LEGO Marvel Super Heroes First Impressions Preview - Little LEGO Iron Man!
Written Monday, April 15, 2013 By Lee BradleyView author's profile
Considering TT has already knocked out a whopping 17 LEGO games since the original LEGO Star Wars, you could be forgiven for not giving a monkeys about the upcoming LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. That’s certainly how I felt when I stumbled, hungover, into a behind-closed-doors showing of the game during GDC last month.
But as soon as I got a glimpse of LEGO Iron Man, swaying in the air with his little jet-powered boot boosters and glove repulsors, my headache was cured and all the nasty cocktails I’d drunk with editor Dan the night before were a distant memory. Little LEGO Iron Man’s just so bloody charming!
So maybe you’re not excited by Marvel Super Heroes. Maybe you’re tired of the LEGO games. But spend a few minutes with this new one, which is overflowing with the series’ trademark charm and some brilliant representations of familiar characters, and you might be tempted to splash the cash all over again.
Here’s the setup. The Silver Surfer’s surfboard has been destroyed, shattered into powerful Cosmic Bricks and scattered all over the place. Scared by the prospect of the bricks getting into the wrong hands, Nick Fury calls on the heroes of the Marvel Universe to get them back. And thus, little LEGO Iron Man sets out with Spider-man, Hulk, Thor, Wolverine and a bunch more of our favourite comic book characters, to save the day.
Our demo focused on Iron Man, Spidey and Hulk as they attempted to tackle a rampaging Sandman in New York. Or more specifically, the amusingly named Sand Central Station (geddit?). Much of the gameplay was familiar - plenty of tinkling brick collecting, building, bashing and leaping around. The twist came in the way each hero's unique abilities were used to progress. You can’t just hulk out and charge your way to victory, y’know.
In this way, the not-so jolly green giant used his ground pound to clear a path, Iron Man used his repulsor rays to destroy special coloured bricks invulnerable to everyone else, and Spider-man used his Spidey Sense in order to identify and manipulate special environmental items. To defeat Sandman, however, took a little more skill.
A giant, swirling collection of bricks in the rough shape of a man’s torso, at this point Sandman had become a fearsome - yet somehow still kinda cute - monster. Entering Sand Central Station itself, Spiderman cast a web up onto a high platform. Unable to climb it thanks to his remarkable size, Hulk transformed into Bruce Banner and pulled himself up.
Once on the platform, the scientist was able to use his skills to create a water cannon. One watery blast and Sandman turned into a vulnerable state, at which point our super friends could do their thing and deal the villain some damage. A few times around and Sandman was dust. Kapow!
During the demo we were also shown a few more of Hulk’s special abilities, in the lead up to a confrontation with Abomination. Both characters represent a new addition to the franchise, referred to as “big-figs” by the developers. As the name suggests, these characters are bigger than the rest of the cast and are able to do things like lift cars and pull large blocks from the ground and chucking them around with devastating effect.
We’ll have to wait and see whether there’s any more gameplay depth to the “big-figs,” but it looks like TT has repeated its usual trick and sprinkled in just enough new elements to freshen up the traditional LEGO experience. But at risk of repeating ourselves, it’s the charm of the characters and reverence to the comic book source that really sells LEGO Marvel Super Heroes.
Throughout the demo Spidey and Iron Man traded brilliant little snappy one-liners in a way that was at once true to both the comics and the LEGO games. Fully voiced, just like LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, it’s a lighthearted treat, perfect partnered with the easy yet inventive gameplay. At one point, while Nick Fury outlines the threat Earth will be under if the Cosmic Blocks get into the wrong hands, Iron Man says something like, “It’s not going to cut into my jacuzzi time, is it?” Wonderful stuff.
There’s still plenty more to come from LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. All told there are around 100 characters from the comics universe that we’ve yet to see, as well as locations like the X-Men mansion, Stark/Avengers Tower and Asgard. If TT can cram as much love into the the whole game as we saw in our 20 minute demo, then there’s plenty of reasons to be excited.
You may think LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is just another LEGO game, and in many ways it is, but if it can win over my GDC hangover-addled brain, it might pull a similar trick on you. TT now has its cheery, fun-for-all-the-family formula down to a fine art.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is out this Autumn.