The LEGO games have been turning licensed properties into explodable environments for years, and they’ve finally found the best match of all: comic book heroes. For a game series stuffed with unlockable extras and in-jokes, the Marvel label is a feast of fun characters and settings.
The video game is based on the same idea as some of our most enjoyable comic books: taking established heroes and throwing them into someone else’s environment to see how they do. Give Aunt May access to the Helicarrier! Rampage around the X-Mansion as Absorbing Man! Defend the innocents of New York as Venom, and enjoy it all the more for how wrong that is!
The game needs an excuse to team up the heroes and villains. Luckily at least 10% of the Marvel universe is threats to that entire universe, and the game gets it right with the one and only choice for the first video game adventure: Galactus. It also proves that video game conversions can get things right, keeping the classic blue-and-purple be-helmeted immensity in his full glory, instead of wimping out with a fog like the Fantastic Four movie sequel.
The result is an indulgence for any comic book fan. Casual readers will enjoy rampaging around and smashing up bad guys, while experienced readers will enjoy it even more with all the in-jokes and extras. When you’ve got Marvel editors included as characters, not just the heroes, you’ve got a game where even the most avid fan will find something it takes them a moment to get – and they’ll enjoy it even more when they do.