You would be hard pressed to find a video game series that does a better job of sticking to its formula than Lego games by Traveller’s Tales. Like clockwork, one or more times per year they release a Lego game that typically takes place in a licensed world. Series range from Batman, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and Star Wars…with more sequels than I can count. Admittedly, I haven’t played many of these games…which means that while I’m no expert, I’m also not feeling “franchise fatigue” like others may; which is why I was so interested in trying out Lego Marvel Superheroes 2. With all the hype surrounding the new Avengers movie, what better time to enter this Marvel universe? What I found was a game that sticks to the tried-and-true mechanics while still being engaging, varied and enjoyable for the whole family.
The story sees scores of superheroes banding together to save the world from the evil Kang, the game’s main antagonist. While he might not be as big of a household name as Thanos or Dr. Doom, he is a unique character in his own right. The story puts your heroes in a variety of locations where you must pull switches, break nearly everything, assemble items and fight bad guys. Some levels end with a boss battle or collect-a-thon style objectives. You are then treated to a gorgeous looking cutscene that typically transitions you to a new area and puts you in control of different characters. Every character has one or more special skills that are necessary for progression, thankfully you can switch between them with a simple button press. Captain America can use his shield to target enemies and switches, She-Hulk can rip apart specific barriers and of course Spider-Man has his spider-sense that reveals hidden secrets. After some quick trial-and-error you will routinely realize which characters are needed where and how to use their skills. In every area there are also sections where a character is needed who is not in your party, thankfully you can retry each level in free play mode and freely switch between all unlocked characters to uncover hidden goodies. While it is easy to switch between characters in your party, I often had to track down a “stuck” character when my group would stray too far, causing minor annoyance.
I was very impressed with the level of presentation on Lego Marvel Superheroes 2. The characters and environments look amazing in both cutscenes and in-engine areas. While the voice acting is good, don’t expect the same actors from the movies. Getting in and out of the game is fairly quick as well, with minimal loading times (while playing on Xbox One original). Levels are lengthy and typically broken up by checkpoints that save your progress, although I would have preferred more of them. With nearly 200 character slots, players will see many familiar faces such as: Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Panther and Spider-Man. There is an additional $15 USD season pass that includes 6 new levels and 4 character packs. Needless to say, this is basically a love letter for Marvel fans, and if you enjoy Lego as well..then even better!
There is not much more to say about Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 that you don’t already know. You are getting the same type of game that you’re accustomed to, with a beautiful coat of superhero paint. Boasting literally hundreds of characters to unlock and secrets to discover, determined players (and a local partner) will keep busy for a while. Fans of Lego games and/or Marvel will find a lot of enjoyment here; alternatively, if you are burnt out on Lego, then I don’t expect Marvel 2 to change your mind. Despite a couple of minor gripes, Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is an impressive sequel that arrives at a time when excitement for Marvel content has never been higher. Highly recommended for families and fans of both Marvel and Legos!