Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Format(s): Playstation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Let’s be honest, people have come to know exactly what to expect from a LEGO game these days. I mean, the franchise has been running for a good few years now, with very few changes being made to the formula. ‘Why fix what isn’t broken’, and all that jazz.
This means that you shouldn’t really expect to see some massive difference or some brand spanking new gameplay mechanic that’ll make each new entry feel particularly unique. No; what you should expect is a fun, charming experience that offers plenty of fan service and is full to the brim with subtle (but always appreciated) attention to detail.
That’s exactly what LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is, for better and worst (but mainly for better). Don’t go into it expecting a revolutionary new entry into the already popular and very enjoyable LEGO Marvel games, but instead one that continues the trend of being a lot of fun.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 puts you up against Kang the Conqueror – a villain who has created his own world called Chronopolis which is made up of multiple segments of other worlds. This means you’ll be taking on villains across the likes of The Old West, Ancient Egypt, Nueva York, Planet Hulk, and even Asgard on some huge inter-connected planet as you look to somehow defeat Kang. It’s a story that’s not tied to any movie, so it has the free rein to bring on any character (well… except the Fox ones) in a huge, epic encounter.
As usual, the script is absolutely on point and the trademark humour is present. The game is clearly designed to be family friendly, so you shouldn’t expect anything that oversteps the mark either – there’s plenty of cheese to go along with the gags, but they always hit the mark.
The only issue I had was with some of the newer characters I hadn’t seen before. Sometimes when they appear, the game treats you like you already know who they are; I’ve never been a die-hard Marvel fan and only really know the cinematic universe characters, so when fresh faces showed up with no introduction I was often left a little baffled at who they were and what their powers are. It might’ve been a really good opportunity for LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 to expand upon the lore, but instead most of them appear and act as if they’re very well known in the universe. But hey, that’s on me – I’m sure big Marvel fans will be incredibly happy to see such a variety of characters that they already know and love, even if newbies are a bit clueless as to who they are.
That doesn’t mean that I didn’t appreciate meeting these new characters though. The Marvel universe is so big, and since a lot of them haven’t appeared in the Marvel movies (yet), it’s interesting to actually see them for the first time here. I certainly did a few Google searches when playing, which got me even more intrigued; knowing there’re these masses of superheroes I never heard of before has started to turn me from a casual Marvel fan into a more dedicated one that wants to see the adventures that they’ve already been a part of.
I can confirm that there are no X-Men or Fantastic Four present in the game though, which is pretty disappointing. I know there are a bit of background politics involved in their presence which is tied into the movie rights, but it’s still a shame that they’re not here – especially since they actually appeared in the first LEGO Marvel game. At least Deadpool made the cut, along with a few interesting variants of his…
Gameplay-wise, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 offers the same things that we’ve seen in other LEGO games – you know, smashing up blocks to solve puzzles and beating down enemies. Given that a lot of them have appeared in the other LEGO Marvel titles, you’ll know just how characters will play; Spider-Man can still attack enemies with web, Iron Man will still fly around and blast at them, Captain America can still launch his shield around, whilst Thor’s hammer will smash some enemies to smithereens. Some of the more unique powers like Dr. Strange’s time-bending skills feel a little bit more interesting to use, but otherwise there’s nothing on offer that you wouldn’t have seen before. It doesn’t stop them being fun to use though whilst it also perfectly captures how the heroes would feel – there’s just nothing about the gameplay that really feels new.
It means that anyone who played the previous LEGO Marvel games will be right at home, though LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 does feel a lot bigger than before. There are more varied open environments to explore and an absolute abundance of heroes to play as – a lot of which I hadn’t even heard of, but loved discovering more about. With so many variant timelines available, you can expect to see some pretty unique takes on some of your favourite heroes and locations… it really is a lot of fun to just uncover everything that LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 has to offer.
All of these different locales and characters look absolutely great too, with LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 continuing the trend of LEGO games looking fantastic – it really is surprising what you can do with a bunch of bricks, right? Some of the landscapes look superb though and are full of detail, whilst some dazzling visual and lighting effects really bring them to life. Even the attention to detail on characters is superb; they really are brilliant representations of their comic book/movie counterparts.
For the most part, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 just offers what you’d expect from a LEGO game: hundreds of characters to unlock and play as, a ton of secrets to discover, a plethora of side-missions in the open-world, and some great split-screen co-op action. There’s even competitive multiplayer included as you battle with your friends for the Infinity Stones, which is a neat addition that works particularly well thanks to the variety of superheroes on offer. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a very deep multiplayer experience, but it’s an enjoyable one nonetheless.
Of course, the same flaws that have plagued previous LEGO games are present too, with some clumsy camera issues popping up on specific environments and, again, a lack of online co-op (I’d have thought this would be one of the most sought after features by this point). There’s also the fact that LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is an incredibly easy game, with minimal challenge found in the combat, puzzles, boss battles, or anything else. Don’t get me wrong, the target audience is clear; with such a diverse age range of Marvel fans though, I think a few different difficulty options might’ve helped make the game appeal to a much larger audience.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 offers yet another thoroughly enjoyable and well-presented adventure, but one that doesn’t stray far from the established formula of button-mashing gameplay and simple puzzle solving. Whether or not this will be good enough will come down to the player, though I personally haven’t tired of the formula – in fact, I embraced it more than ever with this deeper look into the unseen corners of the Marvel Universe. It’s a different representation of something we’ve seen a lot of already, which made it feel a lot fresher and exciting.
As a casual fan of the superhero franchise, I loved discovering these new heroes and locales that haven’t been touched upon in the cinematic universe and it actually got me a lot more interested in finding out more about them; a lot of that is down to how good a job LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 did at conveying the world and hooking me in.
Some of the flaws of the series still exist though and, again, it’s more of the same from a gameplay perspective, but those who still love the fantastic LEGO adventures or who are fans of the Marvel universe will thoroughly enjoy their time spent playing LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2.