Yes, borrowing from Marvel Studios, there is an after credits cutscene (and special playable mission) at the end of LEGO Marvel Superheroes. That’s one of the new bits of information we learned during a recent NYC press tour with Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment, where we also saw the latest LEGO game demoed on the next generation PlayStation 4 for the first time.
As people know what to expect out of a LEGO game at this point, most of the demo was a bit of an information dump, unloading the things that make this latest iteration, centered around the adventures of Marvel Comics characters from the Fantastic Four to the Avengers and the X-Men (and many inbetween), the best one yet.
The biggest takeaway from the session was a sense of “more.” Developer TT Games says they had “more time on this one to do more fun stuff than ever before,” thanks to the well-developed engine and the team starting early on LEGO Marvel. The numbers behind that general statement are staggering. There are over 150 playable characters from the Marvel Universe shipping with the game (they were originally budgeted at 110 total), and another ten or so DLC characters will be available at first through pre-order exclusives, then opened up to general players after a couple of months.
That means you’ll see Iron Man, Wolverine, and Spider-Man, but you’ll also play as Rocket Raccoon, Captain Britain, Psylocke, Archangel, Howard the Duck, Silver Samurai, Squirrel Girl (who has an army of squirrels as an attack), Heimdall (in his movie look), and yes, even Stan “The Man” Lee himself. Stan Lee is playable after you find the fifty hidden Stans throughout the game’s story mode, and he has access to nearly every powerset in the game – he can swing on webs, hulk out, and much more. Expect a full list of characters to be released at New York Comic Con in mid-October.
In addition, several characters have multiple costumes. Jean Grey can also be Phoenix, Iron Man has several suits, War Machine can be Iron Patriot, Thor, Cyclops, Spider-Man, Thing, and more had unlockable second and even third or fourth costumes. While you’ll only play as heroes during the storyline, there are a substantial amount of villains in the game (including Thanos as a pre-order bonus character) that can be played in the “freeplay” mode, which unlocks after each level is completed. They don’t have their own full missions, but you can find hidden “side-missions” for the villains, beyond the simple “you must use this character class to open this door” of freeplay past.
Those full missions, the smaller individual ones, freeplay item collection and even randomly generated quick missions on the streets of their large Manhattan adds up to another substantial number: between 250 and 300 “things to do,” meaning there is enough replay in this game to cover at least two of the previous editions.
As we zoomed out on that map of Manhattan, icons showed up all across the city that each represented one of these “things to do.” One new feature are the multitudes of interior areas – many buildings can be entered into off the street, giving you access to that building and more side-missions within. It was a particular focus for TT Games on LEGO Marvel, and one they’re excited for fans to see and explore. You’ll begin each mission high above Manhattan, however, on your mobile base of operations, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. Each character has a unique way of disembarking from the floating fortress – we saw Mr. Fantastic dive down, only to inflate himself out into a parachute and gently glide to the ground, for example.
The current generation versions of LEGO Marvel Superheroes will have no gameplay differences from the next generation versions, but the PS4 and Xbox One editions do have higher-end graphics, more characters on screen at once (especially incidental/civilian characters out on the streets), and TT Games is impressed with the lack of load times and framerate dropping on the new systems. The current gen games will come toward the end of October (no firm release date yet announced), with the next gen editions hitting on those systems’ respective release dates of November 15 and November 22.
While this game will look and feel familiar to seasoned LEGO pros, there is an undeniable joy and coming back to this franchise every time they open up a new brand to the world of building blocks and hilarious humor. With better teamwork, a more in-depth world, and more characters than ever before, LEGO Marvel Superheroes is shaping up to be a ridiculous romp of merry Marvel magic (as Stan might say).