SHORT REVIEW: PC version
Outrageous Lego news as Marvel attempt military coup on small island in the pacific, also review of silly computer game follows
I absolutely love the Lego platform games. Smashing levels to bits is possibly some form of mild psychological issue, possibly acute toy-smash disorder. Indeed, a not-so-guilty secret, you might say.
Now, I consider these Lego games to be two-player only and I can’t imagine playing any of these Lego games by myself for any great length of time, so that may distort my opinion of these games somewhat. If the majority of people feel exhausted by the sheer amount of these Lego games churned out, I completely understand why. My favourite of the series so far is Lego Marvel Super Heroes, so I was hugely excited for what appeared to be, a natural continuation of the theme. So…
I slightly fucking hate it. Fun is still to be had but something strange is happening at Travellers Tales. This is the first of the Lego games that has ever overtly shown fatigue. Let’s start at the beginning, the story mode. All the recently released Marvel films are on show here woven into a an adventure,as you would expect given the title of the game, but it’s lacking charm. Remember when the Lego games didn’t have dialogue and relied wholly on slapstick to convey your favourite scenes? That’s very much a distant memory. Now we are reduced to dry insignificant dialogue poorly lifted directly from the film without any joy, perhaps with a banana in shot because bananas are funny.
The actual levels themselves rely on “Hulk smash!” within almost too realistic looking levels. Not colourful superhero Lego fun, but dry, slightly dull colours, with tiny Lego enemies constantly attacking you within a level until your teeth grind. Half the fun of these games lies with exploring, smashing things, building things from the rubble, maybe a light puzzle. Not being constantly attacked over and over again in small bland environments. I also encountered my fair share of bugs, simple things such as getting stuck in scenery to having my spacecraft explode over and over again. It contributes to a complete lack of polish or care. Frankly it’s lacking heart.
Side note – On starting the game there is an additional menu screen to keep you from the action. It’s been there before, a few of the newest Lego games have this now. It didn’t bug me much at first, but the more I think about it, the more I hated that too. It’s an advert. An advert to sell you more shit. Or more accurately, to sell your kids more shit. It’s not needed, we wanna go and play our smashy smashy nonsense, not have an additional layer of eyeshit to clog up our brains. No, I don’t want to look at “CENSORED” or “CENSORED”. It’s like those bloody adverts on that nice new Blu-Ray you bought, trailers for films, that in 10 years time will be meaningless, or you might even own the things advertised, but the fucking scum companies insist on clogging up all your entertainment with irrelevant shit. Fuck off adverts. We see through you, executive advertising scum!
Buried within the game, when you unlock it in the campaign you can enjoy large open spaces such as Manhattan, Shield’s Helicopter base and so on. Free from the constraints of the terrible story mode the game shines like previous incarnations. Flying around as Iron Man whilst your partner Jumps around as the Hulk is still fun. It’s fun to solve the little puzzles together. It’s still fun to unlock the hundreds of characters, some delightfully obscure. It’s still fun to have Daredevil joyriding a stolen Lego car like “Scent of a Woman”. The tragedy is the fun is still there… so what’s going on?
Travellers Tales know how to make a fun Lego games, do you know how I know that? They’ve been doing it for years! Unless all the talent walked out of the company’s doors, I am only left with the conclusion that Marvel themselves are meddling and forcing changes. I can easily imagine Marvel demanding that the real film dialogue must be used. “Stick to the formula!” they scream at the programmers, “Don’t change the plot!” they bellow from on high. “Give them the experience we demand, DO NOT under any circumstances get involved in OUR creative vision.” as Travellers Tales whimper in the fiery pits of Marvel. It must be demoralising. I hope I’m wrong and this is a simple misstep. I want another great Lego game. Who knows, after all, I’m making this all up.
But one thing I do know, whatever happened, this is the first Lego game I’ve played that’s lost that lil’ bit of magic, that made me a fan in the first place.
Six might be too harsh, but I was bloody disappointed after the first few levels and the pretty consistent bugs and missteps. No… six is the perfect score.