Lego Marvel's Avengers is a Lego-themed action-adventure video game developed by Traveller's Tales and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Macintosh and Microsoft Windows. It is the spin-off to Lego Marvel Super Heroes and the second installment of the Lego Marvel franchise. It follows the plots of both The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron as well as Captain America: The First Avenger, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The game features characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as characters from comic books. Characters include Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Thor, Ultron, Loki, Winter Soldier, Falcon, Vision and War Machine and some lesser known characters such as Devil Dinosaur and Fin Fang Foom. It includes the characters of the Avengers team along with many others. The game was released on 26 January 2016.
The gameplay is similar to Lego's long-running series of franchise video games, with a focus on puzzle-solving interspersed with action. Players often have to solve puzzles spread across the game environment, such as figuring out how to move a particular truck that is blocking their progression. As always, the game has its own unique quirks, for instance taking advantage of its large character library in areas that require two specific characters to team up in order to proceed. Boss battles also take the form of puzzles, often requiring careful timing. While action and fighting are spread liberally throughout the game, it is kept very child-friendly as per Lego custom. The game features New York City as the main large open-world hub, but also, for the first time, includes a dozen other movie significant areas players can travel to, including Asgard, Malibu, South Africa, The Helicarrier, the Bartons' farm, Washington DC and Sokovia. These hubs also feature heavy playability, with hundreds of side quests and bonus levels such as rescuing citizens in trouble, races, and more. The main story actually takes up a fairly small fraction of the game's total "completion". Whilst the game's story is predominantly focused on the two Avengers films there are single levels based on Captain America: The First Avenger, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The game features over two hundred playable characters, including some characters (but not all) returning from the previous game. The heroes are drawn not just from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the comics as well. Director Arthur Parsons stated "It's a celebration of everything Avengers. Comic books, movies, cartoons. It's everything you love about the Avengers in video games." Confirmed additional characters include Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel, Sam Wilson's Captain America appearance, America Chavez, Jane Foster's Thor form, Wiccan and Speed. Every two characters have their own unique team-up abilities. There are even separate ones for what character is triggering the attack, meaning nearly 800 team-up moves.
In the Eastern European country of Sokovia, the Avengers—Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye—attack a Hydra facility commanded by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker in an attempt to retrieve a scepter that was previously used by Loki, Thor's adoptive brother. They encounter two of Strucker's test subjects, the Maximoff twins, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, before they succeed in apprehending Strucker and retrieving Loki's scepter. Scarlet Witch manipulates Iron Man's mind, causing him to see a haunting vision of the Avengers' defeat. She allows him to take the scepter as a flashback begins, explaining how the scepter ended up on Earth.
Loki encounters the Other, the leader of an extraterrestrial race known as the Chitauri and servant of Thanos. In exchange for retrieving the Tesseract, a powerful energy source of unknown potential, the Other promises Loki an army with which he can subjugate Earth. Nick Fury, director of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., and his lieutenant Maria Hill arrive at a remote research facility where physicist Dr. Erik Selvig is leading a research team experimenting on the Tesseract. Agent Phil Coulson explains that the object has begun radiating an unusual form of energy. The Tesseract suddenly activates and opens a wormhole, allowing Loki to reach Earth. Loki takes the Tesseract and uses his scepter to brainwash Selvig, Hawkeye, and many other agents to aid him. Maria and Agent Williams fight the brainwashed agents while Loki, Hawkeye, and Selvig escape in a stolen truck. Maria and Williams pursue them in another vehicle, fighting more brainwashed agents before the base explodes, allowing Loki to escape.
In response to the attack, Fury reactivates the "Avengers Initiative." Black Widow is sent to Calcutta to recruit Dr. Bruce Banner to trace the Tesseract through its gamma radiation emissions. Coulson visits Iron Man to have him review Selvig's research, and Fury approaches Captain America with an assignment to retrieve the Tesseract. Captain America begins having flashback of his missions in 1940 where he is fighting Hydra with his friend Bucky. While raiding Arnim Zola's train, Bucky falls off a cliff and is presumed to be dead.
In Stuttgart, Hawkeye steals iridium needed to stabilize the Tesseract's power while Loki causes a distraction, leading to a battle against Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Widow that ends with Loki's surrender. While Loki is being escorted to S.H.I.E.L.D., Thor arrives and frees him, hoping to convince him to abandon his plan and return to Asgard. After fighting Iron Man and Captain America, Thor agrees to take Loki to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. Upon arrival, Loki is imprisoned while Banner and Iron Man attempt to locate the Tesseract.
Captain America and Williams search through S.H.I.E.L.D.'s files cases and soon discovers that S.H.I.E.L.D. plans to harness the Tesseract to develop weapons as a deterrent against hostile extraterrestrials. As the group argues, Hawkeye and Loki's other possessed agents attack the Helicarrier, disabling one of its engines in flight and causing Banner to transform into the Hulk. While Fury and Maria fight Hawkeye, Captain America and Iron Man work to restart the damaged engine, and Thor attempts to stop the Hulk's rampage. Black Widow knocks Hawkeye unconscious, breaking Loki's mind control. Loki escapes from his cage and wounds Coulson before ejecting Thor from the airship using the prison cage that he was imprisoned in, but he gets out before the cage crashes. The Hulk falls to the ground after attacking a S.H.I.E.L.D. fighter jet (piloted by Stan Lee) sent to deal with him by Maria. While stranded in the air, Fury manages to motivate the Avengers into working as a team. They steal a Quinjet and use it to get to New York City. Loki uses the Tesseract, in conjunction with a device Selvig built, to open a wormhole above Stark Tower to the Chitauri fleet in space, launching his invasion.
The Avengers all reunite at New York, and Banner transforms into the Hulk, and they battle Loki and the Chitauri while rescuing civilians. The Hulk finds Loki and fights him while Black Widow makes her way to the wormhole generator, where Selvig, freed from Loki's mind control, reveals that Loki's scepter can be used to shut down the generator. Meanwhile, Fury's superiors from the World Security Council, dissatisfied with the Avenger's attempts, take matters into their own hands and attempt to end the invasion by launching a nuclear missile at Midtown Manhattan. Iron Man hijacks the missile and takes it through the wormhole and targeting the Chitauri mother ship, killing all the Chitauri on Earth. Iron Man's suit runs out of power, and he falls back through the wormhole just as Black Widow closes it, but the Hulk saves him from crashing into the ground. In the aftermath, Thor returns Loki and the Tesseract to Asgard, while Fury expresses confidence that the Avengers will return if and when they are needed. Meanwhile, Thanos is informed of Loki's failure, and the Avengers are shown eating food in a restaurant (with Hulk taking all of it for himself). A disguised Strucker steals Loki's scepter (with a S.H.I.E.L.D. logo falling off a truck to reveal a Hydra symbol) and takes it back to his base where he and Dr. List begin experimenting on Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, ending the flashback.
Returning to the Avengers Tower, Iron Man and Banner discover an artificial intelligence within the scepter's gem and decide to use it to complete Stark's "Ultron" global defense program. The unexpectedly sentient Ultron, believing he must eradicate humanity to save Earth, eliminates Stark's A.I. J.A.R.V.I.S. and attacks the Avengers at their headquarters while they and Maria are having a party using the Iron Legion. After defeating the drones, Ultron escapes with the scepter and uses the resources in Strucker's Sokovia base to upgrade his rudimentary body and build an army of robot drones and recruits the Maximoffs to help him. They travel to the base of arms dealer Ulysses Klaue to obtain Wakandan vibranium. The Avengers arrive and battle Ultron, the Maximoffs, and Klaue's men, but Ultron and the Maxioffs manage to escape after Scarlet Witch subdues them with haunting visions, causing Banner to transform into the Hulk and rampage until Stark stops him with his anti-Hulk armor, destroying an unfinished building in the process.
A worldwide backlash over the resulting destruction, and the fears that Scarlet Witch's hallucinations had incited, forces the Avengers into hiding at Hawkeye's farm. Thor departs to consult with Dr. Erik Selvig on the meaning of the apocalyptic future he saw in his hallucination. Fury arrives and encourages the team to form a plan to stop Ultron. In Seoul, Ultron brainwashes the team's friend Dr. Helen Cho with Loki's scepter and has her use her synthetic-tissue technology, together with vibranium and the scepter's gem, to perfect a new body for him. Before he can upload himself into the body, Scarlet Witch reads his mind and learns his plan for human extinction, leading the Maximoffs to turn against Ultron. Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawkeye fight Ultron and his drones in a stolen truck and succeed in retrieving the synthetic body, but Ultron captures Black Widow. The fight causes a train to derail, but Captain America manages to stop it with the Maximoffs' help.
The Avengers argue over Iron Man's plan to uploads J.A.R.V.I.S.—who is still operational after hiding from Ultron inside the Internet—into the synthetic body. Thor returns to help activate the body, explaining that the gem on its brow is one of the six Infinity Stones, the most powerful objects in existence. The newly activated Vision and the Maximoffs accompany the Avengers to Sokovia, where Ultron has used the remaining vibranium to build a machine to lift a large part of the capital city skyward, intending to crash it into the ground to cause global extinction. Banner rescues Black Widow, who helps him transform into the Hulk for the battle. The Avengers fight Ultron's army while Fury arrives in the Helicarrier with Maria Hill, War Machine, and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to evacuate the civilians in flying lifeboats. Quicksilver dies when he shields Hawkeye from gunfire, and a vengeful Scarlet Witch abandons her post to destroy Ultron's primary body, which allows one of his drones to activate the machine. The city plummets downwards, but Iron Man and Thor overload the machine and destroy the landmass. In the aftermath, the Hulk, unwilling to endanger Black Widow by being with her, departs in a Quinjet, while the Vision confronts and destroys Ultron's last remaining body and releases small fireworks.
Later, with the Avengers having established a new base run by Fury, Hill, Cho, and Selvig, Thor returns to Asgard to learn more about the forces he suspects have manipulated recent events. As Iron Man leaves, and Hawkeye retires off-screen, Captain America and Black Widow prepare to train new Avengers: War Machine, Falcon, the Vision, and Scarlet Witch.
In a post-credits scene, Thanos, displeased with the failure of his pawns, dons the Infinity Gauntlet and intends to collect the Infinity Stones for himself.
Unlike Lego Marvel Super Heroes, which used original voice acting, Lego Marvel's Avengers utilizes audio from the six films being adapted for the game, including voice and music, similar to Lego The Lord of the Rings, The Lego Movie Videogame, Lego The Hobbit, and Lego Jurassic World. The game utilizes the archive audios from the actors in the films. However, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Ashley Johnson, Hayley Atwell, Michael Peña and Ming-Na Wen reprise their respective roles from the films and TV shows, and Marvel Comics co-creator Stan Lee returned to voice himself. Robbie Daymond voices A-Bomb. Lou Ferrigno voices himself and Greg Miller voiced Aldrich Killian.
Free PlayStation timed exclusive downloadable content was announced. This included a character pack and a level based on Ant-Man, which was released on April 6, 2016, and a Captain America: Civil War character pack that was released at launch. A season pass was also available during launch, which gave players exclusive access to the "Explorers Pack", story levels and over 40 additional playable characters. These story levels were based on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series as well as levels focused on the comic versions of Black Panther, the Masters of Evil, Captain Marvel, and Doctor Strange. A Spider-Man character pack was also released on May 24, 2016, which saw the Civil War version of the character as a playable character.
Upon its release, Lego Marvel's Avengers received mixed reviews. It has a score of 71/100 on Metacritic. Game Informer's Andrew Reiner gave the game 7.75 out of 10. IGN awarded it a score of 6.7 out of 10, saying "LEGO Marvel's Avengers is great fun, but unfortunately restricted by sticking to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Destructoid awarded it a score of 6 out of 10, saying "It's a fun mindless romp through a couple of interesting setpieces, but not a whole lot more than that when it comes down to it." PlayStation LifeStyle awarded it 7.5 out of 10, saying "Some technical hiccups and the occasional unclear objective can hamper your progress, but these can all be overcome in a game that exudes a fun-loving attitude throughout." GameSpot awarded it a score of 7.0 out of 10, saying "If you've played a Lego game in recent years then you'll know what to expect: another familiar and fun adventure that you can enjoy with your kids." Hardcore Gamer awarded it a score of 3 out of 5, saying "While a decent action-adventure title, Avengers does little to innovate or set itself apart from a vast library of superior Lego games." PC Gamer awarded it a score of 52%, calling it "A half-hearted recreation of some fun movies, with almost nothing to offer over its predecessor."