During a tour of Warner Brothers’ booth at E3, I had a chance to play LEGO Marvel Super Heroes while chatting with the game’s director, Arthur Parsons. This is a game that I have been excited about for a while, and it’s looking like it’s on track to live up to my expectations. With LEGO Batman 2 and LEGO City Undercover, TT Games (a subsidiary of WB) has really been experimenting with the implementation of an open world. This experimentation will be more fully realized in LEGO Marvel. I asked Arthur Parsons what the open world will be used for, and he assured me that you would be able to roam around freely and accept sidequests that show you different areas and introduce you to a whole slew of Marvel characters that might not be in the main storyline.
The game will have over 120 playable characters from all over the Marvelverse, and I had a blast trying a few of them out. Parsons said it was a creative challenge to make every character feel different and unique--to feel like you would want them to feel. For example; Hulk feels huge and powerful, Venom is cool and creepy, and Wolverine can’t die--he just turns into a skeleton until his healing factor kicks in. It was also a lot of fun to play with the environments. As Iron Man, I flew around throughout Asgard, which is beautifully designed. I also accidentally discovered The Warlock's Eye, a pretty obscure reference--a shoutout to the diehard Marvel fans. Parsons also talked about the version of New York they're using for the game. It features standard New York landmarks like Grand Central Station and the Statue of Liberty (which at one point in the story, Magneto will control). It will also have the staples of Marvel's universe, like Stark Tower and Roxxon Energy.
It’s clear that Parsons and the other developers are huge Marvel fans. They have an original storyline featuring Galactus, Silver Surfer, and Loki. They are well-versed enough to play around in Marvel’s vast universe, taking characters from all of its franchises and including them in interesting and creative ways. TT Games has made some great LEGO games in the past, including Batman, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings, and from what I can tell, this is going to be their fullest and best game yet.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is due for release in late 2013 for Windows, DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. An alternate version will be released on the Nintendo 3DS.