LEGO Marvel’s Avengers (PS4) Review

LEGO Marvel’s Avengers (PS4) Review

I guess it’s time for a new LEGO game. Ever since Traveller’s Tales struck gold with their LEGO Star Wars formula, they’ve been cranking out new editions adapting new pop culture properties ever since. The reason why is simple: these games aren’t just tremendously successful, they’re also ridiculously fun. Combining basic platforming and puzzle-solving with good old fashioned smash em up brawling brings out the best in simple gaming. They feel like games from another era, yet also boast the horsepower of new-gen hardware with some of the most beloved pop culture icons shoved into the cutesy confines of the world’s most beloved toy building blocks. The LEGO games are just plain fun. The only problem is repetition. We get at least two of these suckers a year, causing Traveller’s Tales to crank out new titles faster than they can innovate. So, when you pop a game like LEGO Marvel Avengers into your system of choice, it’s hard not to feel a sense of déjà vu. The LEGO games might be fun, but they really are all the same, and that will be enough to annoy some folks.

LEGO Marvel’s Avengers insert 2It was only a few short years ago that Traveller’s Tales delivered LEGO Marvel Superheroes, possibly the all-time high of the series. Yet here we are with yet another LEGO Marvel game. The twist this time is that the game is based on the MCU movies, which helps conceal the Traveller’s Tales wheel-spinning at least for a while. The story recreates sequences from the movies rather well. It kicks off with the opening fight from Avengers: Age Of Ultron, introducing players to the game by letting them use each of the superstar Avengers (obviously starting with Black Widow and Hawkeye before moving on to…you know…the heroes with powers). The basic smash-bad-guys-and-solve-puzzles-with-LEGO formula remains; however, this time the cutscenes are all amusing recreations of action scenes from the Marvel blockbusters, complete with sound bites from the actors. It’s pretty cute; I can’t pretend I didn’t have fun.

Combat is slightly enhanced as well. Rather than merely smashing the attack button until all the baddies are dead, there’s an option to use an animated, hero-specific super attack (or if two heroes are close enough together for a team attack). It’s a pretty amusing addition that works well with the superhero routine. Sound bites from Robert Downey Jr. and co. add a little flair as well, though all the dialogue is taken from the movies, so the one-liners are repetitive and audio quality varies. The graphics might be the best Traveller’s Tales has delivered so far, with the glossy blockbuster settings from the MCU recreated with surprising depth and detail through LEGO and filled with gorgeous lighting and atmospheric effects. The game looks and feels like the movies, although the way it traverses through narrating them is wonky. The plots of Avengers 1 and 2 offer an overarching structure, but within that there are also flashbacks with playable levels in Captain America: The First Avenger, Iron Man 3, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Thor: The Dark World. It can be a little confusing to wrap your head around, but given that the game is designed for obsessive fans of the movies, I’m sure they’ll be fine.

In addition to the main story, which is pretty hefty given that it crams in 6 movies, there are also several hub cities to explore (including a hefty Manhattan). These include a variety of hidden side missions relating to other movies and more obscure nooks in Marvel lore. Characters from the Spider-man and the X-Men universes don’t appear to appease the Disney bosses, but the Netflix Marvel characters and a variety of comic book characters (yes, Squirrel Girl returns) fill out a massive roster of playable heroes. There’s definitely hours upon hours of exploring to be done after the main story with plenty of missions and characters to unlock. It’ll keep players going for ages and given that The Guardians Of The Galaxy characters are mysteriously absent despite their massive popularity, it’s probably safe to say that DLC is on the way to add even more playtime.

So, it’s another massive Marvel LEGO Game filled with fan service, even more content than the last LEGO Marvel outing, and some of the best visuals Traveller’s Tales has produced to date. Why the low score? More than anything else, the repetition. While I had oodles of fun ploughing through this game, I can’t pretend it didn’t all feel overly familiar. I still get a kick out of the LEGO formula and imagine much of the target audience for this title will be kids who haven’t sampled it before, so there will be plenty of people who enjoy LEGO Marvel’s Avengers. However, if you’ve gotten over the LEGO game style, there’s nothing for you here. It’s more of the same, just a little prettier than before and featuring Scarlett Johansson sound bites. There are also some irritating design glitches that suggest a rushed production and a few of the main action scenes really don’t suit couch co-op properly given that one player basically has to wait around for the main hero to complete an action sequence from the movie.

LEGO Marvel’s Avengers insert 5So, it’s not quite as polished as LEGO games of the past either, which makes sense given just how many of these things Traveller’s Tales keeps cranking out on a constant basis. There’s no denying that new LEGO game releases aren’t quite as exciting as they once were and Traveller’s Tales really needs to introduce some innovations beyond new pop culture facelifts if they want to retain gamers’ interests. However, for those who are merely excited by the concept of a LEGO game set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s no denying that this title scratches that itch in style and provides dozens of hours of playtime for trophy completionists. It’s a good game, just not quite the masterpiece it would have felt like even a few short years ago. Formula repetition will do that. It’s happened to LEGO games and let’s face it, it’ll happen to the Marvel movies themselves soon enough. So, perhaps this title is an appropriate benchmark of sorts for both franchises. Evolve or die, Marvel and Traveller’s Tales (says the impoverished freelance writer to a pair of massively successful entertainment companies making record profits)

Marvel Reveals 8 Brand New Titles To Come Out This Year

Marvel Reveals 8 Brand New Titles To Come Out This Year

Over the weekend at Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (or C2E2 for short) Marvel announced 8 new series that will be released in the later half of this year.

First are a handful of titles of under the name of 100th Anniversary Limited Series. These will be more “What-If” titles that give a possibility of what the Marvel Universe might look like in the next 50 years. So far there’s an Avengers title that will have Captain America trapped in the Negative Zone, a Spider-Man title that has him go up against the Kingpin after losing a techno-symbiote suit, a Fantastic Four title that introduces the Banner-Richard twins, and Guardians of the Galaxy title that has the team face a silver Galactus. There will also be an X-Men title with no plot details, however the cover has Scott Summers marrying Emma Frost.

All five titles will be released in July of this year.

The next series announced was the continuation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower saga titled The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three- The Prisoner.

This will adapt the first part of the second novel where the wounded protagonist Roland Deschain will find himself in 1980’s Chicago and will encounter heroin addict Edie Dean. The writers who adapted the previous Dark Tower series Peter David and Robin Furth will continue to write the series while art will be done by Piotr Kowalski.

The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three-The Prisoner will being in September of this year.

 

The next series will interest fans of the 90’s version of X-Force, as they will be fighting Deadpool. The four issue series tells the story of Cable’s first encounter of Deadpool and will try and stop him from changing the history of America.

The series will being in July of this year.

The grandfather of the modern zombie George A Romero will start the second act of his Empire of the Dead series in September. Act two will revolve around a war between rapidly evolving zombies, vampires, and a Southern militia trying to loot the vampire’s city.

With the release of Guardians of the Galaxy in a few months, it’s not shocking to see them trying to have the team in more titles. First Rocket Raccoon has a series coming out, now Star-Lord will have his own too.

The Legendary Star-Lord will have him fighting against the Badoon, a frequent enemy of his and will follow the aftermath after the Guardians of the Galaxy and All New X-Men crossover.

The series will start in July of this year.

Storm will also be getting her own solo series that will be written and drawn by Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez.

The series will have Storm separating herself from her teams to promote peace between humans and mutant kind. The series will show her dealing with both regular and supernatural events.

Storm will begin in July of this year.

Original Sin has barely even begun and yet it’s effects will already effect on the Marvel universe. Titles Thor: God of Thunder and Loki: Agent of Asgard will crossover during the event and will also be followed in Thor and Loki: The Tenth Relm.

In Original Sin, it will be revealed that Odin also had a daughter. Shockingly enough, it will be the fairly recent Marvel acquired Angela, who is originally from the comic Spawn. She was first dragged over into the Marvel Universe in last year’s Age of Ultron event and has been only featured in the Guardians of the Galaxy series. More can be read in one of our previous news posts.

Thor & Loki: The Tenth Relm will star in July of this year, but will also involve Thor: God of Thunder and Loki: Agent of Asgard starting in July as well.

Finally they reiterated that they will be really killing off Wolverine later this year. More can be read in one of our previous news posts.

The Death of Wolverine series will start in September of this year.

 

 

 

Thor and Loki Partake In Marvel’s “Tenth Realm”

Thor and Loki Partake In Marvel's "Tenth Realm"

We all know that Loki and Thor occasionally have brother issues that often result in some type of conflict, but comic book readers can now look forward to a much more interesting scenario when the two discover they have a long-lost sister named Angela.

This July, in the five-issue Original Sin tie-in Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm, writers Al Ewing and Jason Aaron – writers of the recent Thor and Loki ongoings -alongside artists Simone Bianchi and Lee Garbett uncover the secret stashed away by the brothers’ father Odin. Not only will the series reveal the mysterious extension of the gods’ family, but also expose the secret of the 10th Realm of Asgard – initially believed to be only nine – from which Angela hails.

The Original Sin series was announced during Marvel’s Original Sin panel at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo. The story is about the mysterious death of Uatu the Watcher, who is found dead on Earth’s moon. The Watchers are technologically-advanced species who have existed for billions of years and watch over the universe’s less advanced races. After being stationed in our solar system, Uatu grew fond of Earth’s inhabitants, and broke his vow to never interfere with other race’s affairs on multiple occasions in order to prevent our own extinction. You could say he discovered that we were quite the troublemakers.

Several Original Sin tie-ins are coming out in the next few weeks involving the Fantastic Four and the return of the original Nick Fury. The Tenth Realm should be an interesting ride, as we witness Thor and Loki, who for the most part have actually been on the same side of the fence recently, deal with this new family member who doesn’t quite understand the concept of body armour. Seriously, her outfit screams everything but experienced warrior.

In an interview with CBR, Ewing explains that Angela is a supremely powerful warrior who could “ … kick Thor’s head in any day of the week and twice on Sundays.” She follows a strict warrior’s code, and offers a new perspective on the realm of Asgard. The Tenth Realm hits shelves in July.