEGO Marvel Avengers. Or if you want a game to casually play with someone who isn’t as well versed in video games this is a good game to pick up. However, if you want to jump into a LEGO game for the first time, I’d recommend skipping this one as there are plenty of others that achieve much more. There is a decent game to be found within LEGO Marvel Avengers, but wading through the tedium and repetitiveness can make it a bit hard to appreciate.

Leave a Reply

Manage Cookie Settings