LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Preview (PS3 & PS Vita)

Manhattan Island is under attack and is in need of some serious intervention. Super villains Abomination and the Sandman are doing their best to destroy the city and LEGOs are flying everywhere. Who can intervene and save the island from total destruction? Who is ready to step up to the challenge?

During GDC last week members of the press were gathered together and given a sneak peak at Warner Brothers Interactive’s LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. Set to release this Fall, the game features more than one hundred villains and heroes from the Marvel Universe and, in grand LEGO style, even gives you the opportunity to build your own Super Hero. The story is told through cut scenes as well as through chatter between the characters. Voice actors are a welcome addition to the series as previous LEGO games had very little character interaction or banter. Villains taunting you also adds nicely to the overall feel of the game.

Our preview opened up with Silver Surfer being shot out of the sky with his board shattering into many pieces. We find out that the Super Villains are trying to gather as many Cosmic Bricks as they can in order to assemble a super weapon that they could use to destroy the entire world. It is up to the Super Heroes to make sure this doesn’t happen and gameplay opens up as the Abomination and the Sandman are terrorizing Grand Central Station when Iron Man and the Hulk arrive to save the day.

Tony Stark, being the genius and tactically-minded person he is, starts to devise a plan of attack but before he can explain it to the Hulk, the Hulk decides to take matters into his own hands. In other words: Hulk, smash! One of the first things I noticed with this addition to the LEGO series is the amount of LEGO blocks on-screen. With Hulk smashing things to pieces, the amount of LEGOs flying around grew exponentially.

As with previous LEGO titles, switching between characters is a simple task that is also required at times; as each character is needed in order to work through puzzles placed before you. While the Hulk is needed to rip apart buses and clear a path for Tony, Iron Man is needed to blast things that the Hulk can’t reach or to blast things to the point that the Hulkster can rip through them. As both work together to take on the Sandman, a third super hero joins in on the fun when Spider-Man swings into the fray with his web-slinging and his useful Spidey-sense.

The Sandman is a huge Super Villain, but he is made out of sand. Our three heroes must work together to use a water cannon that will allow them to turn the Sandman into the Mudman, which will leave him vulnerable to a joint attack from the good guys. Spidey creates a rope that can only be climbed by a normal person, so the Hulk must reduce himself to his human counter-part Bruce Banner in order to access the water cannon’s controls. In the end team work prevails and the Sandman is defeated by the good guys.

Character size is now proportionally accurate as BIG-fig characters like the Hulk and the Abomination both tower over Iron Man and Spidey. The Hulkster’s thunder Clap move is a great way to clear a path of scattered LEGOs but watch out for the Abomination as he has a few tricks up his sleeveless sleeve as well.

The story will have you travel through many recognizable Marvel Universe locations such as the X-Mansion, Stark Tower, Asteroid M, and Asgard. Manhattan’s open world looks like it will keep us busy in constant search for all of those missing Cosmic Blocks for some time to come.

LEGO games have always been light-hearted and fun and, from what we saw, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes definitely brings that to the table. The chatter between the characters is both entertaining and helps to flesh out the story, making LEGO Marvel Super Heroes something that both kids and adults alike will enjoy.