LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Preview
It’s no secret that I love playing the LEGO series, even though I am well aware of their frequent (and oft-repeated) technical issues. I’m also a huge comic book fan, so it’s natural that I enjoyed LEGO Batman 2 when it released last year. It’s also natural that I’m looking forward to LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, which is releasing in October for current-generation consoles (of which I played on the Xbox 360), and is also slated as a launch title for both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The demo that I played gave me the chance to experience one of the single-player story missions from the title, set in New York’s Grand Central Station.
The level, titled ‘Sand Central Station’, sees some of Marvel’s most famous heroes take on both The Sandman and Abomination, all whilst the station itself is under varying depths of sand. Initially, players are given the pairing of The Hulk and Iron Man, each with their own specific abilities, which will prove familiar to those who’ve played previous LEGO games, but with subtle differences. Iron Man is able to glide, and is controlled in a similar manner to LEGO Batman 2’s Superman, and he’s also able to blow up shiny silver objects. The Hulk, on the other hand, can transform between Hulk and Bruce Banner forms, with only Bruce Banner being able to build objects. The Hulk is much larger than the standard LEGO figures, and is able to both throw and smash larger objects that other characters cannot interact with. Later in the demo I was able to control Spiderman as well, and he can use his web powers to both swing and web-pull particular marked objects to himself.
In true LEGO series fashion, the visuals for the game are a mixture of impressively realised and poorly executed. Grand Central Station looks authentic, and the flowing sand dunes and sprays of water look realistic. However, other textures throughout the demo are poor and noticeably low-quality, which is quite disappointing, seeing as it’s an issue that has plagued LEGO games for a number of titles already. What’s more, perhaps the most exciting set-piece in the level, where The Hulk fights Abomination, is reduced to a Quick-Time Event, with players required to merely mash buttons to overcome the foe. Another note which may prove familiar to LEGO veterans is that load times on the title were almost absurdly long, particularly when you have a steadily increasing line of people behind you wanting to try the game out for themselves. Admittedly, this was only a demo showing, so the issue may not be present in the retail release, but seeing as how this is another issue that has plagued previous LEGO games, I wouldn’t hold out too much hope in seeing this issue eradicated when the game launches.
Whether or not you should get excited for LEGO Marvel Super Heroes really depends on how into the Marvel license you are, or how forgiving you are of the many problems that seem to be present in each and every LEGO game. Personally, I can see past the issues, as few of them are genuinely game-breaking, and often only prove mildly frustrating. Still, it’s disappointing to see such familiar issues rearing their ugly head yet again. One thing I always admire with the LEGO games is how much content they offer for the dedicated player, and Marvel Super Heroes seems no different in this regard, with a huge cast of characters, and both Story and Free Play modes available. While LEGO Marvel Super Heroes may not be on the ‘must-buy’ list for launch-day purchases for the next generation, you could do much worse than this title, and both LEGO and Marvel fans are sure to have a great time.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is due for release on October 18 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC, November 15 for PlayStation 4, and a currently unannounced date for Xbox One.
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