Lego Marvel Super Heroes is a Lego-themed action-adventure video game developed by Traveller's Tales and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows, and published by Feral Interactive for OS X. The game features gameplay similar to other Lego titles, such as Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga and Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, alternating between various action-adventure sequences and puzzle-solving scenarios. The handheld version of the game by TT Fusion was released under the title Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril for iOS, Android, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes is currently the bestselling Lego video game of all time. A spin-off to the Lego Marvel series titled Lego Marvel's Avengers was released on 26 January 2016, and a sequel titled Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 was released on 14 November 2017.
Following the gameplay style of past Lego titles, players are able to control 180 characters from the Marvel Universe, each with their own unique abilities. For example, Spider-Man can swing on his webs and use his spider-sense while the Hulk, who is larger than the standard minifigures, can throw large objects, as well as shrink down into Bruce Banner to access computers. Galactus was chosen as the main antagonist in the game. According to game director, Arthur Parsons, and producer, Phil Ring, one of the main settings of Lego Marvel Super Heroes is a Lego version of New York City. In addition, a Lego version of Asgard was created.
The creative team has also incorporated Marvel Comics co-creator Stan Lee in the game. He is a part of missions called "Stan Lee in Peril" (similar to "Citizen in Peril" missions from previous games). He is also a playable character and has several of the other characters' abilities (such as Spider-Man's webbing, a combination of Human Torch's heat beam and Cyclops' optic blast, Mr. Fantastic's ability to grapple, Wolverine's adamantium skeleton when all health is depleted, and the ability to transform into a Hulk-like version of Lee).
Players can also explore the Marvel version of New York City, though they can only use a specific character and access buildings after the campaign is complete. Side missions are narrated by Deadpool and take place in buildings with their own storylines. There are a total of 15 missions in the main single-player campaign, followed by 12 side missions.
Many of the main LEGO minifigure characters are based on their appearance from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tony Stark is modeled Robert Downey Jr., Nick Fury is modeled on Samuel L. Jackson, whilst Agent Phil Coulson is both modeled on and voiced by Clark Gregg, Captain America is modeled on Chris Evans, Black Widow is modeled on Scarlett Johansson, Bruce Banner is modeled on Mark Ruffalo, Clint Barton is modeled on Jeremy Renner, Loki is modeled on Tom Hiddleston, Thor is modeled on Chris Hemsworth, and Maria Hill is modeled on Cobie Smulders.
Silver Surfer is knocked out of the sky by Doctor Doom; the board shatters into several "Cosmic Bricks". Doom captures the powerless Surfer, hiring other villains to collect the bricks to make the "Doom Ray of Doom" to repel Galactus and rule the world. However, Nick Fury orders all superheroes to retrieve the bricks before Doom does. Abomination and Sandman ransom Grand Central Station for a Cosmic Brick. Iron Man, Spider-Man and Hulk succeed in stopping them. Captain America and Mister Fantastic head to the Baxter Building to examine a Cosmic Brick, only for Doctor Octopus to steal it. When the fight goes through the Daily Bugle, Spider-Man lends a hand. Ock is defeated at Times Square, but tosses the Brick to Green Goblin, who takes it to Oscorp. Fury sends Black Widow and Hawkeye to get it back, with Spider-Man joining them. They face off with Venom inside Oscorp's underground lab while the Goblin flees via helicopter.
The Raft, a maximum-security prison, is attacked by Whiplash, Abomination, the Leader, Magneto and Sabretooth. Iron Man, Hulk and Wolverine intervene, but not before Red Skull, Rhino and Carnage are released. Magneto destroys Iron Man's suit and escapes with Mystique. Stark goes with Captain America to Stark Tower for a new suit, but upon arriving, the duo is forced to use the House Party Protocol to stop an invasion courtesy of Mandarin, Loki, Aldrich Killian and Extremis soldiers. Loki escapes with an arc reactor. Meanwhile, Fury contacts some outside help for an approaching threat.
Tracking its energy signature, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Human Torch infiltrate a HYDRA base and defeat Red Skull and Arnim Zola with the help of Captain America and Wolverine. Loki escapes via a portal to Asgard, while the portal itself is accidentally destroyed. Captain America, Wolverine, and Human Torch meet Thor, who takes them to Asgard. Upon arriving at the Bifrost, they find Loki commanding the Frost Giants. Loki enhances his powers with the Tesseract, unleashing the Destroyer armor on the heroes. They disable the Destroyer while Loki escapes.
Wolverine steals the Tesseract in hopes Professor X might unlock its secrets, accidentally drawing the Brotherhood to the X-Mansion in search of it. Jean Grey, Cyclops, Storm, Iceman, and Beast fend off Toad, Pyro, Juggernaut, and the generic Acolytes. However, Magneto and Mystique escape with the Tesseract.
Fury and the Fantastic Four which includes Invisible Woman and the Thing head to Castle Doom, where Green Goblin is defeated while Loki and Doom escape with the bricks. However, they do rescue Silver Surfer. Iron Man, Spider-Man and Thor head to a sub, where they defeat MODOK. Jean helps them back to land underwater. Magneto uses the Statue of Liberty to attack Hulk, Mister Fantastic, and Wolverine. The heroes enter its head, defeating Mastermind. Magneto decapitates the statue tossing the head into the city, fleeing to the island where Asteroid M is.
Captain America, Thing and Storm arrive and defeat Magneto's Acolytes along with Rhino and the Savage Land's Velociraptors. Magneto is revealed to be Mystique in disguise while the real one raises Asteroid M into space.
Doctor Doom and Loki arrive on Asteroid M and continue building the Doom Ray, with their plan nearing completion. Iron Man, Spider-Man and Thor arrive and defeat Magneto, but Iron Man and Thor are incapacitated by Doctor Doom in the process. Spider-Man goes on with Captain America, Thing and Storm and they defeat Doom. Loki then reveals he manipulated everyone to create a craft from the Cosmic Bricks, and powered by the Tessaract, for controlling Galactus to destroy Earth and Asgard. The heroes narrowly escape Asteroid M as Galactus destroys it before he heads towards New York.
The heroes (consisting of Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Nick Fury, Mister Fantastic, Human Torch, Cyclops, and Storm) and villains (consisting of Doctor Doom, Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, Venom, Abomination, Magneto and Mystique) team-up to defeat Galactus on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. Galactus and Loki are warped into a large portal that traps both of them into an unknown part of space while Thor shatters the mind-control craft with his hammer. Galactus decides to eat Loki, stating that he'll make a good palate cleaner. Fury also retrieves the Tesseract in the process. The villains are given time to escape before they are pursued. With all the Cosmic Bricks collected and reassembled back into his surfboard, Silver Surfer thanks the heroes and departs on his surfboard into deep space, promising to lead Galactus away from Earth.
In the mid-credits scene, Fury oversees the repair of the Statue of Liberty. He apologizes to the Guardians of the Galaxy (consisting of Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, and Gamora) whom he called for help during the attack. Star-Lord states that there is something else threatening Earth. While having lunch with the construction crew, Nick Fury encounters Black Panther who was looking for his cat Mr. Tiddles and then tells Nick Fury that the people of Wakanda thank him for leading the superheroes in thwarting Loki's plot and Galactus' attack.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes received generally positive reviews upon release. Among its strengths, reviewers cited its humor, variety of missions, characters, and open-world gameplay. According to review aggregating website GameRankings, Lego Marvel Super Heroes received an average review score of 84.00% based on 15 reviews; according to Metacritic, it received an average review score of 83/100 based on 22 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Steve Butts of IGN gave the game a 9 out of 10, praising it for being: "the best thing to happen to Marvel games since 2006's Marvel: Ultimate Alliance". He added, "It's a warm and witty, multi-layered approach to the brand that ties in hundreds of Marvel's most iconic characters, settings, and stories." Steve Hannley of Hardcore Gamer gave the game a 4/5, calling it "one of the best Marvel games this generation". Game Informer gave the game a 9 out of 10, while Polygon gave the game an 8.5 out of 10. GameZone's Matt Liebl gave the PS4 version a 9/10, stating "On a console filled with shooters like Killzone and Call of Duty, TT Games' Lego Marvel Super Heroes presents a nice break from the complex sports titles and intense shooters that overrun the console."
Though the game was generally well-received, it garnered some criticism, often regarding the frame-rate and the repetitive nature of the missions. Chris Barylick from GameSpot noted that, "Lego Marvel Super Heroes looks and sounds lovely, but its presentation quirks often prove distracting. Certain characters repeat the same lines of dialogue ad infinitum, which can get tiresome; there are only so many times you can hear Tony Stark proudly describe himself as 'Tony Stark...genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist' before it gets old." He also noted that "the frame rate occasionally drops, particularly upon entering co-op mode, and a small black box occasionally appeared in the air over my characters' heads towards the end of the game. At one point, my character would respawn directly next to his still-present corpse, while a boss fight against Red Skull had me wandering around the room for several minutes looking for scenery to smash before I realized I had encountered a bug and had to restart the level." Asides from the negatives, Barylick gave the game a 7/10, praising its humor, open-world and variety.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment President David Haddad has stated that Lego Marvel Super Heroes is the bestselling Lego video game of all time.
Sequel and tie-ins
A miniseries taking inspiration from modern Marvel films and Marvel cartoon series' titled Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload premiered in November 2013. A TV special called Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Avengers Reassembled premiered on Disney XD on November 16, 2015. A sequel titled Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 was announced to be in development on 15 May 2017 and was released for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on 14 November 2017.
- Lego Marvel Super Heroes at Brickipedia