‘Lego Marvel Super Heroes’ lines up stars against Loki, Galactus

June 06, 2013 | 6:15 p.m.
la ca 0529 hero lego marvel 082 Lego Marvel Super Heroes lines up stars against Loki, Galactus

Lego characters Hulk and Sandman in a scene from the action video game "Lego Marvel Super Heroes." (TT Games/ Warner Bros.)

Steve Rogers won’t be back on the big screen until next year, when Marvel releases “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” but a tiny, blocky Cap is set to feature prominently in one of the year’s most anticipated video games.

The patriotic hero will be among the 100 playable characters featured in “Lego Marvel Super Heroes” — an impressive all-star ensemble that includes Wolverine, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Silver Surfer, with the mercenary Deadpool dropping in and out to offer commentary on the action.

In the game, due on all major platforms in October, the Marvel team is called upon to save the world from new threats from Loki and the hunger of Galactus, and to find the powerful pieces of a shattered Silver Surfer surfboard. Cosmic cubes, Asgard and the Daily Bugle all make appearances, as does a Lego-sized re-creation of Manhattan.

The title features an original story written by “Superhero Squad” veteran Mark Hoffmeier, full of optional, character-driven missions, and the tone is unquestionably lighthearted.

“There’s a threat to the Earth, and the story flows from there,” said Arthur Parsons, game director at TT Games. “We sort of meet bad guys along the way, but you’re never really sure what the narrative is. We twist it and turn it to make sure the player always thinks they know what’s happening and then — boom — we turn it on its head.”

Iron Man in "Lego Marvel Super Heroes." (TT Games/ Warner Bros.)

Iron Man in “Lego Marvel Super Heroes.” (TT Games/ Warner Bros.)

Although Lego-branded video games already have touched upon the worlds of Batman, “The Lord of the Rings,” “Star Wars,” Harry Potter and more, the fact that TT, a division of Warner Bros. — which just so happens to own Marvel rival DC Comics — is releasing “Lego Marvel Super Heroes” is somewhat historic.

“It is, admittedly, a little weird to have a Marvel game published by Warner Bros., but we both wanted this game to happen,” said Chris Baker, Marvel Entertainment’s interactive manager.

(When the question about the relationship between the companies was asked of Parsons, a publicist interjected and said, “We’re not focusing on anything ‘rivalry’ with DC.”)

Baker said TT approached Marvel with the story idea and the comics maker consulted on the project, which was in development for little more than a year.

Some thought was given early on to pulling from the multi-hero “Infinity Gauntlet” series of comic books, but that was ultimately dropped in favor of a broader but comprehensively detailed tale. However, there are digital comics to discover in “Lego Marvel Super Heroes,” and the content within them is based on the events within the game.

Rooftop scene in the action video game "Lego Marvel Super Heroes." (TT Games/ Warner Bros.)

Rooftop scene in the action video game “Lego Marvel Super Heroes.” (TT Games/ Warner Bros.)

“We wanted to touch every corner of the Marvel universe that was possible,” said Baker. “You can’t make an infinitely long game, but you can make a long game that has Asgard and that has New York. If you look at the big open world of New York, you’ll see the Baxter Building and Stark Tower.”

“Lego Marvel’s” inclusion of New York most clearly sets the game apart from any previously branded-Lego video game efforts — and from “Superhero Squad,” the youth-marketed online game inspired by the animated series of the same name.

New York serves as a playground for characters that are unlocked — one can simply run through Manhattan as Sandman, for instance — or to find multiple side missions. It’s not exactly the full open world of the Wii U’s “Lego City: Undercover,” but by exploring New York players can deviate from the narrative at hand and find their own path. “You can go and play the main story, or you can go and be distracted for seven hours just doing side-quests,” Parsons said.

Some of those alternative missions come in the form of assignments from the editors of the Daily Bugle. Others are of the more citizens-in-need variety.

“Superheroes in New York come to save the day,” Parsons said. “We need the populace that’s inhabiting New York to find themselves in various predicaments, whether they’re humorous or related to Marvel villains. The idea is to create a constant, living city that players can fiddle around in to the heart’s content.”

The goal is to create a game that young and old won’t tire of quickly.

“What separates a great kid’s game from what’s not so good is that kids have such a short attention span that you have to keep that variation and variety and you have to keep giving them something new,” Parsons said.

— Todd Martens

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex


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4 Responses to ‘Lego Marvel Super Heroes’ lines up stars against Loki, Galactus

  1. PJM2016 says:

    I hope you defeat a villain such as venom in free roam then buy him but you will still be able to fight him around the city that was a flaw in LBM2 that I didn't like it made the game boring after a while, I also hope you get to play as Peter Parker and all the Iron Man suits please that is all and one more thing ROCKET RACOON!

  2. PJM2016 says:

    Here's my wishlist of characters
    1. Rocket Raccoon
    2. Vision
    3. Nightcrawler
    4. Black Panther
    5. Anti-Venom

  3. PJM2016 says:

    Just pre ordered it im gonna get black suit spidey and other characters

  4. Gavin says:

    what about all the Avengers and X-Men

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