I’ve recently played LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, an enjoyable even if a bit repetitive game.
The game itself isn’t much more exciting than others that I’ve played. The flying was a great addition from what I’ve played before and the open world is a huge step forward but fundamentally the core gameplay is exactly what it has been for years and years. Smashy smashy. Hold B. Repeat.
The variations between the characters, aside from flying, don’t make a huge difference. Some standing in a position and holding or mashing the B button, such as to dig or pull an object whilst some involve holding the button whilst aiming and the final type involve shooting at something, including to perform switch type operations. Ultimately its pretty similar. Within the long levels you are effectively repeating the same thing over and over with very little variety in puzzles. Even the boss fights involve repeating the same series of actions several times and have little difference from the previous 30 minutes.
However I really enjoyed the game, despite its repetitiveness. This is in large part down to the surprisingly enjoyable ability to smash up the environment. It is incredibly satisfying. When playing the LEGO Lord of the Rings game the first thing I did when loading in the game was to smash up Hobbiton. As Iron Man I happily smashed up Stark Tower and being the Hulk inside the Shield helocarrier a was wonderfully destructive experience.
Part of this will be point hunting, trying to maximise your score by smashing every last item. Also there’s often collectibles to be found, meaning that this is a dream for people who love hunting for every last item – there’s so much content!
I’m still unsure why the collectbibles appeal to me personally as I never 100% complete a game yet in games like Marvel, I will try and find every item I can along the way. Once the story has been beaten, spending 10 hours finding every last item doesn’t appeal as I’d rather replay the game from scratch or of course play a new game. However when playing Bioshock, Alien Isolation etc I’ll check every crate and in the LEGO games I insist on trying to get every item I can along the way, only to end with 30-40% completion as I tend not to get the stuff that needs the special characters.
When it comes to unlocking bonus characters, extra bricks and new vehicles the game often have some really daft and funny side-quests. In LEGO Marvel Superheroes I’d argue that the funniest moments in the game come from attempting to complete these quests.
However I believe the main reason why collecting is so appealling is that the LEGO games do a wonderful job of telling you what you have unlocked and also don’t have. At the end of the level I can see what I’ve unlocked and completed and also during the open world you have a nice big menu
However that still doesn’t explain why in LEGO games like this I do faff around more than usual. I may be more determined to unlock every character but ultimately it is the simple fun of smashy smashy that keeps me pottering around and collecting stuff.
See LEGO items. Smash LEGO items. Repeat.