The new Star Wars expanded universe is about to drop some knowledge in an unexpected place. When TT Games' Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives this summer, not only will you be able to relive the memorable moments from the sequel 30 years in the making, you'll also get to play through sequences that take place prior to the movie for the very first time. While video games helping to expand on the Star Wars universe is nothing new, most of those experiences (Dark Forces, Shadows of the Empire, Knights of the Old Republic) were wholesale adventures and not just side-missions in a larger game.
It is a little bit shocking to learn that this expanded content will appear in a game aimed at kids, particularly given how not so seriously the Lego video games take their inspiration. That said, there's so much new material to mine with Disney and Lucasfilm wiping the previous expanded universe slate clean, and so much desire for new Star Wars details, injecting it in some unlikely places does add another element of excitement in discovery. In an interview with Game Informer, members of TT Games' development teamed dished on just how and where these additional story missions will take place in the grander scheme.
After teasing a major announcement yesterday afternoon, WB Interactive and TT Games officially revealed Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens this morning with a new trailer, showing there were still plenty of jokes to make at the Force's expense. While the film version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was decades in the making, the wait for a new Lego Star Wars video game has been nearly as long. It's been five years since TT Games last visited the brick galaxy far, far away, and while it's not quite a 30-year wait to see how the Skywalker saga would continue, the gaming landscape has changed pretty drastically since Lego Star Wars: The Clone Wars hit shelves.
TT Games has been incredibly busy with the Lego franchise over the course of the last half-decade, developing a dozen different licensed Lego games, including the recently released Lego Marvel's Avengers and Lego Dimensions. If that seems like a lot of games for one developer to tackle, you'd be right. However, that hasn't stopped the Lego series from continuing to adapt the biggest blockbusters into humorous adventures of brick-sized proportions.
While Marvel's had a tremendous amount of success at the box office over the last decade, the comic publisher has been relatively quiet on the video game front comparatively. There have been a few exceptions to the rule, but Marvel has been almost singularly focused on the mobile game arena.
Over the last three years however, TT Games has managed to release two Marvel games under the Lego banner to sate fans hungry for Marvel action on a console. Though TT Games has been delivering licensed Lego video game adventures for over a decade, Lego Marvel's Avengers feels as fun and fresh as it has in years. It also gives Marvel fans a new spin on stories and characters they've spent a great deal of time with since The Avengers hit theaters in 2012.
Later this month, Lego Marvel's Avengers will let you play though brick-ified versions of almost all of the existing Marvel movies to this point (minus Thor, Iron Man and Iron Man 2). With six movies to cover, you'd think Lego Marvel's Avengers would be satisfied with content at the start, but that's just not the case. On day one, TT Games is already prepping two new downloadable content packs to add even more MCU action into the fold. Provided you're playing on a PlayStation console.
There's a fair mix of Phase 1 and Phase 2 Marvel films included in the connecting story missions in Lego Avengers, but one curious exclusion was Ant-Man. As the final film of the second wave of Marvel movies, it made sense in a way that it wasn't part of the core game. Ant-Man wasn't actually a member of the Avengers like the rest of the solo movie stars, but as it turns out, Ant-Man will be included with Lego Marvel's Avengers after all, just as an add-on. And yes, that includes Ant-thony.
In a little over a month, Lego Marvel's Avengers will finally arrive, bringing the Marvel Cinematic Universe together with the comics in one gigantic package. The massive adventure will encompass a number of the MCU films, including The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Iron Man 3, and Thor: The Dark World. However, the game won't just be limited to those strict storylines, and will also feature a number of open world areas to explore.
The latest trailer for Lego Marvel's Avengers shows off these numerous areas, which are all based on the movies, but will allow you to explore as any number of characters from the movies or comics. Plus, it will be the first time we ever get to see much of places like Barton's Farm, SHIELD headquarters, Sokovia, and South Africa beyond the movies themselves. Sure, we were there, but the quick glimpses and action sequences made it a bit of a challenge to really take in the areas as a whole.
The roster for Lego Marvel's Avengers is going to be one of the largest yet for TT Games' Lego series. With each passing entry, the developer tries its hardest to outdo itself, and it's not all that hard when you have as vast a catalog of heroes and villains as Marvel has built up over the years. TT Games has also always prided itself in being able to mix in a lot of the more popular characters, such as your Iron Mans and your Captain Americas, with some lesser-known deep cuts like Damage Control and Mastermind in the previous game, Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
With this upcoming entry, that same attention to detail on both sides of the character coin is returning. A lot has happened in the Marvel Universes, both comic and cinematic, since TT last dabbled with the brand, and today's new character reveals show that there's not a single stone the developer won't unturn if it makes for a fun new addition to the roster.
Over the weekend, Warner Bros. confirmed that Batman remains a big part of its interactive future. In an interview with the PlayStation Blog, Ames Kirshen, vice president of product development for the Arkham and DC Comics games at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, stated, “Batman is one of the cornerstone IPs for Warner Bros. With the Arkham series, we were finally able to realize the full potential of the character.” It's not a very bold statement, though it is an obvious one.
Since Lego Batman first arrived on the scene in 2008, the Dark Knight has had quite a run of success with his various video game incarnations. Combined with the Batman: Arkham series, the pointy-eared millionaire has easily recorded tens of millions of game sales over the past seven years. Given the recent success with Batman: Arkham Knight (horrible PC launch notwithstanding), it makes a lot of sense for Warner Bros. Interactive to keep the big guy around in some form or another, even if current fan-favorite developer Rocksteady Studios is claiming to be done with Batman.
While at first Lego Dimensions appeared to be yet another NFC figure game built to cash in on the success of Activision's Skylanders series, but in the months since it's been revealed to be a game built to cash in on Skylanders' success with some interesting improvements to the formula. With the concept of having to actually build all the figures and vehicles, Lego Dimensions offers enough difference from its competitors at the onset to make it appealing.
Factor in the inclusion of just about every license under Lego's belt, and you've got a game that lets you team Scooby-Doo and Batman with Doctor Who, while they try to stop an invasion into Springfield. After months of lead-up, the arrival of the ultimate fan fiction mash-up game is almost here.
Poor Scooby-Doo and Shaggy; those guys can never catch a break when it comes to getting a decent meal. Maybe if they actually got paid for some of the cases Mystery, Inc. helped solve, the refrigerator in their home wouldn't be filled with cobwebs. I mean, honestly, these guys have helped bring the Black Knight, the Indian Witch Doctor, Redbeard's Ghost and the Ghost of Bigfoot to justice, to name a few. You'd think that would at least earn them enough scratch to stock the house with Scooby Snacks or Lunchables or something. Also, why are these guys always so hungry?
Fortunately for the hungry heroes, a familiar friend drops some pizza and a mystery box off on Scooby's and Shaggy's doorstep. Unsure of what this glowing blue box means, the duo set to work uncovering the mystery therein. It's almost like these guys treat solving these kinds of quandaries like a job. Once completed, we see that this box was no ordinary box at all, but was actually a Lego Dimensions portal complete with minifigures of Scooby and Shaggy. Cue the theme music, boys.
We already knew Lego Marvel's Avengers would have the biggest roster of any Lego game developed by TT Games to date, but we still don't know the exact character list. During Gamescom this week, TT revealed a few of these new cast members with in-game models for the first time, giving us a better idea of who and what to expect. While your standard Avengers have all but been confirmed (at least as far as the movie roster is concerned), there's a whole lot of Marvel heroes and villains that have yet to have their shot at Lego fame and glory.
During San Diego Comic-Con, TT actually teased a few of these characters, including Kamala "Ms. Marvel" Khan and the Jane Foster Thor, but this is the first time we've seen Squirrel Girl and the Young Avengers' Speed. Most importantly, Ms. Marvel's Lego-fied version actually looks like Kamala Khan. After the America Chavez incident, it's good to see TT Games is actually on point with its representation of the character, and fans won't have to cry out in hopes of having Ms. Khan recolored.
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