Legion of Doom
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes unites a ton of your favourite comic book characters in a struggle against the sinister Dr Doom. This time, however, Marvel's mightiest heroes find themselves fighting on two fronts, as the giant, planet-devouring Galactus also has his sights set on Earth.
The action unfolds with a cinematic opening done in a charming LEGO style showing Galactus out in the cosmos and on the move. Realising that Earth is next on the titanic villain's menu, the Silver Surfer contacts his buddies on our big blue planet to let them know they're in trouble. At the same time, a mysterious spacecraft bombards Earth with glowing cosmic bricks - just what Dr Doom needs to power his latest diabolical invention and conquer mankind. Which is where you come in...
Taking control of a host of Marvel's greatest heroes, your job is to defeat Doom and his evil allies. With a sparkling, witty script and an epic story involving over 100 of Marvel's legendary characters, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes has a brilliant blockbuster feel from start to finish. Avengers (and everyone else) assemble!
Brick by brick
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes scales new heights of production polish. From the animated story sequences to the explosive action itself, the creators have melded the worlds of LEGO and Marvel superbly. Environments are huge and richly detailed, replicating real New York City landmarks and letting you do battle in some of Marvel's best-loved locations - including the X-Men mansion.
The characters' super powers are also wonderfully captured, and it's amazing how distinctive the heroes are to play - the musclebound Thing, for example, feels very different from the nimble Daredevil.
With an exhilarating soundtrack and showers of spectacular sound effects and visual effects, the game boasts a Hollywood action movie style approach. The dialogue between characters is great too, with all the winning charm of a classic Stan Lee comic book. Everything is sharp, shiny and fantastically fluid - yet for all the cute, quirky touches, the game still packs a serious punch.
The genius of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is in the way it uses its huge cast of characters. The game is all about blasting baddies to bits, and along the way you'll encounter and control heroes including Spider-Man, Thor and Wolverine. Each possesses clearly defined weapons, skills and powers, and only by getting to grips with these unique abilities can you hope to overcome the many brain-teasing obstacles and combat-hungry enemies each stage throws up.
Best of all is the free-play element, whereby areas and characters unlocked in the Story mode can be explored at your leisure later on.
Zipping around Manhattan as your favourite hero (or villain), you'll find any number of side quests, hidden objects and new characters waiting to be discovered. It brings a whole new dimension to the experience, and ensures you'll keep playing long after Dr Doom has been defeated.
Mighty Marvel mayhem
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes raises the stakes with a cooperative multiplayer mode that allows two players to take on Dr Doom and Galactus together.
The clever distribution of skills and abilities among the many Marvel heroes in the game makes character choice all the more important in multiplayer mode, as you strive to complement your partner's powers and playing style. Will you choose Hulk's brute-strength? Or Captain America's agility? Or maybe even take to the skies as Iron Man?
But the satisfaction you get from smashing through Doom's henchmen as a duo more than makes up for any extra effort required to plan your tactics...