Sony

Lego Marvel Avengers (PS4)

LEGO® MARVEL's Avengers_20160128121403

Playing Lego Avengers is certainly faster than watching each of the Marvel films the game will reference. While Lego Marvel Super Heroes plowed through this territory once, Avengers jumps ahead and flashes back to tap on each Marvel theatrical outing, effectively saying there’s too much of this Lego brand in the universe. This likely was not the intent.

Like the others in this line, Avengers speaks to themes of togetherness, embracing individuality, and teamwork, although the source material spreads that same empowerment – plus all manner of errant government overreach allegories. A Lego game won’t be as thick in real world context, obviously.

Otherwise, Lego Avengers comfortably follows the path of those saturated licensed adventures which came before – Batman, Jurassic World, Star Wars; the list continues. Captain America may execute a specialized shield throw, yet in impact, it’s no different than a Batman batarang or Luke Skywalker lightsaber throw in brick people form. A spritzing of interstitial gameplay links up to Defender and other retro arcade company. Toss in a few turret sections and it’s a contemporary retail videogame in variety.

Warner Bros. asks to track your play via the internet at the start of Lego Avengers – for quality control, of course. “We use this data to provide, analyze, and improve our games and offerings.” They turn passive aggressive if you say no.

LEGO® MARVEL's Avengers_20160128120706

Regardless of their data collection methodology, they haven’t improved before. These are market-safe Lego games over a decade old. Clever parody of the license aside, the same brick building adventures from Lego Star Wars from 2005 reside here  – a bit lumpy, loose, and destined to be wrapped in colorful paper under a Christmas tree.

The technical oomph which has brought new brick physics and shininess cannot hide from the thin identity afforded to the stagnant comedy series. Kids still love ’em – that’s what matters – but kids grow up. Their games should to.

3/5

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