I feel like I have to preface every gaming article I write with a disclaimer: I am no serious gamer. Shoot ’em up games frustrate me, I hate having to use two joysticks to be able to see where I am going in a game, and I lack the fine motor function that many current games (like the aestetically stunning The Last of Us) requires. I normally start a new game, and never come anywhere near finishing it. I have completed a small handful of games in terms of story, and have 100% completed only three: LEGO Star Wars Part One, LEGO Marvel Superheroes and LEGO Hobbit Videogame.
Part of the appeal of these games is obviously the franchises which they have been connected to. Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Marvel and DC franchises have all been the basis for the games, and they all have one thing in common. They are all massive franchises with incredibly recognisable figures, and well known story lines. Seeing these well known figures in the square LEGO form adds an element of humour, and playing with their powers and abilities is enjoyable throughout.
I think one of the main reasons I love the LEGO franchise of games is their irreverent approach to the source material. Throughout there are jokes which are so corny you can’t help but laugh out loud, and ridiculous missions. Where else will a game ask you to ride escaped zoo animals (including a lion and an elephant) back to the zoo? Where else will you be asked to battle a Goblin mother, and then find her favourite apron? LEGO games are ridiculous. But that is precisely what keeps me coming back for me.
LEGO Marvel Superheroes has probably been my favourite of the franchise thus far. The story mode threw together all of the characters of the Marvel universe, combining characters that you are never going to see together on the big screen. However, it was in the side missions with cult favourite character Deadpool that really made the game for me. His sarcastic side commentary combines perfectly with the campy tone of the side missions to create truly enjoyable gameplay.
I have thoroughly enjoyed playing each and every one of these games. Of course there are problems. More time seems to be spent world building than on the technical details of the games – in every LEGO game I have played there have been glitches were characters get caught in a certain spot and are unable to move, or you get caught in what I like to call a cycle of death, where your character dies, only to reappear in a spot where they die again. These issues are very frustrating, and can leave you wanting to throw the controller at the screen, but I can’t help but excuse them because I enjoy the game play so much.
Ulitimately, I am addicted to the LEGO franchise of games because they are easily playable, with bright, recognisable characters, and they have that something extra which make me laugh every time I play.