The Quarter Bin

Videos, Reviews, and Previews For Comic Fans

Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet – Xbox 360

Posted by Luke Brown On July - 27 - 2010

Just before San Diego Comic Con I had the chance to visit with THQ to get a look at their upcoming action platformer, Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet. Due out in November, the game most resembles the Lego franchise in style and tone, and hopes to capture both new fans and those of us who’ll play any game that gives us the opportunity to play as the god of thunder. While the build I saw was still very early, SHS looks promising, and could be just as fun for families and younger children as Ultimate Alliance is for older audiences.

Infinity Gauntlet will follow the plot of season two of the animated series, as the heroes try to prevent Thanos and the Super Skrull from obtaining the Infinity Gauntlet. Though I only got to see Iron Man, Wolverine, and the Hulk in action, there will be more than a dozen different characters to play as. The just-released trailer shows off Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, as well as Spider-Man, Thor, and the Falcon. The cartoon is packed with cameos and nods to the classic comic lore, and the game will be no different. While roaming around a Skrull spaceship, Iron Man and Hulk battled in front of a Skrullbucks Coffee stand, which showed the attention to humorous detail the developers are bringing over from the show. Part of the allure of Super Hero Squad is how well it represents the comic book characters without taking everything so seriously. While I didn’t see Dr. Doom in his fuzzy slippers and robe in the demo, I’ll be extremely shocked if casual Doom doesn’t make an appearance.

Super Hero Squad‘s gameplay is fairly simple. Go here, beat up some guys, solve a puzzle, beat up some more guys, fight a boss, go someplace else. There’s a fairly generous checkpoint system, and every player will have infinite lives, though you will come back with gradually less health each time you die. The more bad guys you take down, the more your Heroic Feat meter will build up, and once it’s full, you’ll be able to unleash a special attack. It doesn’t take much time to build up the meter, and unleashing a room-clearing blast from Iron Man is especially gratifying. Though the combat in the game isn’t terribly complex, it’s still fun. There’s something to be said about a game that boils down the controls to their very essence, and the same holds true for the game’s puzzles. While you won’t ever wrack your brain trying to progress further into the game, the puzzles in SHS do provide a change of pace from the endless array of villains trying to stop you.

Since the version of the game I watched being played was an early build, I can’t really tell if SHS is going to look good or just okay. Everyone of the characters looks just like his or her television/action figure counterpart, but since the game’s textures and shadows weren’t yet finished, everything looked a bit off. All of the voice actors from the show will reprise their roles, including Mark Hamill, John Hurley, and Steve Blum, and there will be more than twenty times the amount of recorded dialogue in the game than a typical episode of the show. There will also be at least one alternate costume for every character in the game, and there are plans for downloadable content which will allow you to play from the villain’s perspective. Sadly, the multiplayer is offline only, but you can play with up to four friends in certain game modes.

Though the game is geared toward a much younger audience, I’m really interested in how Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet is going to turn out. As a comic fan, I’ll support anything that gets more people interested in comic books, and that goes double for getting young children hooked on super heroes. If the game is able to capture the charm and humor of the animated series, and ends up playing as well as it could, Super Hero Squad is actually going to end up being pretty enjoyable. Those are some pretty big “ifs” though, and I hope THQ is up to the task.

Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet is due out this November for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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