LEGO video games based on licensed properties have been one of the more common releases over the last many years, almost being a genre in of themselves. One of the most received of the bunch was LEGO Marvel Super Heroes for its large cast of characters and open world gameplay, and now TT Games is trying to expand even further on the Marvel universe in the simply titled LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2.
You may have though that LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 would go with Thanos as the main villain due to the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War as a sort of tie-in, but the game instead goes a very different direction. After the events of the first game, Kang the Conquerer has shown up and is trying to basically rewrite time by bringing them all together into what is known as Chronopolis.
Like most of the LEGO games from TT Games, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes has top notch writing. I’d even go as far as to say it has some of the best to date from a LEGO game. Juggling so many different characters is difficult, but yet they still managed to do so throughout the game. Having the Guardians front and center early on definitely helps with this, as well as the way the game splits up into groups for specific missions. The chosen groups really play well off of one another and make the experience all the more enjoyable.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is split into 20 different story missions that feature you going to different locations while using the aforementioned pre-selected character groups. There is a general order for these missions, but there are some moments where you are presented with two and you can choose which one to do first, adding a little personal choice into the mix.
One of the big selling points of the first game was the open world environment that you could explore and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 takes a unique twist on that, which fits right in with Kang’s plans. The early missions in the game are very linear, but once you reach Chronopolis, you will get to start exploring. As Kang is trying to take all the different realities and bring them into Chronopolis, you will find many different areas that would not normally be together. This means that locations like New York City, New York City Noir, Sakaar (which you may recognize from the recent Thor: Ragnarok), and Wakanda are found not too far from one another and can be reached on foot or by vehicle.
The LEGO game formula has not changed too much over the years and yet somehow it is still very enjoyable for the most part, albeit very repetitive. The one new mechanic that can be fun is the time manipulation, though the actual activation of it can be a little wonky at times. Also, they still have not figured out a way to make their driving tolerable in the least, making you want to avoid doing so at all costs.
There is definitely nothing really groundbreaking besides the occasional time mechanics to be found in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 gameplay wise, but what really makes this game fun is the amount of content included that will be heaven for Marvel fans. This includes the different locations mentioned above, as well as a very impressive lineup of playable characters.
LEGO games always have plenty of characters for you to unlock in the game and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 dives deep into the roster of characters with 230+ characters to play as. This includes the staple characters like Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Star-Lord, as well as others like Spider-Ham and Gwenpool. In fact, the newly popular Gwenpool has her own missions in the game that replace the ones that Deadpool had in the first, this time with Pink Bricks being rewarded instead of Red Bricks.
Like past LEGO games, you can have a friend team up to play through the game with you with ease by simply pressing a button on a second controller. That is not the only multiplayer option though, as the game also offers what are known as Battle Arenas. These allow up to four player cooperative or competitive play, which offer two different game modes to choose from.
Capture the Infinity Stones has you trying to not only battle the opponents on the other teams, but also working to capture Infinity Stones that help to earn points, with the winning team scoring the most points. Color Clash is a unique take on the idea of something like Splatoon, where your team has a certain color that you must paint on the map by walking around. This is pretty fun, though there isn’t a whole lot of depth to it overall.
The LEGO titles from TT Games have always had their fair share of strange glitches and bugs, and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 may be the worse offender of the bunch. Not only are there the usual small bugs that you can get over, but this time there are some major game breaking bugs that will force you to exit to the main menu and go back in. The worst examples in the game came during various boss fights, where certain events would not trigger that were required to beat said boss.
One in particular came in a fight against Surtur, where a vehicle you create is supposed to be destroyed at the end of a phase in the fight. However, he never destroyed the vehicle, making it impossible to activate the Captain American icon underneath to advance in the fight. This was not an isolated incident either, really showing that the game is missing some polish that it sorely needed.
Those who are familiar with and really enjoy the voice cast from the first game may end up very disappointed, as LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 has a completely new voice cast. This was out of their hands due to the SAG-AFTRA voice actor strike, but they managed to find solid replacements for the most part. The one they chose for Spider-Man really did not seem to fit at all, but that’s one of the few issues I had in this area. In fact, there were some characters that I couldn’t even tell much of a difference. Overall though, this isn’t the type of game where voice acting is of the utmost important anyways.
The original LEGO Marvel Super Heroes was known for shaking up the rather stale formula at the time, but its follow-up tends to play it a bit more safe. While it may not break any new ground and there is a lack of polish in many areas, the story is one that would come right out of a comic book and the large cast of characters makes LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 feel like a real love letter for Marvel fans.
While definitely a bit of a letdown after how good the first game was, there is still plenty to enjoy in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2. The best part is unlocking the more obscure characters that really dive into the long history of Marvel, giving you plenty to do alongside the enjoyable main story as long as glitches don’t get in the way.
7.5 Pink Bricks Out Of 10
Release Date: November 14th, 2017 (US)
Available Platforms: PS4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, Switch, PC
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: TT Games