Originally published on Trevor Trove on February 13, 2016
TL; DR(eview) – LEGO Marvel’s Avengers has plenty of the franchise’s trademark charm but suffers from a disjointed plot, over-reliance on questionably-mixed audio from the movies, and too many single-player focused moments in a co-op game, making this one of the weaker LEGO games.
When LEGO Marvel Super Heroes came out a couple years ago, it quickly became one of my favorite games in the series. Pulling from the full Marvel roster, that game made reference to the movies, comics, tv shows, and cartoons. LEGO Marvel’s Avengers pulls the focus down into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the characters therein. The game’s story covers six movies from the MCU. The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron make up the brunt of the levels with Captain America: The First Avenger, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier are each told through their own self-contained levels.
In addition to these fifteen levels, the game features a series of hub worlds. The largest one, Manhattan, feels very reminiscent to the hub world of Marvel Super Heroes with a few locations swapped out (no need for Xavier’s Mansion or Baxter Building in this one), but there are a series of smaller ones like Asgard, Tony Stark’s Malibu Mansion, and Sokovia. Of course, these hub worlds all have plenty of Gold Bricks and Characters to hunt down.
Like LEGO Jurassic World and a few of the other games before it, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers pulls much of its audio directly from the source material. In this instance, it feels like a complete misfire. The audio mix is frequently horribly uneven, with a Tony Stark one-liner drowned out by explosions or even dialogue in the cut scenes varying wildly in terms of volume and quality.
The other notable misfire in the game was that there were a surprisingly large number of single-player moments that leave your player two wanting far too often. Even though I wasn’t playing through this game as a Co-op with Catherine experience, I was acutely aware of how many times the game became a one-player experience. During iconic moments like the Captain America/Iron Man/Thor fight in the woods from the first Avengers film, the game became nothing more than a button-mashing quick time event while a short repetitive animation of two characters fighting played over and over. Or during the iconic Hulkbuster fight from Age of Ultron, player one plays as the Hulkbuster suit while player two plays as the Veronica satellite?!?! LEGO Jurassic World had a similar issue where one player would take the reigns in a dinosaur duel leaving the other player twiddling their thumbs so this is a bit of a worrying trend for the series.
Overall, the game still has plenty of fan service and LEGO charm but these issues really stood out, leaving the game as one of the weakest installments I’ve played yet. Here’s hoping LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens is able to learn from these missteps and right the ship.
LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, Nintendo 3DS, and PlayStation Vita. For more information, visit the game’s official site.