LEGO games come regular now. Whether it’s to cash in on a recent movie franchise or newest movie release or putting fresh spins on original LEGO products, LEGO is pretty much here to stay. LEGO games provide light entertainment and are easy to complete, but they are ultimately fun to play. They are also accessible to players of all ages. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes was revolutionary on release. Mixing traditional LEGO game levels with a vast open world Manhattan that was free to be explored was a great move by developers TT Games. A sequel was inevitable.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 takes what was great about the first game and capitalises, in parts. What stays put, though, is the level structure which has became a series staple. You control a particular set of superheroes from the Marvel roster as you travel from one room to the next, smashing things, collecting studs and solving puzzles. It’s a standard fare for LEGO games, but in LEGO Marvel 2, you’re fighting to rid the universe of a brand new menace. Kang the Conqueror and his sword-shaped ship have created a mish-mash world called Chronopolis that merges locations from various Marvel worlds together into one big world. It’s up to you as the likes of Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America and the Guardians of the Galaxy to put all the featured worlds back to normal. The Guardians of the Galaxy featured here are the movie variations, complete with Star Lord’s Walkman, but the rest are based on their comic book appearances, so don’t expect their voices to sound like they did in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. The plot is ideal for a LEGO game and, of course, it’s jam-packed with the typical LEGO humour.
Within levels, you’ll use specific skills of certain heroes to solve the very easy puzzles here, the best of which, and that is the most satisfying to trigger, is Captain America’s shield-throw ability which can be thrown to bounce off of specific points. The game shifts to slow motion and looks stylish as the camera follows the shield as it ping-pongs from one point to another before hitting its mark. Apart from this, it’s pretty standard stuff; levels can be replayed, which allows you to use any unlocked heroes to solve puzzles that were previously restricted. These can reveal new characters or involve saving Stan Lee who is trapped at certain points in each level. If you’re a player who has to 100% these games, then ‘free play’ is a necessity.
The new open world is bigger and better that the first game’s Manhattan. You can use any hero to traverse and explore every nook and cranny of Manhattan, then fly or swing to Asgard and then to Ancient Egypt and the icy mountains of K’un-Lun. It’s the most varied and diverse world I’ve ever seen, and it works extremely well. Within each world, other heroes may need help solving problems of their own to unlock them. These mainly involve finding and collecting things or beating up bad guys. Speaking of bad guys, the combat is pretty bad this time around. Each bad guy takes around 2-3 hits to defeat, and the abundance of bosses scattered throughout the levels take longer to take down. These are much more meaty, some of which (like Thor: Ragnarok’s Surtur) requires a certain ability to hit him as he’s spitting fiery boulders at you. Boss fights feel epic because of their meatiness here, and they really flesh out the game significantly. Avengers Mansion is free to explore too. This acts as your base of operations where you discuss new missions, visit Gwenpool to unlock cheats and create a new hero.
As well as different locations, Kang has also merged together different times too as you’re able to go from modern day Manhattan to a past time Manhattan, which is very monochrome in colour, and it’s patrolled by a new type of Spider-Man. It’s really cool to see this all in one game.
You can drive vehicles too, but it’s not a pleasurable experience. Ships and planes, such as the Quinjet, don’t fly well at all, but ground vehicles drive the same as they have in past LEGO games: simple to control but sluggish in performance.
There are an astonishing number of heroes and villains to unlock this time around. Characters from all universes are here with variations of characters available too. A medieval version of Hulk, a cowboy version of Captain America, and Noir and 20XX versions of Spider-Man are to name but a few. There are hundreds of characters to find and unlock which is the main attraction here. It’s still a breathtaking experience flying around as Iron Man, albeit bizarre traveling from one world to another. It’s still super fun web swinging around New York, and a second player can join in at any time to assist in missions too.
Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Release Date: 14th November 2017