LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2: review

The LEGO games have utilised a vast array of franchises over the years, from huge properties like Star Wars and Harry Potter individually, to the 1980s TV shows Knight Rider and the A-Team in LEGO Dimensions. Arguably their best games have been in the superhero genre, with DC and Marvel’s characters having such a vast roster of characters and backgrounds to explore, along with a huge repertoire of super powers and bad guys to battle; which makes ideal fodder for a LEGO game. But with so many LEGO games being produced, is the franchise starting to run out of ideas?

The map of Chronopolis is a lot more varied compared to the original game’s boring old New York!

The game kicks off with you in control of Star Lord and the Guardians of the Galaxy gang, as they encounter Kang the Conqueror. This villain is travelling through different timelines and realities and stealing landmarks and cities to merge them into his own city of Chronopolis. It’s up to Marvel’s roster of superheroes to defeat him and return the stolen cities to their own worlds. In place of the previous game’s hub world of New York, Chronopolis is an enormous world of distinct smaller areas, from the Old West and a snowy New York, to Ancient Egypt and New York in 2099. Each of these areas merge into others, and it’s a lot more diverse than the original game’s version of New York, which let’s be honest is one of the most-explored cities in gaming. Chronopolis is absolutely huge, and has a ton of extra content to find as well as the main story to complete. The campaign is fairly linear, although you do get to choose which level to play at certain points. Our heroes end up split up into groups while they try to find the Nexus shards, which will help to thwart Kang’s evil plan.

The LEGO series’ trademark humour is still a joy to watch.

Like most LEGO games, each level plays out with you smashing up the level to collect studs until you’re tasked with various character-specific puzzles. A lot of these are similar to other games in the franchise, perhaps using Hulk to smash through cracked walls, or Spider-Man’s grapple ability to pull open doors. With the vast roster of superheroes each wielding wide-ranging abilities, there’s plenty of scope for a variety of puzzles; and Doctor Strange’s time manipulation power, where you can reverse or advance time, is a nice new addition to the series. When you play on your own, constantly changing characters to complete puzzles can get a tad irritating, which makes having a co-op partner all the more important. Thankfully we had a 6-year-old superhero at hand to help us through the game, which made it all the more enjoyable. The LEGO games are known for their great sense of humour, and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is just as witty as its forebears. While there are plenty of Marvel characters to choose from, you can also create your own superhero at the Avengers mansion, which gives you a huge selection of outfits and powers to choose from for your own character. In fact, our little sidekick had just as much fun creating his own superhero as he did playing the game.

Some of Marvel’s lesser known charactersm such as the Inhumans, are also given time to shine.

While the game is really enjoyable and packed with content, there are a few niggles that sully the experience somewhat. Like the majority of LEGO games, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 has bugs (not just Spider-Man), and this was one of the worst offenders that we’ve played so far. During our playthrough the game crashed at least four times in the first few levels with doors failing to open, sticky bombs not exploding, and characters getting stuck in the scenery. Then, during the boss battle with the Presence, one of our heroes became bugged-out invincible while possessed, necessitating an extremely irritating level restart. Thankfully the game seemed to crash less often later on, but there were still a couple of points where we needed to reset. We also felt that perhaps there were a few too many boss battles, with some of them being a simple case of punching a bad guy until his health bar disappeared, which felt a bit uninspired. The lack of the Fantastic 4 and X-Men is also disappointing.. You could also say that a lot of the puzzles from LEGO Dimensions have been lifted over to this game, with some levels giving you a sense of deja vu, so strong are the similarities.

Some alternative versions of iconic characters are also available.

If you can ignore its flaws, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is an excellent LEGO game that is a lot of fun to play co-operatively with the family. It makes good use of the huge roster of Marvel characters, from the well known, like the Avengers, to the lesser known heroes like the Inhumans; and its diverse open world is a lot of fun to explore. With an enjoyable story and plenty of side missions, along with additional multiplayer battles, there’s plenty to keep you and a little sidekick happy well into the new year.

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Written by Kevin M

I've been addicted to gaming since my parents bought an Atari console way back in the 70's. I progressed to the iconic Speccy, Amiga, and all the Playstation platforms. Having seen games evolve from single pixel bat and ball, to HD constructed environments, gaming has changed much from my early years. Having defeated the rock hard R-Type on the Speccy, the biggest challenge I've faced so far is putting up with the hordes of American teens spouting abuse in the current generation of consoles, noob indeed!

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