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Review

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 Review

The Lego game brand is one of the most bankable franchises around. Even though we’ve waved goodbye to Lego Dimensions this year – which remains a fantastic concept bled dry by steadily weaker additions – that hasn’t stopped the arrival of the traditional big-name Lego outings. Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is a sequel to one of the last revelatory and original outings for the brand, and picks up right where the last one left off. It’s clear that Travellers Tales have learnt a thing or two in the intervening years.

Firstly, this is easily the best looking Lego game thus far, with a lovely range of graphical effects, including some great physics work and depth of field shimmer really making all that super plastic shine. The variety of locations, from snowy mountains and medieval castles to underwater bases, are all very well conceived, offset by some excellent orchestral scores. It’s also incredibly slick, with none of the technical problems seen recently in the Lego Ninjago Movie Videogame, marking this as the franchise’s immediate standout.

Taking place after the events of the first game, we join an array of Marvel characters as they go up against Kang The Conqueror, and what an array it is, as this has the biggest selection of characters of any Lego game, including some lesser known ones like Gwenpool! There’s definitely a spot of narrative DNA shared with Dimensions, as the time-travelling story takes in a range of different planets, eras, and their residents. Personally getting to spend more time in the world of Spiderman Noir is worth the price of admission alone.

No matter where you travel, it’s unequivocally cool, and often genuinely funny, while the hub area of Chronopolis is soon bustling with things to do and places to go. Just as with the last Marvel Super Heroes game, being untethered from a particular movie has enabled it to draw from decades-worth of characters and actually have some real fun with them. There’s a cavalcade of great boss encounters, with dastardly villains from M.O.D.O.K. to Doctor Octopus providing plenty of do-gooding to be done.

The design language has changed over the years, even if, superficially, it doesn’t appear to have moved on one iota. Combat is more nuanced, with team-ups and finishing moves gained from the last Avengers outing making a welcome return here, while the contextual signposting is much improved, meaning you spend far less time meandering around and more time in the thick of the action. Even small changes like the way that button mashing can now require you to change what button you’re pressing mid-action alters what you’ve come to expect from the Lego games. There are few surprises when it comes to character abilities, though Ms. Marvel’s shrunken circuit board running and Doctor Strange’s time manipulation are both good value.

While character interactions with the environments have once again received some minor improvements, the friendly AI still leaves something to be desired, helping promptly one moment only to hang around at the last objective the next. Playing the story through in local co-op is ultimately the pinnacle for experiencing the game, and there’s also a four player battle mode that’s good for a few battles, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had here as a solo player.

As ever, the biggest question is likely to be whether you’ve tired of the Lego franchise’s gameplay beats. The changes and refinements to all that smashing, punching and kicking definitely feel refreshing, and when combined with the stellar presentation, great storyline and array of characters it’s genuinely hard to dislike the game, particularly if you’re a Marvel fan. Still, it is, on a base level, a Lego game, with all of the history that brings. There’d be no shame in having tired of it by now.

I guess the simple answer is that no, we haven’t tired of it. With each new Lego release my son and I revel in the light puzzling and comedy, while the welcoming gameplay makes it suitable for nearly everyone. Beyond the Lego, I expect there’s now plenty of people who have tired of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having been assaulted by a barrage of celluloid releases in recent years that the previous Lego Marvel game didn’t have to contend with to anywhere near the same extent. Some of these characters – Captain America and Iron Man in particular – don’t have quite the same attraction as before.

Again, that’s not the case for us, and the inclusion of teams like the Guardians of the Galaxy, and characters we’ve not seen here before have kept things up to date enough to alleviate any brand fatigue. Besides the dizzying number of heroes and villains, Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is also rammed with all of the collectibles Lego fans have come to expect, and in terms of value there are few games that can compete.

There are still a few little technical niggles, though mainly it’s getting your character stuck in the scenery. I did find myself in one nasty loop where my character became stuck being roasted alive by a pair of flamethrowers, and respawning back in only to instantly die again. I had to grab my second pad and take control of another character in order to proceed, which is fine, if you have another pad. Overall though, on a technical level this is the best product Travellers Tales have ever put out.

What’s Good:

  • Great visuals
  • Fun narrative
  • Tons of characters
  • Technically accomplished

What’s Bad:

  • Well-worn gameplay
  • Some technical hitches
  • Poor friendly AI

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is a fantastic Lego game. A fun narrative, a list of well-known characters a mile long, and further refinement on the series’ classic gameplay mark this out as the best Lego game yet. Admittedly, it’s still another game in a well-trodden franchise, and one which doesn’t reinvent the (plastic) wheel, but few brands can claim the consistent quality on show here.

Score: 8/10

Version Tested: PlayStation 4 Pro

10 Comments
  1. JR.
    Member
    Since: Apr 2013

    Nice. Is there a large open-world hub area like Manhattan in the first Lego Superheroes game or smaller, mini-hubs like Lego Batman 3?

    Comment posted on 14/11/2017 at 08:24.
    • Geffdof23
      Member
      Since: Mar 2010

      Exactly the question I was going to ask. I much prefer the large Manhattan hub world. I hope they have brought that back.

      Comment posted on 14/11/2017 at 09:21.
    • Dominic Leighton
      Member
      Since: Mar 2012

      It’s one huge hub, with all of the world’s interconnected – or rather stuck together. It’s massive, and takes a long time on foot, though you can fabricate vehicles to speed things up, or pick someone like Thor and fly there!

      Comment posted on 14/11/2017 at 10:21.
      • Geffdof23
        Member
        Since: Mar 2010

        Nice. This is definitely on my list then. I love playing these games with my two boys. I’d best finish the ones I’ve got first though. Bought Batman and Star Wars recently and haven’t even started Star Wars yet.

        Comment posted on 14/11/2017 at 12:13.
      • JR.
        Member
        Since: Apr 2013

        Thanks – that’s really important. I’m usually ‘forced’ to spend 500 hours completing the main game to 100%, unlocking all the characters/vehicles etc… then my two Nephew’s spend 500 hours messing about in the hub world, creating their own adventures. Good times. Except for that time they overwrote my 100% save file for Lego Star Wars TFA :O Bad times.

        Comment posted on 14/11/2017 at 12:53.
      • doomsday619
        Member
        Since: Nov 2008

        That sounds excellent, As with Geffdof23 i play these with my sons, And spend a ton of time while they are at school ect unlocking extra characters for them to play with.
        I’m also a huge comicbook nerd but have more of a passion for Marvel so any Lego game set in these worlds are great for me, So pleased that the Inhumans and Attilan will feature in this game as i am a big fan of the Inhumans.

        Comment posted on 14/11/2017 at 14:00.
      • doomsday619
        Member
        Since: Nov 2008

        @JR i sympathise i also lost a 100% save but with the first Lego Marvel game when my youngest son at the time thought it would be good to start a new game!
        That Silver Surfer race was a bitch!

        Comment posted on 14/11/2017 at 14:04.
      • Dominic Leighton
        Member
        Since: Mar 2012

        We’re on save number three for Lego Jurassic World – I can barely even look at it if it’s on the television!

        Comment posted on 14/11/2017 at 16:34.
  2. Geffdof23
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    Exactly the question I was going to ask. I much prefer the large Manhattan hub world. I hope they have brought that back.

    Comment posted on 14/11/2017 at 09:21.
  3. coxy1701
    Member
    Since: Apr 2014

    Great review.
    I do like my Lego marvel/dc games
    This is definitely on my radar after I’ve beaten origins.

    Comment posted on 14/11/2017 at 10:52.

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