LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know LEGO Marvel Super Heroes runs in the same vein as other Lego games, delivering lots of cartoonish combat mixed with some clever little contextual puzzles. The fighting is between plastic brick figures that simply break apart when hit or shot -- no blood or gore or shrieks of pain -- and the game is designed so players can't ever really lose. The action was crafted with social and cooperative play in mind, making this a great game for kids, their friends, and perhaps even their parents to play together on the couch. It's tied in to the world of Marvel superheroes and could be looked at as promoting a brand.
What's it about?
LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES is all about exploring Marvel's vast and storied world of heroes and villains. It offers players a chance to step into the shoes of more than 100 iconic characters -- including members of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men -- while exploring locations that will be instantly familiar to Marvel fans, like the Oscorp building and Stark Tower. As with most Lego games, the action -- designed for one or two local players -- is composed of simple button-mashing combat and clever little puzzles built into the game world. For example, kids will bash bad guys with the Hulk's big green mitts, then use his immense strength to lift a giant piece of wreckage and toss it away, clearing a path for other heroes. Outside of the main missions, players can explore an open sandbox world where they'll find quick one-off activities, such as vehicle races.
Is it any good?
The men and women who made LEGO Marvel Super Heroes clearly know their comic-book lore. The heroes in this game feel just right. Whether it's Spider-Man joking about having to do homework or the suggestion of special moments between Hawkeye and Black Widow, the game happily panders to Marvel Universe fans. It can be seen in the action as well. Mr. Fantastic can do all sorts of cool, crazy things with his shape-shifting body -- like stretching flat into a parachute and bending in unexpected ways in combat -- while Iron Man's powers change dramatically based on which armor Tony Stark is wearing.
The only part of the experience that dips below excellent is the open sandbox world. The controls for vehicles and movement in general just don't feel quite right, and finding your way around seems harder than necessary. But even if kids skip the open-world stuff altogether, they're still left with potentially dozens of hours in the campaign missions, which, as usual, lure players to return as new characters in free play mode to unlock more stuff. Young or old, fans of brick building and superheroes will have a great time with TT Games' latest Lego game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about making wise choices as consumers. Do you feel the urge to spend money on toys and other products because they're somehow tied to movies, games, and fictional characters you like? How can you tell whether these are quality goods worth your money?
Families also can discuss cooperative play. Do you enjoy playing games alone or in the company of friends and family? Do you find that most co-op games let you accomplish more while you play, or are you bothered by being forced to take into account the playing style of your partner?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Subjects: Hobbies: building, collecting
- Skills: Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together, teamwork
Communication: friendship building
Thinking & Reasoning: logic, solving puzzles
- Price: $59.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Warner Bros. Games
- Release date: October 22, 2013
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.