Lego Marvel's Avengers
|Lego Marvel's Avengers|
Lego Marvel's Avengers is a Lego-themed action-adventure video game developed by Traveller's Tales and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Macintosh, and Microsoft Windows. It is the spin-off to Lego Marvel Super Heroes and the second installment of the Lego Marvel franchise. It follows the plots of both The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron as well as Captain America: The First Avenger, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The game features characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as characters from comic books. Characters include Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Thor, Ultron, Loki, Winter Soldier, Falcon, Vision, and War Machine and some lesser known characters such as Devil Dinosaur and Fin Fang Foom. It includes the characters of the Avengers team along with many others. The game was released on 26 January 2016.
The gameplay is similar to Lego's long-running series of franchise video games, with a focus on puzzle-solving interspersed with action. Players have to solve puzzles spread across the game environment in order to progress through levels. While action and fighting are featured liberally throughout the game, it is kept very child-friendly as per Lego custom. The game features New York City as the main large open-world hub, but also, for the first time, includes a dozen other movie significant areas players can travel to, including Asgard, Malibu, South Africa, The Helicarrier, the Bartons' farm, Washington DC, and Sokovia. These hubs also feature heavy playability, with hundreds of side quests and bonus levels such as rescuing citizens in trouble, races, and more. The main story actually takes up a fairly small fraction of the game's total "completion". Whilst the game's story is predominantly focused on the two Avengers films there are single levels based on Captain America: The First Avenger, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The game features over two hundred playable characters, including some characters (but not all) returning from the previous game. The heroes are drawn not just from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the comics as well. Director Arthur Parsons stated: "It's a celebration of everything about the Avengers. Comic books, movies, cartoons. It's everything you love about the Avengers in video games". Confirmed additional characters include Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel, Sam Wilson's Captain America appearance, America Chavez, Jane Foster's Thor form, Wiccan, and Speed. Every two characters have their own unique team-up abilities. There are even separate ones for what character is triggering the attack, meaning nearly 800 team-up moves.
In the Eastern European country of Sokovia, the Avengers—Tony Stark/Iron Man, Steve Rogers/Captain America, Thor, Bruce Banner/Hulk, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, and Clint Barton/Hawkeye—attack a Hydra facility commanded by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker in an attempt to retrieve Loki's old scepter. After an encounter with two of Strucker's test subjects, twins Pietro/Quicksilver and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, they retrieve the scepter. However, as Iron Man is about to leave with it, Wanda manipulates his mind, prompting a series of flashbacks that explain how the scepter ended up on Earth.
Loki encounters the Other, the leader of an extraterrestrial race known as the Chitauri and a servant of Thanos, who provides him with the scepter and sends him to Earth to retrieve the Tesseract, a source of unlimited power, in exchange for an army to subjugate Earth. At a remote research facility of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., director Nick Fury and his lieutenant Maria Hill arrive to oversee the experiments of a research team led by physicist Dr. Erik Selvig on the Tesseract, which has begun radiating an unusual form of energy. The Tesseract suddenly opens a wormhole, bringing Loki to Earth. He uses the scepter to brainwash Selvig, Barton, and many other agents to serve him and help him escape with the Tesseract before the facility explodes, despite Hill and another agent's efforts to stop him.
In response to the attack, Fury reactivates the "Avengers Initiative." Romanoff is sent to Calcutta to recruit Banner to trace the Tesseract through its gamma radiation emissions, while Phil Coulson visits Stark to have him review Selvig's research, and Fury approaches Rogers with an assignment to retrieve the Tesseract. While talking with Fury, Rogers has flashabacks of his time fighting Hydra during World Ward II in the 1940s; during a raid on Arnim Zola's train, Rogers' partner and friend Bucky Barnes fell off a cliff and was presumed dead. In Stuttgart, Barton steals iridium needed to stabilize the Tesseract while Loki causes a distraction, leading to his defeat at the hands of Stark, Rogers and Romanoff. While escorting Loki to S.H.I.E.L.D., their jet is attacked by Thor, who frees his adoptive brother in the hopes of convincing him to abandon his plan and return to Asgard. After a fight between Stark, Rogers, and Thor, the latter agrees to let Loki be imprisoned on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. Upon arrival, Loki is imprisoned while Banner and Iron Man attempt to locate the Tesseract.
While Banner and Stark attempt to locate the Tesseract, Rogers searches through S.H.I.E.L.D.'s files cases and soon discovers that S.H.I.E.L.D. plans to harness the Tesseract to develop weapons as a deterrent against hostile extraterrestrials. As the group argues, Barton and Loki's other possessed agents attack the Helicarrier, disabling one of its engines in flight and causing Banner to transform into the Hulk. Rogers and Stark manage to repair the engine, leaving the Helicarrier stranded in the air, while Romanoff knocks Barton unconscious, breaking Loki's mind control, and Thor subdues Hulk, but Loki escapes after wounding Coulson. After the Avengers reunite, Fury motivates into working as a team. They steal a Quinjet and use it to get to New York City, where Loki inserts the Tesseract into a device built by Selvig, opening a wormhole above Stark Tower that allows the Chitauri fleet to invade Earth.
After Banner transforms into the Hulk, the Avengers battle the Chitauri army together. Hulk subdues Loki while Romanoff frees Selvig from Loki's control, learning that the wormhole generator can be shut down using the scepter, and Stark redirects a nuclear missle launched by the World Security Council to the Chitauri's mother ship, destroying it and killing all the Chitauri on Earth. His armor runs out of power and he crashes back on Earth, just as Romanoff shuts down the generator. In the aftermath, Thor returns Loki and the Tesseract to Asgard, while Fury expresses confidence that the Avengers will return if and when they are needed. Meanwhile, Thanos is informed of Loki's failure, and the Avengers are shown celebrating in a restaurant. A disguised Strucker steals Loki's scepter and takes it back to his base where he and Dr. List begin experimenting on Pietro and Wanda, ending the flashback.
Returning to the Avengers Tower, Stark and Banner discover an artificial intelligence within the scepter's gem and decide to use it to complete Stark's "Ultron" global defense program. The unexpectedly sentient Ultron, believing he must eradicate humanity to save Earth, eliminates Stark's AI J.A.R.V.I.S. and crashes the Avengers' celebration party, taking control of Stark's Iron Legion. After the Avengers destroy all his drones, Ultron escapes with the scepter, using the resources in Strucker's Sokovia base to upgrade his rudimentary body and build an army of robot drones, and recruits the Maximoffs to help him. They meet with arms dealer Ulysses Klaue to obtain Wakandan vibranium and manage to escape, despite the Avenger's attempt to stop them, after Wanda subdues them with haunting visions, causing Banner to transform into the Hulk and rampage until Stark stops him with his anti-Hulk armor.
A worldwide backlash over the resulting destruction, and the fears that Wanda's hallucinations had incited, forces the Avengers into hiding at Barton's farm. Thor departs to consult with Dr. Erik Selvig on the meaning of the apocalyptic future he saw in his hallucination. Fury arrives and encourages the team to form a plan to stop Ultron. In Seoul, Ultron brainwashes the team's friend Dr. Helen Cho with Loki's scepter and has her use her synthetic-tissue technology, together with vibranium and the scepter's gem, to perfect a new body for him. Before he can upload himself into the body, Wanda reads his mind and learns his plan for human extinction, leading the Maximoffs to turn against Ultron. Rogers, Romanoff and Barton fight Ultron and his drones in a stolen truck and succeed in retrieving the synthetic body, but Ultron captures Romanoff. The fight causes a train to derail, but Rogers and the Maximoffs manage to stop it.
The Avengers argue over Stark's plan to upload J.A.R.V.I.S.—who is still operational after hiding from Ultron inside the Internet—into the synthetic body. Thor returns to help activate the body, explaining that the gem on its brow is one of the six Infinity Stones, the most powerful objects in existence. The newly activated Vision and the Maximoffs accompany the Avengers to Sokovia, where Ultron has used the remaining vibranium to build a machine to lift a large part of the capital city skyward, intending to crash it into the ground to cause global extinction. Banner rescues Romanoff, who helps him transform into the Hulk for the battle. The Avengers fight Ultron's army while Fury arrives in the Helicarrier with Hill, War Machine, and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to evacuate the civilians in flying lifeboats. Quicksilver dies when he shields Barton from gunfire, and a vengeful Wanda abandons her post to destroy Ultron's primary body, which allows one of his drones to activate the machine. The city plummets downwards, but Stark and Thor overload the machine and destroy the landmass. In the aftermath, the Hulk, unwilling to endanger Romanoff by being with her, departs in the Quinjet, while Vision confronts and destroys Ultron's last remaining body.
Later, with the Avengers having established a new base run by Fury, Hill, Cho, and Selvig, Thor returns to Asgard to learn more about the forces he suspects have manipulated recent events. As Stark leaves, Barton retires off-screen, and Rogers and Romanoff prepare to train new Avengers: War Machine, Falcon, Vision, and Wanda.
Unlike Lego Marvel Super Heroes, which used original voice acting, Lego Marvel's Avengers utilizes audio from the six films being adapted for the game, including voice and music, similar to Lego The Lord of the Rings, The Lego Movie Videogame, Lego The Hobbit, and Lego Jurassic World. The game utilizes the archive audios from the actors in the films. However, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Ashley Johnson, Hayley Atwell, Michael Peña, and Ming-Na Wen reprise their respective roles from the films and TV shows, and Marvel Comics co-creator Stan Lee returned to voice himself. Robbie Daymond voices A-Bomb. Lou Ferrigno voices himself and Greg Miller voiced Aldrich Killian.
Free PlayStation timed exclusive downloadable content was announced. This included a character pack and a level based on Ant-Man, which was released on April 6, 2016, and a Captain America: Civil War character pack that was released at launch. A season pass was also available during launch, which gave players exclusive access to the "Explorers Pack", story levels and over 40 additional playable characters. These story levels were based on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series as well as levels focused on the comic versions of Black Panther, the Masters of Evil, Captain Marvel, and Doctor Strange. A Spider-Man character pack was also released on May 24, 2016, which saw the Civil War version of the character as a playable character.
Upon its release, Lego Marvel's Avengers received mixed reviews. It has a score of 71/100 on Metacritic. Game Informer's Andrew Reiner gave the game 7.75 out of 10. IGN awarded it a score of 6.7 out of 10, saying "LEGO Marvel's Avengers is great fun, but unfortunately restricted by sticking to the Marvel Cinematic Universe". Destructoid awarded it a score of 6 out of 10, saying "it's a fun mindless romp through a couple of interesting setpieces, but not a whole lot more than that when it comes down to it". PlayStation LifeStyle awarded it 7.5 out of 10, saying "some technical hiccups and the occasional unclear objective can hamper your progress, but these can all be overcome in a game that exudes a fun-loving attitude throughout". GameSpot awarded it a score of 7.0 out of 10, saying "if you've played a Lego game in recent years then you'll know what to expect: another familiar and fun adventure that you can enjoy with your kids". Hardcore Gamer awarded it a score of 3 out of 5, saying "while a decent action-adventure title, Avengers does little to innovate or set itself apart from a vast library of superior Lego games". PC Gamer awarded it a score of 52%, calling it "a half-hearted recreation of some fun movies, with almost nothing to offer over its predecessor".
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