LEGO video games haven’t really changed that much over the last ten years.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing – they’ve been able to refine the proven gameplay formula with subsequent releases.  The latest takes the trendy popcorn flicks The Avengers and its sequel Age of Ultron, and builds a game around them.  Other Marvel entries get some representation as well.

An impressive feature of this 3DS version is the open world.  Running and driving around the streets of Manhattan (in day or night) gives the game a nice sense of exploration.  You can even fly about, with characters like Iron Man and Thor.   Numerous side quests break up the linear nature.  This is especially nice since I’ve found certain main missions to have some pacing issues.  The range of content here makes it feel more like a home console release.

Saving the world takes a large cast of characters.  A multitude of heroes (and variants) can be unlocked in this adventure, including over 100 new ones.  Some of them can team up for amusing combo moves, true to the source material.  Of course this is but one replay incentive.  The usual full assortment of LEGO collectables and unlockables appear to keep interested gamers quite busy.  There’s plenty for subsequent plays, as you work towards 100% completion.

I found the story slightly hard to follow, but in fairness I’ve yet to see every movie represented in the game.  The voiced dialogue is pretty good quality for the 3DS.  There’s also optional subtitles, and other audio adjustments.  I always appreciate the LEGO humor, and this game is no exception.  The 3D settings failed to make the impact I’d hoped for, but I did use them sporadically.

One possible drawback is the long load times between missions.  I say possible, because there’s thankfully little during actual missions.  Co-op is sadly missing, but I consider this less of a drawback insofar as I expected it with the 3DS version.  More noteworthy concerns are framerate issues and glitches.  The game definitely lacks smoothness at certain points.  And I have run into a multiple freezing bugs, forcing system reboots.  Things such as these indicate that more polish would’ve been quite advantageous.

This game is only $29.99 on 3DS , which is $20 cheaper than the Wii U version.  If you’re a solo gamer who doesn’t mind the loss of HD visuals, this is certainly something to keep in mind.  This 3DS version also has some fun exclusive challenges.  For what it’s worth, I have enjoyed this cinematic game more than Lego Marvel Super Heroes.  For whatever reason (maybe the new characters) it has seemed to hold my attention more.

If you haven’t had your fill of Lego games yet, by all means consider adding Marvel’s Avengers to your collection.  If you feel like you’ve been playing the same LEGO games for the past ten years though, you might find the action in this one winds up being slightly forgettable.  If that’s the case, maybe wait for the inevitable sale.  I’m hopeful that LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens will bring more advancements to the formula, and not just refinements.  Make no mistake though, Marvel’s Avengers is a pretty good game (bugs and all) that will keep LEGO fans busy with all its replay options.

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