Anyone who read my previous article about it will know that my enthusiasm for Lego Marvel Super Heroes goes past unhealthy and borders on “Somebody fetch a straitjacket!”. In fact, once I buy a copy, I can kiss earning my degree goodbye and will become a hermit. So when I saw that a demo for the PC version had been made available, I downloaded and played it straight away despite it being two o’clock in the morning.
The level featured in the demo is a battle against Sandman in New York where the player uses Iron Man, Hulk, and Spider-Man to break through a series of obstacles and defeat him. It’s a little bit repetitive and could have been expanded to an extent but on the whole, it’s a very solid piece of work and more or less sticks to the tried and tested Lego formula of smash and build your environment. The graphics are decent enough but it sometimes feels a bit too polished and that more Lego elements could have been added to the level rather than it being full of perfectly rendered buildings. Though the ones that are present are a nice touch such as Iron Man’s rockets looking like the Flick-Fire Missiles included in the majority of more recent Lego sets and most of the rubble strewn about the level being Lego bricks.
But the best thing about the demo is that it runs more or less perfectly. Apart from a very small niggle with the first heavy object that Hulk has to move and a small graphics error in his fight against Abomination, it’s free of any serious graphics or gameplay faults unlike previous Lego games. The possibility of Travellers Tales being lax when it came to porting the game and letting game breaking bugs slip through was my biggest concern and the almost completely clean demo level is a good sign that care is being taken to produce a fully functional PC port.
On the downside, there just seem to be way too many Quicktime Events in the demo. The brief battle between Hulk and Abomination near the start of the level is reduced to just pressing the H and K keys rapidly enough and every feat of strength like Spider-Man pulling levers with his webbing or Hulk moving a heavy object out of the way are rapid key tapping events. I’m not going to go into another rant about Quicktime Events because I’ve already done that but I will say that seeing them used even more in a game series like the Lego games that prize creativity and initiative is very disappointing.
Another issue is that it seems like we’re told what to do every step of the way with dialogue or onscreen hints from Avengers character Agent Coulson more or less telling you outright how to complete the level rather than a few vague hints and reminders of characters’ abilities being provided as with the previous games. Which makes the whole thing feel a bit dull since you’re more or less just following instructions. Though given that the featured level is at the start of the game and there to act as a tutorial of sorts, this shouldn’t be too unexpected and hopefully won’t be a feature throughout the whole game.
Those minor issues aside, I’d say download the demo. As long as you have a reasonably up to date PC (Mac users are out of luck here I’m afraid), you shouldn’t have any performance issues with it since it’s only 600MB. The demo is enjoyable, easy to pick up, and runs smoothly. All of which bodes incredibly well for the full game. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to play it again and most probably pass out on the sofa during my seventh or eighth playthrough.
The PC demo for Lego Marvel Super Heroes can be downloaded here and a playable demo for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 will be released later this week..
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