The storyline levels take a vast array of superheroes to different iconic locations that have been shown in Marvel comics throughout the years, including J. Jonah Jameson’s Daily Bugle and the legendary Realm Eternal of Asgard. Throughout the storyline, heroes strive to save the city of New York—and ultimately the world—from a gaggle of supervillains collecting Cosmic Bricks for the fiendish plans of Dr. Doom and Loki. Most representations of the characters in dialogue interactions and gameplay are a bit silly, even if they do act like their true forms, but the one superhero that is true to form regardless is Spider-Man, and I believe that has much to do with how silly and pun-tastic the character is in all of his portrayals. There are only 15 levels for the actual storyline, making it the same length as LEGO Batman 2, and some of the levels are long and multi-faceted, but I still feel as though there could have been more available.
Open World Free Play
Much like the LEGO Batman 2 game that came out last year, the Open World hub for Free Play and bonus levels is the home city of most of Marvel’s iconic characters, New York City. There are various points around the city in which bonus levels can be opened, but they require the collection of Gold Bricks to build the doorway. Along with this are the extra bits that can be found in the Free Play of the story levels, including earning 100% (or more) of needed studs to become a True Believer, finding all of the minikits, and saving Stan Lee from various harmful situations (suitably named as “Stans in Peril”). The helicarrier is also where a lot of extra Free Play options exist, including customization of characters and buying the unlocked extras. Throughout the game, the voiceovers of the characters of Deadpool or Agent Coulson (voiced by Clark Gregg) provide helpful (or annoying) tips on what to do for the player.
Characters and World Design
A good bit of the structures and map correspond to what is shown in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as the X-Men series of films (most notably the layout of Xavier’s estate), but a lot of the characters seem to have their iconic comics designs which don’t always correspond to what has been shown in the movies. For the X-Men, I can understand why, as the costume designs in the films were either all yellow or all black, making it a bit hard to distinguish the minifigs as they are being played, but some of the original designs are just . . . well, let me just say that they are like some sort of colorful rainbow that makes my eyes hurt, but that is the way when you have so many costumed characters that you have to find some way to distinguish between in comic books and television shows.
New York City looks much the way it always does, although there are certain different aspects to it that correspond with the films and other Marvel properties. The helicarrier and Stark Tower from The Avengers, the use of “Asteroid M” for Magneto’s headquarters from the comics and one of the various X-Men cartoons, and, of course, a version of the Baxter Building from the comics, as well. The only real difference I saw that was out of place is the location of Xavier’s estate, as it has always been shown to be in Weschester County, which is not exactly right next door to NYC. I can see the reasoning behind keeping it close to the rest of the Open World design, but the placement does stand out a bit.
Glitches (360 version)
So far, I have only noticed one glitch, and that was during the Free Play of one of the levels. In collecting all of the minikits, the final count turned out to be 11 out of 10. That’s right; an extra minikit seems to have wound up being collected somehow. No idea if this mysterious 11th minikit will actually do anything, or if it really is just a glitch. I guess I will find out once I hit 100%, but that’s going to be a bit of a while—this game is huge.
I’m still working on getting that 100% achievement and seeing what “surprise” is at the very end of the game, but so far I’ve been having a lot of fun playing the game. It really is a family entertainment kind of game, where kids and adults of all ages can enjoy it, and it certainly speaks to the comic book geeks out there, but just don’t expect it to be completely accurate to the source material—it is a LEGO game, after all. Now, all I have to do is wait until the next come comes out in February . . .