LEGO games have been a major staple in the video game landscape for a while now, sure there were games like LEGO Island or LEGO Rock Raiders that made their debut on consoles and PCs in the Nineties. When LEGO Star Wars came out in 2005, it really made a big splash, all the cartoony, plastic aesthetic fused with the timeless quality of Star Wars made it an instant success.
A year after that, the sequel came and brought the original trilogy into the LEGO template. This was right after the new trilogy of Star Wars was ending and the hype for all things Star Wars was at an all-time high, especially for 11 years old me. Little did I know, a new universe of movies would come a mere 2 years later to take over the world at large.
I had moved on from the LEGO games franchise and didn’t really play any of it since. Movie-wise, the Marvel movies have been killing it the box-office and with the first Avengers movie, also came a LEGO adaptation of the Marvel franchise. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes was a huge success and caught people’s attention, especially with its open world, a recreation of New York. A game based on the Avengers movie came and now a true sequel to the original LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is finally here.
Like the first game, it puts all your favourite characters under one roof to go on wacky adventures, solving puzzles and battling enemies. How does LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 hold up after not playing LEGO games for almost a decade? Let’s check it out.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 puts the Guardians of The Galaxy in the spotlight, chasing down Kang the Conqueror to Earth and teaming up with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes while they’re there. All your favourites from the Avengers are readily playable from the minute you land on Earth. The story starts with Kang the Conqueror attacking the Guardians on Xandar which leads to them chasing him to Earth.
There, Tony Stark, Captain America, Thor, She-Hulk, Spider-man, Ant-man and the Wasp are all having a party when Kang shows up and messes up the space-time continuum. This culminates in Kang merging all of time and space into a new place called Chronopolis, which becomes the central hub of the game, taking over from the New York city of the first game.
Now you have a part of New York, which includes the Avengers Mansion, mashed together with medieval, noir and futuristic versions of the Big Apple, along with Wakanda and more into one big open world setting. There, players can go on missions, find hidden Gold Bricks, rescue Stan Lee and a whole bunch of SHIELD agents, and run around and have fun. The Avengers Mansion also acts as a hub within the hub as it allows for you to create your own characters, buying bonuses and entering cheat codes, and the all-new four-player free-for-all mode called Battle Mode.
Gameplay has pretty much stayed the same with LEGO games, each character has a specific ability that can do specific things within the level to solve puzzles with. Captain America can toss his shield, Star-Lord has a gravity mine, Doctor Strange has time powers, stuff like that. The game throws a curveball when you get some of the alternate dimension heroes who can have more than one power, like Captain Avalon, who has Captain America’s shield tossing and Gamora’s sword skills.
Besides that, the game is essentially a collect-a-thon puzzle adventure game that is great for co-op. There’s studs, minikits, gold bricks and Stan Lee to collect in each level, and most of them can only be done on your second playthrough of a Story mission in Free-play mode. Overall, the gameplay is solid and still familiar.
Some gripes with the game include the split-screen. In the old games that utilized this, the screen would only split when the two on-screen players walk too far apart from each other. Now when you play split-screen, it is permanently there, regardless of the distance between the players. Another issue is with the level design, most heroes can fly and can pretty much flyover most hazards in their way, that said, when grouped with non-flying characters, there are puzzles that are solely there to accommodate the non-flyers and get them to higher ground in the level.
The LEGO aspect of the game also takes a backseat a bit, as most of the puzzles involve the heroes’ special abilities and doesn’t require much building as previous games. This also affects the humour of the game, as the silent humour of the old games is endearing compared to the hammy voice-acted jokes here.
I sure am glad they didn’t ruin my favourite part of any LEGO game, and that is character creation. The character creating is even more robust than it ever has been. Not only can you choose your character’s clothes and weapons, you can choose multiple powers for them, different weapon styles, down to even what individual button presses do for your character. For example, you can set the Square button for a punch, but holding the button will allow your character to either lunge at opponents, shoot lasers or even teleport.
All these options are at your disposal and the possibilities are endless. The fun part comes when you get 3 of your friends to make their own heroes and going all out on the Battle Mode, fighting for supremacy and seeing who made the better hero. It’s definitely my favourite part of the game and harkens back to playing Smash Bros or Power Stone with friends.
Overall, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is a great game. Though it doesn’t add that many new gameplay mechanics like LEGO The Force Awakens or The LEGO Ninjago Movie Game, it certainly is a love letter to fans of the Marvel Universe. Whether you're a LEGO fan or a Marvel fanboy, this is definitely a game that will bring joy to both sides. I’m glad I came back to the LEGO franchise after so long.