If watching "Avengers: Age of Ultron" for the umpteenth time this summer wasn't enough Marvel for you, developer Traveller's Tales and publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment have got you covered. In their latest LEGO/Marvel video game "LEGO Marvel's Avengers," fans are given the opportunity to play out the first two Avengers movies and riff on key moments and dialogue from the films -- only, you know, blockier.
While at E3, I played a new demo of the Battle of New York, as seen in the climactic finale of "Marvel's The Avengers." For those familiar with TT's previous LEGO games -- especially 2013's "LEGO Marvel Super Heroes" -- the gameplay here is almost identical. However, TT did add a few new flourishes to the combat, most notably an emphasis on the Avengers fighting as a team. For example, Iron Man can fly in to the fray and blast beams at Captain America's shield, and Cap will redirect them at enemies -- just like in the movie.
Of course, TT's trademark humor is also in full force here, particularly during cut scenes. Now, when Bruce Banner assures Cap that he's "always angry," he turns back to give his teammates a cheesy Hollywood grin. And when the camera pans around the Avengers assembling for the first time, one of the Chitauri soldiers snaps a photo for posterity. True to form, this gives "LEGO Marvel's Avengers" some added charm, so you're not just replaying the movies beat for beat.
That said, for veteran LEGO game fans, the actual gameplay feels a little like going through the motions. Each character has their own unique skills (the same ones from "LEGO Marvel Super Heroes"), and all the puzzles are only slightly different from what's come before. In a way, it seems limiting to scale back Marvel's massive roster of heroes to just the core Avengers team -- although one of the developers assured me that there would be some surprises in terms of collectible characters.
In the end, though, if you're a fan of TT's LEGO games -- specifically of the superhero variety -- "LEGO Marvel's Avengers" will certainly tide you over until "Captain America: Civil War" reunites (most of) the gang in 2016. And just going off the 20-or-so minutes I played of the Battle of New York, it's a fun way of continuing the adventures of Earth's Mightiest Heroes from the comfort of your own home.
"LEGO Marvel's Avengers" hits shelves this holiday season, available on pretty much everything: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, 3DS, and PC.