The lights are on
**THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON THE PLAYSTATION 3 VERSION**
With the mass amount of Lego games out now, and still on the horizon, they've definitely seen a vast improvement as compared to earlier titles. Personally, I've experienced Lego Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings before playing Lego Marvel, and this one blows all the past games away without question.
The co-op play is an absolute blast, and while free-roaming the city, it is easily a contestant for best co-op experience of the current generation. Imagine if Grand Theft Auto or Saints Row offered a split-screen experience, allowing you to freely destroy the city, independently take on side-quests, or just pester the huge number of NPC's going about their day-to-day lives. Take that, put it in the Lego universe, and give yourself a host of different super powers, and you have this game.
I played through the game with my wife, who enjoyed the missions more, as they offer strong depth and very thorough replay value as you unlock more characters. Personally though, I preferred the free-roam. Getting to fly through the city as Iron Patriot, swing around as Spider-Man, bull-rushing through cars as Colossus, or even driving one of the multitude of vehicles never ceases to be fun, and using newly unlocked characters to unlock even more is easily accomplished, but still offers significant challenge.
The amount of characters to unlock is staggering, and many offer a bevy of unique and helpful powers, from ice and fire, to magnetic and mind-control. There is, however, a downside. Most of these characters are just re-skins of other already unlocked characters, and unfortunately there is a way-too-large number of characters who have no powers at all, and can do nothing but punch. Unlocking and playing as them is absolutely pointless and unfortunate. The fact that the DLC packs include even more of these useless characters is an even bigger disappointment. (Jane Foster? Really?)
Now that I've touched on what slightly bugged me, let me tackle my biggest complaint: This game is buggy and glitched out like nobody's business. Not only does it completely freeze out at least once nearly every time I play for more than an hour, but you will constantly (and I mean CONSTANTLY) find your character getting stuck in inescapable positions, that the game does not allow you to do anything about. During one mission, Iron Man fell off a ledge into the water and died. Following that, every time he re-spawned, he'd immediately fall back into the water, leading to me eventually having to completely quit the mission and restart.
At another point during a different mission, the game simply closed itself and exited to my PS3's main menu, without warning or hesitation. If you do intend to play split-screen co-op, expect quite a bit of lag as well, both in and out of missions. Also, I hope you enjoy fighting the camera angles, because its harder to do than fighting the final boss. The story mode is also very short, but again, I ended up spending most of my time in free roam anyways.
All in all though, the game is very enjoyable. The humor is consistently hilarious, the voice acting is great, the amount of characters, unlockables, and replayability is wonderful and well worth the money. It's definitely worth fighting through the glitches. As a huge Marvel comics fan, I would love to score this game with a perfect 10, but it just lacks the required polish and bug fixes at this moment for me to do so.
Finally, as a nod to the recent trend within Marvel movies of mid-credits scenes, stay tuned for one during the closing credits!
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