LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is more of the same that we’ve come to expect from the TT Games gang. It’s the quirky personality paired with the simple but fun gameplay. It’s the same formula used for years now, basic combat, environmental puzzles, huge casts of characters, co-op play, lots and lots of silly puns, utilizing character abilities to progress, and more. The game is like comfort food, you know what to expect and you know you’re going to enjoy it regardless.
Because the story of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 isn’t tied to any particular piece of fiction, like the Marvel Movies, the game is free to do a lot. It’s because of this freedom, they were able to craft a story and locations with some more creativity. You’ll find some inspirations sure, like Sakaar from last year’s Thor: Ragnarok, but it’s mixed in with places like the Wild West and Nueva York, a location from the 2099 series of comics. How this ends up to be is because the big baddy in this game, Kang the Conqueror, has pulled together multiple universes across space and time to create a large world he calls Chronopolis. This serves as your open world in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 and there’s a lot going on.
Each section of Chronopolis has its own collectibles, quests, and Stan Lee encounters. When you get bored of your surroundings, you can just hop into another area and the game feels fresh again. It feels like a theme park in a way. Like Disney’s World Showcase in Epcot or Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s European lands theme. Being able to get a sense and feel of different parts of the world within walking distance. Chronopolis feels the same stitching together the Marvel Universe.
Speaking of bringing the universe together, there are over 200 unlockable characters in this game, making it the largest cast I’ve seen in a LEGO title to date. They have such a huge number of characters and they range all over the Marvel Universe, past and present, pulling out some deep cuts. You’ll find new characters like fan favorite Spider-Gwen, random ones like Koi-Boi, and other obscure characters. What the game does lack are the heroes who happen to be tied up with 20th Century Fox. There’s no X-Men or Fantastic 4, along with any of their villains. Such a strange decision since they were all over the first LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, plus I didn’t think the rights had anything to do with the video games. Maybe it has nothing to do with that but it’s still strange that those characters are the ones omitted. The characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe are clearly the source of influence for their respective characters though. Star-Lord’s tone is that of what you’d see from Chris Pratt and Thor acts like his Chris Hemsworth counterpart.
As with previous LEGO titles, some characters have alternate forms and this leads to one of my few issues with the game, and previous LEGO titles as well. When you’re given the option to do this switcheroo, you have to hold down the triangle button OR press triangle then press again. This is very cumbersome and inaccurate. Sometimes one method works while sometimes the other will. It’s even more of a pain when I want to change characters because that’s also mapped to a triangle hold. So if I want to switch from Hulk to say Ghost Rider, sometimes the character menu will pull up and sometimes Hulk with transform into Bruce Banner. My only way around this is to transform then press triangle again. It’s not great and it’s an issue that’s lasted over the course of most of their games.
Another issue LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 has is marker locations. On the minimap, you’re sometimes given a marker of where to go, but since there are varying elevation changes within this world, you’re sometimes at a loss of where the marker is actually at. Let alone how to even get there if it’s buried underground or inside a building. I can understand not wanting to be too hand-holding but sometimes the environment isn’t great at helping guide you to other, slightly hidden, entrances. For a game that’s categorically children focused, stuff like this can be real aggravators.
One of the neatest aspects of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is the character creator. It’s never been as robust as it is in this game. You can pull from the huge library of parts belonging to other heroes and even have the ability to change the color on some of them. Capes, shoulder spikes, hats, masks, etc.. You get all these parts plus a few generic parts in each category. But they don’t stop there, you can customize your individual attacks and powers as well. Right down to the button to which they will be assigned. You can take the “accurate” approach and make a character focused on a single power set or you can do what I did and make a Snake man with a green version of Carnage’s face, wearing a red cape, who could swing by red rope, and use powers related to Fire, Lightning, Steel, and Gold. Oh, and he can interact with every environmental superpower as well. Yeah, I basically created a catch-all hero to be able to solve any of the puzzles in the game, but so what? The creation is deep and any fan or kid will have a blast putting their own hero together.
New to the LEGO games, or at least to the Marvel branded games, are some local-only multiplayer modes for up to four players and they include two pretty basic game types. One is a King of the Hill type mode where you collect Infinity Stones and earn points by holding on to them longer than other players. The other is running around and collecting blocks to dump in your bin. Nothing super exciting, but it does give the game some added variety. Along those same lines of variety, If you’re a completionist, there’s a lot to collect and a lot to find in this game. Getting to 100% will take you some time.
You already know if you want to play this game though. You don’t need my review to tell you that. If you’re remotely interested in this and have played previous LEGO games, you know exactly what to expect. You either like this style of game or you don’t. I thoroughly enjoy the LEGO games and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is the pinnacle of them right now.
A PlayStation 4 code was provided by the publisher for review purposes