Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 14th of November, 2017 (NA,) 1st of December, 2017 (EU)
Just in case there wasn’t enough LEGO bricks and action to go around on Nintendo Switch, the fourth LEGO game Nintendo’s hard hitting console has arrived and it’s a game that everyone wanted!
When LEGO Marvel Super Heroes released back in October 2013, it swiftly became one of the most beloved and best-selling LEGO video games of all time and now after a long wait, TT Games have wrought LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 unto the world and a certain question needs to be asked: “Is Marvel Super Heroes 2 better than Marvel Super Heroes 1?” and our answer in a single world, is “no.” That isn’t to say LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is abysmal in comparison, as it isn’t, but LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is just more of what we’ve already seen, on a bigger scale and is more “just as good as the original was” as opposed to being flat-out better than it.
Now, before we talk about what the game does have, first and foremost we should point out what it doesn’t have and that is the X-Men. As loved as they and Wolverine are, and how much involvement they had in the previous game, the X-Men have no pride of place this time and find themselves missing from the action as LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 prefers to focus on those who have been and will be featuring in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is a terrible shame, but not the end of the world as the Guardians of the Galaxy are a very welcome edition. Between Peter Quill’s (aka Star-Lord) trigger-happy personality that sees him wield and shoot two blasters and have a jetpack on his back, not only can he shoot, but he can fly and shoot. Then there’s the very cute Groot who thanks to some special tech, can go from being his tiny lovable self, to his gigantic self and then there’s Rocket, who is just awesome on all levels.
Only don’t go expecting any of the Guardians to be voiced by their movie counterparts as like with the LEGO Ninjago game, a new cast is in place and instead of trying to be a mirror image of Bradley Cooper and Chris Pratt, the voice cast provide their own take on the established characters, but stay true to the comic book versions, which is a good way of going about things, but can be something of a let-down for the players who were hoping it would all be the same people. Although, because of 2016-17 video game voice actor strike, the original LEGO Marvel Super Heroes cast was replaced to a new cast of talented voice actors, who if given the chance, could prove to be better than the last lot, or worse, but at the end of the day, it’s a matter of perspective.
With that out of the way, let’s dive right into the story shall we? Taking place after the events of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, a new villain has shown his face and have his go at taking over the world, so since he is Kang the Conqueror, a notorious villain from the future, who with the power of time travel, went into the past to with the intent to make En Sabah Nur (the mutant who would go on to become Apocalypse,) his heir. Only that’s in the comics and not the game, so here’s what he’s up to this time. Having travelled through different timelines and realities, Kang is looking to live up to his name conquer everything and then decides to brag about his victories by taking well known locations from worlds he’s previously conquered and merging them into a single utopia like world called Chronopolis, which just so happens to act as LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2’s hub world.
Being the non Avengers fan that I am, as I find all their films to be good at the beginning and then just god awful at the end as they always seem to lose sight of what they were meant to be, much like with the Captain America and Iron Man films, my expectations of the game’s story were not high and they were right to be. The story is quaint and mediocre at best and does see the game’s various Heroes drastically make things worse, before they can even try to make them better, but the story and how it plays out is okay at best, but does a decent job of explaining why everything is going on in the manner that it is, which extends towards justifying certain cameos by well-known and lesser-known villains.
Regardless of how I feel about the story though, the missions themselves are it that bad, yes they are fun to do, but some are just a little too short, whereas others are just way to long and result in the action getting stale, but to make up for the size and scale of each level there are 10 minikits to find and collect, a Stan Lee waiting to be saved as Stan Lee in Peril is back and just as annoying as before and once again, players are encouraged to collect as many Studs as they can on each mission, should they wish to attain the True Believer title and be able to cash in later on when at the Avenger’s Mansion, via purchasing certain cheats. Only this time around, Deadpool and his Red Bricks are replaced by Gwenpool and her Pink Bricks and just in case there isn’t enough Gwen for players liking, among the many characters that can be found, earned, unlocked, or even brought as there are many DLC characters also, there is also Spider-Gwen/Spider-Woman. (Whooo!) But if you don’t want to play as her as you prefer to put the Man into Spider-Man, than worry not as Spider-Man is a big part of the game, has lots to do and has a few alternative costumes.
One thing I will say though, while some missions can be a linear affair and are the same as ever as they consist of henchman wanting to be decked, puzzles to solve both presently and in a future time, when you’ve beaten the level and Free Play is unlocked, but they can also be a total drag, especially some of the earlier boss battles. However now all of them are so bad, as one particular battle that will forever stick to my memory and that is when Star-Lord and Captain America are engaging in a dog fight with Baron Zemo, over the skies of the Hydra Empire, which has been integrated with the rest of Chronopolis. The battle isn’t epic, but it is fun, especially when playing co-op as one of you can focus on flying the plane, while the other focuses on shooting everyone and everything you see. Plus there’s the whole getting boarded by someone and you having to keep them off. As for Hyrda, don’t worry, they’re tame. They are still evil, have German accents and are villainous, but all Nazi ties they are known to have, have been removed from the game almost entirely, so if you have a young one who has yet to learn about World War 2 and the role a certain force had in it, you’re golden.
Other than the main missions, being a LEGO game, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 has plenty of other content for you to invest a lot of time into. Yes, there is a coliseum-like mode where up to 4 players can battle it out thanks to themed challenges and various battle areans, but it’s pretty much the same old stuff we’ve seen in the past and with LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 being a game where a Player 2 can jump in at any time to play alongside you, the mode itself does feel somewhat redundant as the best way to play with a friend, is in the supported co-op mode of the main game, so that the two of you can just render absolute chaos everything you go. Only try not to have too much fun in your activities of devastating activities, because while beating up civilians is fun, as is destroying the furniture around them, you are supposed to be heroes after all and unless you’re playing whilst docked with a big TV to look at, when playing together, you will have to put up with the usual split-screen co-op that almost always ends up being so chaos filled that you soon find yourself torn between focusing on what you’re doing and trying to fathom just the hell kind of a mess your partner has gone and made for themselves this time.
As for everything else LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, like I said nearer to the beginning of this review, it is just more of the same. There are plenty of fun, crazy and even benign side-quests to do like destroying announcers, finding lost cats, undergoing races, where sometimes perfection is required if you wish to set a score that will net you the offered prize, helping out a lot of NPC’S you wish you could beat up/murder and Gold Bricks! Yes, ladies and gentleman, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 remains a true LEGO game in almost every way and has 225 Gold Bricks for you to obsess over in a bid to collect them all and if that’s still not enough for you, there are easter eggs all over the place, characters like Howard the Duck making an appearance.
Still, while the game might not sound so bad up until now, as always, there are faults at play. For starters, the graphics, while LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 does look fairly impressive, the Switch version is a little less so as certain comprismises had to be made to get it to work on Switch to the extent that it does and while not all of them are that noticeable, there are performance stutters in both general gameplay and cut-scenes, and ridiculously long loading times, but then, they are the norm for LEGO games anyway. What’s worse though, is the controls can feel a bit off at times as the simple act of jumping off the ground and flying around with the likes of Captain Marvel and Iron Man can prove a little tedious as they’ll rather jump and do something else, but while for the most part it’s something you can happily deal with, it doesn’t make the flying as easy an experience it could have been.
But because I don’t want to head off to the conclusion on a bad note though, Chronopolis is a great away to explore in all its entirety as it is made up pf places like 3 variations of New York, Asgard, Medieval England, Wakanda, Hala (homeworld to the Krees,) Ancient Egypt and even K’un-Lun, so get ready for some great scenary, because it is there, it is waiting for you and so are a whole load of puzzles and objectives that are just waiting for the right character to come along and do what needs to be done. Be it smashing them to bits, fixing them and getting them operational once again, hitting them with enough electricity to power them up, or even reversing and/or accelerating the flow of time thanks to Doctor Strange and his time-bending ways! And then there’s the whole you can take a selfie thing and adjust the filter to make sure your picture comes out looking exactly how you want it to look, which isn’t really necessary, but it is welcomed all the same.
Although LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is not the sequel we had hoped it would be, as a game about famed and villainous characters from the Marvel universe, it is just as action packed and warm-hearted as the LEGO Marvel titles that have come before it. Also it does not require you to have played any of the previous titles such as LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers. But if you are looking for a new or newer LEGO game to lose yourself in that isn’t Worlds or Ninjago, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is as good a choice as any!
THE VERDICT: 8/10
*Review Key Provided by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment