Review: Lego Marvel’s Avengers (Wii U)

TT Games delivers a solid take on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

By Marc Deschamps. Posted 07/06/2016 10:00 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Wealth of content; strong use of the source material; great sound
Poison Mushroom for...
Doesn't offer much new; shorter levels on the handheld version are preferable; narrowed focus means the absence of popular characters

Back in 2013, Wii U owners were treated to Lego Marvel Super Heroes, a charming, massive recreation of the Marvel Universe presented in Lego form. This year, Traveler’s Tales revisits the Marvel brand with Lego Marvel’s Avengers, an adaptation of the two Avengers films (as well as moments from other Marvel Studios flicks) in the inimitable Lego style. Lego Marvel’s Avengers never quite reaches the same heights as its predecessor, but it does offer an experience that will prove charming for most Marvel fans.

The gameplay of Lego Marvel’s Avengers should be familiar to anyone who’s played a Lego game over the last few years. While Traveler’s Tales continues to make minor changes to the formula, the core gameplay remains the same. The Avengers have some new team-up moves, and Iron Man can switch between different armors on the fly, but little else has changed. It’s still easy-to-control and a lot of fun, but players feeling burned out on the Lego formula should look elsewhere.

Lego Marvel’s Avengers also features voice work and music pulled directly from the films. The music sounds terrific, but the use of the original voice work from the films can sometimes be a little restrictive. Occasionally, lines will abruptly cut off, either for timing or content (Tony Stark’s euphemism for ED in the first film is unsurprisingly cut, but not until the last second). At times it seems the developers would have been better off using the all-star voice cast from Lego Marvel Super Heroes, but it’s also hard to imagine these lines being delivered by any other actors. Fans of the films will likely be happier with the original voices, regardless of the occasional wart or two. While the developers obviously didn’t get new voice work from actors like Chris Evans or Robert Downey Jr., Marvel veterans Clark Gregg, Hayley Atwell, Cobie Smulders, and Stan Lee all provide new audio for the game. This is a very welcome addition, and it really helps to make the package feel a little more complete.

The Wii U version of Lego Marvel’s Avengers offers a robust amount of content. Completing the main story mode will take a decent amount of time, but the game also offers multiple locations for players to freely explore, and tons of different characters and side missions to unlock. Between the main story, side missions, and the large amount of DLC currently available (some of which is free), Marvel fans will find that the game has quite a bit to offer.

Once again, Traveler’s Tales has delivered an experience that is faithful to the source material, with a number of references that fans will enjoy. Unfortunately, one of the biggest things that holds Lego Marvel’s Avengers back is the title’s narrowed focus on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. While Lego Marvel Super Heroes offered players the chance to play as the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, this title mainly sticks to the Avengers family of characters. On one hand, it does grant a spotlight to a number of more obscure characters and new favorites. Comic fans will love seeing characters such as Kamala Khan, Devil Dinosaur, and America Chavez, but casual Marvel fans will find themselves missing Marvel stalwarts like Wolverine and the Human Torch.

Lego Marvel’s Avengers launched alongside a handheld counterpart. The 3DS version of the title was one of the more impressive handheld Lego releases thus far, but it didn’t quite offer the same amount of content as the console version. The handheld version focused mainly on the two Avengers films, while the console version features playable sequences based on Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and more. The console version also offers much more downloadable content, expanding the already impressive amount Lego Marvel’s Avengers has to offer. The handheld version does have some minor advantages: the handheld’s shorter levels are preferable, and there are some sequences that play out better in that version, but, overall, the console version is the definitive offering.

Lego Marvel’s Avengers is a wonderful recreation of the source material. Fans of the Marvel Studios films will be happy to know that the trademark humor they’ve come to expect from both Marvel and Lego remains intact. Unfortunately, the game never quite reaches the same heights as its predecessor, Lego Marvel Super Heroes. Still, the title is fun to play, and for Marvel fans aren’t sick of the Lego formula at this point, there’s quite a bit to enjoy.

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