LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is the latest in an extremely long line of quirky, block-based games. It’s arguably the best in the series for its extensive roster that features all of the most beloved characters from the Marvel Universe as well as for its polished gameplay and lighthearted storyline. Happily, most disabled gamers will have no problem enjoying this title.
The only group of gamers that will struggle significantly with this title are those with visual disabilities. This is because of the heavy reliance on color in the gameplay. For example, pips (the trademark currency of the LEGO franchise) are color coded, and while color-coded currency is not usually a problem in games in which the object is to collect as much currency as possible, the problem arises when characters die. There are an infinite number of lives in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, but every time a player dies, some of the money they have collected spills all over the screen, and players need to race to pick it back up before it disappears. Not being able to see color in this instance is a major detriment, since players then run the risk of picking up all the white pips (only worth ten) and missing a single blue pip (worth 1,000). This is the only major issue, but there are other times when pips appear on the screen for short time. Not being able to differentiate between the various colors of currency means that players may miss out on high-value pick-ups. However, there is usually enough currency in a level that if a player tries to collect as much as they can, they should have no problem reaching the goal for that level even without the ability to see color.
Other problems for visually impaired gamers arise in the game’s many power-ups and character specific sequences. For example, characters with extra sensory perception (like Spiderman and Wolverine) will sometimes need to turn on their special senses in order to see the solution to a puzzle. The problem is, the only way a player could identify this need is by recognizing the color-coded twinkle in a certain part of the environment. A bigger problem arises concerning gold and silver destructible objects. Only players with fire capabilities can melt through gold objects, while players only with explosive abilities (such as Iron Man) can blast through silver objects. This kind of color coding goes on. Telekinetic characters alone can interact with purple objects, etc. As a result, although the game does not use much in the way of fine detail, it is easy to see how an inability to distinguish between several shades of color would pose a major barrier in this game.
Players with fine motor disabilities will be happy to find out that this game is perhaps more accessible than other LEGO titles. There is no controller customization, but the controller scheme is relatively simple, and because the gameplay is so forgiving, even the players with extremely slow reflexes will not have a problem enjoying this game to the fullest extent. There are lots of QTEs, but the timing requirement is so lax that I was able to execute all of them with no help whatsoever, and even noticed how easy they were despite my disability. As far as precision is concerned, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes features an impressive auto-targeting system when using any kind of projectile feature, such as Captain Marvel’s shield or Hawkeye’s arrows. The only slight problem arises in the game’s somewhat squishy controls, which can make maneuvering characters through tight spaces a little bit tricky. But because the game is so forgiving, this should be no barrier whatsoever.
Finally, those with auditory disabilities will be happy to know that nothing in this game relies exclusively on sound. Furthermore, players are given the option to turn on subtitles before beginning the main campaign, which ensures that even those who cannot hear are fully aware from the very beginning what is going on in the delightfully wacky story. Even better is the fact that the subtitles are thorough and comprehensive, encompassing all story driven dialogue and important in-level dialogue, as well as giving players character tags so they know who is speaking and inflection tags so they can catch the subtext in each line.
On the whole, this game is accessible for both those with fine motor disabilities and those with hearing disabilities. However, if a player has visual disabilities—especially colorblindness—they should probably check this game out before buying to make sure it fits within their limitations.
Overall Rating: Thoroughly Accessible
Visual Rating: Partially Accessible
Fine-Motor Rating: Barrier Free
Auditory Rating: Barrier Free
GameInformer Score: 9.00
The Bottom Line for Disabled Gamers: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
-No reliance on fine detail.
-Players must be able to see a full color spectrum (heavy reliance on color).
– QTEs are very easy even for those with fine motor disabilities.
– QTEs abound.
– Nothing relies on sound.
This article has been transferred from DAGERSystem (now AbilityPoints). Scores, formatting, and writing style may differ from original CIPT content.