The overlapping between two console generations is always going to be a strange time for video gamers. On one hand you have to decide whether a multi-gen game is worth waiting for on next-generation machines or better on current, while on the other hand the voice in the back of your head is telling you to flesh out your brand new console’s library. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is one of those games, having been released for both generations; however, unlike games such as Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Battlefield 4, which also straddle the line, there’s not much that can be done to make a LEGO game different with new technology.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes on the PlayStation 4 is almost exactly the same experience as you’ll find on the PlayStation 3, the only differences being on the system level, not the game itself. This could be seen as good news for those people who may not have any of the next-generation consoles yet, knowing that they can buy the game for their current systems and not be missing out, but those players that were waiting for the next-generation version in the hopes of seeing that added shot of adrenaline to a game series that is in long need of an overhaul may find themselves a little disappointed.
The core of LEGO Marvel Superheroes is exactly the same as the previously released last-generation versions. The story is the same, the characters are the same and even the visuals are the same. When you’re deciding whether or not you should get the game for the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 – for example – the decision is going to come down to not how you want to play the game, but what kind of things you’ want to do with it outside of the gameplay itself.
If you’re the type of person who enjoys live-streaming what you’re playing and interacting with any kind of community you may have built up, then purchasing the game on the PlayStation 4 over the PlayStation 3 is a no-brainer. The same can be said if you want to capture footage or screenshots (although neither of the next-generation consoles can boast a particularly efficient way of capturing footage). Then there’s the ability of both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 to go do something else on the console, and come back to the game exactly where you left it.
The biggest check in the “Do Not Buy” column for the next generation versions of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes stems from a problem with all versions of the popular LEGO game; there’s no online multiplayer. This means that you’re forced to find someone to sit next to you and play the game. This normally wouldn’t be a problem (I’m sure each of us have at least one person who wouldn’t mind sitting down for half an hour or so), but problems arise when you realise that most versions of the consoles come with a single controller, and buying a second one is very costly.
Personally, as someone who always plays through LEGO games with my wife, this automatically meant that I had much less fun on the next-generation version than I would have had on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3; purely because I only have a single controller for the PlayStation 4 and had no choice but to go it alone unless I wanted to play on the Vita using remote play, while my wife played using the single DualShock 4 controller (which is what we eventually ended up doing, but it’s not perfect). Obviously this won’t be a problem for everyone but, at least at this early point in the eighth console generation, I imagine it will affect more than just a few.
The biggest win for the next-generation versions of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes comes with the PlayStation 4’s ability to stream the whole gameplay to the PlayStation Vita using the Remote Play feature. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes works perfectly, especially given that the R2 and L2 buttons – which obviously aren’t there on the Vita – are rarely used and I was able to play entire swathes of the game on the Vita without problems. The Vita can also be used as a second controller, for those couch co-op sessions, but almost everyone would prefer a second DualShock 4 controller. Still, it’s nice to see that the option is there should you want to give it a try.
VERDICT: So, should you go out and buy LEGO Marvel Super Heroes on the next-generation consoles? The answer comes down to a few simple questions. Do you intend to live-stream or otherwise record your gameplay from the game? If yes, then of course you should be getting the next-generation version. If you want to play with another person and don’t want to put down the cash – just yet – for another Xbox One/PlayStation 4 controller, or if you’ve previously bought LEGO Marvel Super Heroes on any of the other consoles, then the answer is a resounding no. It would be nothing but a waste of money. It’s a good game, and it’s something I can see any comic book/LEGO fan playing through until they’ve got that elusive platinum trophy, but there’s just not enough difference between the last-generation and current-generation to give me enough reason to recommend it.
VERY GOOD. An 8/10 is only awarded to a game we consider truly worthy of your hard-earned cash. This game is only held back by a smattering of minor or middling issues and comes highly recommended.
Download code provided by publisher.