Lego Marvel Super Heroes tells an original story in the Marvel universe, one that is both faithful to its source material and blended well with the Lego games' trademark snarky sense of humor. While Marvel's stories can often be sobering, dangerous affairs, the material lends itself well to the humor of Lego, according to game director Arthur Parsons.
"If you've seen Iron Man 3, that film's great because it's got action-drama followed by some really great comedy," he said. "And all the Marvel films are successful because of that: great comedy in among the action. The Avengers was the same. So that comedy plays into what we do, which is serious stuff and parody hand-in-hand.
"We treat every license with the utmost respect, because we don't want people to play it and feel like it's not doing their thing justice," he added.
In a demo at Gamescom 2013, we watched a rather sprightly Lego Iron Man and the Hulk try to maneuver through a city with streets blocked by piles of sand. With just the flick of a button, as with all Lego games, we were able to switch between characters. This time around we saw two not as well-known Marvel characters: Howard the Duck and the Fantastic Four's robot companion H.E.R.B.I.E. Parsons noted that using lesser well-known characters like these two is half the fun of bolstering the roster for Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
When asked if the staff at Traveller's Tales has a dedicated Marvel loremaster on staff, Parsons said that the developer team is steeped in Marvel knowledge, as all of them are fans.
"When we found out we were working on this, we were all, 'Yes, I'm doing it!'" he said. "To do a game that tapped into [the recent super hero films] as well as the source material was really something.
"We've put a lot of references in [Super Heroes] to the old stuff, and people won't necessarily spot it unless they know that source material," he added. "We've definitely trolled the depths of time to get everything here."