Lego AvengersPS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U
With so many large, multi-film franchises released over the last decade or so, developer Traveller's Tales have had rich pickings from their Lego games. But with so many of them now concluded (think The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Harry Potter etc), that lucrative well has pretty much dried up now.
Continuing to carry the brick-built torch however, is Marvel's Avengers franchise. Unusually, not seemingly stringing the series out for all its worth - which is the Lego way, after all - this title welds together plots from various films in the series (including The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and both Captain America films) resulting in a hideous Frankenstein of a game.
Bunging so many stories into one game means that it suffers from any real cohesion. What's left is a game where you constantly hit the bash buttons to get through a level. And even that is made more convoluted, with each character having a signature move; it sounds a nice touch, but the reality is, they take far too long, and are the last thing you need when you are surrounded by baddies.
Talking of which, it's also disappointing that there's no variation in the baddies you fight. There's one type, and that's your lot.
A positive element would be that many of the characters are voiced by the actors from the film - or so you would think. Unfortunately much of the dialogue is just lifted from the films, and most of it is alarmingly clipped, presumably as it runs into other dialogue used. The result is much of what is said, doesn't sound natural, and just crow-barred rather clumsily in. And that's the difference from actually having access to the talent to record specifically for the game where you have more freedom.
Overall, the effort for this particular Lego game does feel phoned in. There are just one or two aspects that genuinely attempt at being original - like the flying sections for Iron Man - but even these aren't used to their full potential. Everywhere else, well, we've seen it all before, and in some cases, done even better. Even those earlier titles where dialogue wasn't used are better than this one, possibly because they had to work that little bit harder.
Considering all the obvious hard work that Traveller's Tales usually put into their Lego games, this comes across as by far the laziest, and, dare we say it, more akin to the usual duff film-to-game titles that we've become more accustomed to in the past.
Fingers crossed then that more effort, and a return to form, is seen in their forthcoming summer title Star Wars: the Force Awakens. We hope not to have a very bad feeling about that one.
Although this one lacks any kind of heroic effort, there's enough on offer (with the usual brick collecting etc) for both one player and co-op to pass the time, just don't expect anything close to being super about it.