Traveller's Tales has decided to return to the LEGO Marvel dimension for another outing with its popular superheroes – only this time it's focusing entirely on The Avengers. Taking the storylines and scripts straight from the movies The Avengers and The Avengers: Age of Ultron – and including smaller sections of Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier – has enabled the developer to create a satisfying, story-driven LEGO title.
The LEGO Universe needs saving again, and this time the threat is coming from the Marvel dimension in the form of mind-controlling villain Loki and artificial intelligence Ultron, who is out to rid the planet of human beings. The only people standing between these supervillains and what they want are The Avengers. Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawkeye are the main characters to feature here, but they are also joined by many lesser-known heroes from the comics.
The story is well presented in LEGO's usual form of comical cut scenes; we chuckled at quite a few of them. One involved Hawkeye pulling a baguette from his quiver instead of an arrow and firing it at Loki, who then picked up the bread with a quizzical look on his face only to be swarmed by peckish pigeons. The script is equally good as it's taken straight from the film and all of the lines are spoken by the actors themselves.
The game format is much the same as previous LEGO titles, consisting of a campaign of 15 levels that each last approximately 30 minutes, some open world areas to explore – New York City, for example – and side-missions and races to complete. There's also plenty of replay value in the game as there are characters, mini-kits, gold and red bricks, studs, and even the iconic Stan Lee himself to find.
The gameplay itself is familiar, with different characters used to build and dismantle points of interest in the environment. All of the different abilities required to solve conundrums are still here: Iron Man has lasers to break gold blocks, Hawkeye has arrows to hit targets, Hulk uses his strength to smash through cracked walls, Thor uses electricity to power up generators – you get the idea. The list exceeds 100 characters, and each one can be used to solve a certain type of puzzle.
The main noticeable addition is team-up takedowns that allow you to pair up two characters in battle and perform signature moves to defeat your foes. For instance, our favourite was teaming Thor with Captain America, who use their hammer and shield combo to create a huge blast that wipes out all surrounding enemies. These devastating attacks are both effective against villains and also very enjoyable to watch.
It's not all great, though, as the title suffers from some niggles here and there. We found while playing certain sections that the camera would be rather shaky or positioned incorrectly so that our character was off-screen, which is obviously far from ideal. Another issue that we encountered were the driving mechanics not being sensitive enough; all of the vehicles have massive turning circles and handle rather sluggishly, which is especially irritating during open world races.
As with previous LEGO games, you can play the entirety of this outing either solo or with a friend. We would suggest taking a pal on this journey as puzzles are a lot easier with a buddy controlling another character. Plus, many of the levels last at least 30 minutes, so it can be a long, lonely time without a chum. Of course, there are checkpoints along the way where you have the ability to save and quit and return at a later date.
LEGO Marvel's Avengers assembles the building blocks of a good LEGO game adequately, delivering decent puzzles, comical cut-scenes, and some feel-good fiction for the whole family. However, the formula's definitely starting to wear thin, and it has some niggles that could do with being Iron Man-ed out.