LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 bears the classic Marvel style: a strong start and a witty finish. The blockier counterpart to our favourite Guardians of the Galaxy is a new adventure with some familiar faces in the fight to protect Nova Corps. There is plenty of G-rated action, as well as those sick musical tunes and hilarious banter that one would expect from Star Lord and his crew. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable experience, though it wasn't without its hiccups.
The events themselves follow after LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, though nothing about the sequel really demands a player to have first completed the previous game. Whether you are familiar or not with the games themselves, enough of the character's personalities more than made up for any lulls in the plotlines and made it an incredibly enjoyable experience for those that love the unique interaction style that Marvel is known for. Between the stellar mix tapes, the intermittent action, and the familiar LEGO formula - the general experience was only slightly brought down by a few inconsistencies noted throughout the game's progression.
The storyline itself revolves around Kang the Conqueror from the Avengers comic-line as the game's main villain. Characters spanning the Marvel-verse must come together to collect the Nexus shards that are hidden all over Chronopolis in the efforts to open portals. These portals allow for a call to arms to other allies from different Marvel plots in order to come together and take out the big bad and the smaller bads that are looking to take Kang's place. It's not all serious, though ... it wouldn't be Marvel if it wasn't riddled with witty puns, bad dad jokes, and little easter eggs from franchise favourites.
For better or worse, there is no denying that the game itself had a few draw backs. Sometimes throughout the game the AI controlling fellow heroes would completely conk out, making control and direction more of a chore than anything else. In addition to a few of the technical hiccups here and there, the overall story seemed stretch just a touch too thin and go on slightly longer than necessary - though the fantastic writing by comic writer Kurt Busiek did completely save the day with his hilarious style that did stay true to the universe LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is based in.
One aspect of the game that I adored was though there were a few mechanics that were unique to this sequel, overall the game stayed true to the familiar LEGO style that many have come to know and love. This includes the art of building, some lighter combat, and the character-to-character relation. The classic set up was like coming home ... a vibrantly coloured home where you smash things for coin. It's what makes players return to the world of LEGO with their various reinterpretations of popular pop culture franchises. Seeing some of my favourite characters from different Marvel comics in a different light was like a gift that kept on giving, and was, for the most part, done effectively.
Speaking of the different Marvel narratives offered, there were a few notable absences from the game that did leave the more passionate fans lacking. The black hole sans Deadpool was a glaring emptiness as well as the expected loss of Wolverine and the X-men (which makes sense with the Disney acquisition). The sequel does attempt to make up for this loss however, and arguably make up for it quite well. Spider-Gwen makes her grand appearance in the game as well as Ms. Marvel and even the newcomer Gwenpool. The freshness of the new "main characters" does soften that blow a little bit and I couldn't help but become enthralled with seeing them take center stage.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 offers a wide variety of environments to take on, so if a particular area becomes dull - there are other ventures to take on to help break up the monotony a little bit. Sometimes when you're busting up the furniture for bits, it's important to change up the scenery a little bit, we get it. That mechanic though did allow for a more freeing experience and one that kept the attention solely on the game. Many noted that the first LEGO Marvel Super Heroes was incredibly linear and, at times, tedious. The sequel broke that up beautifully this go around and shuffling my blocky little legs through the different worlds made for a fun ride to keep me guessing ... those familiar puzzles helped a lot too!
One downfall to the "vastness" is that there were times when direction wasn't clear. Because of its open world nature and the plethora of fetch quests and character unlocks abound, there were times where it was easy to get a feeling of being lost with what's the next best course of action. You wouldn't think a LEGO game could be that complicated, but because some of the unintentionally chaotic clutter, it was easy to get distracted ... and not in a good way. It's not a matter either of "oh, this world is too big." Often, it was a simple as "I'm on level one of this building, I need to be to level 2 ... how do I get there?" There were multiple times throughout my playthrough where I would walk right through a vital component of progression simply because it wasn't distinct in a way that made sense. Was it a game breaker? No, absolutely not, but it did become frustrating at times and not for sake of challenge, simply broken mechanics. A door that wouldn't toggle, a ladder that won't appear - that sort of thing.
For those that are fans of more than one corner of the Marvel-verse, the game felt really rewarding. It was incredibly engaging to go through the different worlds to unlock as many characters as possible, each with their own unique skill set useful when tackling a certain puzzle or taking on a particular enemy. Plus, manipulating the elements as Dr. Strange was much more rewarding than it has any right being.0comments
Though the game overall was not an epic adventure of untold proportions, it was true to the LEGO franchise as well as to Marvel. Though at times uninspired, it was - at the end of the day - a rewarding experience as a Marvel fan. In the end, the journey was a charming one. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is a rendition of classic Marvel style with a few hiccups along the way, but whose story ultimately makes up for the slight issues the mechanics offer through its charismatic writing and gameplay experience.
WWG’s Score: 4 / 5